Winter 2020

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Perspectives WINTER 2020

Tour of Kitchens This year’s Tour of Kitchens led us through the enchanting kitchens of Indian Hill. Yet again, it was a hugely successful, sellout tour, and continues to be an exciting yearly tradition for League and community members PAGE 6

Welcome Home Initiative Learn how the Welcome Home Committee has reconnected the League with former members and inspired over fifty women to rejoin and re-engage in the League PAGE 7

Civic Engagement Training Discover how the Advocacy and Education Committee and SPAC have partnered with local organizations to help educate League members and the community at large on the political process and pressing local and statewide political issues PAGES 14-15

In this issue 3 4 6 7

President’s Perspective Centennial Fundraising Campaign: Are You “All In?” A Tour Through the Kitchens of Historic Indian Hill The Welcome Home Committee: Successfully Guiding Former Members Back into the League 8 Junior League Member and Miss Ohio, Caroline Grace Williams, Competes for Miss America 10 It Starts with a Woman: Photo Review 12 New Member and Transfer Spotlights 13 Diaper Banks in America Conference Raises

Awareness for Diaper Need 14 SPAC and the Advocacy and Education Committee: Educating on How to be Engaged 16 Member Milestones 17 Michelle Vaeth: Past President Making an Impact on the ALJI Board of Directors 18 The League’s Endowment Fund 19 Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Dress for Success Cincinnati Fashion Show!

Your Perspectives Team

Managing Editor Assistant Editor Writer Writer Charlotte R. Eichman Andrea Buschmiller Kourtney P. Brueckner Elizabeth Longaberger

Writer Kelly Saylor

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. Writer Carrie M. Starts

Contributers: Haley Elkins and Chelsea Lewis VP Communications Photographer: Chelsea Zesch Chelsea Zesch

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, What an amazing first half to our 100th year! The JLC is in full swing and we know who is making things happen: WOMEN. Above and beyond everything we do as women, our members have been out-and-about to bring capacity-building volunteer support to so many different organizations, building experiences through our fundraisers, and coming together with compassion to learn and to grow. I want to reiterate the importance of our members’ voices, New, Active and Sustainer, and how each of you is a part of what fosters improvement in the JLC. Across our Centennial initiatives, we’ve seen tremendous engagement resulting in more than fifty members returning to the JLC as part of the Welcome Home Committee’s efforts, exciting plans for the AJLI Annual Conference happening this spring, lots of anticipation for our once-in-a-lifetime Gala, and visionary leadership with our Campaign progress. It has been truly remarkable watching the commitment to honoring our past so we can define our future. Members have raised their hands not only to support our Centennial year but to push for growth that will help us continue to honor our mission over the next 100 years. Tour of Kitchens was once again a smashing success! There were lots of hands that touched the fundraiser, and the results reflected that in meeting and exceeding this year’s goal of $25,000. These funds go right back into the JLC’s operating budget to help further our organization’s mission. Our Fashion Show went retro this year with a focus on membership engagement and the excitement was front and center throughout the evening. Coupled with our wonderful Holiday Party, CandO offerings, ongoing commitment to training, advocacy and ever evolving education, this has been a year steeped in “driving a connected spirit” and that comes to life in many ways. While the back half of this year is stocked with even more incredible options, we are working to maintain focus on expanding our Diversity & Inclusion efforts, explore areas of need in our community and begin preparations

for selecting the JLC’s next signature project. We also are continuing to look inward at how we evolve as an organization and extend our reach in and around Cincinnati. This is especially important as we continue to get comfortable in the discomfort of pushing change and being a multiplier in our community. Every single thing I’ve mentioned — fundraisers, trainings, volunteer events, all of this extraordinary work of giving back has been executed by JLC committees, with the support of JLC leaders: chairs and vice chairs, vice presidents, and our Board of Directors. Our leaders are those who give guidance and advice, who train on specific skill sets, who create forward momentum, and who empower each and every one of us. And it is our members who constantly show up and show that in a city “where pigs fly,” anything is possible. Without you, we would not be where we are this year and I thank each of you for your commitment! All my best,

