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The JLC Leads


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THE JLC LEADS 2018-2019 President’s Message


2018-2018 Editor’s Note, CRIER Staff, and Leadership Team


Meet the Office Staff


JLC Leads The JLC- Who Are We?


Little Black Dress Initiative Wrap-Up


We Built This City


JLC Working Lunch


JLC Spotlight: Christine Sperow


Join the JLC


Working to Abolish Human Trafficking


JLC Promotes Voluntarism & Develops Potential of Women Meet the Council Managers


Sustainer Highlights


Active Highlights


Transfer Highlights


Provisionals Making an Impact


JLC Photo Stories


JLC Looking Forward


Annual Fund


Corporate Sponsorship


JLC School Ready Community Focus JLC in Education and Healthcare THE ASSOCIATION OF

JUNIOR LEAGUES INTERNATIONAL, INC. Women building better communities®


Promote Voluntarism. Develop Throughout the Junior League’s history our core mission has remained the same. From the day in 1901 when Mary Harriman gathered friends in New York to organize support for the settlement movement, to 1926 when 30 women founded the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) and the Junior League Baby Home, through the now dozens of local nonprofits started by the JLC -- our mission has remained unchanged. Additionally, the value of having extraordinary women leaders in the community, at the table, on the board or in the corner office has not changed. It may look different than it did in 1926, but at our core this is what the Junior League does: Promote Voluntarism. Develop Leaders. Improve Communities. As the President of the JLC, I have truly enjoyed the honor and privilege of serving our members and our community. The 2018-2019 year was another incredibly impactful year for the JLC as we completed our 93rd year of service to this community. During this League year, I am proud that among many highlights we: • Welcomed 188 new members • Launched our new School Ready community focus and kicked off new partnerships with Allegro Foundation, Baby Bundles, Charlotte Speech & Hearing Center, Digibridge, and Heart Math Tutoring • Developed a Strategic Plan which will guide and shape our impact in the coming years • Created a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to build diversity and promote inclusion within the League and, through those efforts, improve this organization • Partnered with 14 women’s organizations to host The Candidates’ Forum: A Woman’s Perspective on Issues - three opportunities for local and state candidates to share their views • Trained individuals throughout the year to be effective volunteers and civic leaders • Conducted a Branding and Communications review resulting in updated JLC Brand & Identity Standards • Hosted New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Smart at our second annual JLC Working Lunch • Hired two amazing staff members - Administrative Director Suzanne Grace and Office Manager Angela Steed • Launched a new format and location for our Lights Camera Fashion fundraiser and surpassed fundraising goals • Immunized 532 children so they could stay in school through the JLC Big Shot Saturdays project • Celebrated two successful social media campaigns: #IamtheJLC highlighting 93 different members in 93 days, and We Built this City honoring our members’ impact in Charlotte • Provided $40,639 in dental services to 60 children through the JLC Give Kids A Smile project • Surpassed participation and fundraising goals for our Little Black Dress Initiative • Converted 4 rooms in our headquarters into new meeting space • In May, we will welcome several hundred League members from across the country as we host an Association of Junior Leagues International conference To our members, thank you for your passion and dedication to our mission and our work. To our Junior League staff, thank you for your support of our members and this organization. To our community partners, thank you allowing us to partner with you in your work so we can leverage our collective impact. To our donors, thank you for your generosity and believing in our mission and our members. As we look forward, join me in welcoming our new leadership. The 2019-2020 JLC Board, led by Tricia Magee, is immensely talented, and I look forward to all our League will accomplish under their leadership.

Yours in Service,

Alicia Morris-Rudd Alicia Morris-Rudd President, 2018-2019 4

Leaders. Improve Communities. As the League year draws to a close, it’s important to pause for a moment of reflection amidst the celebration. It’s a time to take stock. What went well and what needs improvement for next year? Where did you see growth and where would you still like to go? Those of us in the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) have the benefit of two new year and end of year celebrations - one is celebrated with the world, but one is unique to the League. Take advantage of this opportunity to evaluate your personal and League goals. The JLC is a training organization dedicated to helping you meet those goals, as you make a lasting impact on the community. It’s time to celebrate all you’ve accomplished as an individual and all we’ve accomplished together as a League in 2018-2019. On June 1, it will be time to say: happy new League year!

Lisa Gaskin

Lisa Gaskin Editor, 2018-2019

X =

28,560 Volunteer hours

$24.19 per hour IRS rate

$690,866.40 Total Volunteer Impact

The CRIER Staff - Spring 2019

2018-2019 JLC Board

2018-2019 JLC Management Team

Lisa Gaskin, Editor Charlitta Hatch, Assistant Editor Maeghan Beahm, Copy Editor Tiffany Taylor, Reporter Ty Chandler, Reporter Jenifer Spencer, Photography Lead Morgan McDonald, Ad Sales

Alicia Morris-Rudd, President Tricia Magee, President-Elect Ashley Soublet, Executive Vice President Jacquie Baker, Board Secretary Katrina Whelchel, Sustaining Advisor Krystal Owens, CFO Kellie Lofton, Nominating Chair Nantasha Chryst, Member at Large Destiny Jenkins, Member at Large Elizabeth-Ann Wieber, Member at Large Jane Grosse, Member at Large Joy Patterson, Member at Large Kelly-Ann Fasano, Member at Large Toya Del Valle, Member at Large Jamie Mills, Member at Large Sherri Belfield, Member at Large

Ashley Soublet, Executive Vice President Beth Bechhold, Executive Vice President-Elect Tricia Magee, President-Elect Lisa Tomlinson, Sustaining Advisor to EVP Neddra Vallesky, Risk Manager Emily Reichs, Nominating Vice Chair Jillian Ingram, VP of Finance Claire Magee Ferguson, Communications Manager Maeghan Beahm, Asst. Communications Manager Monica Holmes, Community Impact Council (CIC) Manager Rhonda Blasingame, Asst. CIC Manager Julie Brown, Education & Training (E&T) Manager Whitney Hill, Asst. E&T Manager Helen King, Fund Development Council Manager Brittany Wright, Asst. FDC Manager Monique Perry, Human Resources (HR) Manager Jessica Dienna, Asst. HR Manager

Thank you to Kelly-Ann Fasano for creating the JLC by the Numbers infographic! A special thanks to all of our contributors who are listed at the end of each article!



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Meet the New

Administrative Director The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) is pleased to announce the hiring of Suzanne Grace as Administrative Director. Suzanne will provide professional management and continuity in the administrative operations of the JLC, including overseeing facility management, operational oversight, personnel management, and executive administrative support. She brings almost 20 years of financial accounting and Human Resources management experience to the role, previously serving as the Finance Manager for the Carolina Raptor Center. She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University. The JLC is a volunteer-led organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, to developing the potential of women and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Suzanne’s management and oversight of daily operations will allow volunteer leadership to dedicate more human and financial resources to the mission of the JLC. Her administrative support will allow for consistency in maintaining community relationships and provide a constant foundation for growth and achievement of long-term strategic goals. Suzanne is passionate about serving people, and she was excited to find an opportunity and an organization that aligned with her passion. She states, “I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to support the leadership and mission of this amazing group of women. It is truly an honor to be here.” “Suzanne has hit the ground running and has been an asset since her first day on the job!” says current JLC President Alicia Morris-Rudd. “We are thrilled to have her and look forward to our members getting to know her.” Suzanne is married to her college sweetheart, Mike Grace. They reside in the Ballantyne area and have three children – Michael (25), Heather (23), and Jack (17).

Meet the New

JLC Office Manager

Please help us welcome Angela Steed to the JLC! Angela is our new officer manager. She comes to the JLC with over 12 years of experience working as an officer manager and in additional roles in administration and customer service. We are so thrilled to add her to our team! Please stop by and welcome Angela when you are in the building.

Maeghan Beahm Maeghan joined the JLC in 2015 and currently serves as the Assistant Manager for the Communications Council. She is passionate about nonprofit and proud to be part of an organization that supports and trains women to be leaders in their community.




