Founders: Robbi Boone, Elaine Van Buren, Jan Pope, Pat Hermes, Lois McMaken
1981 Founders Elaine, Lois, Jan, Robbi and Pat
In the beginning…four women from the Chicago area and one from the New York area moved to San Antonio around 1979-80 and found outlets for tennis and bridge, but it was Jazzercise at St. Matthew’s gym (in our leg warmers and between the high-intensity dance moves) that brought us together in the same space at the same time. I guess you would call it serendipity. Elaine knew Lois and Robbi knew Pat who knew me and invited me to Jazzercise with them. After class, Elaine invited us to her house for coffee to discuss getting a newcomers club started in San Antonio. Upon investigation, there was already a “newcomers” club in existence, but when I called about membership I was told that they only played bridge at the airport and weren’t looking for new members! So the five of us took matters into our own hands and booked a luncheon at the Inn at Turtle Creek, then placed a tiny little ad in The San Antonio Light inviting new residents to lunch to discuss forming a newcomers club. Twenty-seven women responded to that little ad! At the meeting we asked, “Who wants to be president?” and hands shot up. And on down the positions on the Board. At the first official meeting, officers were elected, by-laws ratified, interest groups formed, and we were officially up and running, ready to welcome women new to San Antonio into a club where new friendships formed and thrived, many still intact today. Sadly we lost Pat at an age too young and Robbi in a horrific car accident. The three of us remaining Founders are so happy and proud that our idea “bloomed where we were planted” and is still welcoming new residents. Congratulations and thank you for sharing the gift of friendship.
Congratulations and thank you for sharing the gift of friendship. Elaine, Lois, and Jan
1981 Founder Elaine Van Buren I believe Newcomers really started in September of 1980 the day we moved into our house. There were only 3 houses in our area. When I returned from grocery shopping my husband Bob said a woman named Lois who lives behind us invited us to dinner. So relativity speaking Lois started Newcomers. However; when we met Robbi, Jan, and Pat, I was a little overcome with these “Chicago Second City Women,” being from New York where the thinking is “when one leaves New York it’s all the Colonies!!” After exercise, we always came to my house for coffee and one day I said “enough about Chicago” we must branch out and start a Newcomers group! At the first event, 27 “Newcomers” showed up, and look at you all now! I would like to mention co-founder Pat Hermes who left us too early. She was a mother of 5 and started a program at Battered Women’s Shelter for children. It was a one-room classroom and she had each child at their own level. I was blessed to have these women in my life. Best Wishes to you all. -EVB
1981 – 1982 Roberta “Robbi” Silberman Boone
Roberta “Robbi” Boone one of our founders and our very first president was tragically killed in a collision on Highway 46 on Friday, April 21, 2017. She was born in Chicago and relocated to South Texas twice, as it was her favorite area to live. Robbi was a teacher in the Chicago area and an advocate of education her entire life. As she was devoted to the many causes she believed in, she was an active member of many groups over the years, including Chair of the Comal County Democratic Party, until her death. Robbi was a generous, giving and loving person who was taken too early from all who loved her. Read more.
1982 – 1983 Joyce Houlihan
I have so many wonderful memories of the Newcomers of San Antonio, especially how quickly our organization grew and the desire to be a part of this energetic, supportive and creative group who were from different backgrounds and states. We bonded, planned and celebrated together in so many ways. Participation was always without question over the top and we were the envy of the previous Newcomers group. I still use the cookbook that we authored which is literally falling apart from use. Each time I pick a recipe I have memories of that particular person. Read more.
1983 – 1984 Anne Leonard
Dan and I moved to San Antonio in June of 1980 as he took a job teaching at the Dental School as a Professor of dentistry. My goal was to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. I was pregnant with baby #1 and we knew only a few people in San Antonio. Dan saw a very tiny advertisement in the paper about the formation of a Newcomers of San Antonio club. The first gathering was in early 1981. The first gathering was at the Turtle Creek club off of Wurzbach. A perfect place for our first meeting. Read more.
