is a global women's organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.
More than 80,000 Soroptimists
in about 130 countries and territories support community–based
and global projects benefiting women and girls.
particularly concerned with providing women and girls access to education, as this is the most effective path to self-determination.
The Soroptimist Vision
Women and girls have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and live their dreams.
The Soroptimist Mission
Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.
“It’s my responsibility to pass on what Soroptimist has given me:
hope in the face of hopelessness and recognizing the possibilities
in the impossible.”
- Shirlee Draper, 2014 Live Your Dream Award Honoree.
Soroptimist Core Values
Soroptimist International Desert Coast Region leadership, clubs and members are committed to:
Gender Equality: All women and girls live free from discrimination.
Empowerment: All women and girls are free to act in their own best interest.
Education: All Women and girls deserve to lead full and productive lives through access to education.
Diversity & Fellowship: Women from varied backgrounds and perspectives work together to improve the lives of women and girls.
Desert Coast Region Snapshot
Soroptimist International Desert Coast Region stretches from the California's southern border to south-eastern Los Angeles County and from the Pacific Ocean, to the Arizona Border. Our members are as diverse as our landscape and the projects each club undertakes reflect the needs of each local community.
Desert Coast Region Leadership
Susan Gilbey joined Soroptimist International of Westminster in 2003. Since then, she has held many leadership roles at the club, district and region level. Most recently, Susan served as the Soroptimist International Desert Coast Region Secretary from 2010-2012 and from 2012-2014. She also served as District II Director, 2008-2010 and has headed and served on many region committees. At the club level she has served as President, Vice President, and Program Chair.
Originally from Canada, Susan attended Notre Dame Secretarial College in Montreal and earned her B.A. in English, with a minor in business from Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles.
Laurel Lanham has been a member of Soroptimist International of Santa Fe Springs since 1999. She has held many leadership roles in her club, including President, Vice President, President-Elect and Treasurer. In the last biennium, 2012-14, Laurel served as the District I Director and she has also served on many region committees over the years.
A Navy Veteran, Laurel studied aerography during her 3 1/2 years of service to her country and now is the customer service manager for a chemical manufacturer.
Soroptimist International of Poway member Linda England began her Soroptimist journey in 1995. Since then, she has stepped up to leadership at the club, district and region levels in many ways. A CPA by trade, Linda is a whiz with the books and has served as treasurer at the club level many times over the years. She is serving her third 2-year term as Desert Coast Region Treasurer having previously served 2006-08 and 2008-10. Linda took a little break from the Treasurer position to serve as Region Fundraising Chair 2010-12 and as District II Director 2012-14.
Linda earned her B.S. in Business Administration from San Diego State University and has her own practice, “Linda England, CPA.”
Lisa Moore has been an active member of Soroptimist International of La Mesa since 1978. She has held all elected offices at the club level, including serving as club president 1995-96 and 2013-14. This is Lisa's third biennium serving as Region Secretary, having previously served - 1998-2000 and 2000-2002. She served as the District III Director 1996-98 and has lead or participated in most of the other region committees during her long tenure as a Soroptimist.
Lisa originally hails from Canada where she attended the University of British Columbia. Now retired, she had a long and exciting career as travel agent, allowing her and her husband, Ron, to travel the world while helping other to do the same.
Louann Gigante has been an active Soroptimist member since 1976. Originally a member of Soroptimist International of Holtville, in District III of Desert Coast Region, she is currently a member of Soroptimist International of Oceanside/Carlsbad. In both clubs Louann has served in a variety of leadership roles including as President (4 years total between the 2 clubs!), Vice President, Secretary, Membership Chair and as a member of the club board of directors.
Louann holds a B.S. in education from New Mexico State University, an M.S. in Counseling from San Diego State University and an Education Specialist Degree from Point Loma Nazarene University. Louann is a retired administrator from Vista Unified School District.
District I Director
Valeri Wagner has been a member of Soroptimist International of Cypress since November of 2008. Jumping into Leadership as the clubs First VP/President Elect for 2009-2010 she’s been on the Board ever since. As her second term as President was coming to an end, Valeri decided to grow personally by putting her name on the ballot for DCR Board.
She has been a Consultant with ALOETTE Cosmetics for 27 years, is a wife and mother to her exceptional needs son, has worked in the field of Finance for more than 30 years, was elected to the Cypress School District Board of Trustees for 12 years and is a Lifelong Learner.
District II Diretor
As a member of SI Huntington Beach for more than 10 years, Terry "totally believes in the mission of Soroptimist." She has a long history of community involvement and was instrumental in bringing, "Day of Self Esteem" a project conducted by another organization she works with to her Soroptimist Club. With a focus on hands-on service, Therry has held many leadership roles in her club and at the district and region level including, Vice President of Service in her club for 6 years, Live Your Dream District II Coordinator and many other roles.
Terry holds a BA in English Literature with a double minor in Psychology and Philosophy as well as Master's Credits in Journalism. After a 20-year career in enterprise software sales she retired and now owns her own business, "Gifts from a Distance" in Huntington Beach.
District III Director
Genevieve has been a Soroptimist since 2009 and is a member of SI Coronado in San Diego, CA. After serving as Club President for two years, she went on become the Dream It Be It coordinator for the San Diego Area of Desert Coast Region before being elected as District Director for Region III.
Genevieve’s dream is to support an effective, dynamic and globally recognized organization which empowers every member, so that more people know and value our ability to influence the policies and plans impacting the lives of women and girls.
Originally from Wurzburg Germany, Genevieve earned her BA in International Relations from the University of San Diego and her Masters in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.
In her professional life, Genevieve is an executive recruiter for Vistage Worldwide a CEO Leadership company. She is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children and continues to be active with the Alumni Association at the University of San Diego.