Little Black Dresses Make a Big Impact in the

Fight Against Poverty

Five Days. One Dress. To many this sounds undesirable and repetitive when selecting five days worth of clothing. Sadly, this is similar to the daily reality for 1.6 million North Carolinians currently living in poverty. The Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) is a campaign to raise awareness of the challenges that face women, men, and children living in poverty in North Carolina. During the week of March 4-8, 2019, LBDI participants wore the same black dress for five consecutive days to fundraise for those living in poverty and bring awareness to this issue in our community. The campaign provided a chance for both Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) members and community members to highlight the needs in Charlotte and focus on what can be done to help. During LBDI week, 193 fundraisers and five teams rallied the support of 1,870 donors to raise funds to combat poverty in the Charlotte community. The power of social media was engaged to post daily facts and statistics to demonstrate that poverty is a problem locally and within the state. Additionally, the JLC was able to highlight community partners, including the Second Harvest

Food Bank and Promising Pages, both of whom play a role in reducing poverty rates. As a bonus, the LBDI campaign came to a close on International Women’s Day, which helped emphasize the JLC mission of developing the potential of women. Throughout LBDI week, committee members engaged with participants through events and volunteer opportunities. The kickoff event held at the JLC building invited participants to come together to celebrate the start of the campaign, provided assistance with setting up the fundraising pages, and allowed an opportunity to pick up the Ask Me About My Dress button worn during the week in order to promote the cause. As a way to connect with the meaning of LBDI, participants had the opportunity to volunteer with Second Harvest Food Bank and packed 90 boxes of food for those living in poverty. By the end of the campaign, over $60,000 was raised to support the JLC mission, including their programs aimed to address the devastating effects of poverty in our community. The JLC is grateful for the support of thousands of people in this important campaign that makes a large impact on local lives!

The 2019 LBDI Committee thanks

everyone for their support!

Olivia Hubert

Aisha Thomas

Olivia is almost finished with her first active year with the JLC and is the Marketing and PR Liaison for the Fund Development Council. She is looking forward to the upcoming League year and will serve as LBDI Vice Chair!

Aisha Thomas is the owner of Aisha Thomas Events, a locally based events and destination firm. She’s been an active member of JLC Charlotte for 4 years and currently serving as the Chair of the Little Black Dress Initiative.


We Built This City Since its founding in 1926 the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) has focused on developing the potential of women through training, and encouraging women to use their knowledge and skills gained from League membership to make a lasting impact on the Charlotte community. As we think about the future leaders benefiting from these training opportunities, we are reminded of the impact of past and present League members on our beloved Queen City, and how the JLC was instrumental in preparing them to lead and improve our community.

Sharon King

The city of Charlotte, also affectionately known as the “Queen City,” has seen a lot of growth in its 250-year history. A large part of that growth in recent years is due to the many Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) women who have contributed their time and effort into making this community fit for a queen. One of these many women is JLC sustainer Sharon King, who is also the CEO and Founder of Taylor’s Tale, a small grassroots foundation dedicated to the advocacy and research of rare diseases. Taylor’s Tale is one of the world’s leading voices in the fight against rare disease, working to build a better future for one in ten Americans – and 350 million people worldwide – who suffer from one of more than 7,000 rare diseases. Sharon joined the JLC in 1986 after she and her husband relocated to Charlotte. She was looking for an opportunity to get more involved in the community, and her mother-in-law spoke highly of the great training she had received as a member of the League. During her time as an “active” member of the JLC, Sharon participated in trainings and served in various leadership roles, including President for the 1997-1998 League year. She attributes much of her professional success and the creation of Taylor’s Tale to two things she received during her time with the JLC — trainings and friendships. Many of the trainings she attended taught her lifelong skills including advocacy, goal-setting, planning, and networking, all of which she utilizes in her personal and professional life today. Sharon described the JLC trainings as a way to turn a good leader into a great leader. In 2006, when her then seven-year-old daughter Taylor was diagnosed with Batten Disease, a fatal brain disease


with no known cure, it was Sharon’s best friend from the League that helped her cope with the news. It was this friendship and others she had made in the League that helped Taylor’s Tale get its start. Sharon is a tireless advocate for others. She is an appointed member of the North Carolina Council on Rare Disease at the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, serving as an advisor on research, diagnosis, treatment, and education relating to rare diseases. She also founded the North Carolina Rare Disease Coalition as a complement to the North Carolina Advisory Council on Rare Disease. With other members of the Coalition, she is helping to ensure that rare disease is a public health priority. For a woman who lives by the quote, “a pessimist complains about the wind, an optimist expects it to change, but a realist adjusts the sails,” she truly exemplifies the JLC ideals and goals of developing women and bettering the community in which we live. Sharon is not only changing our city for the better, but also the world with each state and federal legislation she fights for to fund the research needed to find the cures of rare diseases.

Keather Cofield

Maeghan Beahm

Keather Cofield is an FSU Alum and avid college football fan living in Plaza Midwood with her fiancée, David, and their boxer, Layla. She has had the opportunity to travel the world as an Internal Audit Compliance Manager and enjoys practicing French any chance she gets.

Maeghan joined the JLC in 2015 and currently serves as the Assistant Manager for the Communications Council. She is passionate about nonprofit and proud to be part of an organization that supports and trains women to be leaders in their community.

Becky Carney

Sitting at her desk at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, State Representative Becky Carney just stopped. Not by choice. Quit isn’t a word in Carney’s vocabulary. But her body had quit on her. She had suffered cardiac death. For some the story would end there, but for Rep. Carney this was just one of many life challenges that her strong will and intense drive would power her through. “It never crossed my mind that I should step away,” Carney said. “I will keep on as long as God gives me the strength and the directive to do it; I’ll keep going,” she declared. And she did. Not long after this 2009 incident, Carney returned to working for the people of Mecklenburg County as the Representative for North Carolina’s 102nd House District with the help of a pacemaker. a“I’m still here. I’ve got work to do,” she asserted. Carney’s political career could be described as the byproduct of her desire to serve and her ability to dream. As a young girl in a modest duplex in Raleigh, her imagination allowed her to see greater possibilities. “As a child, I played out in our backyard,” she recalled. “My girlfriend and I would go back there and sweep the dirt and we would make rooms,” Carney explained. “We’d take string and map out rooms and say this is the living room. We would dream that it was a castle...we weren’t not grateful. But as a kid you dream and I know that propelled me, I could be more and I never have stopped,” Carney stated. Carney moved to East Tennessee after high school and began volunteering with the Girls Club of America. Her service caught the attention of members of the Border Guild and they invited her to join. The Border Guild eventually became an affiliate of the Junior League. This membership would support Carney when she returned to North Carolina. “I’ve moved several times,” she explained. “You don’t sit at home, you go out and get involved in your community, it doesn’t always come to you.” Carney became active in the Junior League of Raleigh. She created her own placement with the Girls Club of America and her efforts were instrumental in merging of the Boys and Girls Clubs. “I’m extremely proud of that,” she beamed. “It was through the League that I was able to have that focus on girls brought to the forefront.” By the time Carney moved to Charlotte in the 1990s, she had gained substantial training through the League and clocked hundreds of volunteer hours. She transferred into the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) as a sustainer. Carney became PTO president at South Charlotte Middle School, where her daughter and JLC member, Monica Carney, was a student. However, she quickly became dismayed by the building conditions and concerned by district wide inequities. “I said, ‘look we need to bring the PTO presidents together, let’s just invite all of them in Mecklenburg County together for a meeting and invite Dr. Murphy,’ who was the Superintendent,” she recalled. Carney’s efforts resulted in a packed auditorium at Providence High School and a united force of parents who wanted Charlotte-

