Monterey Peninsula
Volume 70 Issue 5
Monterey Peninsula Branch
May/June 2023

Calendar of Coming Events

Wednesday, May 3 - Hike, Customs House to Cannery Row with Julie Smith

Thursday, May 11, 4:00 PM - May Branch Meeting. Social event/branch annual meeting. Celebrating branch 95th anniversary at home of Maureen Vieth.

Saturday, May 13, 10:00 AM - Romancing the Coast tours Salinas Historic Train Cars and Miniature Museum. Optional lunch at Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant.

Wednesday, May 17 - Hike, Marks Ranch with Anne Albano

Saturday, June 3, 10:00 AM - New & Prospective Member Welcome. Corral de Tierra Country Club, 81 Corral de Tierra Road, Salinas.

Wednesday, June 7 - Hike, Historic Homes of Monterey with Nancy Soulé

Sunday, June 11, 3:00 PMJune Branch Meeting. Local Scholarship Program Fundraiser. Meet scholarship recipients at Casa Serrano, 412 Pacific St., Monterey.

Wednesday, June 21 - Hike, Carmel with Pat Fletcher

Tuesday, June 27, Noon - New book group planning meeting and lunch, home of Nancy Soulé

Friday, June 30 - Romancing the Coast tours Carmel Mission

July 19 - Hike, Moss Landing/Salinas River - Ardith Peck
August 2 - Hike, TBD - Gilda Montesino 
August 16 - Hike, TBD - Chris Parmentier

Date: Thursday, May 11
Time: 4:00 - 6:00 PM
Location: Home of Maureen Vieth, 25320 Boots Road, Monterey
(Click here for a map.)

Join us at our Annual Meeting and party to celebrate our branch's 95th anniversary and all we've achieved this past year. Catch up on the successes of our Scholarship recipients, Teck Trekkers and various events. A picture is worth 1000 words, so expect pictures, appetizers, wine and other drinks as we revel in the awesomeness of our branch. We'll also conduct a quick business meeting to vote on the proposal below. So, grab a friend or two and join us for a great evening with a view from the deck of Maureen Vieth's home. Please RSVP to Maureen by May 9 at 831-264-3658 or [email protected]. Carpooling is recommended. There will be parking in her driveway, down on the street, and on Hidden Mesa, the street just before her house.

The short business meeting will start at 4:00 pm, primarily to vote on a branch dues increase to $23/year, aligning with what most branches charge. With the increase in National dues, total membership cost for the year will be $115. Our branch dues have not increased in more than 10 years. It will allow us to manage increased costs in administrative areas (website, email program, insurance, postage, etc) and monthly meeting costs (room rental, speaker honorariums), and minimize requesting donations for monthly meetings.

The dues increase will take effect immediately if agreed upon by 2/3 of the members present at the vote on May 11. If you bring your checkbook, you can renew your membership at the meeting if you like.  If you have questions, comments or concerns about this proposal, please reach out to Joanne Webster ([email protected]) or Pat Fletcher ([email protected]). We hope you will attend to cast your vote.

Joanne Webster and Fatima Dias, Co-Presidents

Date: Sunday, June 11
Time: 3:00 - 5:00 PM
Place: Casa Serrano, 412 Pacific Street, Monterey (Click here for a map.)

Please join us for this heart-warming program hosted by our Local Scholarship Committee at the beautiful Casa Serrano in Monterey!  Meet several scholarship recipients who will talk about how our scholarships helped them in their journey to achieve their educational and career goals. If you joined us last June for our scholarship fundraising program, you know it’s a program that you won’t want to miss. Bring your family and friends! Light appetizers and beverages will be served. We hope you can join us for this fun afternoon event!

Kindly RSVP by June 5 to Maggie Pedersen (713-206-6507 or [email protected]).

If you are unable to attend the fundraiser and would like to make a donation to the Local Scholarship Program, please make checks payable to "AAUW-MPB Local Scholarships" and mail to:
Jeanne Krener, 25180 Pine Hills Drive, Carmel, CA 93923-8965. The LS Program is a 501(c)(3) program.

Due to your generous donations (and two grants) in the past year, we are able to award $20,000 in scholarships this year to students attending CSUMB, MPC, and Hartnell. Thank you so much!!

