Perspectives Spring 2019

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Perspectives SPRING 2019

Advocacy in Columbus Learn how the State Public Affairs Committee went to Columbus to meet with Ohio representatives to advocate for the Tampon Tax Bill. PAGE 4

Diversity & Inclusion Discover how the Junior League of Cincinnati is working to become more diverse and inclusive. PAGES 6-7

Centennial Kickoff The Junior League of Cincinnati began celebrations for its milestone 100th year of service to the greater Cincinnati Community. PAGE 11

In this issue 3 4 5 6 7


President’s Perspective All Hands on Deck: The State Public Affairs Committee Advocates for the Tampon Tax Bill Jody’s Network Relaunches, Connecting More Members Spotlight on Diversity and Inclusion Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone: The League Hosts In-Home Meetings to Discuss Diversity and Inclusion Spring is in Bloom: Photo Review

10 Little Black Dress Success 11 Cheers to 100 Years: Kicking Off the Junior League of Cincinnati’s Centennial Year 12 The Matriots: The Women Patriots 13 Spring Style Blossomed at the Junior League’s Bloom Fashion Show 14 Member Milestones 15 The League Gifts GrinUp! to Benefit the Next Generation of Children

Your Perspectives Team

Managing Editor Kailen Nowik

Assistant Editor Charlotte Eichman

Writer Andrea Buschmiller

Writer Raquel Cannon

Writer Elizabeth Longaberger

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. VP Communications Chelsea Zesch

Contributer: Carrie M. Starts Photographers: Mike Bresnen and Lisa Hubbard

The Junior League of Cincinnati is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. 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 For more news and events, follow us on social media. JLCincinnati



Junior League of Cincinnati, 3500 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226 • 513.871.9339 •

President’s Perspective Dear JLC members and friends, future. And each year, we do that together. Our League is in the strongest position it’s been in years. We are retaining more members, and we now have more women in our membership than we’ve had in a decade. We have strong financial oversight, and we are working hard to increase the financial security of our League for the next 100 years. We had more women apply for leadership positions Now exactly 100 years later, I can only imagine that this year than any other those women from a century ago—whom I picture year before. We’re funding as being very spunky and fiery and brilliant—would our project partnership at the be so incredibly proud of what this organization has high levels we used to—$25,000 a become. The impact of 100 years of service on this year. It’s a great time to be a Junior community can be seen at every turn, but the true League of Cincinnati member, and I have impact is the thousands and thousands of women no doubts that this time next year, it will be even who have been members of the Junior League of better. Cincinnati over the past 100 years. As this year comes to a close, thank you. Thank There are so many parallels between those women you for being willing to have tough conversations and those of us engaged with the League today. We and tackle big challenges. Thank you for providing can vote now, but we still face many barriers because your honest feedback to make this a stronger of our gender, and yet, we refuse to be silent. Many organization for the future. You have so many of us are also mothers. We are caring for family choices for where to spend your time and talents, members and homes and our community, and many and this organization is a better place because of us, myself included, now also work full time. We you’ve chosen to do so here. I’m a better person also don’t necessarily have the time to do this work, because of it, too. but we have the heart. So everyday, we roll up our sleeves and casually say, “Something must be done.” And then we do it. Warmly, One hundred years ago, women in Cincinnati gathered together in a room because they wanted to make this community a better place. These women couldn’t vote, they couldn’t really own property or have credit in their own names. They faced tremendous obstacles because they were women— but they refused to be silent. Many of these women— including our first two Presidents—were mothers and caregivers for extended family members. They didn’t necessarily have the time to do this work, but they had the heart and so they said, “Something must be done.” And they did it.