Mecklenburg School officials to hear their concerns. “Sunday morning there was a front page article: parents organize around bonds, and there I was on the front page of the Charlotte Observer,” she said. “Never in my life had I been involved that way.” Carney’s organizing led to a run for the CharlotteMecklenburg School Board in 1995. Her run was unsuccessful, but Democratic party leaders were impressed by the newcomer’s showing. She was encouraged to run again, this time for the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. Months after her school board defeat, Carney was a County Commissioner At Large. She served until 2002, when she was elected to the State House of Representatives. “Politics is about leadership, but it’s also about organizing and knowing your community,” she explained. “And I already had all that training prior to ever stepping out there, saying yeah I’ll run for school board,” Carney reflected. “Through the League we had incredible training.” Education has remained Carney’s focus in Raleigh. She has pushed for legislation that supports greater access to the arts. “The arts are the basic core of our humanity in my opinion and every child in North Carolina should have that exposure,” she said. “I’ve been a part of expanding and making recurring dollars for arts programs in the state. I’ve done that; I’m proud of that.” However, in Raleigh, turning your ideas into a reality isn’t easy. Carney has sponsored bills to require art education in North Carolina schools four times. She is hopeful it will become law this legislative session, but she hasn’t been discouraged by these setbacks. Carney has had several of her own since that day her heart stopped in her office back in 2009. “I died twice, literally, and I bounced back,” Carney proclaimed. In 2015, Carney’s pacemaker defibrillator kicked in and restarted her heart. Her doctors decided to do open heart surgery and place a Left Ventricular Assist Device or LVAD in her chest. “It’s a heart pump,” she explains. “There is a drive line that comes out of my side literally and it attaches to a backpack that I wear. Every day I get up and hook up to my battery pack that I wear and at night I hook up to my electrical wall unit. So I’m always powered up,” Carney revealed. In 2018, another health scare. This time it was stage two breast cancer. “We’ve conquered it,” Carney declared. “Cancer-free now and I never quit. I never gave up because I have a very strong faith and it has gotten me through my entire life,” she said. “Do I take time off, yes. Do I step back, yes. Do I quit, no,” she proclaimed.

Ty Chandler Ty Chandler is an Emmy Award winning journalist and aspiring filmmaker. A Brooklyn girl with Southern roots, she has fallen in love with Charlotte and is excited about getting to know her new adopted home.


Carrie Cook

On her journey of empowerment and her mission to amplify women and their stories, Carrie Cook has built a career supporting the women around her, while building one of Charlotte’s most impressive resumes. Carrie previously worked for the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, as the VP of Talent Development and Economic Growth. While at the Chamber, she helped lead the campaign to pass the largest school bond in Mecklenburg County history – a nearly billion-dollar campaign for 29 high-need public school projects. It was during this time that she founded EmpowHERment, an organization “committed to empowering girls and women to be leaders through mentorship, talent development and advocacy.” Cook began a movement in her hometown of Charlotte that has helped over 1,300 girls with EmpowHERment’s leadership academy, mentoring program and annual summit since its inception. While building this non-profit, she joined the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC), a natural fit in her journey. From there, Cook has moved on to become the founding Executive Director of the GreenLight Fund of Charlotte, while still holding a board seat with EmpowHERment, and expanding her roles within the JLC. This impressive career has held true to what Cook acknowledges as her personal philosophy -- “One of the big things that’s important to me is to amplify the voices of other women and to lift up and highlight our work and support network - true to the spirit of advocacy and amplification that I really believe in, and make my personal philosophy.” As a native Charlottean, Cook began her career by filling a void she could feel first-hand. It was a natural progression into a movement that has made a powerful impact on our city. Cook recounts the development of EmpowHERment saying, “It was very organic; there wasn’t an intent to start a non-profit organization. The only intent was to do more for girls in my community, because I’m from this community and a lot of the programs that existed when I went to elementary, middle and high school are defunded or no longer exist. There was a huge need, especially with the emerging presence of technology, where girls are looking to connect and are influenced in so many different ways.” Cook notes girls and women might have been connected through social media, but they were missing the opportunity to connect to someone sitting right next to them in their own community. “The goal was to figure out a way to bring girls and women together for more intentional relationship building, product development, and cultivating of our voices.” These connections allow the girls “to be in control of what we want the next generation of leadership to look like in our city,” Cook emphasizes. Cook joined the JLC in 2015. She found herself drawn to the League for some of the same reasons that she started EmpowHERment, explaining, “Building and connecting women to realize their full potential in Charlotte attracted me to membership, but I also wanted to get connected to other women leaders who are on that journey and who are really passionate about being a force for good in the Charlotte community.” As a member of the JLC, Cook has held a variety of positions, including writing for The CRIER. She describes how the role of reporter fit with her personal philosophy of amplifying voices of other women by having the opportunity to highlight the stories of women around the League. After several years on the Public Policy Institute committee, Cook became the

Chair, utilizing her legislative and advocacy perspective from her experience in policy and politics. She describes the JLC as a force for good in the Charlotte community, saying, “The League offers a chance to learn more about what’s happening, not only from a nonprofit perspective, but also what’s happening with the state of affairs with women.” She goes on to explain, “It’s really a stepping stone into whatever you need it to be for your own personal journey as a woman, whether it’s a combination of social and/or civic and/or professional development, I think it [JLC] provides an opportunity for all of those things.” As an established JLC member, Cook founded the Charlotte branch of the GreenLight Fund, a national fund network. She launched the $3.5 million fund at the end of 2017 as Executive Director. This work intersects with policy, but is more focused on community investments for low income children. Cook’s philosophy as a leader allowed her to move on to launch this new project, while remaining an active member of the EmpowHERment Board. “The important thing to note is that you can build things and do things, but as an effective leader you don’t have to hold onto it forever. You can still be involved, but the whole goal is to groom a team of other amazing women leaders and girls who can continue building a legacy,” Cook says. “We have an amazing team of people who put in so many years and work to build EmpowHERment so that it’s a sustainable organization for girls and women in this community for years to come.” Cook has been recognized for her hard work: in 2011 Carrie received the Young Public Administrator of the Year Award from the National Forum of Black Public Administrators, and in 2012 she was selected as one of nine leaders under 30 in Charlotte for the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community. Carrie was also recognized as the 2013 Emerging Leader Woman of Achievement by the YWCA Central Carolinas for her commitment to empowering women, eliminating racism and promoting social justice. The United Negro College Fund recognized Carrie with their inaugural Maya Angelou Young Leader Award in 2016 and in 2018 she received the Woman of the Year Award from the Mecklenburg Times. Accolades aside, Cook reflects on the role of the JLC over her career. “The [JLC’s] impact on the ability to serve is really about amplification. I’ve met so many women that otherwise I may not have crossed paths with outside of the League, and we have formed relationships that have been able to amplify our work, whether it’s with empowering girls and supporting their leadership development, or arts & community, or human trafficking or culture, fashion, you name it...finding women who are passionate about different things in our community and then being able to amplify their work and connect them with other resources and leverage those resources and connections for greater impact - that’s probably been the greatest reward of everything.”

Jenifer Spencer 12

Jenifer Spencer is a first year active member of the JLC, acting as Photography Committee Chair. She relocated from New York City in 2016 and continues her professional work as an Editorial Operations Manager at Condé Nast.

Dr. Jonnie McLeod

Many words have been used to describe Dr. Jonnie McLeod, including pioneer, social activist, groundbreaking, and inspiring. Her legacy can be summed up in one word: extraordinary. The city of Charlotte has been changed by her dedication to the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) mission to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community. Her list of accomplishments reads like a collection of goals made by an organization. It’s amazing to consider the impact made by this one vibrant woman. Her accolades and achievements include: WBT Woman of the Year; an honorary degree from Davidson College; founding Open House, which later became the McLeod Addictive Disease Center; starting the Charlotte Drug Education Center; serving several governors on the NC Drug Commission; and serving on the faculty of UNC Charlotte. The McLeod Institute in the Department of Counseling at UNC Charlotte offers hands-on training related to substance abuse training, one of Dr. McLeod’s passions. Inspired by following her father around his medical practice throughout her childhood in Mississippi, Jonnie McLeod embodied the slogan JLC Leads by attending Tulane University and becoming a pediatrician at a time when it was rare for women to enter the field. Assisting in delivering a baby at age 13 cemented her career choice. Growing up with a sociallyconscious mother made her certain that the title of doctor carried a civic duty that paired well with her natural compassion. In 1953, Dr. Jonnie McLeod and her husband, a fellow physician, moved to Charlotte and began to change the landscape of the community. Jumping right in to service by joining the JLC and taking prominent roles in several other organizations, Jonnie was groundbreaking in her leadership and impact in pediatrics, sex education, AIDS prevention, drug prevention, and substance abuse treatment. She was forward-thinking, willing to go to the streets to meet the needs of the community and advocating for individuals, as well as the public. Especially determined to reach young people, she sought to impart values, principles, and self-