Meredith L. Comin JLC President

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Centennial Fundraising Campaign: Are You “All In?” Dear Friends, When we began a $1M fundraising campaign in honor of the JLC’s 100th Anniversary, we knew we were on to something special - and this campaign has proved itself to be truly greater than the sum of its parts. Training: We have had the unique opportunity of engaging professional fundraising counsel, who provided solicitor and donor relations training to more than 80 women to date. From New Members to Sustainers, everyone is developing skillsets they can use not just in future League endeavors, but also take into the greater community. Relationships Reignited: We’ve been delighted with the opportunity to personally reconnect with hundreds of League members through this campaign - and we’ve been rewarded with tremendous feedback. Not only are we reigniting many women’s relationship with the JLC, but we’re also making new connections between members themselves that span multiple generations. Community Support: We’ve seen support for the JLC’s legacy and future from five different foundations to date, demonstrating confidence not just in our 100year legacy, but also in the next century of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities. Spirit of Giving: Through the final “All In!” stage of the campaign, we’ve been able to generate an unprecedented spirit of giving. Many members became first-time donors to the League above their financial commitment, and many more made their first ever multi-year pledge to a nonprofit organization. This exciting spirit of giving will strengthen our fundraising engagement for years to come. This final “All In!” stage of the campaign is extremely important in reaching our goal. We’re asking you to be advocates for our campaign and its objectives to strengthen our training programs, expand our capacity-building resources for others, and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to community service. If you have questions about our campaign or would like to help us to the finish line, we encourage you to reach out to us. Thank you for believing in the united resonance of women’s voices. Thank you for empowering the next 100 years of visionary civic leaders. And thank you for honoring our past and defining our future.

Honoring Our Past,

Defining Our Future $900,000 raised against our goal of $1M Funding four areas: Training Endowment


Projects Columbia Center

Words of Support “I came in as a 21-year-old in a new city...and I was the beneficiary of invaluable training, camaraderie, coaching, and experience in so many areas: leadership, projects and programming, finances. [My husband and I] both dearly cherish the lasting friendships that have grown out of my- or our! - Junior League membership. It is our time to show our support and gratitude.” - JLC Past President & Campaign Donor “One of the most special things for me about participating in the Centennial Campaign’s ‘All In!’ phase has been getting to connect with other members and learn how the JLC has impacted their lives. It’s been so much fun!” - JLC Active Member & Campaign Donor “I’ve never had the opportunity before to participate in a fundraising effort like this, and it’s been great to get professional training on how a campaign comes together. Now I can say ‘I learned it in the Junior League!’” - JLC Active Member & Campaign Donor This “All In!” stage is extremely important in reaching our goal. If you have not yet had an opportunity to give, please consider helping us cross the finish line at, or by contacting us directly at or 513.871.9339.

In gratitude,

Digi F. Schueler Campaign Co-Chair #JLCincy | 4

Lauren Bosse Campaign Co-Chair

Katie Hayden Gamber Campaign Co-Chair

Megan Stacey Campaign Co-Chair

Thank you to the following donors to our Centennial Campaign in celebration of our 100th anniversary, enabling us to honor our past and define our future. Foundations The John Hauck Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, John W. Hauck and Narley L. Haley, Co-Trustees. in honor of Janet Hauck, Sandy Elliott, and Paula Wharton The H.B., E.W. and F.R. Luther Charitable Foundation, Fifth Third Bank and Narley L. Haley, Co-Trustees.

Individual Giving Visionaries Ellie & Jim Berghausen Trish & Rick Bryan Pepper Family Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation Digi & Mike Schueler

Community Leaders Missy Byrne Melanie Chavez Barbara J. Fitch Carrie Hayden & Katie Hayden Gamber Marty & Jamie Humes

Champions Lauren Bosse Vicki Marsala Calonge Lee D. Crooks Amelia Crutcher Saralou Durham Linda C. Fath Meredith Edwards Ficks Carolyn Fovel Lynn Pulsfort Larson & Don Larson Valerie L. Newell Marilyn Osborn Margaret Richards Nancy R. Gottschalk Charitable Foundation given by Nancy Gottschalk, Buffie Rixey, and Sarah Pharr Susan & Russ Shelton Laura Skidmore Megan Stacey Chris & Paul Stubbins Ms. Lauren A. Thaman Anne D. Thomas Priscilla & Les Ungers

New Century Club Mr. and Rev. James M. Anderson Susan Shelly Anthony Adele M. Craft Myrita Craig & Dr. Peter Margolis Judy & Chris Dalambakis

Mo Dunne Molly E. Flanagan Susan Holzapfel Ginny & Anna Kuertz Suzanne & Steve Lakamp Shannon & Kei Lawson Ellen Miller Kate Molinsky Ginny & Chuck Myer Mr. & Mrs. James L. Pease, III Keke Sansalone Martha & Gary Steier Dionn Tron Lucy Ward Frank & Rosemary Welsh Ellen Zemke

