Board to Board, October 2017


Donna Mertens, President, AAUW CA,

October 2017

Happy Fall! Here is this year’s fourth issue. You can find the previous editions on the AAUW California website.  As a reminder the Board to Board is a monthly communication from the state board to branch boards and leaders. Please share the information with your members.


Donna Mertens, President, AAUW CA,

The smell of fall is in the air. AAUW fundraisers can’t be far behind. I can’t believe the number of ways our branches have found to raise money for AAUW. When I joined the Victor Valley branch 15 years ago, the big fundraiser was a fashion show. We raised the money for the Educational Foundation. Now, we raise money for the Fund, Tech Trek, NCCWSL, Start Smart and other AAUW projects.

AAUW has been in existence for over 100 years and we are known for supporting equity for women and girls. Our projects deserve our support. As an individual you can donate to other worthwhile organizations however, AAUW branches can ONLY raise money for AAUW projects. Information about AAUW fundraising policies are available on the AAUW National website.

Please think about this when you are planning your fundraisers for this year. It is our responsibility to keep AAUW moving forward.


Charmen Goehring, Director, Public Policy Co-Chair,

Perfect Time to Meet with your Legislators

The California legislative session has ended.  Bills that passed out of the Legislature have now gone to the Governor for action.  Legislators are in their home offices. This is a great time for your branch to reach out to your state Assemblymember and Senator and talk with them about AAUW priorities. Building relationships now helps us to advocate for our issues later!

Election Activities

October is the month to organize activities for the November election:

  • candidate forums
  • educational meetings on local issues  – if you have any
  • voter registration  (by Oct 23)
  • get-out-the-vote

Visit the National website for great ideas for get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaigns and more.

Share successful legislative contacts and election events with your state public policy committee! We are standing by to celebrate and assist as needed!!


Jane Niemeier (Co-President Elect) and Stormy Miller (Director), Program Co-Chairs,

Program of the Quarter: July 1 – September 30, 2017

What a pleasure it was to read the branch newsletters and to see the good work that all of you are doing! Five branches were selected that are following our mission of breaking through barriers for women and girls. The branches are Fremont, Lodi, Los Altos-Mountain View, Roseville-South Placer and Santa Cruz County.  What do they have in common?  Each branch featured one or more women speakers from their communities who certainly define breaking through barriers! A brief highlight of these outstanding programs can be found on the AAUW California website. We would also like to recognize Half Moon Bay for its STEM Camp and Stockton for STEM Trek.  Since there isn’t room for every girl at Tech Trek Camp, these branches helped educate other girls in the field of STEM. Great work!

AAUW CA Book Club Launch: I am Malala begins October 15th!

We are excited to launch the AAUW California Book Club selection, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai.  Malala reminds us by her actions why we are all passionate about AAUW.  She so strongly believes in education for girls that she almost died for her beliefs.

This may be your first online book club, so we’ve provided additional information on how it will be structured for reading I Am Malala

  1. Remember to register through goodreads. You can do this via your email address or through social media sources such as Facebook.
  2. The book club will begin on October 15th and there will be a discussion topic waiting for you. Please feel free to chime into the discussion through the discussion feed and comment on member posts that spark your interests!
  3. Discussion postings will be made weekly on Fridays, so we encourage you to sign on at least once per week to remain active in the book club.

Please share this information with your branch members.

Highlight Your Branch Through AAUW Branch Bingo

The Program Committee is launching  a new activity that will raise awareness of your branch efforts. From participation in the AAUW California book club, to tabling AAUW at local events, to supporting young women in their attendance at NCCWSL, we want to acknowledge and reward your efforts in a fun and interactive way…Branch Bingo! With two  rounds of Branch Bingo, we hope to see many of you participate! Below is a link to Round 1 with instructions on how to play and submit your entry. Branches that participate will be entered into a grand prize drawing announced at State Convention. So pull out your bingo dauber and here’s hoping you BINGO! Play AAUW Branch Bingo!


Donna Lilly, Nominations & Elections Chair

Come forward and volunteer your talented self as a candidate for Board of Directors of AAUW California.  Share your skills and passion for education and equity for women and girls.  Step up to fill the office of Secretary or one of the four Director positions for 2018-2020.  Complete the Candidate Nomination Form electronically.

Deadline for submission is December 8th 2017.


Cathy Foxhoven, Co-President Elect, Leadership Development,

YouTube Helps Us Be Better Officers!