esteem as a means to help them strive for a better life. She treated everyone with equal respect, from the individuals she assisted at the substance abuse treatment center to the state officials she met with while serving on a commission. In September of 1971, Dr. McLeod started the Charlotte Drug Education Center, a revolutionary organization that sought to employ science-based research, education and community outreach in proactive – rather than reactive – approaches to the substance abuse epidemic. Dr. McLeod’s vision for the Drug Education Center was bolstered by a $25,000 grant from the Junior League of Charlotte – funds that were instrumental in ensuring the Center could grow its mission. The Charlotte Drug Education Center was renamed the Center for Prevention Services in 2011 and still carries on Dr. McLeod’s remarkable legacy today. Her strong foundation of faith sustained her while she gave to others. She found the need to list her priorities in order to protect her time and define her goals. When she sat down to write her priorities, she also wrote what would become her legacy. Dr. Jonnie McLeod used her life “to help the needy, the lonely, empty rich, those who do not know how to use their own talents, change policies or laws, influence people in power for the good of the majority, or simply perhaps elevate us into more God-like humanity.1” __________________________________________________________ 1 Mccaskill, D., Matkins, P., Schwartz, B., Francis, V., & Harrill, H. (n.d.). View Jonnie McLeod’s Obituary on Charlotte.com and share memories. Retrieved from https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charlotte/obituary. aspx?n=jonnie-horn-mcleod&pid=152663531&fhid=4156

Lisa Gaskin Lisa Gaskin served as the Editor of The CRIER this year. When not creating magazines to showcase the amazing women of the JLC, Lisa can be found enjoying coffee with friends.


Working to Improve the Community

The day began with an exclusive VIP event, that included a private meet-and-greet with Smart along with a signed copy of Where’s There’s Hope. VIP guests reported they were thrilled to meet and have pictures taken with the passionate child safety advocate. “We were honored to host Elizabeth here in the Queen City. The Junior League of Charlotte has long-advocated for child safety, and Elizabeth’s inspiring message aligns perfectly with our mission and our work, “ says JLC President Alicia Morris-Rudd.

The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) hosted the second annual JLC Working Lunch on April 29, 2019 at downtown’s Le Meridien hotel. Author, speaker, and child abduction survivor, Elizabeth Smart, served as this year’s keynote speaker. The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Smart was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Smart was safely returned back to her family on March 12, 2003, after being held a prisoner for nine grueling months. Through this traumatic experience, Smart has become a leading advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs, and national legislation. Smart has helped promote the National AMBER Alert, the Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions. She is also a New York Times best-selling author and the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.


With luncheon noises in the background, Morris-Rudd greeted the excited crowd and provided an overview of the JLC. Event chair Lisa Bartzel introduced Elizabeth Smart who then took the stage and delivered a powerful message on on what it takes to overcome trauma and reclaim one’s life. Elizabeth emphasized that everyone’s story includes challenges and heartache but ones past does not prevent ones future happiness. She credits her mom for helping her come to the realization that although her abductors are wicked and evil and stole nine months of her life “the best punishment you can give them is to move forward with your life and do all of the things you want to do and be happy. ” The audience was visibly moved by her honest, gripping account. This final message was met with a standing ovation: “My belief in society gives me hope -- that there are more good people than bad. Every single one of us can make a difference and make an impact. The day I was rescued three different individuals called the police within five minutes

of each other which is what led to my rescue… one person can change a life. So never give up, no matter how hard the struggle or how hard times get. And know that one person can make a difference.” The JLC Working Lunch committee worked on this event since last spring to ensure the success of this fundraiser. Additionally, new members helped greet guests and several JLC community committees created the School Ready community focus centerpieces to decorate the banquet hall. One committee member said, “You could feel the energy in the room -- the excitement of seeing all of our hard work come together in the planning to execution.” The JLC Working Lunch was supported by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), who provided security for Smart, and was on hand to offer safety information to interested attendees. Officer R.A. Hough said, “This was a great event to support. It’s our first time representing the CMPD at the JLC Working Lunch and we are proud to partner with the Junior League. We look forward to many more.” The JLC Working Lunch Chair, Lisa Bartyzel, was thrilled with the event. She summed it up best: “Today was a great day for our community. The Le Méridien staff was wonderful. Several JLC committees came together to ensure that today’s event was a success. Elizabeth Smart’s presentation was uplifting and inspiring, and we raised close to $40,000 to support our community impact and leadership training opportunities for our members. I hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. ” The JLC Working Lunch is an annual spring fundraising event for the JLC. We hope to see you next year!

Ariel Marshall Ariel Marshall is a second year active member originally from Orange County. She now calls Charlotte her home, along with her new baby boy Grant, husband John, and two cats named Lucky and Charm.


JLC Spotlight:

A Newsmaker Balancing the JLC Legacy of Service Christine started her Junior League career in Texas. After moving to Charlotte she decided to continue her membership and transfer to the local chapter, where she has been heavily involved for the past ten years. She has served in various roles including Communications Manager on the Management Team; Vice Chair for Marketing and PR; and member of the Nominating, Membership Meeting, and Speakers Bureau committees. She has also been both the Assistant Editor and Editor for The CRIER. After serving ten years as an active member of the JLC, Christine continued her dedication to the organization as she transitioned to her role as a sustaining member. Currently, Christine is still serving in a leadership role as the Sustaining Advisor to the Communications Council.

When one thinks about of the women involved in The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC), the words active, busy, compassionate, and dedicated may be some of the first to come to mind when describing any one of our amazing members. There is no difference when choosing words to describe JLC sustaining member Christine Nelson Sperow. This is evident by the fact that her day begins while most of us are turning over in bed and starting a new dream. Because of her job as a news anchor for WBTV, her day starts around 2 a.m. and she is on air by 4:30 a.m., prepping Charlotte for the day ahead. As if that early morning start time isn’t enough to make you need a nap, she still finds time for her community, friends, and family — she has two children, ages eight and nine, to keep her on her toes! What about fun? Christine shared that she has been experimenting with her makeup lately, particularly at Sephora. “As a woman of color, I am excited that more cosmetic lines are expanding their formulas and lines to accommodate a variety of shades. As a result, I am having more fun.” Her early morning makeup routine includes primer, foundation, concealer, bake/setting powder, serums, shadows, and setting spray. She ends each day with makeup remover wipes, cleansing, and moisturizing.

Christine says she was drawn to the JLC “because of the history of making a difference in the community…I wanted to be a part of continuing that legacy and admire the leadership qualities of the women in the JLC.” Her League membership not only influences her personal life, but professionally as well. She attributes the training opportunities available through the JLC to helping better her organizational skills, which have helped her when managing people, problem solving, and creating short and long-term goals. Her professional accolades exemplify these skills, as well as her commitment to community involvement. She is a distinguished news anchor having the privilege of interviewing some names you may recognize, like former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush. She also won an Emmy for her work around organ donation. Outside of the JLC, she is involved in the March of Dimes, The Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and the National Association of Black Journalists. These are all testaments to her active involvement in the community. One might think from the long list of leadership roles and professional accolades that leadership is something that comes naturally to her. However, when she began her first leadership role in the JLC in 2011, she constantly questioned if she was ready. But without that first step, she never would have known her full potential for leadership, and she has never looked back. Her confidence in how to be an effective leader developed, improving all aspects of

Christine ´s secret tip: Setting spray is a game changer, since her whole day requires her to have her game face on! 16

her life. She feels the JLC “really is in tune with how women are evolving and finding a voice and place at the table.” The trainings and workshops offered by the JLC are one of the things she thinks attracts women to become members, and the opportunity to apply their experience in the community is what makes them stay. The biggest lesson she learned from being a member of the JLC is that “No one is going to allow you to fail.” Through all of her professional accolades and community leadership roles, Christine still remains humble and wants everyone to know that she hasn’t arrived. Whether it’s in her career or personal faith, she always wants to continue learning and remain teachable. So how does she balance it all? Christine laughed and with a smile says, “Balance - some days are easier to balance than others. I try not to get on myself if there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Now that my children are getting older - okay they’re only nine and eight years old - but old enough to have some tasks delegated to them especially around the house. So I have been exercising that option as of late.” Her motivation to continue striving to do her best at home, work, and in the community comes from the quote - “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” It gives her the extra push she needs to keep going, and we are glad she chooses to include the Junior League of Charlotte in that balance.

