Perspectives Fall 2022

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MAGAZINE OF THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CINCINNATI Perspectives AUTUMN 2022 ISSUE THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CINCINNATI WELCOMES SIXTY-TWO NEW MEMBERS Page 7 5 A Note from our Partners at the Family Nurturing Center 4 Find out all of the details about the upcoming Tour of Kitchen event 13 Recap of the Advocacy for Women’s Healthcare Event

Your Perspectives Team


René Robers, Erica Zaretsky, Anne Miller, Jill Dickert, Leigh Schlecht

Thank You

The Perspectives Committee would like to extend our gratitude to the many women who volunteered their time, knowledge, opinions, and experiences to make this issue possible.

Perspectives is the magazine of the Junior League of Cincinnati, published multiple times throughout the year. Past issues and advertising rates can be found online at

2022-2023 JLC Leadership



RENÉ ROBERS, President-Elect



MEREDITH COMIN, Presidential Advisor

TARA MOSLEY, Immediate Past President

KATIE MAY, Strategic Planning Director


KATIE DULLE, Nominating Chair


SARAH CLARK, At Large Member

DANYA KARAM, At Large Member



MEGAN STACEY, At Large Member

JJ WALES, At Large Member


SAM ZEHNDER, Executive Vice President

ERINN CARLSON, Executive Vice President-Elect

KATIE ZIEGLER, VP Communications

LESLIE TOUASSI, VP Community Impact


JACKLYN OLINGER, VP Fund Development


MEGAN BUSAM, VP Training & Development

EMILY UBEL, Recording Secretary

BYRD BERGERON, Nominating Vice Chair


MARTY HUMES, VP Sustainer Council

JAMIE HUMES, VP Sustainer Council

2 Autumn 2022 3. President’s Perspective 4. Tour
Edition 5. A
Center 6. Our
7. JLC Welcomes
Members Brunch 8. Fall Events
10. Holiday
Drink Recipe Holiday Trends 11. Getting
12. Ad Hoc Committee Contributes to Impactful Progress 13. Advocacy for Women’s Healthcare Event 14. Member Milestones 15. Special Acknowledgements In this issue
of Kitchen’s: Holiday Home
Note from our Partners at the Family Nurturing
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
at our New
to Know
President & President-Elect
Writer Lauren Vogelpohl Writer Kimberly McCoy Writer Cindy Liang Assistant Editor Yashna Patel VP Communications Katie Ziegler Managing Editor Erica Bock


I am glad you are here.

We are coming out of a tough couple of years dealing with a global pandemic. During this time, you probably re-evaluated many things in your life, including where you want to be spending your valuable time.

It’s important to me, and the JLC leadership, that we are delivering meaningful experiences for our members. We are reevaluating what is important to our members, asking for feedback and ideas, and developing both short term plans and longer term vision for this organization.

I hope you had the opportunity to participate in or review a recap of our September GMM, where Past JLC President and current Vice President of the Association of Junior Leagues (AJLI), Michelle Vaeth, shared her Junior League journey and important AJLI updates. At this meeting, we voted to adopt a new mission statement. While the meaning behind our mission has not wavered, the language has been modernized. We also presented new JLC value statements that we want to embrace in all that we do.


The Junior League of Cincinnati is an organization of women whose mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training.


Service: We are in service to our community and one another. Women’s Empowerment: We train and empower women to be leaders in our community and empower women through our community partner programs.

Meaningful Connections: We build intentional connections and relationships across membership and make meaningful connections to and within our community.

We also had a meaningful October. At our GMM, advocacy experts shared information on how individual members can advocate for change at the local level. If you were not able to be at that meeting, hopefully you caught the eblast that captured all of this valuable training material, as well as some ways you can participate in the Children’s Law Center efforts.

You may have had the opportunity to join Cherylanne Skolnicki during “member favorite” small group in-home sessions in November. Cherylanne is a career coach and podcaster, and is known for “helping women live their happiest, most fulfilling lives.” We appreciate her donation of time to speak to us about how to be more balanced in our lives and as JLC and community leaders.

