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Former Regional Directors


1st Central and Western Organizer
Pauline Kigh Reed (1919 - 1922)


Initiation Chapter: Zeta
Pauline Kigh Reed was the first Central and Western Organizer. The geographical sections under her supervision included Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri and Minnesota.

2nd Central Organizer
Fredericka  Brown (1922-1923)

Rose and Pearls

Initiation Chapter: Kappa
Fredericka Brown was elected as Central Organizer during a time of expansion. Her duties included identifying cities where both undergraduate and graduate chapters could flourish. Her charge per the sixth Boule, was to formally establish the separation of undergraduate and graduate chapters in a city where there were five or more graduates and five or more undergraduates.

3rd Central Regional Director
Carolynne Payne (1923-1925)

Rose and Pearls

Initiation Chapter: Zeta
Carolynne Payne's tenure continued to see and embrace change in the sorority. During her term, Gamma House talks would begin. In addition, the sorority, reorganized and adopted the designation of Regional Director and defined their roles as per the Boule.

4th Central Regional Director
Murray B. Atkins (1925-1927)

Rose and Pearls

Initiation Chapter: Kappa
Murray B. Adkins was the first to be elected with the title of Regional Director.

5th Central Regional Director
Althea M. Simmons (1927-1930)


Rose and Pearls

Initiation Chapter: Gamma Omega 
Althea Merchant Simmons was elected Central Regional Director in December 1927 and served until 1930.

6th Central Regional Director
Blanche Hayes Clark (1930-1934)


Rose and Pearls

Initiation Chapter: Gamma Omega
Blanche Hayes Clark served as Central Regional Director from 1930 until 1936. Under her leadership, the first Central Regional Conference was held, May 23-24, 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

7th Central Regional Director
Alice E. McGhee Smart (1934-1937)


Initiation Chapter: Gamma
During her first year in office as Central Regional Director, Alice E. McGhee Smart visited all of the chapters located within the region except Alpha Mu Omega and Kappa Chapters. She initiated the first Central Region Awards to stimulate and encourage civic and community interests and scholarship among undergraduates.


8th Central Regional Director
Arlene J. Washington (1937-1940)

Rose and Pearls

Initiation Chapter:
Arlene Jackson Washington was elected Central Regional Director at the 20th Boule in New Orleans, Louisuana. During her term, the deed to Gamma House was transferred to the national body.

9th Central Regional Director
Blanche L. Patterson Williams (1940-1943)

Rose and Pearls

Initiation Chapter: Gamma Omega
Blanche L. Patterson was elected Central Regional Director at the 23rd Boule in Kansas City, Kansas. The conditions of World War II caused the cancellation of the 24th Boule in 1942. As a result, Blanche L. Patterson served as Central Regional Director until 1943. She also presided over three Regional Conferences which had themes that addressed defense issues emanating from the War.

10th Central Regional Director
Maenell Hamlin Newsome (1943-1946)


Initiation Chapter: Alpha Mu Omega
Maenell Hamlin Newsome was appointed by the Directorate in 1943.Under her term, all chapters observed Founders' Day and Negro History Week. During her time in office she stressed the following:

  1. Improvement of scholarship (grades) on college campuses.
  2. Improvement of sisterly relations everywhere.
  3. Better program planning in graduate chapters and consideration of having auxiliary groups in graduate chapters.
  4. Greater assistance of retiring officers for newly elected officers.
  5. Realization of Graduate Advisors of their authority and responsibility for their undergraduate chapters business, social activities and procedures.
  6. More publicity of chapter activities and the achievement of chapters and individuals.

11th Central Regional Director
Lucille Wilkins (1946-1950)


Initiation Chapter: Beta
Lucille Wilkins brought to her administration a commitment to the National Programs of the sorority. The Central Regional Conferences under her leaderhship, emphasized the
National Non-Partisan Council on Public Affairs, the American Council on Human Rights, the sorority's endowment fund, health, and Gamma House.

