Committees and 2012/13 Chairs (2013/2014 updates coming soon)

Backpack Connie Desmond
Finance Clise Plant
Historian and Publicity Tyler Orozco
Hospitality Townes Wessels
House (League) Tracy Garlinghouse,
Sallie Huckabee, Co-Chair
Inactive Representative Marty Cotton
Investment Sue Dobbins,
Camille Gruman, Co-Chairs
Kitchen & More Tour Deb Caywood,
Penny Gaddy, Co-Chairs
Membership Karin Blanchard
Nominating Penny Gaddy
Office Karin Blanchard
Operation Beautiful Ann Amann,
Pat Young-Mallison, Co-Chair
Scholarship Diane Taylor,
Susan Edmonds, Co-Chair
ACT Program Assistance Tina Terrell,
Debi Thayer, Co-Chair
Thrift Shop Aileen MacMillan,
Gina Crawford, Co-Chair
Committees and 2010/11 Chairs

Committee Descriptions:
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Connie Desmond, Backpack Committee chair

Connie Desmond, Chair

The services provided by the Service League Backpack Program are coordinated through Hickory Public Schools. During the school year, scheduled weekly deliveries provide nutritious food to select need-based qualified students for them to take home on weekends and holidays when school lunches are not available. These children receive backpacks prepared by Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and organized by the Second Harvest of Hickory. Service League members provide the delivery of filled backpacks to local elementary schools as well as the pick-up of empty backpacks so they can be returned to the food bank for refilling.


Clise Plant, Finance Committee chair

Clise Plant, Chair

The Finance Committee is responsible for the Service League's annual budget and making recommendations related to all expenditures. Membership includes the President, Vice-President, Vice-President-elect, Treasurer, Treasurer-elect (if applicable), Past President and any other members asked by the President to be a part of the Committee.


Tyler Orozco, Historian and Publicity chair

Tyler Orozco, Chair

Historian is responsible for keeping a public record of Service League activities. In addition, the Committee promotes Committee Programs and accomplishments by submitting press releases locally and through updating the Service League website.


Townes Wessels, Hospitality Committee chair

Townes Wessels, Chair

This Committee coordinates food and decorations for all Service League social functions. These events include two annual coffees before membership meetings, an October dinner gathering at League House, an introductory session for Provisional members and the annual May Tea.


Tracy Garlinghouse, League House Committee chair

Tracy Garlinghouse, Chair

This Committee is responsible for supervising the interior maintenance, coordinating rental usage and supervising safety for the Service League House. While the property is owned by the City of Hickory, the Committee is responsible for protecting its interior.


Marty Cotton, Inactive Representative chair

Marty Cotton, Chair

This representative is an Inactive Member selected to represent their heritage, traditions and interests on the Board.


SueDobbins, Investment Committee Co-ChairCamilleGruman, Investment Committee Co-Chair

Sue Dobbins, Camille Gruman, Co-Chairs

Appointed by the President of the Service League, the Investment Committee oversees the management of its endowment funds, money market and related checking accounts. The Committee chooses an investment firm to manage endowment accounts along with formulating an investment strategy and policy governing each account with Board approval.

The Investment Committee is composed of the following: President, Vice-President and Treasurer of the Service League; Scholarship Committee Chair and Treasurer; Investment Committee Chair and Vice-Chair (currently 2 Co-Chairs), appointed yearly by the President.

The Committee meets quarterly for the purpose of reviewing financial statements, evaluating account performance and advising Scholarship Committee on fund management.