Within the pages of this issue you’ll find so many examples of just that. Women who saw a need, rolled up their sleeves, and did something about it. From advocating at the statehouse to fundraising locally, Tara B. Noland Junior League women work day in and day out to JLC President make this community a better place. The JLC is not perfect—no training organization ever could be—but each year, we do the best we can to move the needle on pressing community challenges, to build on our League’s historic past, and to prepare for what we hope will be an exciting and innovative

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All Hands on Deck The State Public Affairs Committee Advocates for the Tampon Tax Bill By ELIZABETH LONGABERGER


n February 26, 2019, a group of Junior League of Cincinnati members traveled to Columbus to meet with Ohio’s state representatives and senators to explain the urgency and importance of the Tampon Tax Bill. The bill calls for exempting tampons and all feminine hygiene products from sales and use taxes in the state of Ohio. Wearing red and black to represent the League, they gathered in groups of three or four to speak in front of the legislators. Most were cordial and understanding of the need for the bill, which has yet to be voted on. Back in December of 2018, the House passed the bill, but the Senate did not have time to meet before the holidays. Once a new year begins, the process must start over; therefore, the bill must be passed by both the House and the Senate and signed by the Governor. Both Jamie Stinson, the Senior Delegate for the State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC), and Megan Fischer, founder of Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, submitted written testifimony in favor of the Tampon Bill. Jamie emphasized that, “When you delve into the advocacy portion, you start understanding the statistics and information about diaper needs and feminine hygiene needs, and you have a deeper understanding of the significance of it.” State Representatives Brigid Kelly (D) and Niraj Antani (R) introduced and sponsored the Tampon Tax Bill, and both representatives previously sponsored the bill to make diapers tax exempt as well. The importance of the bill is something that many people may not immediately realize. As League member, Anne Bangert stated, “We can start small by asking for tax exemptions for tampons and diapers, and what that really does is demonstrate buy-ins from our local legislators, and it shows that these products are, in fact, a requirement and not a luxury good.” She went on to share that she believes, “that it is also so important that a women’s organization is the one that is bringing this. Because I firmly believe that the

JLC members and Megan Fischer with Niraj Antani, a Republican State Representative from Miamisburg who cosponsored the Tampon Tax Bill

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reason this is not an issue is because there weren’t enough women in the room when those decisions were being made.” Jamie underscored this statement by sharing the statistics that she and the other members professed to the Capitol.

In Ohio ... ... 51% of the population is female, and as a whole, they pay an estimated $4 million a year in tax for feminine hygiene products. ... the average male salary is slightly over $61,000, while the average female salary is slightly over $45,000, which is a discrepancy of over $16,000 a year. ... women ages 18-24 are the largest demographic living in poverty, and women ages 25-34 are the third largest demographic. ... women ages 25-34 are the largest age group with no healthcare coverage in Ohio, while nationally this is the same age group most likely to have coverage. Anne and fellow League member, Dana Burris, shared their views on their visit to the Capitol and how our League should be proud of the work that we do. Anne said that she, “felt very connected to the other women. We had a lot of support and a lot of women behind us, and were just kind of this machine.” Looking forward to the League’s advocacy efforts for next year, Dana said,“I became more educated about how our state government works after our day at the Capitol. I feel empowered to use my voice to influence the bills and laws being passed that will directly affect me. I am excited to continue this journey with the Junior League and hope more members will have this opportunity next year.” The League’s advocacy for the Tampon Bill to be passed by the Ohio government is not over, and there will be other efforts to come.

Jody’s Network Relaunches, Connecting More Members By CHARLOTTE EICHMAN


ody’s Network has been steadfastly serving and supporting multiple generations of Junior League of Cincinnati members for more than three decades. Jody’s Network is a subcommittee of the Membership Engagement Committee, and it provides meals and assistive services to support League members during times of transition or crisis. The League started the network to honor the memory of Jody Kuempel, a dedicated League Sustainer who passed away on September 19, 1985. League members remembered her as fun, vivacious, and always willing to lend support to others, inspiring them to create a group that embodied her benignant spirit. Jody’s Network assists League members navigating times of tumult, such as the birth or adoption of a child, the loss of employment, or the passing of a family member. The network allows League members to support fellow members by signing-up to be a Jody’s Network volunteer. Volunteers bring meals, babysit, walk dogs, run errands, and send flowers and cards to buoy flagging spirits. Volunteers receive a notice anytime a member needs assistance and can sign-up for a time to provide a meal or other service that best suits their availability.