12th Central Regional Director
Evelyn Roberts (1950-1954)

Rose and Pearls

Initiation Chapter: Beta Delta
Evelyn Roberts was elected to the position in December 1950 and served until December 1954. It was during the early fifties that the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and the City of St. Louis would be designated as Central Region.

13th Central Regional Director
Maude L. Mann (1954-1958)


Initiation Chapter: Beta
Maude Lillian Mann served admirably as Central Regional Director from December 1954-August 1958. Her interest in youth and health were carried into her administration. She presided over the 22nd, 23rd and 24th Central Regional Conferences. During her tenure as Central Regional Director, there were no chapters chartered. The state of Kentucky joined the ranks of Central Region.

14th Central Regional Director
Annetta M. Lawson (1958-1962)


Initiation Chapter: Alpha
Annetta Molten Lawson was elected Central Regional Director at the 50th Boule. Her administration was guided by the National Program theme, "Assessing the Strength of Alpha Kappa Alpha for Future Investment for Service".

With her warm smile and pleasant personality, she presided over the 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th Central Regional Conferences. She chartered Delta Omicron, Eta Kappa Omega, and Eta Mu Omega Chapters.


15th Central Regional Director
Lee Anna W. Shelburne (1962-1966)


Initiation Chapter: Beta Epsilon Omega
Lee Anna Shelburne was elected Central Regional Director at the 1962 Boule in Detroit, Michigan and served for three and a half years. She initiated the Regional Director's monthly newsletter, developed the Regional Nominating Committee and orchestrated chapters celebrating Joint Founders' Day.  

16th Central Regional Director
Ordie Amelia Roberts (1966-1970)

Rose and Pearls

Initiation Chapter: Gamma
Ordie Amelia Roberts was elected Central Regional Director in 1966. During her administration the idea of a chapter "Round-Up" as a reactivation method, was introduced. She presided over the 33rd, 34th, 35th, and 36th Central Regional Conferences and chartered eight chapters. She holds the distinction of having chartered all of the undergraduate chapters starting with the Greek letter Epsilon in Central Region. She had a down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach to solving problems of the region.

17th Central Regional Director
Johnetta Randolph Haley (1970-1974)


Initiation Chapter: Alpha Iota
Johnetta Randolph Haley was elected the 17th Central Regional Director at the Kansas City Boule in 1970. At each Regional Conference, Johnetta Haley began something innovative and new for the region. During her first Regional Conference, chapter representatives were asked to come on Thursday to attend an evening workshop on chapter operations. At her second conference she began the Sunday morning Rededication Breakfast, which was patterned after the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. After her reelection in 1972 and during her third Regional Conference that she presided over, she initiated the undergraduate "Dress Out" which gained numerous participants, and her "All Night Party" for undergraduates became an overwhelming success. Johnetta Haley was an ardent advocate for undergraduates, visiting each chapter in the region and appointing an undergraduate as co-chairman of every regional committee, as well as appointing one undergraduate as assistant to the Regional Director.

On the first Saturday in December of each year, she held a "Basileus-Graduate Advisor's Work-Day" These sessions were for program planning, chapter procedures, awareness and fellowship.

18th Central Regional Director
Gloria E. Smith Bond (1974-1978)


Initiation Chapter: Alpha Psi
Gloria E. Smith Bond was the first minority to hold an elected office in the State of Indiana. She also wrote the first Protocol Guidelines in 1976 and also established the Graduate Advisor's Council and gathered historical data from all past Directorate members in Central Region to form a past Regional Directos Council that functioned as a committee. To help undergraduates prepare for group meetings, Gloria Bond conducted the most area retreats on college campuses with undegraduate chapters as host. She honored past Directorate members at Regional Conferences and extended the first gratuitous registration for these members. She was first to include the cost of awards in the conference budget and named awards in honor of former Regional Directors. To increase membership, she establised two Regional Awards — one for the highest percentage of undergraduates transferring to a graduate chapter upon graduation and another for highest percentage of membership reactivation in a graduate chapter.