Behind the scenes, there has been a lot of activity. The JLC leaders spent the summer putting together a comprehensive Annual Plan. This plan is a roadmap for all of our committees that include specific actions and goals that we want to accomplish for the year. If you have not seen this plan, you can find it on our Members Only website. With our Annual Plans in place, it is exciting to see it come to life with a calendar of meaningful training, volunteer opportunities and engagement events. There is a lot of activity happening here and now. Though we are also looking to our future. We have several ad hoc committees hard at work thinking about what needs to happen to allow us to continue to live our mission in year 104 and beyond. There is a Community Ad Hoc seeking to answer the question on “how the JLC should be making an impact in the community 10 years from now?” There is a Training Ad Hoc, which you will read more about in this issue, that is seeking to understand what training we need to bring to our members - and they are looking at it from an important angle: what does our Cincinnati community need when it comes to trained volunteers? There is a Financial Ad Hoc that is working to refresh our financial policies and the structure of our financial reserves. We have a new Pipeline role that is thinking about the future of our leadership and how we might improve the leader experience. All of these ad hoc committees will culminate with important actions and goals, which will be written into our next Strategic Plan for 20232026.

I hope to see you at some of our big upcoming events, including the annual Tour of Kitchens fundraiser on Friday, December 2 Toast to the Tour and the official event on Saturday, December 3, or at our holiday party on Thursday, December 15. We also have a fully virtual GMM on Tuesday, December 6 to hear from Sam Horn, an author, public speaker, and executive coach who says she is best at helping “people create respectful, collaborative, one-of-a-kind communications.” Let’s make this a meaningful year. Thank you again for your contribution to make this organization great.

The Association of Junior Leagues International is an organization of women whose mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training.

For more news and events, follow us on social media.

Junior League of Cincinnati 3
Dear JLC Members and Friends,
3500 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226 | 513.871.9339 JLCincinnati

Tour of Kitchens:


Do you hear what I hear? The Tour of Kitchens fundraiser is returning for its 12th annual celebration! Due to last year’s success with the “Holiday Home Edition,” the Tour of Kitchens Committee decided to build upon the festive theme again this year. By purchasing tickets, event attendees will be able to support the Junior League of Cincinnati’s mission of advancing women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training.

This year, Tour of Kitchens will be a two-day event. Toast to the Tour will take place on Friday, December 2 from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Columbia Center. Event attendees will pick up their registration materials and, mix and mingle while shopping the holiday market and enjoy light bites and bubbly sponsored by The Megan Stacey Group. Columbia Center will be decked out in holiday splendor and our community partner Family Nurturing Center will share how to support their clients around the holidays and throughout the year. The always-popular raffle will also be returning for attendees to purchase tickets to have a chance at winning excellent baskets and experiences. Toast to the Tour will also feature a wine pull. Registration materials will be available for pick up during the Toast to the Tour event. However, if you are unable to attend Toast to the Tour, your first stop on Saturday will need to be 10130 Chatham Woods Drive Loveland, OH 45140 to pick up your materials and kick off the tour!

The self-guided tour of festive holiday homes & spaces will take place on Saturday, December 3 from 11:00 a.m.4:00 p.m. in the Cincinnati suburb of Loveland, Ohio. Each location on the tour will offer food and beverage pairings from a variety of different vendors.

The charming town is known for its bike trail, the scenic Little Miami River, parks and a bustling, Hallmark-esque downtown. Loveland even has a castle! When asked about the location of this year’s event, committee Chair, Jill Dickert, said it was an easy decision. Jill grew up in Loveland. “I love Loveland,” said Jill. “There are so many wonderful businesses, restaurants, shops and more that have opened up in the downtown area that I always encourage people to check out. Loveland has something for people of all ages and I am excited for our event attendees to experience what my hometown has to offer.” This year’s tour will be special indeed as Jill’s childhood home will be one of the homes featured. Her parents, Pam and Dan Dickert, are looking forward to welcoming the Junior League community into their home.

Following the event, attendees are encouraged to spend the day in Loveland visiting the list of recommended stops that will be outlined in the program. After the Tour, guests are also welcome to attend Deck the Trail: Community Tree Lighting from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. for festivities and fun in Historic Downtown Loveland at the Jackson Street Market area (adjacent to the Bike Trail near Trailside Provisions/ Alley Boutique).

Don’t miss this year’s fabulous and festive fundraiser. Make sure to purchase your Tour of Kitchens ticket today!

4 Autumn 2022

A Note from Our Partners at the Family Nurturing Center

Founded in 1979, Family Nurturing Center is a non-profit social service agency located in Northern Kentucky and Hamilton County, Ohio. We are dedicated to ending the cycle of child abuse by promoting individual well-being and healthy family relationships.