1984 – 1985 Kay Hughes served as president for the 1984 – 1985 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
1985 – 1986 Beth Hale served as president for the 1985 – 1986 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
1986 – 1987 Pam Carson served as president for the 1986 – 1987 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
1987-1988 Denise Kern
Hello! My name is Denise Kern. If my memory is accurate, I served as President of Newcomers of San Antonio from July 30, 1987-July 30, 1988.
At that time, San Antonio was experiencing a large growth spurt. Sea World was being built and the executives and their families were moving to our city. Several other groups were also building, such as Southwestern Bell, AT&T, Fiesta Texas, and the University of San Antonio. We had over 200 members as I recall. Because our group was so large and the city was growing so rapidly, members could only be part of the group for three years. At the end of that time, we were required to terminate our membership so there would be room for others to join. Read More.
1988 – 1989 Bonnie Taylor served as president for the 1988 – 1989 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
1989 – 1990 Kathy Quinn
I moved to SA in 1986 and joined Newcomers shortly after that, I was 35 years old. The reason I mention this first is because at my First Newcomers Coffee I met one gal in particular and today, here it is 35 years later we are still best friends! That’s why Newcomers has always been so special to me and others moving into the area… we “Grow where we are planted”.
What stands out in my mind during that time, is when at the end of our three years of membership in Newcomers, we were to move on to Act II (a group for those after their 3 years). I loved all my new friends and all our wonderful activities and socializing and didn’t want to move on…neither did any of the other members, so we did something VERY bold. We voted and changed the By-laws, members at the end of their 3 years were not required to move on out of Newcomers, they could stay indefinitely! So here we are today!
1990 – 1991 Shari LoVetere
I’m sending a couple of photos of a social event. In the ladies’ photo, I am sitting on the left. The second photo is of some of our husbands performing with the “show girls”. We have never laughed so hard as we did that night. I still laugh just looking at our guys in the wigs, coconut boobies, grass skirts and smoking cigars. I wish I could recall other memorable events. I know we all enjoyed our 3 years getting to know each other and San Antonio. Great times, great city!
After Newcomers, I spent four years in San Antonio Junior Forum and Any Baby Can.
We then moved to Ohio and I was Social Chairman and President in Dayton, Ohio. Read more.
1991 – 1992 Diane Baireuther served as president for the 1991 – 1992 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
1992 – 1993 Bernadette Remaley
After living in a small town for over 40 years, the move to San Antonio was a shock! Newcomers definitely made the adjustment much easier. With coffees and luncheons all around the city, I learned my way around the area much faster. The interest groups made it so easy to make friends with women you had something in common with while giving me insight into other traditions and ways of life. I was so happy to hear that this organization is still going strong! This group certainly fills a void for many women when they need it most.
1993 – 1994 Linda Armstrong served as president for the 1993 – 1994 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
1994 – 1995 Lynn Daugherty served as president for the 1994 – 1995 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
1995 – 1996 Sharon Gary served as president for the 2001 – 2002 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
1996 – 1997 Kathy Gottsacker
Kathy Gottsacker was President from 1996-1997 and was a member from approximately 1993 to 2000. A lot of new members at that time were from Southeastern Bell (St. Louis, California, etc) and around the same age (30s and 40s). Kathy joined the Diners’ Group and Book Group which spun out of the Newcomers’ Club onto their own. She left San Antonio in 2003 to return in 2012. NOSA was a great way to meet people and become part of the community. It was a good overall experience. Luncheons were the first Thursday of every month. At that time there were approximately 200 members. Best memory was taking bus trips to Laredo; it was a lot of fun. Also went to Leon Springs Dan Hall at that time. Some groups were Golf, Bridge, Diners’ Group. No changes during her tenure. Read more.