Sandi Berman and Maggie Pedersen - Local Scholarships Co-Directors
On March 25 we had a presentation by local actress, Teresa Del Piero who presented a selection of words by Eleanor Roosevelt compiled from letters, broadcasts, and her lectures.
The performance was enjoyed by our 57 attendees and so many of her comments and thoughts were pertinent to our challenging times of today.
New & Prospective AAUW Member Welcome
A New Member Welcome will be held Saturday, June 3rd from 10:00 am to noon at Corral de Tierra Country Club, 81 Corral de Tierra Road, Salinas (off highway 68 between Monterey and Salinas). Click here for a map.
Whether you are a new member, a prospective member or just want to learn more about the interesting activities and programs that our Monterey Peninsula Branch offers, please mark your calendar to attend the New Member WelcomeCome make new friends! Bring a friend! We look forward to meeting you! Please feel free to forward this to a friend who might be interested in attending.
To RSVP and obtain exact directions, please contact Kathy Poulson, (831) 324-0760 or email [email protected]
Celebrate 95 Years of AAUW in Monterey County

Each time we meet with leaders from other branches, our pride in our own branch is enhanced. Together we have created a vibrant group of curious and talented women keen to make connections and make a difference.

We hope you’ll join us for our Annual Meeting on May 11. It’s a party to celebrate all we’ve accomplished and a vote on a dues increase so we can continue to thrive. A slideshow will run in the background highlighting events and the people who participated. Look for the article with all the details.

As we put Covid further behind us, we’re exploring fun activities to connect people. Kathy Poulson has offered to help restart a Gourmet Dining Group. Many new members want to join a book club so Nancy Soulé will host a lunch to gauge interest in launching a fifth book club. Check for details in their articles.

Linda Hanger has stepped up to lead Romancing the Coast, taking over from Carol Young who led us on many an adventure for years. If you have a connection or an idea for a Romance outing, let Linda know.

And, although we may want to erase it from memory, Covid is still with us and some members still feel vulnerable. We like to think of AAUW-MPB as mask and testing friendly, a considerate group that respects other’s choices.

As with all dynamic organizations, we face unexpected changes. 

This June, we’ll need a new Director for Tech Trek. Sharyn Siebert is stepping down; her responsibilities on the state board don’t allow time for both. If you would like to help middle school girls explore careers in STEM, this may be the job for you. You’d have a strong committee and enthusiastic board support to assist you in this important role.

Although we join for a variety of reasons, we all share the desire and drive to create gender equity for women and girls. And step by step we’re making a difference. Thank you for your membership and participation.

Fatima Dias and Joanne Webster, Co-Presidents

AAUW Fund provides money for fellowships and grants. In 2022, our branch donated over $5400, about a 37% increase over 2021. We thank you for your great generosity; take pride in the help you have given to so many women for their educational and research goals.

Lois Carroll, one of our members, has written about her eagerness to support AAUW Fund:

"Since I joined AAUW in 2008, I’ve contributed to the AAUW Education Fund annually. Why? Because I believe in the critical importance of supporting women as they struggle to achieve their educational and career goals. I believe in them and their varied goals. I know first hand the struggle it was to achieve my career goals. I did not have enough money for tuition and was about to drop out. The University gave me a scholarship while I worked two part time jobs and cared for our four year old daughter. To me, it showed that someone cared about me and my future. So, I believe in passing it forward. I am always so impressed to hear from the recipient winners. These women are our future. Please be generous in actively supporting women in several areas: in the STEM fields, in helping women to achieve pay equity, in developing their leadership skills or allowing AAUW to… 'respond rapidly to new and emerging challenges facing women and girls in utilizing your gift where it’s needed most'. Contact Gabrielle Simbriger-Williams, Director of AAUW funds at [email protected] for more information or just donate online at Thank you."

Gabriele Simbriger-Williams, AAUW Fund Director, AAUW Monterey Peninsula
Gov Trek
Want more women in political power? Watch the video of the finals for the new AAUW project Gov Trek!

Men still vastly outnumber women in the halls of power. AAUW-California launched its latest new project to help close that gender gap! Gov Trek offered the free project for junior and senior high school girls to expose them to careers in public service and elected office.

Over five two-hour sessions, students engaged in interactive and inspiring activities with exposure to women legislators, career options, and the inner workings of a political campaign. The project culminated in a group competition to create a realistic campaign simulation. To see the list of winners of the Gov Trek competition, please click on the link below.

We highly recommend that you check out one or more of the short videos of the team competition by clicking the link below. These remarkable young women may very well be our future political leaders. You’ll be impressed!