19th Central Regional Director
Peggy Jean Lewis LeCompte (1978-1982)


Initiation Chapter: Alpha Iota
Peggy Jean Lewis LeCompte's administration as the 19th Central Regional Director was highlighted by several innovations and firsts. She introduced the first Soror of the Year award for undergraduate and graduate members. She gave undergraduates a significant voice by introducing Undergraduate Round-Ups, utlizing undergraduates as Regional Conference Parliamentarians, committee chairmen and workshop leaders and appointed undergraduate chapters as hostesses for Area Retreats. Peggy LeCompte wrote and disseminated a Central Regional Handbook for undergraduates and reinstituted the undergraduate Step Show at Regional Conferences. She expanded the duties of the Graduate Advisors Council, introduced potpourri sessions at area retreats; brought back the Central Regional Conference Public Meeting, published two editions of Who's Who in Central Region; and revised the Regional Chapter Booklet. Nine chapters were charted during her tenure.

20th Central Regional Director
Mable Evans Cason (1982-1986)


Initiation Chapter: Beta Xi Omega
A promise of power and collaboration, sisterliness and mutual support between members and chapters was the motto by Mable Cason. To quote her, "We are a sharing, we are a caring, and we are a loving sisterhood." She emphasized the importance and necessity for closer relationships and open communication between undergraduate and graduate chapters.

Highlights of her Regional Conferences included the adoption of the Gamma Omega choir as her official performing group, developing an open forum for the Regional Director and initiating the VIP breakfast. She stated in one of her reports, "My strength, if I have any, I think is not on the building of new chapters that is in saying let's start another chapter, but in reclaiming members." Due to illness, she was unable to preside over her final conference.

21st Central Regional Director
Loann Julia Honesty King (1986-1990)


Initiation Chapter: Beta

On her election as the 21st Central Regional Director, Loann Julia Honesty King, pledged to execute the responsibilities and duties of the office with tenacity, loyalty, dedication and sisterly love. She fulfilled her pledge and brought a rejuvenated vision, a deeper understanding of the sorority's organizational structure, and an exciting innovative and creative style to the region. Loann King promoted equity, fairness and sisterly cooperation by using skills, talents, and expertise of the membership. She introduced the Chapter Roll Call and titled the Regional Director's Report as the "State of the Region Report." Chapters were kept informed via 30 issues of the Central Times and instructed in correct chapter operations and procedures at 20 Area Retreats. She has authored three edtions of "The History of Central Region - Pledged to Remember." 

22nd Central Regional Director
Yvonne Perkins (1990-1994)


Initiation Chapter: Kappa
During the administration of Yvonne Perkins, three chapters were chartered —Pi Lambda, Pi Nu, and Tau Gamma Omega Chapters. She established the Regional Basileus of the Year Award for each undergraduate and graduate chapter, published the Central Region Directory and established a regional fund to provide matching funds for undergraduate chapters as they submitted the chapter Corporate Office Improvement Project (COIP) Assessment.

23rd Central Regional Director
Martha Perine Beard (1994-1997)


Initiation Chapter: Alpha Pi
During Martha Perine Beard's tenure her committment to ensure that Central Region was "second to none" was evident as the region carried out the national program theme, "Building the Future: Making the Net Work." She kept communications open by disseminating information to the region through her newsletter, chapter visits and 22 area retreats. In addition, her leadership brought to the region a renewed sisterliness. Her first Central Regional Conference was convened in her hometown, St. Louis, Missouri in April 1995. During that same month, she charted Rho Lambda Chapter at Indiana Institute of Technology. In 1997, she chartered Upsilon Mu Omega Chapter, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Each of her three regional conferences — 61st in St. Louis, Missouri, 62nd in Louisville, Kentucky, and the 63rd in Chicago, Illinois — were informative, entertaining, and allowed for engagement in sisterly fellowship.

