The Collin County Republican Women’s Club was organized in the home of its Interim President, Gladys Harrington, on November 22, 1971 with 16 Charter Members. The Club was renamed Conner Harrington Republican Women in honor of the late Conner Harrington, who served as Plano Mayor, State Republican Executive Committeeman, and was the son of Gladys Harrington.
The Club began with night meetings to provide an opportunity for working women and women with small children to become involved in the political process in Collin County. It was soon dubbed “The Night Club”.
CHRW met at the homes of members until they moved to a permanent meeting place at Republican Headquarters. The charter members decided early on that all business would be conducted in open meetings in order to include all members in the business of the Club. Out of the membership evolved leadership in the Republican Party of Texas and TFRW, as well as local, district and statewide elected officials.
Members of CHRW have served and continued to serve in positions in both TFRW, NFRW and on SREC at the district and state level. Among those include Dixie Clem, who served as District Director, Membership Chairman for TFRW and as a member of SREC; Jody Rushton who served as VP Finance on the TFRW Board, President TFRW, was a Member at Large for NFRW, and was elected President of NFRW at the 39th Biennial Convention in Philadelphia and took office in January 2018; Jane Yancey who served on SREC; LaVeta Sealy who served on TFRW Board as VP Programs plus several appointed chairs including State Newsletter Editor for TFRW which won “Outstanding Publication” at the National level. Also Mandy Tschoepe, who served three terms on SREC; Lissa Smith, who served as District Director and Vice President of Legislation of TFRW; and Chris Gilbert, who has served as District Director for TFRW.
CHRW has won the National Federation of Republican Women Diamond Award, the TFRW John Goodwin Tower Award of Excellence, and the TFRW Campaign Activities Award. These awards symbolize political and community service at its highest level.
From a membership of sixteen to its present membership level, CHRW has taken its place as one of the most vital and energetic clubs in the State. That same vitality, congeniality and camaraderie that existed in the initial meeting continue to exemplify its ever-changing membership, blending youth and experience into a dynamic organization.