One of our core values is to be trauma informed, meaning that we consider ‘what happened’ and ‘what did you do to survive’ rather than ‘what’s wrong with you’ in order to be our participants’ most effective partner in healing. Our services include education and training, counseling, family time visitation, parenting, and holistic and wellness programs. All services are free, providing an accessible pathway for children and families to get the support they need.

Our vision is safe children, thriving families and nurturing communities. How do we live that out? By providing insight, expertise and training to our surrounding communities to better understand child abuse and how it impacts all of us. By celebrating courage and hope and by providing a welcoming and thriving place for children and families to heal and grow.

Strong community support and the spirit of volunteerism continues to allow us to provide quality programs in a costeffective manner. Our partnership with Junior League of Cincinnati is an example of a strong community network willing to support the 10,000 children and families we serve each year.

In just one short year, we’ve already seen the impact that results from passionate women joining in our mission. Volunteer leaders from the Junior League of Cincinnati spent several weekends at our Cincinnati office, making it a more welcoming environment for the children and families we serve. League members facilitated donations of furniture, toys and supplies to ensure agency funds are concentrated on direct services. Members provided leadership on the Board of Directors and agency committees, and supported our Prom with a Purpose fundraiser with gifts of time and talent. The Junior League championed the cause of child abuse prevention by serving as ambassadors within their considerable sphere of influence.

The years ahead will yield even more impact – with League members planning to provide direct services with children and families, facilitating the creation of a special mural at our Cincinnati office, and enhancing its décor to make our mission come alive. Members will support family events such as Fall Fest, and increase their involvement during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. The future is bright with this strong partnership in place.

We appreciate the supportive efforts from the Junior League of Cincinnati. The League’s members play a critical role in expanding our efforts to end the cycle of abuse. We are thrilled to continue to see what our two organizations are able to accomplish together.

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Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

The Junior League of Cincinnati is committed to embedding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) into our organization. As stated by the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), “We must be intentional and proactive in our actions to build Junior Leagues that prioritize the creation and maintenance of a culture with a strong sense of belonging for the good of the community, the wellbeing of our society, the strength of our relationships, the magnitude of our impact, the scope of our visibility, the quality of our leadership, the reality of our relevance and our essence as human beings.”

During annual planning, we included a strategic priority around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) notes: “We believe that purposefully including DEIB perspectives in our work and in our decision-making will lead to better outcomes in our communities. JLC strives to embrace all women who value our mission, as we continue to expand and build an inclusive and equitable membership that reflects our community.” Our initiatives in DEIB are woven into our Executive Management Team and Councils annual plans, with a key result area focused on Belonging. As a membership organization, we must be a place where women feel welcome, engaged and respected across all intersections of age, race, religion, orientation and otherwise.

The key responsibility of the DEIB Committee is to help build a long-term plan to drive inclusivity throughout our League so we can best support our members and the communities in which we serve. This is achieved through training, experiences, and education.

We checked in with a few of our DEIB committee members on what motivated them to join the committee and why they are interested in seeing DEIB centered in the League.

”Moving to Ohio has made me more aware of my own identities, and I think involving myself in more DEIB based work will help me as a person, no matter what space I am in. I am interested in seeing DEIB take form in subtle ways that do not require extra initiatives or projects. I am really curious and hopeful that we will be able to take existing practices or events and approach them with a DEIB lens, resulting in being more inclusive and inviting.” - Jennifer Abdullah

“Our mission is to develop the potential of women and our communities; to do this fully, we must understand and authentically honor the diversity of our city and all its neighborhoods. The DEIB Committee provides a critical role in promoting an awareness of DEIB principles and practices, and supporting the application of that awareness, in the work that we do – and nothing is more exciting to me than this type of impact! I also believe that if we create a culture that fosters a sense of belonging and dignity for all individuals, our membership will thrive both in terms of impact and connection.” - Jenny Mauch

Having committee members who are deeply committed to this work will help us on our journey to continue to build more equitable experiences for our members and help us to better serve the communities we interact with. DEIB Chair and JLC Board Member, Amber David, says, “This year we are focused on maintaining the momentum of past DEIB work by promoting education and application. We’ll accomplish this by meeting with each JLC committee and helping them to establish 1-2 ways that they can infuse DEIB into their work this year.” In talking with committees, DEIB considers “Place, People & Partners” as the framework of these discussions. A great example of this came from meeting with the Finance committee when planning for the “Budget Your Way To Financial Freedom” workshop being planned for December 7; They brainstormed ideas on how to include DEIB-related topics including: social justice investing, charitable giving on a limited budget, and spending intentionally (women-owned/minority-owned businesses). During the latter half of the year, DEIB will continue the committee strategy sessions. They’ll also partner to interweave DEIB into training and education. For example, the January GMM and February small group sessions will be an immersive experience that invites members to explore the history of Cincinnati related to cultural clashes and the resulting learnings that we can all incorporate.

