CONTINUED ON PAGE 90 JOURNAL Spring 2016 s9 ness functions and to implement a comprehensive communication system in the organization and she played an integral transition role. Deborah worked jointly with the Golden Life/Membership Services and Development Committee and the Membership Services and Devel-opment Department in the design, production, and issuance of the em-bossed membership card and valida-tion sticker process. During these years, Deborah helped to design and produce con-vention registration and annual dues renewal forms that significantly en-hanced these processes. Deborah and her team worked hard in the con-version of membership information from service bureau format to data-base format for the IBM SYSTEM/36. Additionally, she was a primary play-er in the implementation of the com-puterized registration process. “It was a pleasure to work with Deborah during my tenure,” said Joyce Brown Harris, former and first director of Management Information and Communication Systems (MICS) at Delta’s Headquarters and mem-ber of Delta since 1961. “Upon my de-parture, Deborah very ably coordi-nated the work of the department. I wish her the best in a well-deserved retirement.” The 1990s Specifically, in 1992, the organi-zation refined the computer system from IBM /System 36 to IBM /AS 400. The versatility of this system allowed for a better way to store, retrieve, and transmit information. The 2000s Deborah provided support to the Membership Services Committee and the Technology Task Force, es-tablished by Soror Boyd, during the 2000-2004 biennium in the implemen-tation of the following milestones, in-cluding the first online registration in the history of the organization in 2001: • Integration of all systems across all operations • Information Infrastructure AS/400 • Improvement of information man-agement throughout the business operations of the organization. • Redesign of member and finan-cial information processing. At the end of 2003, a state-of-the art online dues system was devel-oped based on user requirements throughout the organization. “Reflecting back on Deborah’s contribution to the then Technolo-gy Task Force, I ask you to think of Delta without the Red Zone, the Sis-ters Only Portal, Online Dues, online MIT processing, and any of the other technical advances that were made during the last 15+ years,” said So-ror June Jenkins, former chair of the Technology Task Force. “Deborah’s contributions to the success of the Technology Task Force are remark-able and a major milestone within the Sorority’s history.” Deborah Somerville’s respon-sibility for registrations for all con-ventions and conferences began in 1981 and ended with her retirement in 2015. The 52nd National Conven-tion held in Houston in 2015 was Deb-orah’s last call of duty. As usual, she worked behind the scenes tirelessly to ensure that all aspects of the infor-mation and technology systems were in place and fully operational. In addition to all of Deborah’s membership services and technol-ogy achievements over the years, Deborah provided much more - work ethic, working effectively across de-partments to achieve the Sorority’s goals, being the go-to-person when needed. “As staff liaison to the National Technology Committee, Deborah as-sisted us in moving Delta forward in the technological field through our development of several websites, launching of mobile apps, engage-ment in social media, and implemen-tation of an enterprise management system within National Headquar-ters,” said Soror Deirdre Powell White, chair of the Sorority’s Nation-al Technology Committee. “Only with Deborah’s assistance was the Nation-al Technology Committee able to ful-fill our mission of implementing solu-tions to help Delta function more efficiently at the national, regional, and local levels.” Remarks and Reflections on Deborah Somerville “Your life’s work has made a superlative difference on all of us and your influence will carry on. The lives of all the people with whom you have worked: National President, Corporate Officers, Board Members, Commit-tee members, co-workers and countless members have been impacted through your service, knowledge and expertise. We challenge you to find your hidden passion, do the things that you have always wanted to do, when you want to do them, where you want to do them and how you want to do them.” —COLLECTIVE STATEMENT FROM THE PAST NATIONAL PRESIDENTS “Deborah’s willingness to take me under her wings and teach me all that she knows, has been invaluable. Not a day goes by where I don’t refer-ence the knowledge you bestowed upon me. Thank you for leaving such big shoes to fill.” —AAISHA ROGERS, DIRECTOR, INFORMATION SYSTEMS “You have been an asset and as you move into the next chapter of your life, know that you will be missed and we wish you only success and happi-ness and our prayers are with you.” —ROSE MCKINNEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
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