1997 – 1998 Cindy Freeman served as president for the 1997 – 1998 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
1998 – 1999 Elissa Sherlock
Elissa Sherlock was President from 1998-1999 and was a member for approximately 3 years before moving to Grand Prairie, Texas. Newcomers for her made an “outsider” become an “insider.” NOSA felt like “home”. During her Presidency, there were approximately 80-90 members. They had Bunco, Restaurant Group, Book Club and Luncheons every month. (Most of the Luncheons served chicken). She played tennis and later moved on to become President of that League. Nothing changed during her membership timeframe.
1999 – 2000 Martye Davis
I found Newcomers newsletters from June 1999 through May 2000. The year 1999 held lots of uncertainy. No one knew what would happen when the clock struck midnight. All you heard on the news or read in papers was the year Y2K is coming, will the universe be the same on Jan.1st, 2000? So I decided to call myself Newcomers Y2K President. I did my best to give guidance (to the next function or luncheon) and helpful hints for survival. I believe we had 300 members, not sure how many dropped off after my year ended. Read more.
2000 – 2001 Dayna Rinklin
2000 – 2001 Dayna Rinklin Dana has lived in San Antonio for the past 23 years. Of her current group of friends, approximately 90% came from her involvement in Newcomers! Martye Davis introduced Dayna to Newcomers. Martye became president soon after joining and in turn, convinced Dayna to follow her as President.
Some of her favorite activity groups were Haute Flash (cooking demonstrations in members’ homes), Footloose (a walking group that took walking trips all over south Texas), our First Monday Bridge group that we started and was the first bridge group at the time in Newcomers. All the Dinner groups were filled when she joined, so we started our own Dinner club which we kept going for 20 years! She was proud to have increased the membership to around 200 and had a luncheon of 100! She hopes that she made new members feel warmly welcomed to San Antonio and they too, made lasting friendships.
2001 – 2002 Jennifer Peterson
San Antonio was our first move without children so the Newcomers’ Club gave me the perfect opportunity to grow. During my presidency, two major events happened, first and most importantly, 911. We all sat in silence glued to our televisions for a while but when the club regrouped, we were stronger than ever. Read more.
2002 – 2003 Paulette Reynolds
2002 – 2003 Paulette Reynolds was a very friendly person who always had a smile on her face. Her husband loves to hunt and she knew how to cook whatever he brought home and make it delicious. She and Jeff had three beautiful daughters including twins. Jeff worked for Alcoa Aluminum and they were sent to live in Alcoa, Tennessee. They built a beautiful home looking down a valley with mountains on each side but Jeff was sent to Ghana Africa to work for three months at a time. Paulette could not make friends and was miserable. They finally returned to San Antonio and she was a happy lady! Paulette was a very organized person and that served her well as president of Newcomers. Unfortunately, she was tragically killed in an accident on her ranch.
2003 – 2005 Joanie Korte
Joanie Korte served as president for the 2003 – 2003-2005. She was President for two terms from 2003-2005. In 2003 there were approximately 60-80 members and grew to over 300 by 2005 when her term ended. Many members were from oil company headquarters located in San Antonio, and she remains good friends with many of them. She remembers television interviews were a good means to encourage new membership. During her time as President, there were 20+ Interest Groups, and ”Silo” was always a favorite for gatherings. Joanie remained a member for about 5 years.
2005 – 2006 Leslie Palmer served as president for the 2005 – 2006 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
2006 – 2007 Nancy Miller
2006 – 2007 Nancy Lynn Miller, 59, passed away on Monday, November 10, 2008, at 2:22 pm after an extended illness. She was born in Sharon, PA on September 1, 1949, to James C. and Margaret Berger Phillips. Nancy was preceded in death by her mother. She is survived by her father, James C. Phillips Sr., Fort Meyers, FL; daughter, Paula Jurko, Dublin, OH; daughter, Lisa Dickson, her husband Daryl and granddaughter Sarah Dickson all of Brookfield, OH; sisters, Patricia A. Phillips, Hubbard OH, Cindy Fammartino-Fark and family of Scottsdale, AZ; brother, James C. Phillips Jr. and family of Poland, OH; step-sons, Darren Miller and family of Hermitage, Pa, Dr. Kirt Miller and family of Chesapeake, OH and Rhonda Resele of Transfer, PA as well as former husbands John Jurko of Brookfield, OH and Thomas Miller of Girard, OH. Nancy was a beloved mother and grandmother and lived in the Youngstown-Warren Ohio area until the age of 41. Read more.