Coffee Talk

The Coffee Talk program was created to provide members a way to connect 1-on-1 with each other. The first Tuesday of each month, participants receive an email with a random assignment of someone in the league to meet up with virtually or in person for a “coffee talk.” Scan the QR code to register and receive a pairing.

6 Autumn 2022

JLC Welcomes New Members at our New Member Brunch

On August 7th the New Member Chair and Vice Chairs, Erica Busch, Tiffany Hallman & Erica Zaretsky, welcomed 62 new members to the Junior League of Cincinnati at our annual New Member Brunch. The event included an introduction from our President, Kate Fortlage, as well as presentations from New Member leadership and the New Member Advisors. New Members broke into their small groups to connect and learn more about member responsibilities. The New Member Committee looks forward to helping these women find their place in the League and grow as community members. This year, we are launching a new model for New Member engagement, with their curriculum & training condensed into the first half of the League year, allowing New Members to be placed on committees and begin committee work in January to dive in during the second half of the year. This will help prepare them for placement in the spring. We look forward to our new members taking on more active roles within the JLC.

Sheila Antall

Sydney Ashcraft

Allyson Baker

Tennille Barth

Olivia Blanton

Sarah Bojorquez

Jennifer Bornemann

Chasity Bothman

Laura Brainer

Lauren Brooks

Megan Candee

Janet Carter

Kirsten Comment

Riece Drew

Christina Duffy Tracie Dunn

Robyn Fettman

Kathleen Finn

Victoria Grothaus

Sommer Gullette

Angie Haering

Christina Hardebeck

Yvette Harris

Abigail Hertel

Nkemjika Iheukwu

Sarah Krott

Emma Lipscomb

Rachel Littman

Margret Logan Karisa MacConnell

Melissa McCormick Claudia McMillin

Megan McMullen

Roxanna Mehdi

Taylor Miller

Erica Mitchell

Mary Ostigny Madeline Ottilie Madison Pace Allison Paley Danielle Peace

Elizabeth Perilman Jennifer Pike Ann Poston Weeks

Julia Reisler

Daniela Rodriguez Rachel Romer Amber Ruhe

Whitney Sallee Pfister

Jennifer Anne Scheller

Marnina Schreibman

Rebekah Sides

Claire Silbersack

Ashton Spann

Nicole Starr

Elizabeth Swan

Jennifer Tesak

Asha Thomas Nikki Vandivort

Anna Walter

Sloane Weber JoAnne Worthington

Junior League of Cincinnati 7


New Member Brunch & Orientation

New Members met for a delicious brunch and bubbly mimosas at the New Member Brunch & Orientation. The event gave New Members an overview of the League and an occasion to meet fellow New Members. League President,Kate Fortlage, as well as members from all levels of the League, spoke to New Members about their League experiences.

September GMM

Members were welcomed back for the JLC’s 103rd year by Leauge President, Kate Fortlage. AJLI Vice President, Michelle Vaeth, spoke about her JLC journey. Membership voted on the new mission, policies + procedures of JLC, which all passed. Erinn Carlson, EVP-E, reviewed annual plan details. Ashley Rouser, Managing Director, shared our three values. Katie Dulle, nominating chair, and Byrd Bergeron, vice chair, shared information about upcoming leadership positions.

October GMM

League President, Kate Fortlage, began the meeting with a kudos to the multiple League chairs and co-chairs for their hard work kicking off this League year. Poti9n served beverages to in-person guests and members worked through an identity activity with Managing Director, Ashley Rouster. Rachel Coyle, the Communications Director of Innovation Ohio, gave a presentation on “how things work” at the Ohio Statehouse. Sasha Naiman, Executive Director of Children’s Law Center spoke about the Center, which is a non- profit, non-partisan firm that protects the rights of children. The meeting was closed with a message from Leslie Touassi, VP of Community Impact, sharing about our recent podcast and the upcoming Healthcare event.