Are you new to your job? Are you trying to recruit new board members? The Leadership Development team is happy to announce that four videos are now on the AAUW California website under Leadership Development. The videos cover four topics and are presented by AAUW California state leaders. They include:

  • President, presented by Dianne Owens, Director
  • Alternate Board Structures, presented by Ainsley Nies, Director
  • Programs presented by Cathy Foxhoven, President Elect
  • Treasurer presented by Donna Mertens, AAUW California State President

COMING SOON: Secretary presented by Kathleen Doty, Past AAUW California State President

Please let your officers know about the videos and encourage them to view them for some helpful information and instructions. You might also want to use the videos to encourage future leaders to take on these positions. We’d love to hear if you find these videos helpful.


Sharon Westafer, Director, AAUW Fund Committee Chair,

Deadlines for the Fund luncheons are fast approaching!  Both the online and mail-in reservation form are on the AAUW California website.  Please make your reservations as soon as possible and share this information with your branch members.  There are two luncheons in Northern California so if you’re unable to attend one, plan to attend the other.

Keep in mind that branch Fund assessments are due November 15th (branch treasurers should have received the bill by now).  The assessments are a way to ensure that every branch contributes something to the AAUW Fund. The money is then directed toward California Unfinished Endowments.


Linda Stinebaugh, Tech Trek,

Branch requests for reservations for the 2018 camps will be accepted via email to Linda Stinebaugh ( beginning October 15 and ending October 31. A reminder will be sent out to all Branch Coordinators via the TT Branch Contacts email list with a reminder and a listing of the camp fees for 2018.

Branches should send any checks made out to AAUW that they have to their camp treasurer NOW. New deposit forms for deposits to Special Projects Fund  (SPF) will be sent out soon.


Tina Byrne, C/U Committee Chair,

Encourage a Student to Apply for a Fellowship or Grant 

Have you ever wondered how all those Fellowship and Grant recipients find out about AAUW opportunities? Perhaps it was from a member like you.  Perhaps a branch C/U Chair visited one of our partner schools and held a workshop or distributed the Fellowships and Grants brochures available at Shop AAUW.

Applicants for next year still have time to apply.  American Fellowships deadline is November 15, Career Development Grants deadline is December 15, International Fellowships deadline is December 1, and Selected Professions Fellowships deadline is January 10.  All the applications are completed online so encourage students you know or meet to research the AAUW Educational Funding and Awards. Next year you might have the thrill of knowing you helped a bright young woman achieve her educational goals.


Deanna Arthur (Secretary) and Kathy Andreini, Membership Co-Chairs,

Answer the Phone!

Your Membership committee representative is on the line.  Membership committee members will be calling NEW Branch Membership VPs this month.  Continuing branch MVPs will also hear from Committee reps by phone or email with their contact information and news.

We’ll be ready to answer your questions, offer advice and encouragement and follow up with an email containing information and links to what we discussed.  

If we don’t reach you, please return the call at your convenience.  We look forward to assisting in your branch recruitment and retention efforts this year!  Can’t wait for our call?  Contact  with questions and/or comments.


 Marlene Cain, AAUW California Speech Trek Coordinator,

“How Can We Stand up to Sexism?”

Find out – have a Speech Trek Contest at your Branch!

Attention all Speech Trek Coordinators and Chairs: the 2017-2018 Branch Tool Kit and the 2017-2018 Student Forms are online.

November 1st is the deadline to sign up to participate in the state Speech Trek Competition. If you are planning to hold a Speech Trek contest at your Branch, please notify Marlene Cain. Use the notification form inside the Branch Tool Kit, or email her at with your name, contact info, branch name, and date of contest, if known.


 Sue Cochran, Governance Committee Chair,

The motion put before the membership to change AAUW CA from a Mutual Benefit to a Public Benefit Corporation did not pass due to a small number of no votes. The voting closed at midnight on September 30th.  As a result of this vote, we are now working with our legal counsel to determine our next course of action.  Updates will be posted on the AAUW CA website and in future Board to Board communications.  Questions should be directed to


Sandi Gabe, Director, Communication Committee Chair,

Quick! Check your email inbox. Do you see any emails from AAUW CA or

Confession time: Have you opened them?  

We know you are busy and your inbox is bulging. But the information in emails from the state board and committees will help you and your branch be even more effective in your AAUW work.  They typically contain updates, important deadlines, new program announcements or reminders of critical “To Dos” and how to do them.  

It’s possible that these messages have been sent to your junk or spam folder.  Add to your approved or safe senders list so that they are delivered directly to your inbox.

The Communications Committee tries to be prudent about sending only emails that have valuable information for you. Please take a moment to open and act on them. It will make your job easier and your inbox smaller.