Name: Gaynelle Thomas
Job: President of the Portales Woman’s Club, organized in 1903. Thomas has been in the club for the past 20 years. The Woman’s Club meeting house is a historic site located in downtown Portales.
Background: Thomas is co-owner of the Print Shop and has also worked for the New Mexico Christian Children’s home for nine years.
The Portales Woman’s Club members, early in its history, coordinated and helped found the Portales Public Library. The club is planning a membership drive in August and invite women in the area to become a part of the organization.
Time on the job: Three terms as president
Q. Describe what your job entails?
A. Routinely there are committees who direct the meetings while the Woman’s Club meets nine times a year, two breakfast meetings and the rest of the meetings are lunchtime meetings.
The Woman’s Club meets to accomplish goals and to serve the community through projects. One of those projects was helping with Habitat for Humanity another project is the garden at Heartland Continuing Care Center.
For the past 20 years the Woman’s Club has been in partnership with Roosevelt County to provide a scholarship for a high school senior. Another scholarship program is for sophomores in high school called the Hugh O’Brien Business Youth Scholarship HUBY (after the Hollywood actor who founded it). It is focused on entrepreneurship.
Q. What is the club involved with?
A. The Woman’s Club is always setting goals every month and involved with the public. There are yearly dues and every December the Woman’s Club helps out with the Mayor’s Christmas Tree. There is a project called “Woman’s Day Out” it happens in the spring and is a day set aside for woman’s health and other information for women. In October the Woman’s club sells peanuts at the Peanut Festival to raise money for their special projects. The Woman’s Club also hosts the Pioneer Luncheon at the county fair every year.
Q. Why did you choose this job?
A. I didn’t choose it, the club chose me for president. I’ve been in nearly all the offices in the Woman’s Club;. A president is allowed to serve two years in succession in the Woman’s Club.
Q. What type of training, if any, do you need for your job?
A. The Portales Woman’s Club is associated with the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs. They have training classes for being a president, and this year it is held in Albuquerque.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A. The most rewarding things about this job is what the Woman’s Club does for the community. The attraction for being a part of the Woman’s Club is serving the community with the club’s many projects.
Compiled by PNT Correspondent Chris Romero