Morning Books (via Zoom)
Mon., May 15, 10 AM
The Last Nomad: Coming of Age in the Somali Desert
by Shugri Said Salt
Leader: Lois Carroll

Mon., June 19, 10 AM
The 6
by Laura Thompson
Leader: Margaret Smith

Mon., July 17, 10 AM
The Reading List
by Sara Adams
Leader: Kathy Poulson

Mon., Aug. 21, 10 AM
by Octavia Butlerof
Leader: Diana Morshead

Kathy Poulson, Coordinator
Joy of Reading Books
Tues., May 9, 2 PM
The Night Watchman
by Louise Erdrich
Host: Deborah Stern

Tues., June 13, 2 PM
by Geraldine Brooks
Host: Carol Young

Tues., July 11, 2 PM
Memoirs of a Geisha
by Arthur Golden
Host: Chris Parmentier

Tues., Aug. 8, 2 PM
The Girls in the Stilt House
by Kelly Mustian
Host: Judy Nejasmich

Marilyn Erickson, Coordinator
Evening Books
Tues., May 16, 7 PM
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Lucy Kristi Lefteri
Host: Barbara Zappas
Leader: Donna Foote

Tues., June 20, 7 PM
The Four Winds
by Kristin Hannah
Host: Judi Lang

Miriam Lilley, Coordinator
Thursday Afternoon Books
Thurs., May 25, 2 PM
Lessons in Chemistry
by Bonnie Garmus
Host: Ruth McMaster

Thurs., June 22, 2 PM
People of the Book
by Geraldine Brooks
Host: Cam McAra

Thurs., July 27, 2 PM
Animal Dreams
by Barbara Kingsolver
Host: Fran Muir

Thurs., Aug. 24, 2 PM
Winter Garden
by Kristin Hannah
Host: Arlene Coffman

Nancy Soulé, Coordinator
New Book Group Planning Meeting and Lunch

Interested in joining a New Book Group? Book groups are a popular way members share good books and get to know one another. Members can decide on date and time to meet, whether in home or online, the types of books, and how they will organize. If you are interested in being part of a new book group, Nancy Soulé will host an organizational meeting at her home, 504 Larkin Street, Monterey, (map) on June 27 at noon to discuss the formation of a new group. One option, to be lead by Suzette Cavanaugh, will be a Banned Book Club, where all selections will be from the list (around 2500) of books currently proposed to be banned. Lunch provided. RSVP by June 15 to [email protected]. If unable to attend but still interested in the new Banned Book Club, contact Suzette at [email protected]
New Gourmet Dinner Group Forming

For many years our branch had a Gourmet Dinner Group that brought people together for themed meals. Although that group eventually disbanded, several new members have shown an interest in being part of a dinner group, as have members of the former group. To explore the possibility of creating a new group -- no commitment -- we'd like to bring together interested members to discuss possibilities.  

Kathy Poulson has offered to host a meeting so those interested can decide if and how the group wants to proceed. Kathy has experience with the previous group but the new group would be organized and meet in whatever way they decide works best for them. If you're intrigued or just curious about a dinner group, email Kathy at [email protected]. If there is enough interest to move forward, Kathy will gladly help facilitate the new Gourmet Group but cannot be leader.
Hiking Group

May 3 - Customs House to Cannery Row walk with lunch following for those who like - Leader, Julie Smith

May 17 - Marks Ranch - Leader, Anne Albano

June 7 - Historic Homes of Monterey - Leader, Nancy Soulé
The walk begins at 9:30 from Nancy's home, 504 Larkin Street, Monterey. This popular repeat will view and describe the history and/or significant architecture of 30 homes in Monterey placed on the city's historic register. Note that this 2 hour walk is strenuous and goes about eight blocks uphill (with frequent stops), before finishing the loop downhill. RSVP to [email protected].  

June 21 - Carmel Hike - Leader, Pat Fletcher

July 19 - Moss Landing/Salinas River - Ardith Peck
August 2 - TBD - Gilda Montesino 
August 16 - TBD - Chris Parmentier

Chris Parmentier and Ardith Peck, Coordinators
Romancing the Coast

Saturday, May 13 - Historic Train Museum

On May 13 at 10 am, in honor of National Train Day, enjoy a private tour of historic rail cars and the Monterey & Salinas Valley Train Museum, located at 26 Station Place, Salinas. (Click here for a map.) Climb aboard the historic cars and learn how the railroad helped build the Salinas Valley. Explore the museum with 1500 feet of track winding through a miniature Salinas Valley circa the 1950s. Suggested donation $5.00. After touring the rail cars and museum, optionally enjoy lunch at Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant, 129 Main Street in the heart of Old Town. Parking near the Steinbeck Center at 20 East Market Street/Monterey Street is $1.25/hour. Please RSVP by May 5 to Nancy Soulé at [email protected] and indicate if you will be joining for lunch. Also let Nancy know if you want to carpool at 9:10 am from the lot at Del Monte Center closest to California Pizza Kitchen. Guests are welcome.