Fast 5 Questions:

College Football or College Basketball I went to college in Georgia, so college football! College basketball (a very, very close) second.

Cloth Diapers or Pampers When my kids were babies - Pampers!

Make-up or Accessories Makeup - with a 2 am wake-up call, I need to conceal early and often.

Regular Bacon or Turkey Bacon What’s turkey bacon??

Yoga pants or Formal Gown Does a formal gown with yoga pants underneath count? Love both!

Mercedes Williams

Charlitta Hatch

Originally from Illinois, Mercedes currently resides in Charlotte with her husband and new daughter. Service and volunteering are values that span generations in her family, which led her to join the JLC.

Charlitta Hatch, a native Charlottean and Asst. Editor of The CRIER, is a Principal Consultant at Slalom and the founder of the Me3 Project, LLC and the author of Black Boy Joy. She is married to her high school sweet heart, Mark and together they have a toddler son, Mark III.


Working to Abolish Human Trafficking The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) is joining forces with The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) to continue its mission to abolish human trafficking through awareness, education, and action. By legal definition, human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of either a commercial sexual act or labor services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion. Human trafficking occurs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. North Carolina continues to rank in the nation’s top 10 states for human trafficking, with Charlotte being the largest hub of human trafficking activity in the state, based on calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. In the fall edition of The CRIER, we highlighted the direct contributions of the JLC to combat human trafficking. Since 2012, the JLC’s efforts have efforts resulted in the passage of three state bills, which led to the formation of the Human Trafficking Commission. During “National Human Trafficking Awareness Month” in January, the League provided an expert-led awareness training for members and the public on the persistent human trafficking problem in Charlotte. This training served as a moral call to action and a reminder of the work that is necessary year-round to tackle this issue. Many members said the training was eye-opening. “I was in disbelief to learn that oftentimes human trafficking victims are between the ages of 13 and 17 and the fact that it can take at least seven tries for victims to leave their abuser,” said Advocacy & Public Awareness Committee Chair Alex Garcia. She added, “Kristen Windley organized the panel of speakers by using her connections and great relationships with community organizations and law enforcement in Charlotte to create an opportunity for honest dialogue with human trafficking experts.” Garcia went on to emphasize how crucial it is to know how to recognize what signs to look for with human trafficking cases: “When you know better, you can do better,” she said. “ To-date, 50-plus Junior Leagues have joined the fight against human trafficking. League coalitions have worked to pass more than 25 different pieces of anti-trafficking legislation, primarily at the state and local level.” The vision of this movement is to bring an end to human trafficking through awareness, education, prevention, and legislative advocacy. The media and community partners are helping AJLI spread the message. The ABOLISH Movement grew out of a marketing campaign created by the Junior League of Tampa in 2014 to address the problem of child sex slavery in the Tampa bay area - a main point of entry and passage for human trafficking victims. The ABOLISH Movement focuses on sex trafficking, and specifically the commercial sexual exploitation of children, or child sex slavery. AJLI adopted ABOLISH as an association-wide initiative in 2017. You will soon start seeing ABOLISH billboards across the country and, eventually, on a global scale. Billboards include information on ways human trafficking victims and survivors can access help. They will also inform community members about indicators, red flags and warning signs related to this human trafficking.


More information about this movement can be found at www.abolishmovement.org and you can follow @ABOLISHMovement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To learn about the JLC’s involvement, please contact the JLC’s Advocacy and Public Awareness Committee.

Tiffany Taylor 1


Tiffany loves God, her family, and actively serving the Charlotte community as a member of the JLC. She has served as a reporter for The CRIER this year.


Meet the Council Managers Management Team is made up of women who are committed to the mission and vision of the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC). This article highlights five Council Managers who are responsible for teams that run the day-to-day operations of the organization.

Claire Maagee Ferguson Communications Council Manager It was through social media site Linkedin that Claire Magee Ferguson first stumbled across the JLC. So it is fitting that Ferguson, Assistant General Counsel for a major media group, would find her way to top of the Communications Council. “Any time the League makes a statement, no matter how small it may seem -- it has to go through our team,” said Ferguson. That means every post on Facebook and Instagram, emails from the President, this issue of The CRIER, even notices for snow days, all go through Claire Magee Ferguson. “To some degree, it’s making sure all those trains run on time,” she explained.

Why She Leads…“I started as copy-editor for The CRIER,” she said. “I attribute all of my growth in the JLC to the women who have been around me and lifted me up in that way,” Ferguson explained. “I was asked to be the Communications Council Assistant Manager and I probably should’ve given it more thought than I did,” she recalled, laughing. “But I just immediately said yes because I knew that the women I would be working with were incredible, and could help me fill in the many learning gaps I saw ahead of me,” she continued. What She’s Proud Of…Ferguson led two major campaigns

this year: Diversity and Inclusion and We Built This City. Both campaigns highlighted the talents and accomplishments of women in the JLC. “I think the number one thing that the League produces is trained, driven women,” Ferguson asserted. “So our ‘product’ is the many successes of our members. The more we can tell that story - of who these women are and what it is they’re doing - I think that is really compelling,” she explained.

Monique Perry Human Resources Council Manager “When I joined, I didn’t really know what to expect. And I really didn’t think I would get out of the Junior League what I have,” said Perry. Now it is Monique Perry’s job to make sure members get as much out of the JLC as possible. “I have the responsibility of making sure I’m keeping my finger on the pulse of members’ engagement and feedback, so I can make sure I’m representing that when I’m sitting on the Management Team,” Perry explained.

What She’s Proud Of…Perry leads a large division at a community college, so she knows about managing people. However, she says this role has stretched her a bit. “A lot of times when you’re leading a large organization, you may know the mission but you have to work a little bit harder to make sure people are connected to that purpose,” she said. Keeping members connected to the JLC is her priority, so she rolled out several initiatives with that in mind. “A lot of our work over the last couple of years has really been focusing on a very strong onboarding experience,” Perry explained. “We worked over the past year to implement a placement catalogue...while we publish information on the website, we created a document where members can thumb through,” she continued. Perry says a sponsor brochure has also been helpful in allowing prospective members establish connections with potential sponsors.

What Moves Her...Perry is in her tenth year in the JLC. She credits one of her early placements at the JLC WearHouse for solidifying her connection to the League. “I remember working at the WearHouse and people were coming in that were just getting back into the workforce,” Perry recalled. “Now we’ve moved away from that model because thrifting is a lot more common, but that’s one of my favorite memories, because I saw people in the community who were benefiting from what we were doing,” she contended.

Helen King Fund Development Council Manager “I’ve gone from being the vice chair of a committee to council manager in the course of about nine months. That was quite an unanticipated change,” said King. Helen King has held many leadership roles in her 14 years with the JLC. However, the political science professor didn’t venture too far away from her government roots. Then the Fund Development Council Manager resigned and King couldn’t refuse the call to serve. “It’s definitely stretched me a in a lot of ways, fund development is not something I’ve ever been a part of outside the League,” King explains.


What She Does...“The Fund Development Council is responsible for all the fundraising efforts of the Junior League,” she said. Lights Camera Fashion!, The JLC Working Lunch, and the Little Black Dress Initiative are some of the Fund Development Council’s major programs. “It’s always fun to give away money,” King proclaimed. “Especially when you know it’s going to be impactful to our community,” she said. “The more money we raise, the more money we can contribute to our mission; that’s really exciting,” King beamed.

