Energized by the vision of creating a service oriented organization focused on improving the quality of life through multiple facets and the power of friendship, six dreamers including Jackie Chaney, Artice Hedgemon, Shyrl Lawrence, Patricia Scott, Jean Thompson and Terri Woodson informally gathered on the evening of June 5, 1991 and conceptualized the framework of what would later develop into a dynamic assembly of women destined to create a compelling positive presence in the communities of Fort Bend County, Texas. In their conceptualization, the galvanizing six envisioned the union of a strong network of friends and acquaintances of stated commonalities, bonding under the umbrella of community service enhanced by sisterhood. For the purpose of providing organizational leadership, Artice Hedgemon and Jackie Chaney were unanimously selected to serve as president and first vice president, respectively.

Embracing the dynamics of the nineties, the Fort Bend County Chapter-Elect of The Links, Inc, previously known as the Southwestern Ladies of Equipoise emerged as a viable community service entity. The summer of 1991, the twenty-five member body, progressively evolved as a strong network of friends committed to providing services to youth, support the arts and a keen desire to augment the level of awareness of national and international trends and impact the lives of Americans of African heritage.

The twenty-five Texan women became the charter members of the Fort Bend County (TX) Links on March 2, 1996 at the 266th chapter of The Links, Inc at the Doubletree Hotel at Post Oak in Houston, TX with Algenia H. Thompson as the chartering president.  Since establishment, the chapter’s service programs have been unique, interesting and of high quality, through the use of the Umbrella approach to programming.



On March 2, 1996, the chartering of the Fort Bend County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was officiated by then National President Patricia Russell-McCloud and then Vice President and Chapter Establishment/Membership Chairperson, Barbara Simpkins at the Doubletree Hotel at Post Oak in Houston, TX. Twenty-five talented women of Fort Bend County were inducted into The Links, Inc. following an entire weekend of chartering activities. Link Edwina Higgins is recognized as a guiding light in leading the chapter towards chartering. The following ladies were the charter members of the Fort Bend County Chapter of the Links, Inc.:

Jean Thompson – Chartering President

Fheryl Prestage – Chartering First Vice President

Vernon Chambers- Chartering Second Vice President

Jeanette Anderson – Chartering Recording Secretary

Shyrl Lawrence – Chartering Financial Secretary

Gayla Jenkins- Chartering Corresponding Secretary

Margaret A. Graham- Chartering Treasurer

Jackie Chaney – Chartering Member-at-Large

Deborah Lewis – Chartering Parliamentarian

Melinda Adesemo

Wanda Alexander

Gracie Floyd

Linda Hartfield

Artice Hedgemon

Elaine Jones

Cynthia Knox

Arita Nicholas

Rose Odom

Laurena Ragland

Alberta Rencher

Cheryl Saunders

Patricia Scott

Sara Simon

Margaret Washington

Terri Woodson