26th - 29th Regional Directors
Dorothy W. Buckhanan
26th Central Regional Director2002-2006
Initiation Chapter: Psi
Dorothy Wilson Buckhanan was elected 26th Central Regional Director at the 68th Central Regional Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Program implementation, membership retention and increased sisterly relations were the hallmarks of Dorothy Buckhanan's regional administration. From the beginning of her tenure, she used her extensive leadership and marketing skills to help refine the region's image as the Competent, Confident and Classy Central Region. All aspects of the region's internal and external communications, including its newsletter the Ivy Atlas, reflected this hard working, elegant image. She also encouraged membership growth by chartering five graduate chapters which included the largest graduate chapter chartered in sorority history -- Chi Omega Omega Chapter--with 101 members.
During her term in office she set a new standard for productive, creative, well attended and inclusive, regional conferences. She presided efficiently over the 69th, 70th, 71st, and 72nd meetings. A number of innovations were initiated, including the Community Outreach Project, Regional Gala, EAF Breakfast, and Legacy Breakfast/Luncheon.
Pamela Bates Porch
27th Central Regional Director2006-2010
Initiation Chapter: Delta Beta
Pamela Bates Porch, was elected the 27th Central Regional Director at the 72nd Central Regional Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The hallmark of her administration was strong effective communication with members of the region. Her administration focused on the Reclamation and Retention of Members, Effective Chapter Standards and Operations, Sisterly Relations, and Mentoring and Modeling for Undergraduates, with a strong focus on service in the local community. Sisterly relation campaigns such as the Central Regional Sisterhood Day and the Ivy Strong Campaign strengthened the resolve of members to serve the sorority. Making the relationship with chapters paramount by speaking to the membership in real time, cultivating relationships and developing emerging leaders in Central Region was the premier focus. Her administration was instrumental in developing action plans for the successful return of undergraduate chapters Tau, Gamma, and Mu Rho. Additionally, during her tenure the largest reactivation of membership was manifest during the Centennial in 2008.
Giselé M. Casanova
28th Central Regional Director2010 - 2014
Giselé M. Casanova was elected 28th Central Regional Director at the 76th Central Regional Conference in Chicago, Illinois and installed at the 64th Boule in St. Louis, Missouri. During her tenure, the region grew to 92 chapters with 53 graduate chapters and 39 undergraduate chapters. She encouraged membership growth by chartering four undergraduate chapters — Tau Iota, Tau Mu, Tau Rho, Tau Chi and one graduate chapter — Mu Delta Omega.
Giselé M. Casanova presided over four record-breaking Central Regional Conferences where she utilized technology to increase the availability/accessibility of information. She introduced the first Central Region "app" that gave real-time updates and information about the conference and its events.
She recognized the importance of supporting the Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF). During her term as Central Regional Director, the Haley, King, and Beard Endowment Funds were capitalized in 2011 and the Giselé M. Casanova Endowment Fund was capitalized in 2013.
Kathy Walker Steele
29th Central Regional Director2014-2018
Kathy Walker Steele was elected 29th Central Regional Director at the 80th Central Regional Conference of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., held in Chicago, IL, in March 2014. She was re-elected to serve a second term in 2016 and concluded her service as regional director in July 2018.
During her administration, the Central Region enjoyed its first digital magazine, the “CONNECT.” Green Initiatives were apparent with the Chapter Files Archiving System and the electronic submission of award entries. Webinars were hosted for chapter basilei and graduate advisors for training and information dissemination. Regional conference expenses were reduced through the purchase of regional assets. In addition, the Kathy Walker Steele Endowment Fund was capitalized within six months of her assuming office -- a first for the Central Region.
An energetic, fiscally conscious, and goal-driven director, Kathy Walker Steele approached her duties with her pragmatic flair for problem-solving and program development, which resulted in measured successes and improvements within the region. Under her leadership, the region drew a record number of attendees at its annual conferences. The region’s active membership significantly increased. Chapters and members were often highlighted for their accomplishments; and successfully launched programs and services that benefitted thousands of recipients throughout the eight states which comprise the Central Region. An effective communicator, Kathy sought to be fair-minded and approachable throughout her tenure. She aligned her guiding strategies with the overarching purpose of the Sisterly Relations Committee, so much so that she came to be known as the Sisterly Relations Soror.
Ever dedicated to ensuring the sorority is at the forefront of its mission, Kathy is unwavering in her commitment to serving humanity through the articulated mission of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.