Local Zontian Picked To Head International Organization
Dianne Curtis Named President-Elect Of Zonta International for 2008-2010.
Members of Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley are returning from the Zonta International convention in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, this week with a justifiable feeling of elation-local club member Dianne Curtis has been named president-elect of Zonta International.
Selection as president-elect paves the way for Curtis to take the reins as president of the organization in the biennium beginning in 2010. She was elected by a unanimous vote of the 1250 delegates from around the world who attended the 2008 Zonta International Convention in Rotterdam. Over 2000 women attended the convention with the theme of “Global Empowerment Through Local Action.”
Formed in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. Zonta has non-governmental organization (NGO) status with the United Nations, where it frequently provides input on women’s issues around the world. It has nearly 33,000 members in 1200 local Zonta clubs located in 68 countries and geographic areas. There are seven local clubs in the Los Angeles area, with additional clubs in Riverside, Orange, and San Diego counties.
“It is an honor beyond belief to be asked to lead such an inspiring group of women who use their time, energy, and resources to improve the lives of others. While many people are aware of our local clubs’ significant efforts to improve the lives of women and girls in Southern California, I also hope to bring attention to the challenge of assisting women in third world countries who are not as fortunate as Americans, and the opportunities that Zonta provides to make a difference in their lives.”
This is not the first international honor for Curtis, who joined the Santa Clarita Zonta club in 1980. She also has served as an international director, international convention chairman, Zonta Foundation ambassador, district governor and local club president. She currently is completing a two-year stint as a Zonta International vice president, covering a territory that includes clubs around the world.
Curtis has been a Santa Clarita resident since 1971, when her family moved to Newhall from Washington, D.C. She holds teaching credentials from the Royal Academy and once taught at a local dance studio.
Professionally, Curtis is president of her own trucking company, Canyon Bulk, Inc., a vice president of the family-owned Curtis Sand & Gravel, and president of No Limit Motor Sports, a professional motorcycle road racing team. She gained notoriety in Zonta International circles when she introduced herself for a previous international position as a “ballet dancing truck driver.”
The majority of Curtis’ volunteer work has revolved around Zonta and its mission of improving the status of women. Curtis assumed her position as international vice president at ZI’s annual convention in Melbourne, Australia, followed by this year’s successful ascendancy to the position of president-elect in Rotterdam. She is expected to move into the international president position at Zonta’s international convention in San Antonio, Texas, in 2010.
The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley sponsors its own service projects, including Healthy Women’s Day, its annual free breast cancer screening for uninsured and underinsured women, and the Virginia Wrage Grants for women re-entering the workforce. Zonta volunteers also support other Santa Clarita charities with over 3,000 hours of volunteer time annually, scholarships, and community grants to organizations including the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project, Girl Scouts of Joshua Tree Council, Single Mothers’ Outreach, and the Foundation for Children’s Dental Health. The Zonta Club of SCV meets the second Wednesday evening of each month at The Hilton Garden Inn. For more information, go to www.scvzonta.org.