Mary Breaux Wright
Mary Breaux Wright was elected as the 24th International President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in July 2012. Prior to her election, she served as the National First Vice-President, overseeing new members and the new member process.
A Diamond Life Member of the Sorority, Breaux Wright has served in many national, regional, state and local roles, including National Director of Protocol and National Observances, Southern Regional Director, Chair of the Regional Directors, and Louisiana State Director. Working closely with her mentor, Past International President Lullelia W. Harrison, she also served as the primary researcher for Torchbearer of a Legacy: A History Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated from 1920 until 1997, the sorority’s official historical perspective.
Breaux Wright travels across the globe delivering passionate messages concerning scholarship, service, and commitment to one’s community. She is most fond of her trip to Ghana, West Africa where she represented the organization during the dedication of water wells donated by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.
Breaux Wright is an active member of Lambda Zeta Chapter in Houston, Texas, where she resides with her family. She is a retired Development Officer and Business Teacher.
Michelle Porter Norman
Director, Great Lakes Region
Michelle Porter Norman was appointed the 23rd Great Lakes Regional Director in August 2012 by International President Mary Breaux Wright. She became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated on March 29, 1987 initiated through the Lambda Epsilon Chapter at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois where she earned a Bachelors in Science degree. As an Undergraduate she served as President, Vice President, and Secretary. Immediately after graduating, she transferred her membership to the Zeta Zeta Chapter in Dolton, Illinois where she served in various offices including President, First Vice-President, Financial-Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and Undergraduate Advisor.
For over 25 uninterrupted years of service to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Michelle has served the sisterhood as an elected or appointed officer on every level - national, regional, and state. The positions are as follows: National - elected Secretary in 2008 at the Las Vegas Boule and re-elected in 2010 at the Dallas Boule; appointed Illinois State Director from 2002-2006; appointed National Director of Community Volunteerism from 1996-2002. Regional - Financial-Secretary 2000-2002, Illinois State Representative-at-Large 1992-1996; Regional Co-Marshal in 2000. State - Chair of the Board 1996-1998; Financial-Secretary 1998-1999. She served on various committees at every level. As the Illinois State Director, the state flourished. She chartered 6 chapters and reactivated 5. Illinois purchased a water well in Africa during her administration. Michelle has attended 10 Boules, 23 regional conferences, and 24 state conferences.
Michelle has been a Life Member since May 1998. She was honored by the Great Lakes Region as the “2012 Life Member of the Year.” In 2005, she was ZOL certified in Cohort I. Michelle is a Zeta Legacy, sister, Rochelle Porter initiated in September 2003 through the Zeta Zeta Chapter in Dolton, Illinois and cousin, Stacey Foster initiated in April 1987 through the Nu Delta Chapter at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
Professionally, Michelle has been employed for the past 20 years with the Cook County Adult Probation Department as a Sworn Supervisor for the last 15 years and a Probation Officer for the first 5 years. She is a member of the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA). A native of Chicago, Michelle, is married and has two teenage sons. She is an active member of St. Titus One Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago. She is also a member of the Illinois State University Black Colleagues Association (ISUBCA) and the Lindblom Technical High School Class of 1986 Reunion Committee.
Connie V. Pugh was initiated into Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated through the Psi Nu Chapter in Evanston, Illinois. She has served as the Illinois State Director since August 2012. The Diamond Life Member holds membership in Xi Mu Zeta Chapter, Markham, Illinois. State Director Pugh believes that education is an essential component of success. She holds several advanced degrees, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy.
State Director Pugh has held various positions of leadership professionally and within the sorority, she knows the value of training and education. She conceptualized and formed the Illinois State Leadership Academy as a means to educate and inform members of the sisterhood. She holds to the belief that proper training, training that is consistent and has continuity, is essential for sustaining an organization.
While serving as the Great Lakes Region's Scholarship Chairman, she created the Ione Hartley Gibson Memorial Scholarship (a revolving scholarship serving the seven states within the Region, for high school seniors preparing to matriculate to an institution of higher education). Most recently, in the role as Illinois State Director, she created the Isabel C. Taylor Memorial Scholarship (a revolving scholarship within the state of Illinois for high school seniors preparing to matriculate to an institution of higher education) and the M. Ann Prendergast Scholarship for members of the sorority’s Youth Affiliate group.
State Director Pugh resubmitted the paperwork to the Illinois Secretary of State and National Headquarters in order to secure the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, state of Illinois License Plates. The license plates were approved and produced in March 2014. Past State Director Jefferson-Martin presented the idea to the sisterhood during her tenure in office. Applications were submitted/resubmitted to the Secretary of State under the Porter-Norman, Craft, and Byrd Administrations.
During her tenure in office, she has focused on the state and Blue and White family working together. State Director Pugh has worked with various committees, planning the first annual Statewide Day of Service, coordinating the first annual Bud Biliken School Supply Drive, as well as, hosting a Statewide Founders’ Day event, the first in decades.
Learning and providing service to others are life-long tasks of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. The servant leader assumes the position of servant in her interactions with followers. Authentic, legitimate leadership arises not from the exercise of power or self-interest actions, but from the fundamental desire to help others. Servant leaders are motivated to encourage greatness in others. Thus, their success is indirect, derived out of service to others.
Great minds don't think alike. They think for themselves.
J. Sakiya Sandifer