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NEWS RELEASE: Soroptimist announces Elizabeth M. Lucas as new executive director

Taking helm of international women’s organization

August 15, 2011
Contact: Darlene Friedman, Senior Director of Membership/Marketing
215-893-9000 x128/

Philadelphia, PA—Soroptimist International of the Americas, an international volunteer organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world, welcomes Elizabeth M. Lucas, CAE, MBA, of Lake Bluff, IL, as its new executive director. She replaces Soroptimist’s long time executive director, Leigh Wintz, FASAE, CAE, who has assumed a full-time position as Principal Consultant with Tecker International, LLC.
Lucas comes to Soroptimist with a diverse professional background. Her experience includes 15 years with the American Massage Therapy Association and the Massage Therapy Foundation, where she began her tenure as director of marketing and communications, but served the last nine years as executive director.  In this position, she guided the strategic development of both organizations, which include 56,000 practitioners, 450 educational institutions, and 51 chapters. Her work there included the creation of a global expansion strategy and initiation of a worldwide partnership to recognize massage therapy as a healthcare discipline.
“I look forward to taking Soroptimist International of the Americas to its next future state…for women’s issues are important human rights issues," stated Lucas. "It’s about time the rest of the world caught on to this fact!”
As Soroptimist’s executive director, Lucas will oversee the overall operation and services provided to members and women around the world. She will work with Soroptimist’s Board of Directors to craft the organization’s strategic direction. In addition, she will guide the organization’s brand strengthening campaign and efforts to engage more women in the Soroptimist mission.
“We are pleased to welcome Liz as our new executive director,” said Soroptimist President Sharon Fisher of Langley, British Columbia, Canada. “Her strong association background as well as her considerable volunteer experience will bring new energy to our efforts, and will ultimately be invaluable in helping us to meet our mission to improve the lives of women and girls.”
Lucas is active in professional and civic organizations, including the American Society of Association Executives, the Association Forum of Chicagoland, Landmark College, and the Guild of St. Mary. She holds a master’s degree in business administration in global business and organizational behavior from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in Lake Forest, Illinois; a bachelor’s of science degree in marketing from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa; and a Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., Soroptimist International of the Americas is a cause-related philanthropic federation of clubs improving the lives of women and girls through social and economic empowerment. With 37,000 members in 19 countries, its major program, the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards, provides cash grants for women seeking to improve their lives with the help of additional education and training. The organization also sponsors the Live Your Dream Campaign in recognition of the power of women and their dreams. Visit the Campaign’s online home at See for more information.




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