In an atmosphere of camaraderie, excitement and anticipation, the Carson Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. hosted its sixth annual Status of Women luncheon to honor five Achievers of Excellence.
This recent event was held at the Carson Civic Center, located at 3 Civic Plaza, in the city of Carson.
The honorees, Ms. Margurite A. Carter, Dr. Toni C. ElBoushi, Mrs. Rosalyne Roach Gardiner, Mrs. Patricia Jackson-Kelley, and Mrs. Eleanor Busby Mack, represented a wide cross-section of the community, and were honored for their humanitarian community work, their scholarship, and commitment to improving the lives of others.
Mrs. Gloria J. Turner, Master of Ceremonies, introduced the Chapter's Chaplin,. Mrs. Beatrice Nelson, who gave the invocation. Mrs. Mary Louise Batiste, the Chapter's President, welcomed everyone, and greetings were extended by Miss Mykeea Brown, the Chapter's Top Teen President. Greetings were also received from TLOD National President, Mrs. Audrie Lawton, and National Area VI Director, Mrs. Betty L. Edwards.
Following lunch, an elegant and highly sophisticated hat parade by members of the Carson Chapter entertained the audience. The lavish hat parade was coordinated by Mrs. Hellen Littlejohn Stringer. A money hat, one of a kind, was modeled by Mrs. Vera Rhone.
Leo Vera, musician, serenaded the honor?es with a special song.
Mrs. Lily Fae Pierre presented the first honoree, Mrs. Margurite Carter. Mrs. Carter has provided exemplary service to her community. She has worked in Children's ministry for over 40 years, serving in various capacities, one of which was the organization of a Children's Prayer Breakfast which involved children from various ethnic groups, and from different denominations within the Christian faith.
She also served in the Los Angeles Unit of Church Women United (CWC) representing the organization as their National President for a four-year term. In 2006, CWC honored her with the title "Valiant Woman," and in 2009 presented her with the Human Rights Award.
In 2005, Mrs. Carter began a ministry to the children of Africa. Through the support of family and friends from CWC and other humanitarian groups, she' ministers every year to the children of Zambia, the Republic of South Africa, and Kenya. She has one adopted son in Africa, and is a mother and grandmother to many others.
Ms. Kimberly Mebane, Carson Chapter Top Teen Advisor, introduced the second honorée, Dr. Toni C. ElBoushi. Dr. ElBoushi grew up in the projects, but that did not define who she was, nor did it stifle the person she would become. She achieved excellent grades and was a good student. Her one goal was to gain the acceptance and love of her mother who instilled in her the fact that education "would lend itself to a good job and a means by which to support yourself." Because she loved school so much, Dr. ElBoushi pursued a Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and Management. She graduated from the University of Phoenix in May 2010.
She has held many distinguished positions in Human Resources for the past 17 years and is currently the .Chief Human Resources Officer at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. In addition, she teaches undergraduate Human Resources Management at Cerritos College, a local community college.
Dr. ElBoushi's faith is important to her and has helped her through some difficult times in her life. She attends the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, and counts heavily on her faith to provide a foundation and stability.
She is married and has three children. Mrs. Rosalyne Gardiner, the third honorée, was presented by Ms. Eulah Williams as an educator, who works as a substitute teacher for two school districts. Her humanitarian work covers a broad spectrum.
While working for Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company, Los Angeles, Medicare Part ? Contractors, and National Heritage Insurance Company, Los Angeles in different capacities, she used her teaching skills to facilitate six-week training classes for new employees, and willingly incorporated the mentoring of Junior Hearing Officers and conducting "Lunch and Learn" writing classes for co-workers into her work schedule. Over the years, Mrs. Gardiner has tutored many students from elementary to college levels in various subjects.
Four graduate students honored her with a Certificate of Appreciation from their universities for her devoted service.
As a trained Volunteer Mediator for the Dispute Resolution Program, Office of the City Attorney, she was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of outstanding service to the Los Angeles community, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from Senator Mark RidleyThomas for her dedicated contributions to the resolution of conflict in Los Angeles.
As Vice President of the Bishops' High School Alumni, California Chapter, she helps to organize events to solicit funds to upgrade the school's library and science laboratories to help produce highly qualified students. For the past 21 years Mrs. Gardiner has touched the lives of many women through an In-Home Ladies' Bible study.
Fourth Honoree, Mrs. Patricia Jackson-Kelley, is a member of many civic and community organizations, and has been recognized for her military community excellence. Currently, she is the Military Advisor for the Beverly Hills/Hollywood Chapter of the NAACP and third Vice President.
Mrs. Jackson-Kelley has an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Nursing from New York Community College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Hunter College, New York City, and a Masters Degree in PublicAdministration in Health Science Management from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California.
Mrs. Jackson-Kelley has held numerous positions within the American Legion at National, Department, District, Post and County Council levels. She is currently the Area 4 Membership Chair for the Department of California and the immediate Past National Director for Twenty and Four (honorary society for Women Legionnaires).
Additionally, she is the first African American to hold Directorship since the inception of the organization in 1950. She received the Commander's Award for services as District Commander.
In 2003, Mrs. JacksonKelley retired as Lt. Colonel after completing 26 years of combined active duty and reserve military service. She continues to spend countless hours assisting many veterans in various areas through her affiliation with numerous committees and organizations within the community and throughout the United States. In 2010, she received the Southern California Woman Veteran of the Year award from the California Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mrs. Jackson-Kelley was one of the founding members of City of Angels Church of Religious Science in 1985, and is currently a member of Third Church of Religious Science.
Our fifth honoree, Mrs. Eleanor Busby Mack, is a distinguished educator who began her teaching career at Martin Elementary School, Beaumont Independent School District. She also taught at 118th Street Elementary School and Catskill Elementary School, Los Angeles Unified School District. She held Assistant· Principal positions at Gulf Avenue Elementary School, as well as at Magnolia Elementary and Ciénega Elementary Schools. She later held positions as Principal at Community Magnet School and Annalee Elementary LEARN School. Mrs. Mack also worked at California State University, Dominguez Hills as a Field Work Supervisor for student teachers. Mrs. Mack has been actively involved in community work with Family of Faith Christian Center; Relay for Life for eight years, was Environmental Commissioner for the City of Carson, and served on the Board of Directors for the Cars"on Coordinating Council for fourteen years. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Los Angeles South Bay Alumni Chapter.
Mrs. Mack has received the following awards: One of Six Magnificent Women - Carson Coordinating Council; Educator of the Year - Phi Delta Kappa Inc., Delta Xi Chapter; and the Wonder of Reading Library - Annalee Elementary School, and the Carson Leadership Class of 2006. Mrs. Mack is married to Mr. Jessie Mack and. has three children, two grand children and one great grand child. Each honoree gave overviews of their work experience, dedication and commitment, and were very appreciative of the plaques and certificates they each received in their honor. A Special Community Award of $500 was presented by Mrs. Gloria Turner to Ms. Jerrie Jones, a student at California State University, Dominguez Hills, for her perseverance through adversity.
Attending the luncheon were Mrs. Mary K. Guinn, past Area VI Director, and now President of the Inglewood Chapter; past Area VI Directors, Mrs. Alice Grigsby, Ms. Babette Delay, Mrs. Gailya Mayfield and Mrs. Alna Brown; Mrs. Kim DelayManning, Area VI Top Teens Director, members from other local Chapters, and organizations, and a host of relatives and friends.