November GMM

The November GMM took place in small groups within homes of JLC members. Guest speaker was Cherylanne Skolniki, who lead a conversation on “having it all without doing it all”. Participants broke into small groups within their home groups to further discuss the session afterwards.

Headshot & Resume Workshop

The Leadership Development Committee hosted a workshop helping members fine tune their resume and provided head shots to those who attended.

Understanding Women’s Healthcare

The Advocacy & Education Committee hosted this forum as a space for members to learn about current issues around Cincinnati women’s health and wellbeing as it relates to the Dobbs vs. Jackson decision.

Emerging Leader Panel & Networking

Members had an opportunity to hear from a panel of JLC leaders in various stages of their leadership journey and connected with them during a Q&A on leader experiences.

CandO Events!

Members have been busy helping all over the city though activities provided by the Community & Outreach (CandO) Committee! We have volunteered with the following organizations so far this year: Family Nurturing Center, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, Mentoring Plus, Saturday Hoops, The Children’s Theater, Survivor Cards, & Sweet Cheeks.

8 Autumn 2022


Tour of Kitchens - Friday and Saturday, December 2nd and 3rd, 2022 Holiday Party - Thursday, December 15th, 2022 Fashion Show - Saturday, April 1st, 2023 Annual Meeting - Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

More information about how to register for each of these events is available on the JLC Members portal

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Holiday Bubbly Drink


• 2 oz Apple Cider or Pressed Apple Juice

• 1.5 oz Good Quality Blanco Tequila

• 1/4 Grand Marnier

• 1/4 oz Simple Syrup

• Lime Wedge for squeezing in the juices

• Sparkling Water such as La Croix – for topping off

• 1 tsp each Sugar/optional + Cinnamon for rimming cocktail glass

• 8 to 10 Raspberries For Cocktail Ice Optional

• 1 or 2 sprigs Fresh Rosemary

• Fresh Apple Slices or Pomegranate Seeds for garnish


Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and spread in an even layer onto a small plate. Rub the rim of your cocktail glass with lime and dip into the cinnamon sugar. Set aside. Add a few cubes of our colorful red cocktail ice to your rimmed glass and splash in the silver tequila, the Grand Marnier and the simple syrup. Splash in the apple cider or pressed apple juice and squeeze in the juice from a fresh lime wedge. Stir together with a bar spoon until chilled and combined. Top off with the sparkling soda water and give it one more gentle stir with the bar spoon. Garnish with thin apple slices, cranberries, or pomegranate seeds and a sprig of rosemary. Serve immediately, nice and chilled.

Holiday Trends

This year feels like it just flew by. The 2022 holiday season is just around the corner. Retail shops will start decorating for the holidays and cheerful holiday songs will play overhead on repeat. You might wonder if holiday this year might look any different and what are the trends for this year’s holiday season? The good news is that there are no longer lockdowns or store closings as we experienced in 2020 due to Covid. We are now facing a high inflation macroeconomic environment with the higher prices of gifts, food and gas price.


This is a continuation of what we have seen in the past couple of years. Last year, due to the supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, shoppers anticipated inventory issues and long delivery times encouraging them to begin holiday shopping earlier than usual. This year, we expect to see an upward trend that more and more consumers are finishing their holiday shopping early to make the most discounts and spread the spending over months. With significantly high inflation this year, price will be a deciding factor in whether they decide to purchase or not.


Many of us have previous decorations we bring out over and over again each year and they might be tied to memories and tradition. New trends might give us a fresh perspective on how to decorate our home for the holidays. The overall inspiration for this year’s holiday season draws upon the theme of warmth, security and comfort. There is no denying that the last few years have forced us all inwards, and many of us were not able to be with the families and friends and the insecurities about the future. This feeling ultimately changed our lives in so many ways including our home styling. As we have all been craving comfort in this uncertain world, it is no wonder that this year’s themes is more of a neutral color palette. Natural organics and earthy tones will be popular this year. Gold and white will be popular as accents. By incorporating natural color palettes into our home holiday decoration, this helps to create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. Of course, the traditional red and gold are still popular choices.


