Who We Are

Our Values:  Faith, Compassionate Caring, Collaboration

Organizational Structure

  • At the International level, our membership totals around 2,500 members from North America.  Our international headquarters are located in western New York at the Chautauqua Institution on Lake Chautauqua.  headquarters@iokds.org
  • If there are at least 50 members located in one state or province, the group is organized as a Branch.
  • At the local level, a Circle is formed with a group of three or more members.


We embody God’s love transforming lives of all kinds of people of all age and circumstance.

IOKDS on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution since 1920

Our History

  • Founded January 13, 1886, in the New York City home of Margaret Bottome along with her ten friends.
  • Vision:  Caring for all God’s children 
  • The silver Maltese cross was chosen as a badge.  Those who could not procure a cross pin wore a purple ribbon to proclaim their membership.

2020-2021 International Board 

President:  Janet Laude, Pennsylvania
Vice President:  Sandy Pace, Virginia
Secretary:  Catherine Duncan, New York
Treasurer:  Bruce McLelland
Around-the-World Director:  Pam Yarborough, Texas
Branch President Representative:  Vince Carlo, ON
Chautauqua Housing Director:  Sharon Niday, West Virginia
Chautauqua Property Director:  John Hilmer
Communications Director:  Gaby Carreras, Fl
Health Careers Director:  Linda Hilmer, Indiana
Learn & Discern Internship Director:  Mark Foglesong, Indiana
Native American Director:  Louise Maynor, South Carolina
Student Ministries Director:  Norma Stack, Missouri
Immediate Past President:  Christine Dawson, Ontario
Parliamentarian:  Phoebe McLelland, Ontario
Historian:  Meredith Houghton, Kentucky

*Note: All Board members, officers, and staff sign a Conflict of Interest certification form    annually.

Branch Presidents

Get In Touch

Privacy Statement:

Personal contact information is used only for the sole purpose of receiving official correspondence from IOKDS staff or Board of Directors.  Our membership data base is not shared with any other group or organization.

Dive Deeper

“It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution.  It’s also a very clear path to happiness.”