2007 – 2008 Francis Lingis/Beverly Perez served as presidents for the 2007 – 2008 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service! Read more.
2008 – 2009 Pam Ashbaugh served as president for the 2008 – 2009 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
2009 – 2010 Nancy Townsend
As I was looking over the History of Club Presidents, I suddenly realized that I am a relic.
My presidential year was 2009-2010. Yes, the oldest President is still a member. When I became President of NOSA, I was told “whatever you do, don’t change anything.” Well, that statement is unavoidable. Changes happen due to board and membership likes and dislikes and unexpected situations. Read more.
2010 – 2011 Donna Conkwright served as president for the 2010 – 2011 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service! Read more.
2011 – 2012 Lori Libby served as president for the 2011-2012 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service! Read more.
2012 – 2014 Sue Delehanty
My 2 years serving as president of Newcomers was a wonderful experience that I will never forget. I had just moved to San Antonio and was so lonely and homesick. The group was so welcoming and I have made lifelong friends. Read more.
2014 – 2015 Vickie Barry served as president for the 2014-2015 Newcomers of San Antonio calendar year. Thank you for your service!
2015 – 2017 Ali Heller
Newcomers of San Antonio has been a blessing for me and others who have joined this great organization. We’re kindred spirits discovering our new town together. My first event was a coffee- I still had boxes to unpack but I had my priorities! Then my navigation system sent me in the wrong direction, but I didn’t give up. When I arrived, the group was so welcoming and I immediately signed up for many interest groups. Soon – two months later – I was asked to fill a vacancy on the Board, serving for six years including two as President 2015-2017. We had many adventures with On The Road Again including tours of Toyota, SAWS, and a glass-bottom boat tour in San Marcos. Read more.
2017 – 2018 Anne Rautio Anne became a member in 2015 and is still a member to this day. The things that stood out for Anne the most was the sense of welcoming and finding friends. She enjoyed learning many interesting things about the city she lives in. Anne feels that Newcomers gives her a sense of belonging and purpose. During her time of presidency, the club grew rapidly, especially after the website was up and running. In December 2017 the club membership was 233, with 21 Interest Groups. Luncheons averaged between 70 and 100 people. The Club at Sonterra, Silo at 1604, Maggianos and The Dominion Country Club were some of the restaurants that were popular back then. Read more.
2018 – 2020 Sue Ellen Smith
2018 – 2020 Sue Ellen Smith To be the president of this Welcoming organization was certainly a highlight of my life! 258 women, 35 interest groups, we flourished! San Antonio is very lucky to have this organization. We have welcomed so many to our city and helped them settle in and make many new friends. Our Interest Groups and their Leaders are such an integral part of helping all of our Ladies find a friend or two! It could not have been completed without my fabulous boards and their hard work to take us from paper and pencil to the world of computers. Read more.
2020 – 2021 Margaret Kidd
I attended my first luncheon in January of 2016. By April, I was the treasurer and held that position for two more years. These were the years we got rid of checks and did everything electronically. A learning experience for all!
The thing that stands out most during my year as President was that the country was shut down! We did not let that stop us, however. We had board meetings every month with some attending via Zoom. We only missed one luncheon and one coffee, and that was due to snowmageddon, not lack of attendees. Of course, there were a lot fewer people attending these things, but we still held them. We even started three new Interest Groups. Membership held pretty steadily at 220. Read more.
2021 – 2022 Cindy Richards
I became president during the second wave of COVID-19 so getting the vaccine was the biggest topic. As of November 2021, San Antonio has low numbers and a low risk for COVID so we are now seeing many more members getting out to our 30+ interest groups, first Thursday of month luncheons, and third Thursday of the month coffees. Our current membership is 221. We are planning a cruise for 2022 and I cannot wait!! Read more.