National president of sorority speaks in the Valley on Jan. 19

An Ohio native is returning to the Buckeye State as the national president and CEO of one of the nation’s leading black sororities.

Beverly E. Smith, a native of Massillon, is the keynote speaker for the Youngstown Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta’s 2019 Founder’s Day luncheon from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 19 at Youngstown State University’s Kilcawley Center in the Chestnut Room.

The sorority will celebrate its 22 founders who have maintained the organization’s “journey into service, scholarship and sisterhood.”

The national Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was founded Jan. 13, 1913, by 22 collegiate women at Howard University in Washington, D.C., to promote academic excellence and provide assistance to those in need.

According to its website, the local sorority’s Youngstown Delta Lambda Chapter was chartered May 19, 1951.

DST members continue to dedicate themselves to what they call their Five Point Programmatic Thrust – education, health, economics, international and political awareness.

The sorority also wants to empower young women to be successful in any field they desire, mentor and lead youths in service to their community, and cultivate an atmosphere where young girls can enhance their self-image and practice positive attitudes and self-confidence.

Smith, who was elected national president in 2017 by a unanimous vote, has an extensive history of serving the sorority on local, regional and national levels.

According to her biography, she has served on and chaired numerous committees nationally along with being certified as a Delta Internal Development and Membership Intake trainer.

She also served as a committee chairwoman on several Southern Region leadership teams, served on the 2000-2004 National Executive Board as chairwoman of the Long Range Planning Task Force, and was the coordinator for the 2002 national convention in Atlanta, one of the largest, most profitable conventions in Delta’s history.

Most recently, Smith served as the national first vice president and chairwoman of the National Scholarship and Standards Committee (2013-2017), as well as national secretary during the 2008-2013 administration.

Her vision for DST is of a sisterhood that actualizes the mantra “joy in our sisterhood ... power in our voice ... service in our heart.”

“All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine,” she said.

Smith was initiated into the sorority through the Epsilon Omicron Chapter at Bowling Green State University in October 1967 and has been a dedicated member of the sisterhood for more than 50 years.

She is a member of the Delta’s Marietta-Roswell, Ga., Alumnae chapter, where she has been active for 30 years.

In her professional life, Smith is the assistant commissioner and Georgia’s state director for adult education and general educational development testing through the technical college system of Georgia.

Georgia’s Office of Adult Education administers the U.S. Department of Education statewide Adult Education grants, provides adult education training programs for more than 50,000 Georgia citizens and supports local literacy action groups throughout the state.

As an entrepreneur, Smith is also senior vice president of The HR Group Inc., a management-consulting firm that she has co-owned with her husband, Stephen, for 27 years.

As an educator, Smith has a master’s degree in college student personnel administration. She was a college administrator at Kent State University, Georgia State University, served as an Upward Bound program director at KSU, and she also taught high school in Ohio.

She is the recipient of many honors and awards, including receiving an Outstanding Achievement in Community Advocacy award, being listed as a NW Georgia YWCA Woman of Achievement, Who’s Who Among African Americans and Who’s Who in the Southeast.

In 2006, Smith was named a History Maker by The HistoryMakers, a national African-American historical directory.

Smith and her husband live in Marietta, Ga., and have been married 46 years. They have two married children and five grandchildren.

Tickets for the luncheon are $45 per person; table of eight is $360.

To purchase tickets, go to the sorority’s website at or contact any member of the chapter in Youngstown or Warren. You also may call 330-509-4629 for information.

Ernie Brown Jr., a regional editor at The Vindicator, writes a monthly minority-affairs column. Contact him at