Friday, June 30 - Carmel Mission

Join us for a 45 minute guided tour of the Carmel Mission on June 30 at 10:00 am. The Mission has been working on upgrades for several years. Come and see the newly renovated gardens, historic art by Jo Mora, the Munras Family Heritage Museum, the Basilica Church and more.

We would like to gather as many as possible at the Crossroads Shopping Center at 9:40 to carpool to the Mission as parking at the Mission is limited. Park in the parking area between Starbucks and Rio Grill. The entrance cost to the Mission is $10; bringing cash is appreciated. For those who wish, we will gather after our visit for lunch at Island Tacos, in the Crossroads.

RSVP by June 23 to Pat Fletcher at 408-373-5800 (cell/text) or [email protected].

Linda Hanger, RTC Coordinator
Romancing the Coast went to the
beautiful Filoli Gardens.


June is the renewal month for the majority of our members. Watch your email for reminders and details about your choices for how to renew. We encourage you to attend our May 11th Branch meeting where we will be celebrating our 95th Birthday. Bring your checkbook and you can renew your membership at the meeting, if you like. Questions: Contact Anne Albano at [email protected] or Julie Smith at [email protected].

Anne Albano and Julie Smith, Co-VP Membership
To protect the information of our members, membership information about new members and changes for current members will not be shown in the newsletter. Instead, we will list their names, for you to go to the password-protected online directory (see the third column below) to see what is new, allowing you to make changes in your printed directory. - Editor
Directory Updates

If there are errors or changes in your directory listing, please tell us so corrections can be made. - Editor

Nancy Foster has a new phone number. See it in the online directory.

Kathleen Stacey has a new address. See it in the online directory. Email and phone have not changed.
New Members

Sandra Berman

Dianne Driessen

Kenis Dunne

Jan Abla Huggins

Shelley Kroopf

Susan Meister

Joyce Thau
Online Directory

The password to our password-protected online directory on our website in the Member Center is on the second page of your yellow membership directory. (If you cannot find it, call Julie Smith or Anne Albano.) This is where all of our members' contact information is readily accessible.
New Member Bios

Sandra Berman (Sandi)

Sandi was born in Pennsylvania and lived in Washington, D.C., for several years. In the Peace Corps, she went to Ankara, Turkey. From 1967 to 1983, she was married, lived in Northern California, and raised a daughter and a son. She enrolled in Santa Rosa Junior College, followed by Sonoma State University (BA Psychology) and UC Berkeley (MPH - Public Health and PhD - Behavioral Sciences Research). She played on the women's tennis team at Sonoma State. After graduation, she worked in Northern California doing public health research, then did customer satisfaction for a San Jose software company, and finished in Monterey. She was a research analyst assessing information in security clearance applications. She completed her career at the DLI Foreign Language Center, studying foreign language learning, ultimately in electronic and mobile learning. She retired in 2013. Formerly a runner and tennis player, now she walks and hikes. She is interested in the book groups, Great Decisions, Romancing the Coast, Tech Trek, and has already joined the Local Scholarships committee.

Dianne Driessen

Dianne received a BS in Systems Analysis from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. She worked in the IT industry for 40 years, retiring as VP of Instructional Services in the International Division of McGraw-Hill Education in 2013. She is active with exercising, hiking, birdwatching and traveling. She regularly visits family in Illinois, Virginia, and wherever. She has two sons and two granddaughters. She and her husband meditate, engage in local projects, camp in their RV, cook and enjoy community. She is interested in Books, Dinner Group, Great Decisions, Hiking, Romancing the Coast, Local Scholarships, Tech Trek, AAUW Funds and Community Service Projects.

Kenis Dunne

Kenis has a BA in Journalism from San Diego State University. She is interested in Books, Dinner Group, Hiking, Romancing the Coast and Community Service Projects. She and her husband moved to Monterey in 2018 to be near family. Her career included being a journalist for community newspapers and writing various forms of communications for trade associations and hi-tech companies. They have three children and four grandchildren. She has published two books: "The Good, the Bad, the Mother-in-Law" and a children's book, "Maribel Broomstick: Curly-haired girls just want to have fun". She loves hiking and reading.

