Spring 2021 – President General Message

Spring 2021 – President General Message

It is a privilege and an honor to begin a three year term as the 39th President General of The Colonial Dames of America. With our many educational, history and preservation projects, CDA is an important organization worthy of our time and devotion.


Our Past Presidents General were strong, active, visionary women, and I will endeavor to live up to the legacy they have left me. Our last two Presidents General, Sharon Vaino and Brantley Knowles, made a point of visiting as many chapters as possible, making us a more cohesive and effective international organization. I will attempt to follow in their footsteps. I am grateful to Chapter VIII – Houston, under the leadership of the Society’s First VP Pegi Ivancevich, for welcoming me in May for a series of joyful and educational events. The visit was also a reminder of the depth of talent in our chapters. I met many impressive members. I will also be visiting chapters in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Illinois, and I am looking forward to these visits.


I am happy to say that Brantley Knowles, our 38th PG, has agreed to chair our Museum Committee, and has brought together a committee of women with deep expertise in museum work. A rare silver lining to the Covid-19 pandemic is that the programs offered to NYC public schools by our Museum were done virtually this year, and we hope to make them available to schools in other parts of the country as part of that work in cooperation with our many chapters.


We have many other exciting projects underway this year. Committees, under the leadership of Beverley Sherrid and Kathi Chulick, will continue to organize and preserve our Archives and collect and preserve information on our many historic projects. Our Registrar General Laura Ramsay will continue working on the Colonial Women of Distinction Initiative as well as finding a way to preserve our papers. Evelyn Aucoin will head our Strategic Planning Committee, and of course, our Education & Scholarship and Book Award Committees will continue their mission-centric work. I am excited to learn more about and see the ongoing projects in our chapters as I visit.


Please keep October 23 in mind as our Benefit Chairs Anna Rich and Lauren Rose have planned another virtual benefit for the Museum to bring us together.


Deb McWilliams, our Executive Director, a personal friend of mine for some 20 years, and Nicole Scholet, Assistant Director, extend with me a welcome to our members to visit CDA headquarters when in New York. If you are not able to get to NYC, I encourage you to arrange a virtual visit to the Museum under the guidance of Museum Director Terri Daly.


I thank you all for the support, enthusiasm, friendship and time you devote to our organization and mission,


Rebecca Howard Madsen

CDA President General 2021-2024