August 2023: President’s Message

from Laurie Schechter, 65th President of The Ebell

August 2, 2023

I hope many of you were able to make your way to The Ebell these past months.  What a beehive of activity you would have seen as we concluded our 2022-2023 season and fiscal year.  Despite the absence of filming due to the writers’ strike, there was still an abundance of life and energy as we transitioned from spring to summer, welcomed college graduates and newlyweds, installed a new leadership team and concluded our 2022-2023 programming year with a bang!   It was a time for us to reflect on the past, prepare for the future, and honor our own.

We transitioned into June with the results of our May elections.   You will find the list of your new Board and Nominating Committee members in this E-Magazine. Thank you to all members who voted.  Our dedicated staff worked overtime to assure that every eligible member received a ballot, even those without emails, and that the voting was completely anonymous.  Inspectors of Election – Karlene Taylor, Janna Bodek Harris and Janice Berger-Landau – promptly reviewed and certified the results.  On June 26, the new Board members were installed following the Semi-Annual Membership Business Meeting.  If you missed the Business Meeting and want to learn more about what your committees and Board members are doing, click here to see the PowerPoint.   

The new Board will continue the important efforts underway to ensure our vitality and sustainability: assessing our priorities and goals; reviewing our mission and purpose; examining our policies and practices; and much more.  Stay tuned for more information on the updated Bylaws that you will be asked to review and accept in the coming months.  Adapting to our changing environment, nothing new to Ebell women, is critical as we plan for a mandated seismic retrofit and the next 100 years of inspiring women and building community.

At the beginning of June, we had one of our biggest and best member art shows, featuring 88 varied works by 21 of our talented Ebellians.  Twelve pieces were sold, including one to a future renter who was touring the building!  Kudos to Donna Russell and her art committee for their hard work and effort in organizing this beautiful and well-attended exhibit.

On June 11, 60 members gathered in the Sun Room for our first volunteer appreciation brunch where the Board recognized members who have generously shared their time and talents with The Ebell.  Kay Balue, Loyce Braun, Kay Lachter, Jane Martin and Patty Lombard received the well-deserved ICON award for service and leadership over many years.   Board chairs also acknowledged individuals who made exceptional contributions to their committees.  We would not be here without the dedication, passion and selflessness of our volunteers.  Thank you to LaToya Hearns, her committee and to all our Ebell volunteers!

Wrapping up the year, we honored our Ebell friends no longer with us at the annual Legacy Tea co-chaired by Donna Russell and Jules Hirst.  This year was particularly poignant as the list of those remembered was long and included three past presidents.  The absence of these extraordinary women is palpable, but their spirit lives on in our history and our hearts.

Membership is the heart and the lifeblood of The Ebell.  You are the key to our future, as our foremothers were the pillars of our past.  Please renew your membership and consider making an additional donation to support our beloved campus, programs and endowments.  Every dollar makes a difference.  Every member makes an impact.  I cannot thank you enough for being part of our Ebell family.  Happy Summer!

The mission of the Ebell of Los Angeles is to inspire women and build community through arts, culture, education, service and stewardship of our historic campus and collection.