Jan Huggins

Jan received a BA in Political Science from Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, Ohio) and an MBA from the Nance School of Business, Cleveland State University (Cleveland, Ohio). She has three grown children. After graduation, she was a field engineer for Honeywell. After moving to Silicon Valley, she worked for Hewlett Packard as a field engineer and product manager. However, most of her career was in her own company; with two other inventors, they licensed their own intellectual property to companies all over the world. Now she and her husband live in Corral de Tierra. She enjoys golf, travel, history, cooking, working out and conversation. In AAUW, she is interested in Books, Dinner Group, Great Decisions, Hiking, Romancing the Coast, Local Scholarships, Tech Trek, AAUW Funds, and Community Service Projects.

Shelley Kroopf

Shelley is a retired physical therapist. She received her BA from UCLA and her certificate from Children's Hospital School of Physical Therapy. She owned Bay Physical Therapy in Monterey for 30 years. She and her husband moved to the peninsula 42 years ago to find a better environment for raising children. She is interested in current events, with concerns about environment, gun reform and voter rights. She is interested in the book groups, dinner group, Great Decisions, hiking, Romancing the Coast, Local Scholarships and Tech Trek. She likes to exercise, read and travel.

Susan Meister

Susan obtained her Bachelor's degree in Medieval Studies from Barnard College and her Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University. She is interested in the book groups, Great Decisions, Romancing the Coast and Local Scholarships.

Joyce Thau

Joyce graduated from SUNY at Stony Brook with a BA in English and a minor in secondary education. In 1969 she moved to Cupertino with her husband, where she worked in human resources for the semi conductor industry. She became a personnel counselor for a bay area personnel agency. Later, she worked for the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce as their Membership Director and helped develop the chamber magazine. Eventually, they retired to Carmel Valley, enjoying golf, tennis, pickle ball, reading groups, and traveling. They have two sons and six grandchildren living in San Francisco, Marin and Manhattan. She looks forward to participating in the branch, meeting new people, learning and contributing to AAUW’s mission. She is interested in Great Decisions, Romancing the Coast, Local Scholarships, and Tech Trek.
AAUW-California and AAUW National Elections Are Here!

National Election Details
Members receive an email with a link to and their own Elector ID and Password. You may vote for candidates for the Board of Directors, bylaws revisions and Public Policy Priorities additions.
May 15 - Online voting ends at 2:00 pm PT
May 17 - Vote results announced online

California State Election Details
Since enough nominations to fill the board were received and no seat is contested, members will only be asked to approve the Public Policy Priorities. Each member with an email address on file will receive an email with a link to their ballot. Members without email will receive a paper ballot. To see the proposed Public Policy Priorities for 2023-2025, click here.
May 13 - Online voting ends at midnight PT
May 17 - Vote results announced online
Board Meetings

May 4 at 3:00 PM: CFMC, 2354 Garden Rd.

No meeting in June




Sept./Oct. Messenger

Please email articles for the Sept./Oct. newsletter to
Caryl Rojas by Aug. 15.


If you paid the full $115 AAUW yearly dues, $69 of that is tax deductible. In addition, any donations to our charitable funds will be tax deductible for a tax year if paid by December 31st of that year and if you itemize deductions. Note that a donation to any of these three areas can also be made in honor or in memory of a friend or family member.

More information and a donation form (optional) may be found at this link to our website. If making a donation directly from an IRA as a qualified charitable donation (QCD), consult your tax advisor or for further information.
Tech Trek

Make check payable to "AAUW-CA SPF"
with "Tech Trek, Monterey Peninsula" in the
memo line.
Send to Sharyn Siebert
P.O. Box 1584
Carmel, CA 93921-1584

Make check payable to "AAUW"
with "AAUW Fund" in the memo line.
Send your check to Gabriele Simbriger-Williams
880 Newton Street Monterey, CA 93940-1210
or donate at, including your member ID for credit to our branch.
Local Scholarships

Make check payable to "AAUW-MPB Local Scholarships".
Send your check to
Jeanne Krener
25180 Pine Hills Drive Carmel, CA 93923-8965
Newsletter Schedule

Newsletters are published around the 1st of the months of September, November, January, March and May. There will be short "eblasts", containing reminders or special announcements. If you do not receive a newsletter, please contact me so we can fix it. Please note that newsletter content will relate only to AAUW and branch matters, a policy of AAUW National.

Caryl Rojas, Newsletter Editor