Although Jody’s Network has been quietly and ably supporting League members since 1985, many members were unaware of it. To generate awareness for potential volunteers and recipients, in February of 2019 the Membership Engagement Committee began the Jody’s Network Relaunch. Kirtley Krombholz, Membership Engagement Committee member, spoke to the impetus for the Relaunch, sharing, “The more awareness we can raise about it, the more active the network will be!” And in fact, since the February Relaunch, Jody’s Network has increased its base of volunteers and recipients. League members interested in Jody’s Network can sign-up to volunteer, receive services, or nominate another member to receive services on the League’s website by clicking the links for Jody’s Network on the Quicklinks and FAQ page. Jody Kuempel featured in a 1985 issue of Perspectives

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To schedule a private tour, please call 871-4700 ext. 261 Catholic • Independent • 18 months - Grade 12 2161 Grandin Road • Cincinnati, OH 45208 • 513.871.4700 #JLCincy | 5

Spotlight on Diversity and Inclusion By KAILEN NOWIK Diversity: The presence of identity differences within a group—in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socio-economic background, and anything else that comprises an individual’s identity Inclusion: The deliberate effort to make every person feel valued, respected, leveraged, and welcomed in the group


n 2017, the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) emphasized a renewed focus on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). In response to AJLI’s call for action—as well as our own Strategic Plan priorities—the Junior League of Cincinnati created a D&I Committee to research, support, and advance D&I efforts in our own League. The VP of D&I also sits on the Executive Management Team and the committee does not report to one specific council because the JLC believes that this is the work of the entire League, not one part of our League. The committee hit the ground running this year, hosting Janine Le Sueur (AJLI Director of Education & Programs) at the February GMM to speak about D&I and what it means to be a more inclusive League, and coordinating D&I roundtables in place of the March GMM (read the next article, too, to learn more!).

The committee also identified a hurdle to progress in our lack of identity-related membership data; without fully understanding today’s League and its members, we will not be able to measure progress against our diversity and inclusion initiatives. Erin Rolfes, 2019-2020 VP of D&I, cited that, “We first need to understand who we are to fix our own ‘house.’ ” To this end, additional identity-related questions are being incorporated into the 2019-2020 New Member survey, with the ultimate goal of eventually gathering this information from current members too, so that we are able to track our progress. When asked what success looks like, Erin says retention—for both new and current members—is a key metric. “We’ll know we’re doing a good job when people are sticking around, and when they’re bringing their friends in saying, ‘You really need to experience this!’ ”

The League Welcomes Honorary Member Elizabeth Pierce


n November of 2018, Elizabeth Pierce became an Honorary Member of the Junior League of Cincinnati. Elizabeth is the President and CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center. The League’s Board of Directors granted Honorary Membership to Elizabeth for her extraordinary service to the League and the greater Cincinnati community. Elizabeth has been an ardent supporter of many League projects, including the Children’s Museum, GrinUp!, and the League’s forthcoming Centennial exhibit at the newly-renovated Cincinnati Museum Center. The League, upon vote of the Board of Directors, may grant a limited number of Honorary Memberships to persons who have given extraordinary service to the League or to the community. Persons so honored may be either members or non-members of the League. An Honorary Membership in itself does not include the right to vote, hold office, transfer, or propose a Prospective Member. Honorary Members do not pay dues. #JLCincy | 6