Investment Co-Chairs

  • Serve as liaison between the investment manager, the Investment Committee and the Board/League.
  • Handle correspondence pertaining to the endowment funds and/or accounts.
  • Meet quarterly with the investment manager to review financial statements and performance of accounts.
  • Review portfolio diversification and make buy/sell decisions as recommended by the investment manager.
  • Present quarterly financial reports to both the Board and the Service League members.
  • Request scholarship tuition payments from the appropriate endowment funds transferred into the Scholarship Committee account for disbursement to the respective universities.
  • Serve on the Board of the Service League


Deb Caywood, Kitchens and More Tour Committee, Co-ChairPenny Gaddy, Kitchens and More Tour Committee, Co-Chair

Deb Caywood & Penny Gaddy, Co-Chairs

Kitchens & More Tour is the Service League’s major fundraising event. Yearly 5 – 7 beautiful homes/kitchens are selected and featured on the Tour. A primary attraction is the demonstration of specialty creations by local Hickory chefs. During the event, homemade desserts and frozen soups along with boutique gifts items are sold at the Service League House, 506 Third Ave. NW, Hickory, NC. Funds earned from the Kitchens & More Tour are distributed to worthy non-profit agencies located in Catawba County, NC. Yearly, these benefactors are selected through an application process prior to the Tour. Begun in 2006, the Kitchens & More Tour is held each November on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. The Kitchen Tour Committee is responsible for organizing and overseeing this fundraising event.

The Chair of this Committee (with the assistance of Co-chairs and/or Vice-Chairs) jointly or individually oversees several sub-committees.

Each year all members (except Inactive and Members Emeritus) are required to work at the event. While Inactive Members and Members Emeritus are not required to participate, their volunteer assistance is usually requested and much appreciated.

A separate Committee and Chair oversee Kitchens & More Tour Program Guide production. Guidelines developed from the previous Service League tours and events guide both Kitchens & More Tour Committees to identify potential event sponsors. The guide is distributed at no charge to each Tour ticket holder.

Kitchen & More Tour funds are handled separate from the general Service League account. It is subject to standard year-end audit procedures.


Karin Blanchard, Membership Committee Chair

Karin Blanchard, Chair

In 1972 the Membership Committee was formed to supervise the recruitment and election of new members, define membership levels, conduct a spring Membership Committee election and serve as the vehicle that members may privately discuss their Service League membership concerns.

The Service League offers membership to any potential candidate (Provisional) twice each year in September and January. Any person interested in joining the Service League, completes an application form and submits it to the Membership Committee. Individuals can be sponsored by a member or can apply individually. Application forms are available at the Service League House, in the Handbook or from any Membership Committee representative.

The Membership Committee has no power other than the ability to recommend actions or changes in policy to the Service League Board of Directors.

The Membership Committee upholds that the Service League responsibilities to each other. Annually, members elect representatives to this committee--sometimes referred to as the Members’ Committee.


Penny Gaddy, Nominating Committee chair

Penny Gaddy, Chair

The Nominating Committee is an appointed committee chaired by the immediate past Service League President. Each April, the Chair presents a slate of officers for election and the General Membership meeting. During the year, the Committee helps secure leadership for various Service League Committees.


Karin Blanchard, Nominating Committee chair

Karin Blanchard

The Office Committee is assisted by the Service League Vice-President and the Secretary. The Vice-President is responsible for maintaining an up-to-date copy of the Handbook contents, except for the membership list. It is the responsibility of the Service League Secretary to forward all correspondence received (involving changes of address, phone or email) to the appropriate Committee head.

The Office Chair maintains an up-to-date membership list as well as oversees the typing, copying, and filing of all Service League business. In addition, the Chair orders all office supplies as well as handling all Membership communications. It is also her responsibility to monitor and distribute mail and internet correspondence. It is the responsibility of the Office Committee to publish biannually in January and August the Service League’s Newsletter.


Ann Amann, Parliamentarian

Ann Amann, Chair

Operation Beautiful is 10 week series of interactive sessions based upon many of Caitlin Boyle’s Operation Beautiful www.operationbeautiful.com concepts as its foundation. Service League members work side-by-side with challenged teenagers and counselors at Catawba Rosenwald School to reinforce each student’s uniqueness. Goal of committee include helping these young women feel more positive about themselves, their peers, community and futures. The program includes presentations alternating between school counselors and guest speakers. Members provide education, support and understanding to these young women while celebrating each student’s own uniqueness. Working with these young women reiterates the simple truth—you are beautiful just the way you are!