The holiday traditions vary from culture to culture but one thing that is consistent across all cultures is gift giving. For many people, it is an opportunity to show such they care about those around them by giving them a gift that reflects what they love. Environmental sustainability has been a big topic in 2022, in both the business world and our personal lives. Giving eco-friendly gifts is not only a great way to get something unique, it is also an option that will have you being kinder to the environment. Some gift ideas this year includes gifting experiences instead of things, plants, nice travel mugs/water bottles, plant based wax candles etc.

10 Autumn 2022

Getting to know our President & President-Elect

League President, Kate Fortlage offers insight into what inspires her within the League and her personal life. The candid interview with Kate shares a causal side of her. Kate is a thoughtful person, who has made time to let us into her world.

What are some highlights of your time as the 2022-2023 president?

This year is flying by fast. We had a great two-part leadership retreat over the summer where we developed a strong annual plan together. We voted on the new mission statement and created a set of shared values. Some of the training - for Family Nurturing Center, in advocacy, in women’s healthcare - has been inspiring for me personally and I hope for our members. There have been a couple of leadership challenges too and while not fun, I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know that there are so many members who care and will be there for this organization through it all - especially in a challenge. Many women in the League inspire me and it’s truly been a highlight being surrounded by them.

How do you spend your free time when you are not helping with Junior League or working?

I love the water. I’ve gotten really into boating and would love to have my boat captain’s license one day. We enjoy going to Lake Cumberland in the summer and to the Lower Keys whenever we can. When we are in the Keys, Michael and I like to scuba dive, fish, or relax on a sandbar. We love it when our friends can join us.

Who or what Inspires you to be a better person?

I’m blessed to have a philanthropic mom, Cindy, who taught me the meaning of volunteerism. When I see others doing good for our community - like when 8 women showed up on a Saturday morning for a neighborhood CandO clean up - I’m inspired because they showed up to help and wanted to do something good with their time on a Saturday morning.

When you are needing advice or guidance, who or what do you turn to for help?

I have a “kitchen cabinet” within the League of women I go to for trusted support and advice. There are so many brilliant, capable women in our organization that my cabinet has expanded even more in this role as I’ve gotten to know a few new gems. My mom, Cindy, and partner, Michael, are also great sounding boards for life stuff. I have some smart friends in the professional world and I’m a proponent of having work mentors - the solutions are always better when you brainstorm them with wise friends.

What is your favorite JLC project that you have participated in? I’ve gone over the 20 year mark in the League so there are so many that it’s hard to choose. One of the most memorable - probably because it really hit home how meaningful JL work can be and what propelled me into more leadership in this organization- is when I was the Vice Chair of a Community Impact committee in the Dayton League. We were giving away free bike helmets to children and teaching them how to wear them and why it was important. The project was born out of a fellow League member having a deadly injury on a bike. I really loved helping the children with something so meaningful.

René Robers is the President’s Elect this year and she has a lot to say about life in the Junior League, as well as her life outside the League. She answered a series of questions,providing a well-rounded perspective of her. René is an ambitious person who looks to improve on whatever she is a part of.

What are some priorities for you as the 2022-2023 president elect?

Our President, Kate Fortlage, has tasked me with leading an Ad Hoc committee composed of board members and leaders to identify opportunities for community support, including the connections we have within the community, and how we can impact the community in the future, through our projects, partnerships and area of focus. I am also supporting Kelly Barber, who is developing a strategy for our leadership pipeline, and our Strategic Planning Director, Katie May in developing the renewal of the JLC’s Strategic Plan for 2023-2026. My core responsibilities also include supporting the Nominating Committee in slating our incoming leaders for 2023-2024.

How do you spend your free time when you are not helping with Junior League or working?

I love to read and I’m working towards a goal of reading 75 books in 2022! I also enjoy playing tennis with a group of JLC friends, decorating & entertaining and checking out new restaurants & parks with my husband Matt and our 3.5 year old daughter, MariKate.

When you are needing advice or guidance, who or what do you turn to for help?

With nearly a dozen years of experience as a member of and leader in the JLC, I am grateful to have built a strong bench of supporters who have guided me through my membership & leadership journey. My sponsor, Meredith Comin, Sustainer Saralou Durham and my presidential advisor, Tara Noland, have always made themselves available to listen and lend advice. My husband is also an amazing sounding board and is a great people leader, so I lean on him a lot.

