The Daughters of the British Empire (DBE) is a charitable, non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian, voluntary American society of women of British or Commonwealth birth, ancestry, naturalization, or marriage. Its members are professionals, businesswomen, and homemakers with common interests and heritage, who meet regularly for business and other events with the common cause of philanthropy. The society was founded in the United States on March 15, 1909, as the Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire in the U.S.A., and became the National Society of Daughters of the British Empire in the U.S.A. in 1920.
For over 100 years, The Daughters of the British Empire in the U.S.A. has been a common bond for women of British heritage living in America. Members, joining together in fellowship, contribute significantly to the good of their local communities and support the four retirement homes for men and women established by the DBE. The States of the Midwest District are proud to support Cantata (formerly the British Home) in Brookfield, IL.
Jackie Lewin comes from Cheshire, England, and came to the State in 1962 at the age of 19 with intentions of staying for only one year. She met her husband that November and they were married the following July. Together they have a son, a daughter, and six grandchildren. Jackie worked as an Executive Assistant at Allstate and enjoys gardening when the weather is nice. Jackie heard about the DBE from Barbara Bond of the Barrington Court chapter while attending a presentation about walking across England at their local library. They started chatting and Barbara invited Jackie over for shepherd's pie and to meet other DBE women. Jackie was soon hooked and has now been a member for 9 years holding various positions including Regent of Barrington Court and this is her second term and Illinois State President.
Jane was born a first-generation American in Detroit to English parents. She pursued her post-graduate studies in England and fell in love with it, as well as the man that is now her husband. They lived in Stratford-upon-Avon for 23 years before making the decision to “cross the pond” and settle in Illinois. Jane works full-time for AbbVie as a Senior Business Systems Consultant and her hobbies include Mid-Century Modern design; collecting vintage sewing patterns and making clothes with them; hiking; gardening; and exploring flea markets, antique malls, and estate sales. Jane joined the DBE after meeting Cathy Faust, a member of Barrington Court chapter, at an open house and thought it was so nice to meet a fellow Brit. She has held several positions including Barrington Court Treasurer and currently serves as Barrington Court’s Regent and 1st Vice President of the Illinois State Board.
I was born in Minneapolis, MN, but her husband’s management position with Sears transferred us to Iowa for about four years, and then to the Chicago suburbs. She graduated from Elmhurst College with a Communications degree/Human Resources core. She is the past President of Iowa and Illinois Newcomer’s Clubs; Trained and Certified as a Cecchetti Ballet Teacher and past Midwest President of Cecchetti Council of America. She currently works as the Human Resources Director for Cantata Adult Life Services.
Marie has been a member of the DBE for 17 years and has held various DBE offices from Chapter Secretary, Treasurer, Regent, State President. Her paternal Grandfather was born and raised in England and was a Coal Mine supervisor, who emigrated to the US and became the Illinois Superintendent of Coal Mines, serving many mines throughout Illinois. She has taught dance for over 30 years and owned several Dance Studios along the way, loves all types of music and theater and is still involved in the Midwest Cecchetti Council as a scholarship adjudicator. She enjoys visiting Lake Geneva, WI, and boating with her son on Lake Michigan, as well as traveling to Midwest and National DBE Conventions.
Barbara was born in Lancashire, England and spent her childhood in Hesketh Bank, Nr. Southport. After marrying her husband Bob, they also lived in Lichfield, Staffordshire where their two daughters were born, and then In Ponteland, Northumberland, before coming to America in 1985 when Bob came to work for an American company. Barbara joined the Barrington Court Chapter DBE in 1985 and has held many leadership positions, including Illinois State President, Midwest Organizer and National Organizer for the 32nd administration (2013-2016). Since coming to the U.S.A., Barbara has been President of the Auxiliary of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, Chairman of the Art in the Barn fundraiser, twice President of her local Garden Club, a longtime member of the Mission Committee at her Church and a Director of the British Home Board, a retirement home at Brookfield, Illinois, now operating as Cantata Adult Life Services. Bob and Barbara have a lovely family with four grandchildren.
Sherry was born in Chicago, and raised in Lombard, IL. With strong Irish ancestry from both parents, growing up with a love of all things Celtic was just the norm.
Her background is primarily banking with over 30 years in the financial industry. With 25 years at Bank of Naperville (now BMO Harris), I held the position of AVP Operations managing five branches of over 100 employees. While at Bank of Naperville / Harris Bank, she joined the “Naperville Noon Lions Club” and was a member from 1993 to 2000, working up the ranks of Secretary and later to be named the “First Woman President “ in a primarily Men’s club for 50 years. This was quite an honor and she received the “Melvin Jones Award” for outstanding service to an organization.
In 2000, she left the banking world and took a sales position with AFLAC, where she has been for more than 22 years.
She was introduced to DBE in 2014 and has held the positions of Secretary, Treasurer and Regent. With a background in fundraising with the Lion’s club, I have been successful in introducing and managing fundraisers with DBE for our Holiday Craft Fairs, Ladies Night Out, Proper British Teas and Whiskey Tasting for a Cause. She has been State Treasurer for 7 years.
Trudy Wallace successfully completed her career as policy analyst and director of Programs for Gifted Students. She has served as advisor on 22 boards such as the University of Chicago Young Scholars program; the Chicago Tribune All
State Scholarship program, and the Golden Apple Foundation; served in 19 organizations such as University of Chicago Pi Lambda Theta; and as editor for the International Journal of Educational Development University of Reading, England; the Hoover
Institute Press, Stanford University; and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. She taught and presented on gifted education, evaluation, research methodology, statistics, and English at Loyola University, Northwestern University, University of Oviedo, Spain and High School District 228. She contributed to the UNESCO International Bureau of Education series on Educational Practices, has over 20 publications reflecting her research interests, and has presented her research at over 50 conferences all over the world for which she received several awards including the distinguished alumni award conferred by the University of Illinois, College of Education Honors Committee.
Trudy enjoys reading; classical music; opera; travel; family, social, and DBE activities. Born in London, England, Trudy currently resides in Chicago, IL.
Georgia was born in Leicester but grew up in the seaside town of Fleetwood on the northwest coast of England. She relocated with her parents to Illinois before starting high school and has since lived on both coasts, as well as the Midwest. She first joined the DBE during college in Tacoma, WA, and has also been a member in Kansas.
Georgia works fulltime as an archaeologist at the University of Illinois and is the only state board member to live outside of the Chicago area. She is working hard to establish new chapters in the central and southern parts of the state and in her free time, she enjoys cross-stitching, crocheting, walking her dog, and all things spooky.
Georgia is also the creator and host of the DBE National podcast, A Cuppa Tea with the DBE.