2019 Convention Highlights


The 61st Annual

Alabama P.E.O. State Chapter Convention


April 25-27, 2019

The Hotel Capstone and

Bryant Conference Center

Tuscaloosa, Alabama



International Guest of Honor

Patricia Franzen

Chairman, P.E.O. STAR Scholarship

P.E.O. International Chapter


Hosted by Chapters P, R, and AC

What an awesome journey P.E.O. brings us!  And what a joyful journey it is for me! Thirty-seven years as a P.E.O., and now I have finally learned what really happens on the state board!  Honestly, service on the state board has been an honor, and such a great learning experience for me, and one of the highest privileges.  When I agreed to throw my name in the hat for nomination to the state board, I truly didn’t realize the impact that single action would have on my life – not only as a P.E.O. but also as a wife, an employee, a manager and a daughter. Nor did I appreciate the numbers of sisters that I would make connections with and new friends I would gain in Alabama, not to mention those from other states. The additional knowledge I now have about the inner workings of our sisterhood and the far-reaching positive impact of our projects fills me with much pride.

Last year, at this time, I charged you all with four chapter challenges. You truly stepped up to the challenge, and embraced each one. This year I leave you with but one challenge – it is not written down; it is not profound; it is not mandatory; and you will not need to report about it in your president’s letters.  But I hope that you will consider it, and that is to not be fearful of stepping outside the box, and trying something new.


Whether this be in your personal life, in your chapter, or as a chapter. May it be something that causes you to grow and learn. Maybe it’s a stretch, that takes you way outside your box, and beyond what you believe you are capable. Perhaps it stretches your technical abilities, or presents a new mental challenge.  If you’ve never served on a state committee, now is an excellent time to volunteer.  Never been a chapter officer?  Maybe even president of your chapter? Our resources help you every step of the way. Maybe you have an interest in serving on the State Executive Board?  You can do it! – and it’s such an amazing adventure! Try something new – but do it for yourself – not because someone expects it of you. In the end, you will grow, your local chapter will benefit, as will the state chapter. At a minimum, you will learn.


Personally, the next phase in my P.E.O. life, is that I am co-chairing the 2020 state convention with my dear friend Patty Piro. Something neither of us has ever done! 


There are many things happening in our world that we as P.E.O.s can impact, but I believe it is time that we also posture ourselves for what is to come. As we move forward, it will be necessary to embrace positive changes, and prepare for the future. As in all business situations, there is no such thing as maintaining the status quo. If we are not pushing forward, then we are slipping backward.

I did a book report on Benjamin Franklin when I was in the second grade. I have always admired him. Franklin said about change, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. And so, I would submit to you that without meaningful change, progress is impossible. SO we have to change. And the first step to change is to change our minds. When we believe we can find a better way, we begin to step outside of our boxes in order to make it happen.

It has been another joyful year for Alabama P.E.O. and one worth celebrating!  Chapter accomplishments abound, many of which we celebrated this weekend. As a state, our numbers remain solid. We added a new chapter this year, and there are more in the works! Our giving is strong; we had many recipients to celebrate – including 12 STAR Scholarship recipients for next fall, which is an amazing number for our state. And still, we REMAIN one of three states with ……what? No disbanded chapters!! J  There were many other accomplishments for the year but the bottom line is none of us achieve in isolation, and the successes we've enjoyed together have been the result of our combined efforts and careful collaboration, for the betterment of our sisterhood. Suffice it to say that you should all be very pleased with what you accomplished this year. Hats off to all the sisters in the Alabama State Chapter for making it, what I believe, a great place to be a P.E.O.!

As we move forward, let us continue to grow our membership, as, the more we grow the more opportunities we can offer, and the more lives we can impact. Each woman we help educate will be more likely to ensure her children are educated, and they in turn, and so on. If you really think about this, it is overwhelming how many people we actually touch. It is hard to know how far we actually reach and how many lives we change. And that should make you proud to be a P.E.O.!

There are many sisters who have played a significant part in my journey on the board, beginning with Mary Wiley and Patty Piro who were the first to encourage me to consider service on the state board. My Chapter AL sisters, who have been beyond supportive, and other board members with whom it has been a joy to work with.  Betty Smith, Nancy Sites Sizemore, Shirley Paramore, and Becki Reardon, I thank each of you for your example, your love, and leadership, as I followed you on the executive board. Sixty amazing women have preceded me in this role, and I am humbled and thrilled to be joining in their company.

Thank you to all of the past presidents of Alabama State Chapter, many of whom I have worked with or from whom I have and will seek guidance. You have been so kind, and your notes of encouragement always seemed to come at just the right time! To my Board Buddy chapters, and particularly J and Z (my “home chapters”), thank you for your kindness and generosity throughout the past five years – I will always feel as though I’m a part of your chapters.


For those remaining on the board, thanks to each of you, for your friendship, and varied talents and perspectives. I leave my hopes and good wishes and of course, my love remains with each of you for the coming years.


And to my husband David (the First Man, as he is affectionately called by my chapter, for being by my side every step of the way.  And to the Queen Mum, for being my number one cheerleader!  Mom and David have both lived this journey with me in an incredibly loving and supportive way.


And finally, to whomever ended up with the photo of me in my Minion nightshirt,             thank you for not sending it to the Historian! J


Thank you for your belief in me, your support, and your friendship.  It's a pleasure and a privilege to have worked alongside the many sisters throughout the state who understand how to bring the best out in each other.

So this chapter of my P.E.O. journey has come to an end. As I rotate off the board, I am filled with joy because of …. you. Thank you for your caring love and support and giving me the opportunity to make this journey. The joys never stop coming! When you return to your chapters, and go back to your daily routines, I do hope that you will continue to Celebrate the Joy In P.E.O.!  One of my personal goals for the year was for all of us to celebrate, and to have fun. I hope you did.              P.E.O. Blessings and my Love to you All!

David Sallo presented an enjoyable BIL Response. It is always fun to hear/read their perspective.

Photos from Betty von Herrmann


Women Helping Women Reach for the Stars