The Southwest Section holds about 25% of the International Ninety-Nines membership with over 1,600 members and 56 chapters.
In 1929, California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona were designated as the Southwest Section of the 99 Club. California had 12 Charter members and Nevada had one. The first Southwest Section governor was Gladys O’Donnell, and Clema Granger was treasurer. In 1932, Margaret Cooper (Perry, Manser) was instrumental in forming the first two chapters in the Section, Bay Cities and Los Angeles.
Over the years, the Section continues to hold about 25% of the membership of the 99s. And chapters continue to be chartered.
In the April 1949 Section newsletter is an article on the formation of the Hawaii (Aloha) Chapter on June 4, 1968, thereby adding Hawaii to the Section.
Our section has produced the following International Ninety-Nines Presidents:
Margaret Cooper Mansesr, Betty Gillies, Ethel Sheehy, Geraldine Mickelsen, Alice Roberts, Joyce Wells, Lois Erikson, Thon Griffith, Marie Christensen, Barbara Sestito, Pat Prentiss, and Martha Phillips.
Gladys O’Donnell, Clema Granger, Betty Gillies, Anna Brenner, Bessie Owne, Ethel Sheehy, Alice Roberts, Thon Griffith, and Pat Prentiss.
The All Woman Transcontinental Air Race (Powder Puff Derby) 1947-1977, was started by Mardo Crane. Members from the SWS Section were always on the Board of Directors; California Chapters were in the majority of the Start Hostesses; and entrants and winners were legion from the Section.
When the Air Race Classic replaced the AWTAR in 1977, it was Southwest Section members who established it. Four Section members being elected Directors and other members were on the necessary committees. Santa Rosa Chapter held the first race start on July 16th, 1977. At the end of the race in Toledo, SWS members Joyce Wells (solo) took 2nd place, Luana Davis (solo), 3rd , Norma Futtermand and Virginia Showers, 4th, Jean Rose and Janice Free, 8th.
The Southwest Section has been hostess to the International Convention several times, first in 1933 for the 4th Annual Convention in Santa Monica, the 48th in San Francisco.The Southwest Section hosted the 1986 International Convention (as it was then called) in Honolulu, and 2000 Centennial Conference in San Diego.