What is your favorite JLC project that you have participated in? I absolutely loved participating in the program development cycle for our partnership with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. Working shoulder to shoulder with incredibly smart women and leaders in the JLC, we learned so much about our community and helped guide our organization and members to make a key decision in our history, which has made a considerable impact on families in Cincinnati. The experience inspired me to sit on the committee again for our last cycle leading to our partnership with Family Nurturing Center; it is also informing the Ad Hoc I am currently leading with the board, and I am looking forward to contributing to this process again next year.

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Ad Hoc Committee Contributes to Impactful Progress

Have you ever wondered how special projects are accomplished in the Junior League of Cincinnati?

When our leadership identifies an area of need that goes beyond the scope and capacity of established committees, an “ad hoc” committee is formed. As the term ad hoc means “as needed,” an ad hoc committee reports directly to a League leader and is generally created for a one-year term, specifically focused on one topic or project. It is common to have Ad Hoc committees on any given League year, but generally there are only a few, so many members may not be familiar with these strategic sprint cycles, who serves on these committees or why they are unique experiences.

There are currently three different Ad Hoc committees hard at work. One is focused on understanding how we develop League leaders; another is focused on how we work with and develop relationships with external community partners and the other is focused on understanding training needs for our members. The women that participate on ad hoc committees are true League “super women” as they are almost always serving on the ad hoc in addition to their existing placement for the year. Women serving on ad hoc committees are asked to participate based on particular skill set or prior experiences and by self-selecting and raising their hand when the opportunity to join one becomes available.

This year I have the privilege of being entrusted to lead the ad hoc committee for training. As the JLC is a training organization, a key part of our mission is to provide training to our members to enable us to be effective and powerful community service leaders. When we say we develop bestin-class, powerful community service leaders, we need to better understand what that means today in 2022, and going forward. We are asking questions like, “What skills do our members need to fulfill this commitment? How can we ensure that the training needed is being offered to our members?” Over the course of this League, year a small group will be working diligently with Active and Sustaining

members, external community partners and peer large Junior Leagues from across the country to learn more about what we do well and how we can improve upon our mission to train community service leaders here in the Junior League of Cincinnati. Our committee, not unlike the other ad hoc committees, truly relies on engagement and feedback from our fellow League members. You may have seen a request from us to complete a survey. If you have not already, please take a few minutes to complete the survey as your feedback will directly impact our findings and final recommendations. A summary of all findings, feedback and recommendations will be presented to the Executive Management Team (EMT) and the Board of Directors in the spring of 2023, with the intention to implement any approved recommendations in the 2023-2024 League year.


Purpose to identify and quantify current league training, to identify community partner expectations and to present a summary of findings and recommendations to the Executive Management Team and the JLC Board

This is my first experience leading an ad hoc and it has been my favorite placement yet. It is a unique experience unlike any League work I have had the privilege to be a part of to date. Every member of an ad hoc committee is keenly aware of just how important the work is for the betterment of the League, as the projects have been specifically identified as an area of need or future focus by League leadership. Ad hoc work is also unique in that it brings together committee members for collaboration from all levels of membership including New Members, Active and Senior Active Members as well as Sustaining Members, and often includes working with our Executive Management Team, Board of Directors, other peer Junior Leagues across the country as well as other area non-profit organizations. I have already been able to develop relationships with members I did not know well and have been blown away (literally, blown away) by the depth of talent in our league and the willingness of our members to give their time and talents so freely when they are already committed to other work. Thank you to all members for engaging in our survey and thank you to all League “super women” who are serving on ad hoc committees this year in addition to your League year placement. If you have any questions please reach out to me directly.

12 Autumn 2022
strive to provide best-in-class,
From our mission statement: ...[We]
hands-on training enabling members to be effective and powerful community service leaders. What do best-in-class, powerful community service leaders look like in 2022 and beyond? What specific skills do best-in-class community service leaders bring to their work? Are we providing this training today to our members? What training do we do well and what do we need to do differently in the future?

Advocacy for Women’s Healthcare Event

On October 19, the Advocacy and Education Committee hosted a panel titled “Understanding Women’s Healthcare Today” for members to learn about issues in women’s healthcare that impact our community. Women entered a safe, non-partisan, and non-religious space to learn about current issues, especially in regard to the Dobbs vs. Jackson case and its impact on women, healthcare and fertility law.