What Moves Her…“There have been so many things,” she reflected. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer about two years ago and had to go through chemo, double mastectomy, and all those things,” King explained. “ I showed up to a board meeting and when I walked in everyone had on pink t-shirts that said Team Helen and it was just -- I’m rarely speechless, but I was kind of stunned,” King revealed. “You make good friends and are surrounded by really wonderful women,” she declared.

Julie Brown Education and Training Council Manager An educator leading the Education and Training Council seems like a perfect fit, but teaching is not what drew Julie Brown to this role.

Monica Carney Holmes Community Impact Council Manager “I had pretty much done everything you can do in the Community Impact Council CIC) once, maybe twice without having actually been CIC Manager,” said Holmes.

“I love education, but more than that I love empowering women and the Education and Training Council has the ability to do this more than any other council in the JLC,” Brown declared.

What She’s Proud Of…“When I give --

After 11 years, the time had come for Monica Holmes to lead the Community Impact Council. “Honestly, this is my last year as an active, so I really thought this would be a fun challenge for my last active year,” she said.

when I decide I’m going to do something -- I give 100 percent,” Brown declared. “I love the Junior League of Charlotte,” she beamed.

What She Does…Holmes oversees community volunteers and also

Under Brown’s leadership, four of the seven committees under the Education and Training Council have been revamped. She believes these changes will lead to more effective training for JLC members.

manages relationships with the non-profits and community organizations supported by the JLC. The JLC’s signature community projects including Big Shot Saturdays, Kids in the Kitchen, and Give Kids a Smile also fall under her leadership.

“Get on Board is becoming a stronger program this year. And the mentor program, because of the changes we have implemented this year, will be amazing next year,” she explained. The Leadership Development Support Trainings have increased from two to four. The Council also created a one day training in May that allowed members to take advantage of any opportunities they may have missed throughout the year.

What Moves Her…“I think that I just love people,” she proclaimed.

“This year we had five new community partners, which is the most the League has had in ten or eleven years,” she raved. “We hosted a placement fair so people can learn about all of our different community partnerships,” Holmes said. “That is something we did a long time ago, but we haven’t done in quite a while, so I’m really excited about bringing that back,” she continued.

Why She Leads…“I actually came to it a little bit reluctantly,” confessed Holmes. “I’ve always had a community-focused placement. I started with the Junior League Puppets committee which would perform the healthy food choices puppet show at schools and festivals about 11 years ago,” she recalled.

“And I just love to see women be all they can be,” Brown said. Brown experienced health issues which forced her to resign from a Texas League in 2000. Five years ago when she relocated to Charlotte, she decided to join the JLC. Brown still faces the daily challenges that come with living with multiple sclerosis. She is a quadriplegic and also recently battled breast cancer. Brown hasn’t let anything stand in her way and she took on greater responsibilities as the Education and Training Council Manager and look forward to serving on the Board of Directors next year. “It’s just a matter of who I am, to serve and to love others,” she said. “The diseases I’ve had to deal with just have never defined me,” Brown asserted. “You are surrounded by women who will do their best to make sure you succeed. There’s no failing in these positions because of those surrounding you,” she explained.

Holmes served as Vice Chair and Chair of that committee. She went on to lead the Project Development and Evaluation Committee. Last year, she stepped into the newly created Assistant Community Impact Council Manager position. “I was encouraged to do that and I was given a good opportunity to get my feet wet and grow into role of CIC Manager,” she said. “It was the first time I ever thought about doing CIC Manager,” Holmes admitted. The reluctant leader says the positions she has held in the JLC will have a lasting effect. “I don’t know if I could really put into words the positive impact it’s had on my career, my life as a mom, my life as a wife. I feel like it really lifts me up sometimes,” Holmes said.

Ty Chandler Ty Chandler is an Emmy Award winning journalist and aspiring filmmaker. A Brooklyn girl with Southern roots, she has fallen in love with Charlotte and is excited about getting to know her new adopted home.


Thank you to the JLC Legacy Foundation The JLC Legacy Foundation is a critical part of the JLC’s ability to sustain financial giving to community and special program needs. Active members and sustainer trustees are appointed to sit on the Foundation Board and have a critical role in managing the health of the current endowment funds, as well ensuring the long-term strategy and growth of these dollars to support the JLC.


Never Too Late to Be Involved...Again! As an actively engaged member, the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) can be a big part of a member’s life. Members must juggle League commitments with work and family responsibilities. Along the way, members form lifelong friendships and support system. After ten years at the active level, members can choose to sustain. This brings fewer monthly membership requirements and meetings. Becoming a Sustainer, a JLC member who typically isn’t as involved as active members, would never affect friendships made or one’s connection to the JLC, right? Unfortunately, Sustainer President Lisa Tomlinson says this happened to her and it happens all too often. As a result, Tomlinson has made it her mission to keep members connected to the JLC. “For years I just paid the dues to stay a member,” Tomlinson said. “Then somebody called me last year and asked me if I would serve on the Sustainer Board,” she recalled. “I got reacquainted and back in the action of Junior League,” Tomlinson explained. “It’s nice to reconnect with your buddies,” she beamed. Tomlinson was then asked to serve as the Sustainer President and Sustaining Advisor to the Executive Vice President. Her increasing roles and responsibilities resulted in a major shift in her League involvement. For years she hadn’t done much more than pay her dues and attend the annual Sustainer cocktail party but now she’s back involved and loving it! Tomlinson says it is never too late to be involved with the JLC.

“It’s easy to fall away from seeing that group of friends you used to volunteer with,” she explained. “So to come back as a Sustainer and be involved again, you are reconnecting, that’s the biggest thing,” Tomlinson asserted. There are many ways to reconnect. Sustainer events this year include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Trip to the Biltmore Light Rail Trip to UNCC with Guided Tour by the Chancellor Wine and Cheese Evenings Book Club (currently at capacity, with a second Book Club in development) Sustainer Lunch in November Duke Mansion Cooking Demonstration and Tour Emeritus Tea for Sustainers over age 80 Annual Cocktail Party Annual November Lunch “Clean House” in January Transfers Monthly Gatherings “Sassy Sustainers” Monthly Socials Edenton Historic Home and Garden Tour (May 2019) Monthly Bridge and Mahjong Clubs

“We’re doing things together like book clubs, bridge clubs, some service work, but mostly learning and being together,” Tomlinson explained. She says 65 women attended the Wine and Cheese Event and 100 showed up for this year’s annual Sustainer luncheon in November. Tomlinson says new social events like Bunco Day and Lunch & Learns where women are taught skills like landscape design have been a hit. A record number of Sustainers participated in this year’s Little Black Dress Initiative and even won this year’s team challenge! “Last year our focus was getting Sustainers back who were in their fifties and sixties - who had sustained a long time ago - and to have them come back,” she said. “You can be as busy as you want to be. You can go to lots of activities that are offered or you can go to just one or two things a year,” she said. What’s next? There is a great trip to New York City in the works and Sustainers are again supporting this year’s JLC Working Lunch. Be on the lookout for more outreach days and evening events in the coming year!

Ty Chandler Ty Chandler is an Emmy Award winning journalist and aspiring filmmaker. A Brooklyn girl with Southern roots, she has fallen in love with Charlotte and is excited about getting to know her new adopted home.


Leaders Across the League The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) relies on active members to help run the nonprofit and change the local community through hours dedicated to voluntarism. Taking the lead across the League, these members represent a few of the women who are dedicated to making a difference.

Arlena Hawthorne What is your current placement?

Training and Development, planning committee member

How long have you been part of the Junior League?

Three years

What has been your favorite placement? Why? My favorite placement was EmpowHERment. It was an awesome to be part of a team that focused on empowering a network of girls and women to be leaders in their schools and the community. The program consisted of monthly events that centered around mentorship, advocacy, and talent development. My favorite event was the healthy living session “How to be a Boss in the Kitchen” where we partnered with Johnson & Wales University.

Tamara Harrison What is your current placement?

