recognizing Exceptional women and their service in the areas of community, civic, professional, philanthropic and sorority work.
LOS ANGELES ALUMNAE PANHELLENIC ASSOCIATION 2017 WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD Beryl Arbit, Alpha Omicron Pi
Presented at the Woman of the Year Award Reception Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Since 1973, Los Angeles Alumnae Panhellenic Association (LAAPA) has recognized outstanding area NPC alumnae for their exceptional service in the areas of community, civic, professional, and/or philanthropic achievement. The candidate should exhibit exemplary work in one or more of the following categories: OUTSTANDING SORORITY WORK, community, and/or philanthropic work; OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY, and/or PHILANTHROPIC WORK, and sorority work; OUTSTANDING CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS, and sorority work.
Beryl Arbit, Alpha Omicron Pi
Words from Beryl - Ladies, Thank you so very much for this most unexpected honor. Melinda promised that I wouldn't have to make a speech but those of you who know me realize that I seldom pass up a chance to talk. I promise to keep it short. Once upon a time, when bulletin boards were really boards with bulletins attached to them, I saw an announcement about something called 'informal rush.' I was less than a month into my first quarter at UCLA , and while I knew very little about sororities, it occurred to me that joining a sorority might offer a 'way in' to the impersonal vastness that was UCLA. I had no idea that 50 years later, my decision to join Alpha Omicron Pi would give me so much more than just a place to live. More than anything, AOII has given me lifelong friends. It has also given me the chance to work directly with three generations of collegiate women at three Universities, to meet other collegiates both locally and across the United States, and to laugh, cry and celebrate with alumnae of all ages and backgrounds. I am particularly proud to receive this recognition at a time when AOII holds the NPC Presidency, a circumstance that comes around only once every 52 years (a timespan which actually exceeds my AOII membership!) I must sound like a broken record every time I remind collegiates that there is so much more to Greek affiliation that just their undergraduate years - and you - the members of the Los Angeles Alumnae Panhellenic Association - are the personification of that concept, so thanks for backing me up! And thank you again, not only for honoring me, but for honoring Alpha Omicron Pi.
Nomination of Beryl Arbit - A long time resident of Los Angeles, Beryl attended UCLA where she pledged Alpha Omicron Pi in October of 1967. She immediately threw herself into leadership roles, serving as Scholarship Chairman and Recording Secretary. In 1969, when AOII held our International Convention in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel, Beryl served as Collegiate Chairman of Rose Banquet, Song Girl where she performed with collegiates from throughout the United States and Canada, and served as Piper / To Dragma assistant to the editor of both publications, Laura Perry. Upon graduation from UCLA, Beryl began her professional career with O'Melveny & Myers, LLP. Rising through the ranks, working with the firm for almost forty years, Beryl's expertise was quickly recognized. Retiring only last year as a Senior Legal Assistant she is still in demand. Even now in retirement, she is being called on to assist in a variety of matters at O'Melveny & Myers. As such, she has started a new career as Consultant to O'Melveny & Myers.
Shortly after graduation as a recent alumna, Beryl stepped in to assist with the USC recolonization of AOII. In a city and at a time of serious cross town rivalries, it shows true AOII spirit to build up those 'Trojans.' Not only was Beryl part of the recolonization, she served in a variety of capacities, from Recruitment Committee, Chapter Advisor and Corporation Board President. It says much to her work with her collegiate sisters that so many are still in touch with her and are dear friends. In 1994, Beryl who had been an active AOII, attending Founders' Days and other local AOII events, joined the West Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter. From 1994 to present, Beryl has served as Treasurer, doing the job no one wants, making it look effortless, filing reports and all paperwork on time. Her resourcefulness when we changed our name from West to Greater Los Angeles assisted our Alumnae Chapter with financial changes, banking changes, and financial security. When help has been needed, Beryl has been quick to step in. In 2008, the Sigma Phi Corporation for the Sigma Phi Chapter at California State University Northridge was in need of a Treasurer. Again, Beryl stepped up at a time of transition and financial need, steering the Chapter through alumnae sponsored loans and property renovations. AOII has been a fixture in Beryl's life. She has attended seven AOII Conventions, including our Centennial in 1997 in New York from that first one in Los Angeles in 1969 to present. Our upcoming D.C International Convention is on the horizon. She has hosted meetings, mentored newer alumnae and this past year served as co-chair of the 2017 AOII Founders' Day with over 380 women from San Diego to Santa Barbara in attendence. She shows in her actions and dedication what it means to be an AOII for life. She continues to assist Chapters in recruitment, walk in AOII's Philanthropy Arthritis Walk, and participate in Strike Out Arthritis events. In the larger world, Beryl has worked with Operation Gratitude since 2003, sending care packages to our troops overseas. She spent over five years volunteering with the Los Angeles Food Bank (2011 -2016), before working with the Jewish Family Services / SOVA Food Bank, where her experience has held her in good stead. She volunteered with Para Los Ninos Charter School Reading Mentor Program from 2012 until 2015. And since her retirement last year, she has become a fixture at the Skirball Cultural Center, where after years of being a member she took the next step of being a very involved volunteer. For almost 50 years, Beryl Arbit has been an involved member of AOII, an active participant in the Los Angeles community, and a conscientious professional in a demanding field in a international law firm. During her entire life as an AOII she has mentored, inspired, been that willing volunteer when needed, and done it all with grace, humor and a smile. She has created a legacy of love, inspiration and dedication where ever she has offered her many varied talents.
On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Beryl was honored at the Skylight Gardens as the 2017 LAAPA Woman of the Year.
To nominate an outstanding NPC Greek Woman of the Year please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or you may download the criteria here.