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Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone The League Hosts In-Home Meetings to Discuss Diversity and Inclusion



n place of the March GMM, the League conducted Diversity and Inclusion roundtables, which took place in members’ homes all over Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, with eleven neighborhoods represented. A League member hosted each roundtable meeting, while another member facilitated the discussion. The facilitators attended a premeeting training to help guide the discussion. Roundtable attendees, facilitators, and Diversity and Inclusion leaders shared their thoughts and reactions to the roundtables below. Paaras Parker, VP of Diversity and Inclusion, shared her thoughts about the topic and the future, “It can be tough to talk about but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Often, people don’t want to say the wrong thing or don’t feel vulnerable to share that they just don’t know. Our League creating a safe space for women to learn from one another, share their stories, and be vulnerable is not only a huge success but an awesome step in the right direction. And the kicker is, it can’t stop here. I hope we all look to ourselves and ask, ‘what might I do next? How can I continue to learn, grow, and continue the conversation?’ It’s going to take all of us, day by day to build our muscle. If there’s a group of leaders that can do it, it’s us! I’m proud of us and can’t wait to see how we will continue to grow.” Jill Dickert, an Active member, attended a roundtable and shared her experience. When she first learned of the roundtables, she thought it sounded different and interesting and wanted to go into it with an open mind. Jill said it felt like a safe and comfortable environment. The facilitator started by explaining why they were there and stop signs were available for members to use if they were uncomfortable with the direction of the conversation and needed a break. The facilitator circulated pictures of people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds holding signs that shared a common prejudice they experience. These pictures provided a starting point for conversation about making the League more accessible to everyone. Jill feels strongly that continuing to have these discussions will benefit the League going forward. Tara Mosley, 2019-2020 VP of Diversity and Inclusion, also attended a roundtable. Tara mentioned that she was looking forward to the roundtable and was very interested in the discussion. She said she was surprised how comfortable she felt in the small, intimate setting. She thought it was a very smooth conversation, and everyone was very respectful. Her hope for the future is that the League keeps Diversity and Inclusion as a strong initiative going forward, as she wants to keep the momentum going. Rachel Foster, an Active member, hosted one of the roundtables. Rachel’s role was to open her home to members of the League for this small group discussion. Rachel felt that the discussion was extremely safe and comfortable. People started to open up and really expressed their opinions. She said the questions and topics that struck her the most dealt with microaggressions. A microaggression is a statement,

action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority. The group grappled with what a microaggression was and explored how they are interpreted by those who receive microaggressions. Unlike Jill’s group, Rachel’s group spent more time exploring the ramifications of microaggressions than racial identities or economic status. Active member, Chelsea Back, facilitated a roundtable and reflected on the experience. She was very excited that this is a topic our League is taking seriously and creating an action plan for. Chelsea particularly enjoyed the facilitator training, which started with the trainers going around the room and answering why they were interested in this topic. What Chelsea loved and was impressed by were the women’s reasons for wanting to participate, some of whom were motivated by their personal experiences. Then the group worked with the women to create an agenda for the breakout sessions in members’ homes. Chelsea said she was a little uneasy volunteering as a facilitator because she would be managing discussions on an issue that can be divisive and that people can feel very passionately about. She wondered what would happen if the conversation went awry or how she might handle waves of negative emotions. However, everyone was very open and honest once the group started talking. They had barely started the meeting activity when an attendee spoke about something she is passionate about, economic diversity within the League. This led to the group discussing the challenge of how the League can combat economic barriers. Chelsea recalled that her roundtable discussed recruitment techniques extensively, as well as the barriers to economically diverse women. The group explored the ideas of League-provided child care and partnering with other organizations in the community to better serve the Greater Cincinnati area. Nicole Portal, Diversity and Inclusion Committee member, had some thoughts on how to take this exercise into the future, “My hope is that the 102 women that participated in these roundtables walked away understanding that none of us are immune from inheriting the biases of our own cultures, institutions, and society. That it takes both courage and humility to seek out connections with people that appear to be different than us. That they continue to have candid conversations with their friends and peers about what it means to be inclusive. That they walked out of a roundtable feeling more connected to our League, to another member, and that they are now encouraged to reach out to other women in the League for friendship, collaboration, or just to say, ‘hi how was your day today’.” The thoughts and reactions from these women demonstrate the League’s effort to respect diversity and inclusion and the Junior League of Cincinnati’s commitment to take this work forward in the years to come. #JLCincy | 7

