Club President Jane Holzrichter Attends Conference in Japan

Our 2018-2019 SI Hutchinson President Jane Holtzrichter attended the SIA Conference in Japan this summer. Upon returning, she detailed her experiences in this letter.


Greetings, Soroptimist members and others,

I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to all of you for allowing me to attend the 45th Biennial - SIA Conference in Yokohama Japan.  It was an experience of a lifetime.

Monday started with First Time Attendees Orientation, and Tuesday opened with the General Conference.  Each day we opened with the General Assembly and listened to the key note speakers. 

The emphasis was on Dreams Programs and the global impact these programs have on women and girls across the world. They also talked about the importance of mobilizing our work, recruiting and marketing, “who we are”, and “telling our story to the world.”  The census for the conference was approximately 2000 and USA had a strong showing.  In the United States, 541 Clubs made up of 14,987 members.  The afternoon was filled with workshops, networking and hitting the pavement to explore Japan. The conference ended on Thursday and we wrapped up the 3-day Conference with the Dream Program Awards.

The emphasis this year was on clubs funding the Dream Programs, and the focus is on sustaining the four Pillars: Fundraising, Membership, Program and Public Awareness. Apparently, SIA membership has decreased over the years, and the organization no longer reigns as the leader in women’s non-profit organizations. 

We had a great showing, and I was fortunate enough to meet more than one member who had a Kansas connection. The census for the conference was approximately 2000 and USA had a strong showing.  In the United States, 541 Clubs made up of 14,987 members. We were told that SIA is no longer the number one non-profit organization. 

My travel companion was Lindsay my oldest daughter that lives in Alexandria, VA.  She was a great travel guide and we did not get lost one time. We walked about 6 miles a day and getting back to our room late each night. We loved their train system and did not have to go outside of our hotel to get on and off.  Our accommodations were beautiful and we found the Japanese to be such gracious people.

Yokohama will host the Olympics in 2019 and construction is everywhere.  As we said goodbye to Yokohama around 2:30 a.m. on Friday, we arrived back in LA, 18 hours later with a lifetime of memories. 

I close by sharing a quote from the SIA Convention, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream, but a dream you dream together is a reality.”  

~Jane