Digi-Bridge, committee member

How long have you been part of the Junior League?

Two years

What is your best JLC memory? I love meeting new League members and learning why they have joined the League. I get to learn something new and find out we have very similar reasons for joining -networking and making a difference in the local community. What drew you to the Junior League of Charlotte? The opportunity for professional and personal development. I was also drawn to having a direct impact in the community.

Shavon Sanders What is your current placement?

Project Development and Evaluation, committee member

How long have you been part of the Junior League?

Three years

What is your best League memory? One of my best experiences was participating in the Leadership Development Institute. I really enjoyed participating in the workshops, interacting with other members that I had not had the opportunity to engage with, and strengthening my leadership skills.

Bridget Vetter What is your current placement?

Alexander Youth Network, committee member

How long have you been part of the Junior League?

Three years

What drew you to the Junior League of Charlotte? I wanted to get involved in volunteer projects in Charlotte, but had trouble finding programs that were flexible enough to work with my job, but also had other members who were committed and consistent. I found that in the JLC. The fact that it’s a group of women empowering other women is really the cherry on top. I love the sense of sisterhood! Now that I’m more knowledgeable about what the League has accomplished in Charlotte, I’m especially proud to look around the city and see the legacy in action.

Tiffany Taylor 24

Tiffany loves God, her family, and actively serving the Charlotte community as a member of the JLC. She has served as a reporter for The CRIER this year.

The Queen City Welcomes JLC Transfers One of the many member benefits of the Junior League is the ability to transfer your membership to any one of the 292 Leagues across the country and abroad. This year Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) has members who have transferred from all across the country to find their new home in the Queen City and the JLC. Take a look!

JLC Transfer Demographics







“In my time as a Transfer, I have been able to get to know so many amazing women during the fun events our advisors planned for us throughout the Queen City. Finding a friendly face at the next GMM will be a breeze!” - Jessica Swanson “The JLC Transfer program was great! I loved being able to connect with a group of women who were new to Charlotte and had similar interests. Being paired with a Transfer Advisor who understood JLC requirements and could make connections was another awesome benefit.” - Erica Dozier

Allie Hanson Allie Hanson started in the Junior League in Louisville, Kentucky and transferred to the JLC in 2016 where she met several women who are now her closest friends in Charlotte. She enjoyed her experience so much she now serves as the Chair of the Transfer Committee. She is thankful for the leadership, training, and friendships that the JLC has provided her in this new city.


Provisionals Take Action to Make Winter Warmer for Children in Charlotte On February 9, 2019, the Junior League of Charlotte Inc. (JLC) hosted the second annual Warming Kids’ Hearts donation drive to benefit the children of The Center for Community Transitions Families Doing Time program. This year’s event took place at Brewers at 4001 Yancey. While there is often a renewed focus on helping others in the community around the holidays, the aim of Warming Kids’ Hearts is to continue that spirit of giving well into the new year. For the second year in a row, the JLC has been able to make winter warmer for children and families in the Charlotte area by collecting donations of new socks, hats, gloves, blankets, coats, and small stuffed animals. This event was planned and executed by the JLC’s 2018-2019 Provisional class, who are all in their first year in the League. A committee of fifteen provisional members organized themselves into subcommittees tasked with marketing, hospitality, and day-of logistics in order to make this event a success. They incorporated several new ideas this year including raffle prizes in which attendees received raffle tickets in exchange for their donated items. The amazing raffle prizes were sourced by the provisional members and included items like a weekend stay in Hilton Head Island, 25,000 American Airlines miles, and a date night package with restaurant gift cards and a nanny service credit! They were also able to secure the incredible private event space at one of Charlotte’s hottest new breweries, Brewers at 4001 Yancey, as donated space for our event. For entertainment, attendees were treated to live music and a slideshow showcasing the amazing work the JLC has done with the Center for Community Transitions over the past two years. To ensure that all had a great afternoon, 40 day-of volunteers were on hand to assist- and with it, a successful donation drive. Congratulations to the 2018-2019 provisional class on a very successful Warming Kids’ Hearts Donation Drive that collected nearly 800 winter items for the families of The Center for Community Transitions!


2018-2019 Warming Kids’ Hearts Planning Committee Members: Virginia Cushing

Eugenia Brown

Emma Dillman

Valerie Davis

Emily Fradley

Kerry Simmons

Brianna Buckley

Michelle Myers

Caitlin Scovanner

Kimberly Cottle

Audrey Mellert

Amanda McGahey

Kowana Ragland

Caitlin Smith

Kacie Thayer

Molly Morgan Molly Morgan currently serves as the Chair of the Membership Development Committee. This is her fourth year in the JLC and she has enjoyed meeting many inspiring women in the organization.


JLC Photo Stories

Board of Directors and Management Team meeting to develop the next strategic plan.

JLC members

Provisionals getting ready for the Charlotte area bus tour

JLC Past Presidents Luncheon 28

Charlitta Hatch, Alicia Morris-Rudd, Tricia Magee - JLC current and future presidents

JLC Leadership accepting the AJLI Marketing and Communication Award at the conference in Denver

Shannon Vandiver and Kelly-Ann Fasano Community Partner Breakfast

JLC members at Give Kids a Smile- a JLC signature community partnership

Easter crafts at the JLC hosted Easter egg hunt 29

2018-20192 Finishing Strong and Entering a New League Year Together

In January 2019, nationally-recognized speaker Vicki Clark spoke to Junior League of Charlotte, Inc., (JLC) members at the General Membership Meeting and encouraged them to continue the organization’s legacy of tackling the tough issues in our community. She emphasized the League’s strength in numbers, noting that members are not on a solo mission but instead, are part of a large organization of women on a mission together. Clark encouraged members to finish the second half of the 2018-2019 year strong. As the JLC winds down the League year and celebrates its collective impact in our community over the last twelve months, the organization is already looking ahead and working together to ensure the JLC is well-positioned as we move into a new decade – 2020.

Making an Impact Together In Our Community Continuing into the second year of our school-ready focus, the JLC will partner with nonprofits across Mecklenburg County to serve children from birth to fifth grade in specified zip codes representing some of the most vulnerable populations in our community. The JLC’s 2019-2020 community and project partners include: Alexander Youth Network

Give Kids a Smile

Allegro Foundation

Heart Math Tutoring

Baby Bundles

Kids in the Kitchen

Big Shots

Project 658

Center for Community Transitions

Promising Pages

Charlotte Speech and Hearing

Second Harvest Food Bank

Charlotte Community Services Association (new)

Sugar Creek Charter School (new)

Digi-Bridge While the JLC will continue much of the work started this year alongside multiple returning community partners, the JLC boasts two new additions to the community impact team. Charlotte Community Services Association (Charlotte CSA) focuses on “changing the lives of Charlotte area residents by providing community-based programs of excellence” in the areas of academics, social services, fine arts and health. JLC volunteers will serve as reading buddies to Charlotte CSA’s K-3rd grade after-


92019-2020 Board of Directors President

Tricia Magee


Charlitta Hatch

Chief Financial Officer

Jillian Ingram

Executive Vice President

Beth Bechhold

Board of Director (BOD) Secretary

Ashley Soublet

BOD - Nominating Chair

Emily Reichs

BOD- Member-At-Large

Lisa Tomlinson

BOD- Member-At-Large

Toya Del Valle

BOD- Member-At-Large

Kelly-Ann Fasano

BOD- Member-At-Large

Elizabeth-Ann Wieber

BOD- Member-At-Large

Julie Brown

BOD- Member-At-Large

Allyson Colaco

BOD- Member-At-Large

Krystal Owens

BOD- Member-At-Large

Amy Rhyne


Claire Magee Ferguson

Sustaining Advisor

Mary Tinkey

Management Team Executive Vice President

Beth Bechhold

Executive Vice President Elect

Jamie Mills


Charlitta Hatch

Nominating Vice Chair

Monique Perry

Vice President of Finance

Martha Bordogna

Communications Council Manager

Lisa Gaskin

Assistant Comm Council Manager

Spencer Collins

Community Impact Council Manager

Rhonda Blasingame

Assistant CIC Manager

Amber Shannon

Education & Training Council Manager

Whitney Hill

Assistant ET Manager

Nicole Smith

Fund Development Council Manager

Helen King

Assistant FDC Manager

Brittany Wright

Human Resource Council Manager

Jessica Dienna

Assistant HRC Manager

Allie Hanson

Risk Manager

Julie Spahn

Sustaining Advisor to the EVP

Shannon Vandiver

school students, many of whom are low-income and/or bilingual. Volunteers will also help plan creative projects for weekly Fun Fridays. Sugar Creek Charter School (SCCS) opened in August 1999 and aims to eradicate generational poverty by providing a college and career preparatory education from kindergarten to 12th grade. JLC volunteers will plan family enrichment events taking place when families can attend, including Saturdays and/ or evenings. In addition to partnering with these agencies, the JLC will also serve our community through programs and events planned by the Advocacy and Public Awareness committee, as well as projects coordinated by the Done in a Day committee and the newly-formed Joint Saturday Service Task Force, a team of active and sustaining members who will plan quarterly school-ready focused service opportunities for our membership.