Spring is in Bloom! Board Bank Training In February, the Leadership and Development Committee provided a learning and professional development opportunity for League members through its annual Board Bank program. Board Bank trained eighteen League members on how to serve on a nonprofit board through interactive, in-person training with high-energy roundtable discussions, networking opportunities, and reflection activities. #LeadershipEmpowered

Out-and-About with CandO The CandO Committee generated multiple opportunities for members to volunteer with the League’s community partners, including at Dress for Success Cincinnati, Linden Grove School Girls Group, and Cincinnati Youth Cooperative. #WomenBuildingBetterCommunities

LBDI Fundraiser On February 28, 2019, New Members hosted a fundraiser for the Little Black Dress Initiative at LouVino in Overthe-Rhine. Attendees participated in a wine tasting of five wines presented by LouVino’s in-house sommelier and bid on silent auction items to benefit the Junior League of Cincinnati and St. Vincent de Paul. #CincyLBDI

SPAC Training On March 23, 2019, the Junior Leagues of Ohio State Public Affairs Committee hosted a forum at the Columbia Center for JLC members, community partners, and local civic organizations. Rachel Taylor from the Ohio Statehouse discussed how to propose, advocate for or against, and follow progress of legislation at varying bill stages in the Ohio House and Senate. #LearnedItIninJuniorLeague #CultivatingCivicLeaders

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March Roundtables In place of the March GMM, League members gathered at members’ homes throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for roundtable discussions. The meetings explored and grappled with the challenges and importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the League. #LeadershipReimagined

New Member Recruitment During an evening of wine and desserts, thirty-six JLC members hosted Prospective Members at the Columbia Center on March 12, 2019 to share their experiences as New Members and answer any Prospective Members’ questions. #JLCincy

April GMM At the final GMM, members celebrated the past year’s progress with a Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank ‘Year in Review’, recognized Annual Award winners, welcomed New Members as Actives, and looked toward the future by voting on the JLC’s Bylaws and toasting the Centennial. #JLCincy

Diaper Wrapping

Spring Fashion Show

Sweet Cheeks Gala

Centennial Kickoff

The CandO Committee provided opportunities for members to volunteer at Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. Volunteers sorted, counted, and wrapped diapers in preparation for pick-up from the various partner agencies that deliver the diapers to families in need. #SweetCheeks #GiveBack

On April 6, 2019, the Spring Fundraising Committee hosted another captivating Fashion Show and luncheon at the Hilton Netherland Plaza, raising over $50,000. Guests surveyed the latest fashions, shopped at pop-up boutiques, and partook in a silent auction to benefit the League. #JLCincyBloom

Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank hosted its third annual Spring Gala at the Newport Aquarium on April 13, 2019. Gala guests supporting Sweet Cheeks enjoyed a dinner, silent auction, beautiful aquatic exhibits, and some even had the opportunity to pet a resident penguin. #SweetCheeks

On May 7, 2019, League members assembled at the new Summit Hotel to celebrate the beginning of the League’s milestone 100th anniversary year. Members socialized over cocktails, enjoyed a delicious dinner, and toasted to the League’s accomplishments. #JLCCentennial #JLCincy | 9

Little Black Dress Success By CARRIE M. STARTS


he Junior League of Cincinnati, in partnership with forty plus other Leagues, led a Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) from February 25 to March 1, 2019 in a prosperous effort to raise awareness of the impact of generational poverty on women and children. The week-long campaign included the combined social media efforts of our members, a food/hygiene drive for St. Vincent de Paul, special events, and a raffle. Members came together by donating items, attending the campaign events, and proudly posing on social media with their black attire and “Ask me about my Dress” pins. Part of the campaign involved a game night at Shelterhouse’s Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women. The attendees shared an interactive experience exchanging stories and playing games with the women in the program. It was a light-hearted, joy-filled evening of women coming together to encourage one another.