Diane Taylor, Scholarship Committee Chair

Diane Taylor, Chair

The Scholarship Committee of the Service League is responsible for the administration of the League's scholarship and grant programs. This Committee provides assistance to area high school graduates who might otherwise have financial difficulty attending the college of their choice.

The Committee is led by a two-year term Chair and assisted by a two-year term Vice-Chair and oversees Scholarship Endowment Funds (SEF), publicity, policy review, applications, long-range planning and scholarship history. Other Service League members can be asked to join the Committee for the interview and selection of scholarship and grant applicants.

Two $10,000 SEF Scholarships, each valued at $2,500/year for four years, are awarded annually to graduates of public high schools within Catawba County. Scholarships are awarded to seniors wanting to attend any 4-year institution of higher learning. Students need is based on financial information supplied by a candidate at the time of the interview. Scholarship recipients are evaluated on financial need, academic achievement, leadership, and work ethic. This student selection process is conducted in a CONFIDENTIAL process. Budgeted monies not spent on scholarships will revert to the SEF.

In 1997, due to the benevolence of Jack Kahl and other friends and associates of Glenn Hilton, a scholarship endowment was established to perpetuate Mr. Hilton’s memory. The $10,000 Glenn C. Hilton Scholarship, valued at $2,500/year for four years, is awarded every other year or as interest permits. Financial need, academic achievement, leadership, and work ethic are used to evaluate scholarship applicants.

Additional information may be obtained from any Scholarship Committee member.


Tina Terrell, Special Needs Committee Chair

Tina Terrell, Chair

The ACT Program Assistance Committee provides Service League volunteers for the Adolescents and Children in Treatment Center (ACT). This is a combined program incorporating staff from both the Catawba County Schools and the Mental Health Department for students up through 8th grade. The goal of this school-based program is to help children with behavior modification skills so they can be transitioned back into a regular school setting.

This is a “hands on” committee. Each year five seasonal parties are provided by the Service League for these children: Halloween, Christmas, Valentine, Easter and at end of school year. These events involve games, snacks and special treat bags. Other month’s school visits include birthday celebrations with cake and small gifts provided for children celebrating a birthday during that month. Service League members also help support the school’s library by bringing gently used quality books from the Thrift Shop.

The purpose of the Committee is to assist the ACT teachers in making these children feel valued and special. While visits provide an opportunity to interact with student and build individual relationships, our participation supports positive adult role models for these children. Since the school does not have the parental resources needed in the classroom, the Committee helps fill that void. Our monthly involvement offers these students opportunities to practice positive behavioral skills in a controlled environment.


Kathy Goins, Thrift Shop Committee Chair

Aileen MacMillan, Chair

The primary purpose of the Thrift Shop is to raise funds. Established in 1948, thousands of dollars have been given back to the Service League and redistributed through programs designated to improve cultural and social issues in Catawba County. The Thrift Shop serves as the Service League’s ongoing fund raiser and supporting its yearly budget.

While Committee members attend monthly meetings they also serve as the governing team for the Thrift Shop’s day to day operations. Other Committee duties include merchandising donations, running local advertising, coordinating window decorations, overseeing members' consignment checks, compiling monthly chart for members, assuring fiscal accountability and setting general operation guidelines.

Twice each year, the Committee prepares the Thrift Shop for clearance sales. At the end of a season, members pack up unsold items, donate them to a deserving cause and restock the Thrift Shop with the newly donated merchandise. All Service League members are also responsible for working monthly half-day shifts at the Thrift Shop. In addition, the Committee maintains an active list of members willing to work for $25/shift in exchange for fulfilling another member’s need for last minute or emergency shift coverage.