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Local Pi Beta Phi alumna wins leadership award

By Lisa Scott
Special to The PREVIEW

Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women has named local resident Carole Howard one of two winners of the sorority’s prestigious Emma Harper Turner Leadership Award in the western U.S. and Canada.

The awards are presented annually to distinguished Pi Phi alumnae whose exceptional leadership contributes to the success of their alumnae clubs.

“Since the founding of our San Juan alumnae club in March 2000, Carole has always gone above and beyond to ensure the club’s success,” said Lisa Scott, president of the local alumnae organization. “She has led a variety of efforts and works very hard to keep members informed. Mostly, she is a wonderful sister and friend.”

Howard and a Pi Phi from Portland, Ore., are the two recipients of the 2017 award for the sorority’s Alumnae Region Five (AR5), which encompasses two Canadian provinces — British Columbia and Alberta — plus 11 western states — Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.

“This is a great honor for Carole and also for our club,” said charter and current member Melissa McDonald. “We are a very small organization — presently only 16 members — and it is not often that smaller alumnae groups receive such national attention.”

There are nearly 300 Pi Phi alumnae clubs around the world. The 40 clubs in AR5 range in membership from fewer than 20 like Pagosa’s to almost 200 in nearby major urban areas like Phoenix, where Carolyn Edlund, one of the Pagosa club members, lives.

Howard is a charter member, the secretary and blogmaster for the local club. In 2004, she received the Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award for distinguished alumnae achievement. She also presented the Pi Beta Phi Foundation-sponsored keynote address at the 2005 Convention titled “Majoring in the Rest of Your Life.” In 2010, she was the club’s nominee for the Evelyn Peters Kyle Angel Award for Organization Service.

Over the years, Howard has been actively involved in the organization’s annual literacy and food bank donation efforts, as well as other celebratory events including Angel Gift Exchanges, Beaux and Arrows, Chinese New Year, Founders’ Day, Golden Arrows recognition, Fourth of July/Canada Day and Welcome Back to Pagosa luncheons.

With Scott’s and Howard’s inspiration, the San Juan alumnae club founded the annual Panhellenic luncheon, where women of all sorority affiliations in Pagosa gather to celebrate sisterhood. The event is in its 12th year.

This story was posted on April 20, 2017.