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New Member, Emily Keller, was instrumental in assisting with the launch event at Evereve. She described that the experience helped her to meet other members, and she gained a better understanding of “how committees rely on each other and work together within the League.” New Member, Jennifer Harrington, echoed that experience, sharing that the initiative pushed her to “step up and connect with others and lead tasks that needed to be done.” Overall, this year’s LBDI campaign raised over $1,500 for the JLC and included a collection of 1,315 food and hygiene items for St. Vincent de Paul!

Cheers to 100 Years: Kicking Off the Junior League of Cincinnati’s Centennial Year By ANDREA BUSCHMILLER


he Centennial Kickoff took place on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at the Summit Hotel. Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner, special cocktails, and the chance to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones. Chairs of the Centennial Kickoff Committee, Brooke Hiltz and Amy Kattman, planned an amazing event. Brooke spoke about how she got involved and shared, “I had been asked to help with the Centennial Steering Committee two years ago. They asked us to raise our hand on what we wanted to help with—I was interested in the Kickoff because it sets the tone for the whole year—but I didn’t want to do it alone. So I called upon Amy, who has experience running events both for and outside of the League—and we teamed up together.” The new Summit Hotel was intentionally chosen as the location because the Junior League of Cincinnati envisioned this event as looking towards the future, and this hotel is brand new to the city. The event focused on incorporating League members as well as the League’s 100-year history. Attendees heard from the Centennial Steering Committee, along with the outgoing and incoming Presidents of the JLC. Bob Herzog, lead anchor for Local 12, was the MC for the evening. The event encompassed the Centennial theme of 100 years of community service, fundraising, and friendship. The Kickoff fused the ideas of continuity in the League, the League’s impact on the community, as well as a fun and enjoyable celebration. Leadership honored its legacy of community building, training volunteers, raising funds, and friendship within the organization throughout the years. The Junior League of Cincinnati has impacted lives and started friendships, and the organization wants to bring those members back. Several returning members were even on the Committee that helped plan this event. This year has had a large focus on bringing back returning members to the League and with that, their excitement and

passion. The Committee wanted this event to be its own unique party, since it was happening in lieu of the Annual Meeting and Sustainer Luncheon for the 2018–2019 year. Sustainers, New Members, and Active members alike were all in attendance, and the team that planned the event was very pleased with how everything came together. The committee aimed to make it something to be proud of and a true celebration. They were joyful and happy about what they accomplished. All members who attended were extremely excited about the extra activities and opportunities that will be occuring in the Centennial year. Everyone is looking forward to a fantastic Centennial year!

Thank you to our generous Centennial Kickoff Sponsors! BEVERLY ERSCHELL

The Junior League of Cincinnati’s Centennial year is now underway. The League ushered in this milestone year with early achievements and is eagerly anticipating many Centennial highlights in the coming year.

THE CENTENNIAL SO FAR... The Centennial Kickoff brought together 173 hostesses (far surpassing the goal of 100!) and 70 additional attendees at the May 7, 2019 event at The Summit Hotel. The Welcome Home Committee has welcomed 39 members back into the JLC and continues to work towards the goal of 100 members for our 100th year.

... AND STILL MORE FUN TO COME! JLC History Exhibit at the Museum Center is coming together beautifully with an array of photos, videos, and amazing factoids from our 100-year history in the Cincinnati community. Stay tuned for the exhibit opening on August 16th! The Centennial Gala has secured an incredible live band for the March 2020 event and is shaping up to be one heck of a celebration! #JLCincy | 11

