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Our History

In 1950, a group of dedicated women formed the Mrs. Jaycees of Minnesota with a mission of community service. Several name and organizational changes occurred over the years, and in July 1985 we became known as the Minnesota Women of Today. Since that time, Women of Today has grown to include members in many states throughout the nation. Our three areas of focus are Community Service, Personal and Professional Growth, and Fellowship.

Pre-Women of Today

First talk of a state organization was in the fall of 1949, when some Jaycee wives met to discuss it. In May of 1950, the Mrs. Jaycees of Minnesota was born. During the next five years, we grew to over 60 chapters. In 1957, Minnesota had grown to the largest Mrs. Jaycees organization in the nation with 90 chapters. At Summer Awards 1974, we celebrated our 25th anniversary. In 1979 our membership had grown to 5,000. In 1982-83 affiliation was a big issue. The US Jaycees said there had to be a Jaycee chapter in order to have a Jaycee Women chapter in the community. We worked closely with the Jaycees to establish Jaycee chapter so that no Jaycee Women chapters would be lost.

On July 3, 1984, the Supreme Court ruled that women must be allowed membership privileges in the Jaycees. In April 1985, the US Jaycee Women Executive Council drafted a resolution to dissolve the US Jaycee Women on July 1, 1985. The membership voted on and passed that resolution at the Indianapolis National Convention on June 17, 1985. At this convention, a special meeting was held with those interested in reorganizing as the Women of Today.

Women of Today

The US Women of Today held a mid-year meeting to form the following committees: By-laws, Future Directions, Programming, and Finance. A national creed and logo were developed at that same time.

By July 1986 the following states had Women of Today chapters: Minnesota, Washington, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Nebraska, California, North Dakota, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, Idaho, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Wyoming. By 1989 the US Women of Today included an all-time high of 18 states and 5,273 members.

As of the end of year 1997, the US Women of Today have donated over $10,000,000. The year ended with 4,045 members, 219 chapters and 17 states.

The Minnesota Women of Today is growing again for the first time since 1986. We are a great organization available for women from age 18 years and above, who wish to make new friends, learn and establish leadership skills and voluntarily contribute to our communities, states and nation. You can learn more about our organization by reviewing the State Plan of Action submitted each year by the State President.

70th Anniversary Photo of Past State Presidents
70th anniversary photo taken at Winter State by Clarke Meyer

Top Row left to right: Cat Shuman (19-20), Brenda Sather (18-19), Jane Hanson (16-17), Laura Gaylord (14-15),
Nicky Anderson (12-13), Cindy Sanders (11-12), Jen Kinzer (09-10)
Middle Row left to right: Sara Gafkjen (08-09), Bonnie Olmanson (07-08), Mary Zurn (06-07), Jodie Meyer (03-04),
Kayla Hermann (02-03), Lori Lundquist (99-00), Janet Studer (98-99), Debbie Johnson (97-98), Nancy Poland (96-97)
Front Row left to right: Christine Harkess (95-96), Val Kvale (93-94), Sheila Conrad (91-92), Carolyn Will (76-77),
Michelle Fillbrandt (74-75), Kris Arone (72-73), Jackie Johnson (69-70)

60th Anniversary Photo of Past State Presidents
60th anniversary photo taken at Winter State by Anne Johnson

Top Row left to right: Jen Kinzer, 09-10; Sarah Gafkjen, 08-09; Bonnie Olmanson, 07-08; Mary Zurn, 06-07; Brenda Schramm, 04-05;
Jodie Meyer, 03-04; Kayla Hermann, 02-03; Jodie Johnson, 00-01
Middle Row left to right: Lori Lundquist, 99-00; Janet Studer, 98-99; Debbie Johnson, 97-98; Nancy Poland, 96-97; Christine Harkess, 95-96;
Jean Fast, 94-95; Val Kvale, 93-94; Mary Hudson, 92-93; Sheila Carroll Conrad, 91-92
Front Row left to right: Bonnie O'Neil, 88-89; Mary Moeller, 87-88; Pat Branstad 86-87; Sue Schuler 85-86; Barb Fish, Jaycee Women 84-85;
Nancy Dvoracek, Jaycee Women 82-83; Mary Kay Verkennes, Jaycee Women 80-81; Priscilla Nauer, Mrs. Jaycees 63-64

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have ideas for or questions about the Women of Today?

This website contains many answers. If you have a great idea for a specific area, you can send it to the appropriate member of the State Staff, State Program Manager, or State Committee. If you are unsure to whom to send your idea or your question, please contact the Executive Director at the Chapter Service Center at

What do all these acronyms mean?

  • AVP: Administrative Vice President
  • CC: Community Connections
  • CIP: Chapter Information Packet
  • CMVP: Chapter Management Vice President
  • DD: District Director
  • LL: Living & Learning
  • LOTS: Local Officer Training Session
  • MNJOTS: Minnesota June Officer Training Session
  • MNWT: Minnesota Women of Today
  • MVP: Membership Vice President
  • PVP: Programming Vice President
  • SPM: State Program Manager
  • STEP: Success Through Enthusiastic Participation
  • USWT: United States Women of Today
  • WW: Women's Wellness
  • YT: Youth of Today

How do I run a Women of Today meeting?

Each district may run their district meeting a little differently; however, here are the guidelines from the state. Click here to view the district meeting handbook. Each chapter may run their meeting a little differently. Here are some guidelines from the state on how to run an effective chapter meeting and board meeting.

What Women of Today awards are available?

A goal of the Minnesota Women of Today is to recognize members and people throughout our communities for their service efforts that impact the lives of others. For that reason, the Outstanding Awards recognize those who show excellence in leadership abilities, are involved in their local communities, and possess the ability to initiate ideas and innovations for new and existing projects and programs. There are many membership awards offered by the state and national organizations; you can find a listing of awards here. There may also be other awards offered by local chapters and districts, please check with a chapter president or district director for those.

How do I put an article, a personal note to someone, or an ad for my business in the State NEWSLET?

Every member is encouraged to submit an article to the newsletter by contacting the NEWSLET Editor at Items included are: staff and program manager news, awards received at conventions, personal notes, chapter highlight, etc. Anyone can put a small note in the NEWSLET for a small fee by using the NEWSLET submission form. You can email the current NEWSLET Editor at for the current ad rates and details.

©2022 Minnesota Women of Today. All rights reserved. | If you have comments about this website, please contact the Chapter Service Center.
A state organization of the United States Women of Today.