This event was in response to a survey sent to JLC members in the summer of 2022 after the ruling on Dobbs vs. Jackson was announced. Sixteen percent (16%) of Active and Sustaining members completed the survey, with seventy six (76%) sharing interest in advocacy training. Eighty one percent (81%) of members surveyed supported a forum where experts in law, medicine and nonprofit services came to share informative, nonpolitical, content. The General Membership Meeting in October focused on general advocacy work that individual members could pursue in any area of interest to make a difference in legislation in our region. This additional special event was planned to continue the conversation.

At the event, a variety of different professionals in fertility law, medicine, and beyond spoke to clearly educate and inform the women of the League. A representative from a healthcare based non-profit shared information from their organization. A JLC member also shared her personal, emotional story of how her life was recently impacted by the Supreme Court decision in August. Both events inspired women to be empowered and informed advocates and resources for the community. JLC members can advocate as a leader in the community for any area they feel compelled to engage in.

The Advocacy and Education committee is looking forward to hosting similar events in the future on a variety of topics that the women in the Junior League of Cincinnati feel passionate about.

Join the Archives Committee of the JLC as they chat with members about their experiences in the league.


17. Jane Dumbadze and Saralou Durham (October 04, 2022)

We had the honor of sitting down with Jane Dumbadze and Saralou Durham to discuss advocacy in the Junior League of Cincinnati on multiple levels. First, you will hear Jane’s perspective on advocacy as a whole and then her work with the Ronald McDonald House as well as the City Task Force on Teen Pregnancy in 1985.

16. Marjorie Motch (January 03, 2022)

This episode is truly for any woman - Junior League member or not - who wants to make an impact in their community. Join Mollie Lair as she sits down with Ms. Judy Schneider Dalambakis to learn about the incredible life and legacy of Marjorie Motch.

Junior League of Cincinnati 13
Did you know that Junior League of Cincinnati has a podcast?


Meg Cooper

Meg & Grant Cooper welcomed Henry Zane Cooper, 9 lbs 8 oz and 21 inches, on June 14, 2022. Big brothers Teddy & Charlie are excited to have another boy to join their crew!

Deanna Hillard

Deanna Hillard has been accepted to Cincinnati’s City Council Bootcamp third cohort. The program is for residents interested in running for city council and individuals who want to learn how to successfully champion impactful policy changes that benefit all residents.

Sarah Rediford

Sarah Rediford was promoted to Director of Sales at PepsiCo, leading the Frito Lay Permissible Snacks Portfolio for the Kroger Customer Team. She has been with PepsiCo for 11 years.

Samantha Markle

Samantha Markle was promoted to Senior Account Manager at Orchard, a digital marketing/advertising agency located in OTR.

Catherine Swisshelm

Catherine Swisshelm (Eifrig) and E.J. Swisshelm were married at Peterloon on April 30, 2022.

Emily Bryant

Emily Bryant got engaged to Tyler Gardner on Saturday, October 8, 2022 on a beautiful rooftop patio over looking the Vatican City in Italy.

Rebecca Bryson

In October 2022

Rebecca Bryson was promoted to VP, Commercial Credit Advisor Senior for Real Estate Banking at PNC Bank. Rebecca has been with PNC for over 10 years, with the bulk of that time spent in CRE Underwriting.

Emily Keller

Emily Keller has been appointed as the Chair of the Portaluca Boutique Committee on the board of Dress for Success.

Amber David

Amber David has started a new job at Fifth Third Bank as Vice President, Community Development Investment Director. She will be responsible for equity investments in affordable housing in Chicago and the state of Michigan. Amber will relocate to Chicago at the end of this year.

Mollie Lair

Mollie Lair Flynn was promoted to Director of Communications for the Cincinnati City Manager’s Office.

14 Autumn 2022
Submit Your Milestone We love to celebrate you! Share your promotions, retirements, awards & nominations, new babies, engagements, weddings, and other milestones! Submit your milestone by logging into the JLC member

Special Acknowledgements

The Junior League of Cincinnati is excited to announce a dedicated section of Perspectives to acknowledge donations that show support and celebrate each other and our loved ones.

In each issue we will publish the donor’s name, honoree’s name and reason (if applicable) but not the amount. These donations can be for any reason and any amount.


Celebration: marriage / birth / adoption / graduation / anniversary / new job / promotion

In memory of: grandparent / parent / husband / child / friend / colleague In honor of: anyone for any reason, but no reason necessary

To make a donation to be acknowledged in the Winter 2023 issue of Perspectives, go to or scan the QR code!

Junior League of Cincinnati 15 P e a c e
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