The Matriots: The Female Patriots By ELIZABETH LONGABERGER


s an organization comprised of women dedicated to “building better communities,” it comes as no surprise that many of our members carry their experience and knowledge from the Junior League of Cincinnati to other organizations within our city and state. One such woman is Sustainer Myrita Craig, who lends her talents to The Matriots—a non-partisan political action committee seeking to elect more Ohio women to office. The Matriots were founded by a group of women who became inspired after the Women’s March. Beginning in Columbus, Ohio in the summer of 2017, the committee has since expanded throughout the state with the goal of ensuring equal political rights for women in Ohio. Myrita is one of the founding board members and co-chaired the political endorsement committee. The committee constructed the criteria for The Matriots’ endorsements and then launched the requests for endorsements in 2018 when the state races took place. The rigorous process for evaluating candidates concluded with the candidate signing a document stating that she supports women’s rights. The Matriots then

supported the endorsed candidates through their community influence, financial support, and social media exposure. In 2018, The Matriots endorsed thirty-four candidates, with sixteen ultimately winning their elections. Two of the candidates who were not initially successful in their campaigns have since been appointed to political office. One success story was a local candidate from District 28 in Ohio who was running for the House of Representatives. She ultimately won by fifty-six votes, and she stated that she could not have done it without the help from The Matriots. Myrita is very inspired by the strength and bravery of these women who “put themselves out there” through the election process. Myrita shared the eye-opening statistic that “the legislature has never been more than 25% female since women were first admitted in 1922.” Prior to joining The Matriots, Myrita had an extensive background in the corporate world, and she was fairly new to the political realm. She felt that she could really help the organization make a difference through her leadership and financial support, and has always believed that, “women are better leaders in terms of collaboration.” For more information about The Matriots, visit:

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Spring Style Blossomed at the Junior League’s Bloom Fashion Show



here is nothing like blossoming flowers that sprout beautiful colors across Cincinnati in the spring. This year, our Junior League of Cincinnati members and friends got the opportunity to experience the magical, transformative power of springtime in the form of bold new fashions at Bloom Fashion Show. Co-Chairs of the Spring Fundraiser Committee, Kathryn DeNicola and Morgan Busam were inspired to bring spring colors to life to usher in and celebrate warmer weather.

year’s event and attributes the success of the fashion show to significant advanced planning. There is no doubt that all of the attendees appreciated each detail of the day, which created a wonderful escape to the fashion world. A special thanks to this year’s committee members: Sadie Bonifas, Katharine Burke, Marlea Handler, Bridget Kochersperger, Alexandra Lake, Erin Lee, Ellen McCartney, Erika McShay, Kelly Pear, Jennifer Simon, Carly Tamborski, Hannah Wallack, and Ashley Yanzsa.

Those who attended the event loved this year’s layout and the new location, the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati. The Hilton Netherland Plaza is a National Historic Landmark inspired by French Art Deco design. The location created the perfect ambiance to take in fresh new styles to inspire spring wardrobes.

The event was a smashing success, with almost 300 tickets sold and more than $50,000 raised. So, what can we look forward to next year? It will be a little bit different due to the Centennial celebrations so stay tuned for details!

As with any fashion show, the models carried the day and experience to the next level. The models expertly captured the vibrance and excitement of spring with each look and smile. The following Junior League members served as models at this year’s event: Eleanor Finn, Jamie Humes, Stefanie Osborn, Ainsley McWilliams, Megan Stacey, Catherine Eifrig, Alicia Taylor, Jenni McCauley, Anne Miller, Jamie Stinson, Victoria Neumann, Megan Busam, Liz Fry, Jessica Celestin, Amber David, Nicki Beckett, Kimberly Perros, and Xaviera Edwards. Model Megan Stacey reported an amazing experience due to the convenience of the venue, expertise of Mitchell’s Salon on hair and make-up, and excellent attention to detail by this year’s Committee.

