Personality: Jacqueline C. Presley

Spotlight on president of Altrusa International of Capital City of Virginia

3/6/2020, 6 a.m.
As she nears the end of her two-year tenure as president of Altrusa International Capital City of Virginia, Jacqueline C. ...

As she nears the end of her two-year tenure as president of Altrusa International Capital City of Virginia, Jacqueline C. Presley remains excited “just to be a part of a worldwide organization” dedicated to making the community a better place.

A former medical transcriptionist, the Williamsburg native took over the helm of the local chapter in May 2018. She succeeded former President Daisy Lackey, steering the group as it celebrated its 25th anniversary.

“I give it all I’ve got,” she says of her tenure as president.

The Capital City club is part of a 102-year old international nonprofit, created in Nashville, Tenn., in 1917, to address what founders saw as a lack of women’s civic groups during World War I.

The group became a classified service organization for women in 1918. Their first international club was organized in Mexico in 1935. Clubs in India, Korea, Russia, Great Britain, Canada and elsewhere sprang up in the decades after.

Altrusa International is dedicated to improving local communities across the globe through initiatives focused on leadership, partnership and care, guided by a motto of “Patriotism, Efficiency, Service.”

For the Capital City club, community work takes the form of competitive scholarships to women for job retraining. The group has awarded about 50 scholarships ranging from $250 to $1,000. The club also engages in various projects focused on improving the lives of the young, the elderly, abused women and veterans in and around Richmond.

Ms. Presley got involved with the club at the suggestion of a friend who was a member. She helped her friend with a variety of projects before joining the organization in 2008.

Currently, the Capital City club is preparing for its part in National Night Out 2020 in August in cooperation with the Bensley Recreation Center in Chesterfield County. The club is looking to expand the event’s typical activities through a grant from Altrusa International. The club will be giving local youngsters the chance to meet firefighters and first responders in their community, as well as training in letter writing, interviewing and other practices.

The club also will be donating hundreds of books to local libraries in the Bensley community.

Under Ms. Presley’s direction, the club also is working to overcome its greatest challenge — bringing in new members and retaining old ones. The club is holding membership drives with a focus on pairing new recruits with tenured members to ease their introduction into the club’s operations and culture.

For Ms. Presley, the only real requirement she sees for joining their group is an energetic spirit eager to help their fellow citizens through service.

“We have a wonderful group of ladies, and now we have several men in our group,” Ms. Presley says, “and we do some wonderful projects.”

Meet community advocate and this week’s Personality, Jacqueline C. Presley:

Occupation: Retired medical transcriptionist.

No. 1 community involvement: President of Altrusa International of Capital City of Vir- ginia.

When Richmond club formed: Altrusa of Capital City was formed in June 1993 and celebrated 25 years in 2018.