24th Central Regional Director
Peggy Lewis Lecompte (1997-1998)


Initiation Chapter: Alpha Iota
Peggy Jean Lewis LeCompte was called upon to serve as the 24th Central Regional Director to complete the unexpired second term of Martha Perine Beard who due to career advancement was relocated to Memphis, Tennessee.

Peggy Lecompte graciously and effectively accepted the torch and her incomparable leadership was demonstrated as she planned and executed the 64th Central Regional Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

25th Central Regional Director
Nadine Celeste Bonds (1998-2002)


Initiation Chapter: Epsilon Xi
Nadine C. Bonds was elected the 25th Central Regional Director during the 1998 Central Regional Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana where she served as the General Conference Chairman. Her reelection for a second term in 2000 put her at the helm as Central Region entered a new century. During her tenure, she presided over the 65th, 66th, 67th and 68th Central Region Conferences, visited all chapters of the Central region published 41 issues of the Trailblazers newsletter and participated in all Directorate meetings/conference calls. The Nadine C. Bonds EAF Endowment Fund was capitalized during her tenure.

26th Central Regional Director
Dorothy W. Buckhanan (2002-2006)


Initiation Chapter: Psi
Dorothy Wilson Buckhanan was elected 26th Central Regional Director at the 68th Central Regional Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Program implementation, membership retention and increased sisterly relations were the hallmarks of Dorothy Buckhanan's regional administration. From the beginning of her tenure, she used her extensive leadership and marketing skills to help refine the region's image as the Competent, Confident and Classy Central Region. All aspects of the region's internal and external communications, including its newsletter the Ivy Atlas, reflected this hard working, elegant image. She also encouraged membership growth by chartering five graduate chapters which included the largest graduate chapter chartered in sorority history -- Chi Omega Omega Chapter--with 101 members.

During her term in office she set a new standard for productive, creative, well attended and inclusive, regional conferences. She presided efficiently over the 69th, 70th, 71st, and 72nd meetings. A number of innovations were initiated, including the Community Outreach Project, Regional Gala, EAF Breakfast, and Legacy Breakfast/Luncheon.

27th Central Regional Director
Pamela Bates Porch (2006-2010)


Initiation Chapter: Delta Beta
Pamela Bates Porch, was elected the 27th Central Regional Director at the 72nd Central Regional Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The hallmark of her administration was strong effective communication with members of the region. Her administration focused on the Reclamation and Retention of Members, Effective Chapter Standards and Operations, Sisterly Relations, and Mentoring and Modeling for Undergraduates, with a strong focus on service in the local community. Sisterly relation campaigns such as the Central Regional Sisterhood Day and the Ivy Strong Campaign strengthened the resolve of members to serve the sorority. Making the relationship with chapters paramount by speaking to the membership in real time, cultivating relationships and developing emerging leaders in Central Region was the premier focus. Her administration was instrumental in developing action plans for the successful return of undergraduate chapters Tau, Gamma, and Mu Rho. Additionally, during her tenure the largest reactivation of membership was manifest during the Centennial in 2008.

28th Central Regional Director 
Giselé M. Casanova (2010 - 2014)


Initiation Chapter: 

Giselé M. Casanova was elected 28th Central Regional Director at the 76th Central Regional Conference in Chicago, Illinois and installed at the 64th Boule in St. Louis, Missouri. During her tenure, the region grew to 92 chapters with 53 graduate chapters and 39 undergraduate chapters. She encouraged membership growth by chartering four undergraduate chapters — Tau Iota, Tau Mu, Tau Rho, Tau Chi and one graduate chapter — Mu Delta Omega.

Giselé M. Casanova presided over four record-breaking Central Regional Conferences where she utilized technology to increase the availability/accessibility of information. She introduced the first Central Region "app" that gave real-time updates and information about the conference and its events.

She recognized the importance of supporting the Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF). During her term as Central Regional Director, the Haley, King, and Beard Endowment Funds were capitalized in 2011 and the Giselé M. Casanova Endowment Fund was capitalized in 2013.

29th Central Regional Director 
Kathy Walker Steele (2014-2018)