More than 10,000 members and guests traveled to Charlotte, South Carolina to witness the Royal Celebration of Leadership and Service during Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s 66th International Convention. The royal affair was held July 12-18 at the Charlotte Convention Center.
During the celebration, sorority members installed its 2014-18 International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson and its new international board of directors, including Mary B. Conner, elected to serve as the new South Eastern Regional Director. Conner is the 25th Alpha Kappa Alpha woman to serve in this position. Under her leadership, she is responsible for overseeing community service programming, fiscal management, regional business meetings and membership growth across the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. A native of Tennessee, she was initiated in Kappa Lambda Omega Chapter in Nashville, where she is currently a member and has served as a past president. She is a 25-plus-year life member of the 106-year-old sorority.
“I am humbled and honored that the dynamic women of the South Eastern Region have provided me this wonderful opportunity to serve in such a meaningful capacity,” Conner said. “The responsibility of leading this region is indeed a blessing and a privilege that I do not take lightly. I look forward to working with all the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha across Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee to continue building on the strong partnerships, impactful service and revered sisterhood that has established us as one of the world’s leading service organizations.
Among Conner’s list of achievements with the sorority include being named ‘President of the Year’ and ‘Member of the Year.’ She led efforts to implement the first ‘AKA Day at the Capitol’ in Tennessee hosted by Kappa Lambda Omega Chapter in Nashville, where she also served as chapter president. Conner has held numerous leadership roles at the international, regional and local levels. In recent months, she served as chairman of the South Eastern Region Cluster 3 Tennessee Statewide Cluster. She also continues service at the international level as a member of the International Conference Planning Committee, a position she was appointed to in 2010.
Professionally, Conner has served 35 years as an office manager and courtroom deputy for the U.S. District Court, and is a 1974 graduate of Tennessee State University. She is a member of several civic, professional and community-based organizations including The National Council of Negro Women and served on the board of directors for Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville.
Additionally, she is the president of the Pearls of Promise Foundation, a volunteer with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Sure Dwelling Ministry, a community-based organization assisting homeless individuals with short-term shelter and other emergency life necessities.
As South Eastern Regional Director, Conner plans to cultivate a culture that parallels the sorority’s mission of “service to all mankind” under the 2014-2018 International program theme, ‘Launching New Dimensions of Service.’ Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, through its 265,000 members and 986 chapters, will have an opportunity to address community needs with programs in five target areas: 1) Educational Enrichment; 2) Health Promotion; 3) Family Strengthening; 4) Environmental Ownership; and 5) Global Impact.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will expand its community presence as a result of these initiatives, which include International Community Impact Days and its signature enrichment program, ASCEND.
“These new program initiatives will take our region to the next level of service excellence,” Conner said. “I look forward to continuing our path to greatness for not only the South Eastern Region, but the sorority as a whole.”