The Original FIVE…

Quota Centennial Banner BOLD

Written by Beris Pritchard, SPA Liaison

At the Kiwanis Christmas party, Wanda Frey Joiner, the General Manager of the Buffalo Paint and Glass Company, was joined by business women of the city of Buffalo.  Among these were: Florence M. Smith, from A.R.Williams Machinery & Supply Corp.; Alice C. Sauers from H.I. Sackett Electric Company; Ora G. Cole, a member of the Chamber of Commerce; and Jean Ware Redpath, a Corsetierre entrepreneur.  Wanda had an uncanny ability to not only influence others, but to involve them in fulfilling her dreams.  Tonight this meant bringing about her vision to unite the women in her community who had made decisions out of necessity when their men were at war, but who were now part of the work-force and anxious to direct their talents to a worthwhile purpose.One month later, that vision came to fruition as these five women gathered together at Wanda’s dining room table to bring Quota Club International to life.

As they met that January day, selecting a name for the organization was at the top of the agenda. Wanda pulled out a dictionary and the women pored through it until they came to the letter ‘Q’ and the word ‘quota’ – a Latin word meaning “a share”. Upon this discovery, the discussion turned to the “purpose” of the organization.   Ora Cole said “Is this not what we have discussed?   Are we not prepared to share out talents and treasures with those whom we wish to help?”   With all in agreement, Wanda then said “May I have the privilege of choosing the Quota colours?”. The other four agreed to this and then upheld Wanda’s choice of blue and silver.

original five

Next on the agenda were the organization’s bylaws. The women used as a guide, a copy of the bylaws of the two men’s classified service clubs – Kiwanis and Rotary, as well as Robert’s Rules of Order.  They soon established bylaws for their Quota Club with the “Golden Rule” as its overarching code, and also completed the application for an International  Women’s Club – asking “Is this not what we want – to be in other states and other lands?”

The Application for a Certificate of Incorporation was made from the State of New York. In the beginning, their corporation was organized under the type of charter granted the Board of Trade, Chamber of Commerce, and similar organizations. However, Quota’s membership was not to be limited to one city, state, or country. Thus on February 6, 1919 the Certificate of Incorporation was signed by these five women as “Quota Club International Incorporated” and Quota became the first international classified women’s club on.

Quota International’s first meeting was held at the Toulaine Hotel in Buffalo on February 11.   At this meeting, the founding five became the first Quota International Club Officers with Wanda Frey Joiner elected as President; Jean Ware Redpath as First Vice President; Florence M Smith as Secretary; Alice C. Sauers as Treasurer; and Ora G. Cole as Club Organizer.   Additionally, Katherine M. Dreher, a member of the Chamber of Commerce  was also present and became the first Managing Editor of the “Quotarian”.  Interestingly, Wanda Frey Joiner was the only member of this group to hold the position of International President.  Lastly, Quota’s official headquarters address was also established at this meeting – Quota Club International Inc. 1224 Chamber of Commerce, Buffalo, NY  USA.

It is interesting to note that since these women created a classified organization, similar to Kiwanis and Rotary, their member classification in Quota Club International became:  Machinery Jobbers – Florence Smith; Electric Appliances – Retail – Alice Sauers;  Glass – Wanda Frey Joiner; Corsetierre – Jean Ware Redpath; and Ora Cole was simply referred to as “from the Chamber of Commerce”.

1919 constitution

The original 1919 copy of the “Constitution of the Quota Club International Incorporated”  adopted at this February 11 meeting lists the following headings under Articles I to XXIII –

Name; Objects; Membership; Revenue, Conventions; Representation at Convention; District Organization; Officers; Duties of Officers; Election of Officers; Official Publication; Quorum; Funds; Audit of Accounts; Committees; Duties of Committees; Quota Property; Seal; Commercializing Quota;  Supplies for Clubs; Parliamentary Authority; Amendments; Ratification.   (Of special interest to current membership might be Article IV, Revenue, which shows the annual membership fee set at $2.00 per member! Additionally, it was at the 1923 Convention that a Joining Fee of $10.00 for each new member was adopted – at Quota’s Centenary, it is still $10.00!)

1919 constitution pg

These 16 pages of International Bylaws were then followed in that tiny book by a 12-pages which included “Standardised Local Constitution, Regulations and Bylaws of Local Quota Clubs” as well as by 12 more pages of Member Classifications.

February ….. Quota Club International Inc. is on its way – with hiccups!

Want to print and distribute these messages to your club?  Click HERE to access the printable PDF archive of this series.