Working Together As a Team The incoming Board of Directors and Management Team for the 2019-2020 League year are a diverse representation of our members, bringing unique talents, experiences, and perspectives to the table to guide the JLC’s strategic direction and operations into the new decade. Recognizing that teamwork is central to success, the Board of Directors’ retreat this year centered on the theme of TEAM 2020, with the TEAM representing the wellknown phrase: Together Everyone Accomplishes More.



is not just the Board and Management Team members – it also includes the JLC’s committee leaders, all League members, partners, and supporters. Stay tuned for ways to engage and join TEAM 2020 as we continue our legacy of making a difference in our community together.

Tricia Magee Tricia Magee is a native Charlottean who joined the JLC to connect with like-minded women committed to improving the community. She is a wife to Patrick, a mom to Anne Louise and Spencer, a lawyer with the federal courts, and an avid TarHeel fan.


Your Gift Matters: The JLC Annual Fund

“The Annual Fund is the engine of the Junior League. It allows us to further support local nonprofits, who in turn have a lasting impact on our community.”

Amber Wright

Planned Giving Coordinator “Every day I walk into my office building I pass the same homeless man packing up his few belongings after a night on the sidewalk bench. He has never asked me for anything, but offers a hello or good morning. How should I help him? How do we help our Charlotte neighbors less fortunate? I choose to donate to the Annual Fund because I believe that the JLC is one of Charlotte’s greatest resources where our future leaders learn how to help, and where I can find the tools to help make a difference.”

Bryson Sheetz

Annual Fund Committee Vice Chair

What is the JLC Annual Fund? The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) Annual Fund allows individuals the opportunity to support the League above and beyond membership dues to further the missions of the JLC through a charitable contribution. The Annual Fund makes our community a better place by supporting the League’s community placements, as well as meaningful training and leadership development opportunities for League members. All gifts are tax deductible and may be designated in honor or memory of someone special. A gift to the Annual Fund is a great way to say thank you, remember a loved one or to commemorate a special occasion. Your generosity will help sustain our volunteer, training, and community efforts. One person can absolutely make a difference in this League. You already make a difference with your time and talents. You can also make a difference with your gifts. It plays a vital role in the League’s ability to sustain and advance its mission as an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Each year, the JLC calls upon members in many ways financially: annual dues, fundraising events like Lights Camera Fashion and the Working Lunch, and mission supporting campaigns, like the Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI). Collectively, member dues support the League’s general operating expenses and commitments to the Charlotte community and fundraising events further support these financial responsibilities. Member participation in the Annual Fund is vital in helping the JLC continue to grow and enhance the commitments made to Community Partners. “In my earlier roles on the Alexander Youth Network and Family Healthlink committees, I saw how many families and kids benefited from the work that the JLC does in the community. I give to the Annual Fund so the JLC can keep doing amazing things throughout Charlotte.”

Katie Clarke D ´Epagnier Annual Fund Committee Member


Thank you to the Annual Fund Committee for serving as contributors for this article!

Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities Partnership Opportunities & Benefits 2018-2019

The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. welcomes (JLC) welcomes the opportunity to partner with companies to fulfill their The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) the opportunity to partner with companies to fulfill goalsand andengage engagetheir theiremployees. employees.JLC JLC partnership opportunities flexible their philanthropic philanthropic goals partnership opportunities are are flexible and and can can be be customized based on company’s priorities. Levels and and associated benefits are are listed below. This customized based on company’s priorities. Levels associated benefits listed below. Thisyear, year,with with your support, we can broaden our impactour – to promote voluntarism, developdevelop leaders leaders and improve this community. support, we can broaden impact – to promote voluntarism, and improve this community.

Sponsorship Level

Title $5,000

Lead $2,500




Table $1,000

Tailored Sponsorship Benefits  as mutually agreed upon Publicity & Branding Opportunities: Recognition on JLC website Recognition in JLC’s newsletter, The Happenings Social media mentions (JLC Facebook, Instagram) Product display at JLC membership meetings Feature article in JLC’s magazine, The CRIER Recognition in thank you ad in JLC’s magazine, The CRIER

Event Benefits or Leadership Training Program Benefits Event Benefits: JLC Working Lunch fundraiser Seating

30 (3 tables)

20 (2 tables)

10 (1 table)

10 (1 table)

Recognition on event signage













Opportunity to speak at the event Verbal recognition from the podium Access to this luncheon’s VIP event Leadership Training Program Benefits: Leadership Development Institute, Get on Board or Public Policy Institute Participants Recognition on event signage





Opportunity to speak at the leadership program Verbal recognition from the podium


The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) is an organization of over 1,700+ women who have been dedicated to promoting voluntarism, developing leaders, and improving this community since 1926. Over the past 93 years, the JLC has dedicated over $13.7 million dollars and more than 1.6 million hours of volunteer service to the greater Charlotte community. Additional information on community impact, including our community partners, can be found on our website: https://www.jlcharlotte.org

Let’s Work Together!

Presenting $10,000

QUESTIONS ABOUT PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Please contact our office for more information at (704) 790-6533 or info@jlcharlotte.org.

Lisa Newth Lisa Newth joined the JLC in 2012 and currently serves the Corporate Partner Stewardship Committee Chair. Lisa is an (almost) Charlotte native and a graduate of Wake Forest University with a B.S. in Business. She is in the process of starting her own meeting and event design business.


JLC Celebrates Educators & Health Care Professionals The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) members are dedicated and enthusiastic about our school ready community focus. We highlight a few of our members who live this focus day-to-day in their professional lives and bring those skills to the JLC.

Alexandra McLean First year in the JLC Teaches Biology at South Meck High School, got her start through Teach for America, loves working with 10th grade students Current JLC Placement: Provisional Member

Lisa Gaskin Third year in the JLC Former High School English Teacher, currently works in the Cato College of Education at UNC Charlotte Current JLC Placement: The CRIER Editor

Julie Brown Fourth year in the JLC High School English Teacher, Leadership Teacher Current JLC Placement: Education & Training Council Manager

Sarah Lewter First year in the JLC Pharmacist Current JLC Placement: Provisional Member

Emily Hoeksema Second year in the JLC Pharmacist Current JLC Placement: Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center

Sara Jane Gibson Twelfth year in the JLC Child Life Education Specialist at Levine Children’s Hospital, assisting patients return to school after an illness or injury. Current JLC Placement: Sustainer



Volunteers x hours

$24.19per hour = $690,866.40 Total Volunteer IRS rate Impact

10 Community Partners

1332 Maryland Avenue Charlotte, NC 28209

704.375.5993 info@jlcharlotte.org jlcharlotte.org

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Contact: Libby Devitt The CRIER Advertising & Sales Coordinator 2019-2020 The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHARLOTTE


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The CRIER Spring 2019  

The CRIER is the official publication of The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC). Read about how JLC volunteers are making a difference i...

The CRIER Spring 2019  

The CRIER is the official publication of The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC). Read about how JLC volunteers are making a difference i...