Thank you to our generous sponsors

The fashion show itself was designed to appeal to the entire family and exhibit the city’s best fashion-forward styles. Clothing vendors included Rory Maxwell, Pitaya, Three French Hens, The Pink Box, Alligator Purse, Everyday Chic Boutique, Elizabeth’s Closet, Castle House, Lilly Pulitzer, Leeta Ruth Boutique, Romualdo, Monkee’s of Madeira, True Adorn Boutique, and Bonobos. All of these vendors can be locally shopped for the exquisite looks exhibited at this year’s event. In addition to the fashion show, attendees enjoyed a luncheon, pop-up boutiques, and a silent auction. Kathryn commented that her favorite part of this year’s show was, “seeing the committee’s time and effort come together at the end.” She gave credit to each member of the committee as having an important role in the success of this #JLCincy | 13

Member Milestones Jamie Humes, Young Professional of the Year Award, National Association of Home Builders

In February, Jamie Humes received the Young Professional of the Year Award from the National Association of Home Builders and was selected as the honoree for the Midwest and Central U.S. region. And in April, Jamie was named Marketer of the Year by the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati. Megan Anacker Megan and Matt Anacker welcomed their second child, Henry William, on November 30, 2019, joining their daughter, Evie. Evie loves her new role as a big sister. Their hearts and home are beyond full of love.

Kourtney Brueckner

Jessica Celestin

Nichole Clarke

Lauren Gonzalez

Kourtney and Scott Brueckner welcomed their first child, Claire Elliott Brueckner on April 29, 2019.

On May 15, 2019, Jessica Celestin and Pierre Celestin celebrated three years of marriage.

Nichole Clarke started a new position as a labor attorney for FirstGroup America, a company that provides transportation in the UK, Canada, and the US.

On April 24, 2019, Lauren Gonzalez passed the New York Bar Exam, which has an overall passage rate of only 45% for all exam takers.

Katie Hooker

Erika McShay

Charlene Pfingstag

René Robers

Katie Hooker graduated in June of 2019 from Xavier University with an MBA with a concentration in healthcare.

Erika Bailey and Sean McShay were married in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 8, 2019.

In April, Charlene Pfingstag received the George L. Meinhardt Lifetime Achievement Award by the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati.

René and Matt Robers, with their gestational carrier, Brandy Frederiksen, announce the birth of Marion Katherine “Mari-Kate” Robers, born on March 30, 2019.

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The League Gifts GrinUp! to Benefit the Next Generation of Children


rom 2012-2018, the Junior League of Cincinnati incubated its program partner, GrinUp!. During that time, GrinUp! increased education and awareness on the importance of pediatric oral health education in the greater Cincinnati area. GrinUp! accomplished much to this end by hosting educational courses for Children’s Hospital Residents and dental professionals, publishing baby board books on the care of babies’ teeth, establishing a website and social media resources to promote children’s health, and helping to design and fundraise over $200,000 for the “Inside the Grin” exhibit at the Museum Center, among many other accomplishments. On May 14, 2019, the League announced that its Board of Directors resolved to gift the League’s remaining grant money received for oral health education and remaining GrinUp! assets to the Children’s Oral Health Network (COHN). Since 2012, COHN has been dedicated to providing accessible dental care to children in the greater Cincinnati area. COHN has realized its goal of increasing oral healthcare through its commitment to developing school-based dental clinics in Cincinnati Public Schools, thereby giving children the oral health care they need. By allowing COHN the flexibility to use the GrinUp! resources, the League hopes its gift will enable COHN to further its mission and benefit children in the Cincinnati community.

Milestones Are Reached Our financial experts will help guide you through life’s changes.

Julie Albright, CFA, CFP® Wealth Advisor JLC Sustainer


Change is part of life.

Yo u r T r u s t , I n v e s t e d W i s e l y S M

Cincinnati, OH • Bethesda, MD • Leesburg, VA #JLCincy | 15 MilestoneReached HalfPg Ad.indd 1

4/6/18 10:54 AM

Thank you, Choral Group! After fifty-six years of service in the Greater Cincinnati community, the Junior League of Cincinnati’s Choral Group has announced that this will be its final year. Throughout the years, the group has held over 1,500 performances and had more than 203 members. We are incredibly grateful for the service of these women and for Pat Matchette, who served as the group’s Director for the past fourty-eight years. The joyous sounds of the Choral Group will be greatly missed, but its legacy will live on forever.

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