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Melina Beeston, Beta Chi/Alberta, is advisory board chairman (ABC) for Beta Chi/Alberta. She has previously served as facility corporation board (FCB) vice-president, recruitment advisor, and finance advisor for the chapter.
Undergraduate officer positions held: Social chairman (now event director), facility manager (now facility management director), and vice-president membership (now chief recruiting officer), chief information officer (now chief education officer).
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? I always had an excellent relationship with my advisors and other volunteers while I was an undergraduate member. At Beta Chi, becoming a Theta volunteer is very common with women who have previously held officer positions once they have transitioned to alumnae status. I was asked to join both FCB and advisory board in the years following university.
How long have you been a Theta volunteer? I joined the FCB in the winter of 2011, and the advisory board the following winter in 2012.
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? I've had the very special honor of working with Ruth Wong-Miller since I was an undergraduate member. She was my recruitment advisor when I was vice-president membership, and later the ABC when I was recruitment advisor and finance advisor. Ruth is now the college district director (CDD) in College District XIII and has been a wonderful resource to me as ABC, as well as our own CDD, Kateri Broussard.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer, and why do you stay involved with Theta? The shortest answer is because I "promised" to. Being a volunteer has everything to do with the principles our Fraternity is based upon. We call upon all our members to carry forward our organization's spirit in their daily lives, and to me, that includes doing whatever I can to exercise the widest influence for good, especially when it comes to a group that has helped to shape the person I am today. There is no receiving without also giving back. It certainly doesn't come without both joy and pain at times, but there is a very special quiet pride in seeing the pictures of our women on Bid Day or dressed up for their winter formal, remembering that time for myself and my sisters. Nobody will get to feel the way that we felt (or that they feel now, in that moment) without the support of Theta volunteers.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? As the recruitment advisor, I had always enjoyed sitting on executive recruitment board (ERB) and getting to know the women who were also on that committee. This next fall will be the first time in six years that I won't be present for recruitment, and I will certainly miss the laughter, snacks, and infectious energy through the house after a recruitment party.
Do you have a special Theta moment? One of the greatest things Theta has given me is an opportunity to connect with my mother in a way we'd never quite been able to before. She was initiated in the winter of 1989—a mere nine months before I was born—and because both of my parents were busy undergraduates, I spent my share of time as an infant at our chapter facility. I'm told stories by other local alumnae who remember holding me at meetings or during chapter dinners. I'm not quite sure how it came about (because I didn't ask her), but she was asked to come speak at Parent's Tea one year, as she could touch on both the parent side and the alumnae side for most apprehensive parents of new members joining our chapter. Like most over-achievers, there were always other tasks to be quietly taking care of in the background while guests listened to the speakers, but the first time she came to speak, I could hear her from the next room over as she told the story of how I had taken my first steps as a child in the very spot she was standing in at that moment. She said that she believed this was also the house I had taken my true first steps in as an adult (I'd tend to agree).
Do you have a profession or personal passion? I am a passionate advocate for supporting local businesses whenever possible. I live in a city filled with so many courageous, talented people who want to share their creativity and passion with their community and I absolutely love that. I currently work in a role in which I can help local business owners in a particular industry develop and grow. I also co-run a volunteer-led not-for-profit called What the Truck?! that organizes pop-up events for local food truck owners here in Edmonton.
Do you know a Theta who's made a difference in her local Theta chapter? Let us know!