We are so excited to welcome new member, Mary Chiapetta…and we thank long walks on the beach with Christine Soresi for introducing Mary to Soroptimist International of Huntington Beach.
To help you get to know Mary a little better, here is some information about her.
Mary became a single mom to her young daughter, Gina, after her husband passed away. Gina, now grown up, lives in Fountain Valley and works for an organization that provides independent living services to individuals with developmental disabilities.
She is new to Huntington Beach after spending 22 years in Yorba Linda. Also, Huntington Beach is a lot closer to Fountain Valley than Yorba Linda is. 🙂
She says she has “been looking for a way to give back to the community and help girls and mothers who need extra financial, educational and emotional support.”
Most of Mary’s volunteer work in the past has been school and faith-based, both through Gina’s schools and her church. Mary’s friend, Debbie, “is the lead at Mitzvah Meals in Tustin on the second Sunday of the month, so I often go and help her cook, and also deliver and serve.” And, sometimes Mary volunteers at Branson’s Kitchen in Huntington Beach.
Mary retired from the business world where she managed marketing, corporate/internal communications, public relations and community involvement for financial services firms. She also provided oversight for philanthropic efforts, including national builds for Habitat for Humanity, financial support for Orange County School of the Arts and employee-taught Junior Achievement classes in the community. Most recently, she was the business manager for a forensics firm specializing in HVAC expert witness services.
And…in February, 2018, Mary got remarried….to John…whom she has known for 36 years. She says they are “both active golfers, bikers, walkers and travellers” and are both from the Chicago area: Mary from the south side in Beverly and John from Park Ridge (and me from Evanston!). Mary and John worked together for 5 years in the 80’s at Marina Bank in downtown Chicago and says, they now “rent in the city on the river” near Lake Shore Drive. You may want to ask Mary what other places are on their “bucket list”.
Mary joined our club in August, 2018, and says she loves SI Huntington Beach because, we allow members to get involved in a very hands-on way. She goes on to say that she also likes “the idea of meeting and working with like-minded women on causes close to my heart.”
So…once again, thank you Christine Soresi and your long walks on the beach with Mary!