2020 Society Anonymous Nancy Aichholz Julie Albright & Brian Haas Kelly Barber Alison Bushman Angela Carl Cathryn Carmichael Elizabeth Colohan Meredith L. Comin Kathryn G. DeNicola Jane & Igor Dumbadze Mrs. Emily Emeneker Bobbie H. Ford Lisa Hubbard Mary E. Ivers Jane Johnson Richard & Lisa Kagan Danya & Michael Karram Lori Rosekrans Klinedinst Mrs. John K. Krieg Nazly Mamedova Minda Matthews-Smith Lauren Solimine Tara Mosley Tara & Zac Noland Mr. & Mrs. Bill Poffenberger

Lori Poole Karen P. Post RenĂŠ Robers Jen Schuster Meghan Seitz J.J. & Ross Wales Jamie Williams Abby Workman

Friends Anonymous Sally Aiken Nicole Antonini Cheryl S. Archiable Melissa Barclay Emily Bergmann Sam Bodner Mykol Bolden Sadie Bonifas Mary Anne & Thomas Brennan Rebecca L. Bryson Erica Burns Deborah Hoopingarner Cass Kerrie Rose Clark Sarah Clark Susan & Burton Closson Sara Cooperrider Patricia A. Culp Lynnette Dawe Danielle Dougherty Jeri Duncan Portia Dyrenforth Scott & MaryEllen Farrell Lauren Ferrell Paula Fitzgerald Kate Fortlage Nancy Jane Gaffney Lauren Christine Gonzalez Elizabeth Hahm Marlea A. Handler Emily J. Haun Jessica Herzog Brooke Hiltz The Barbara and Richard Homlar

In Honor & Memorium Anonymous Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation in memory of Eva Jane Romaine Coombe

Christopher C. and Sheila J. Cole Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation in honor of Kathleen McDonald Jones

Charitable Foundation Katie Hotze Katie Hushebeck-Schneider Kaitlin Jennison Amy Kattman Dorian Kern Fran Kohl Janie Koppenhoefer Marilyn & Mike Kremzar Martine Lamy Vicky & Ted Leavitt Jill & Tim Lynch Leslie & Chris Michel Meredith Meyer Jo Moore Emma Morehart Lisa Nolan Michael & Brooke Olson Lizzie V. Polston Nicole Portal-Velarde & Andres Velarde Sarah Rieger Erika Robbe Jessica Robinson Terry P. Robinson Lindsay Rorick Emily Ryan Erin Savage-Weaver Katie Schneider Deanna Sicking Jennifer Von Deylen Simon Mr. & Mrs. Ian & Allison Smith Linda J. Smith Mrs. Sarah Stem Kelly Snyder Emily Thobe Sally Tieke Leslie Touassi Abby Tuke Lisa Williams Comfort Wendel Erika Wera Katherine Wilkinson Maggie Wuellner Chelsea Zesch

Allison Kropp in honor of Melanie Chavez & Keke Sansalone

This listing encompasses confirmed pledges received by January 25, 2020. If you have not yet confirmed your pledge amount, please contact us at or 513.871.9339.

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A Tour Through the Kitchens of Historic Indian Hill By CARRIE M. STARTS


he Junior League of Cincinnati’s Ninth Annual Tour of Kitchens took place on November 2, 2019 and sent us through the historic, rolling landscapes of the Village of Indian Hill. The tour was a living example of how the remarkable charm of the 1920’s can be brought in to the beautiful, modern amenities of today. Indian Hill was first settled in 1795 when the area was populated by farmers and millers whose roads, homes, churches, and schools remain part of the Village today. Beginning in 1904, Cincinnatians were attracted to the area and purchased the farmhouses to use as their rural weekend destinations. This year’s tour began at an historic landmark, the Little Red School House on Given Road, built in 1873-1874 as the Washington Heights School. It now serves as the community historical center and a popular local event venue. Attendees were greeted with Donna’s Gourmet Cookies and hot beverages from Coffee Emporium. They were also provided a copy of the JLC’s Cincinnati Seasoned cookbook and had the option to shop at Truckshop Mobile Boutique, Ohio’s first fashion boutique on wheels. The tour featured six houses ranging in style from classic country to traditional. The houses were set on large, picturesque properties filled with charming views of trees, pools and creeks. Unique features included a custom built bar/butler’s pantry, a coffered tin ceiling, Carrera marble backsplash, and a custom built stone hood, among others. Each of the houses on the tour this year had its own distinct decorating style and features, offering many ideas for the modern-day kitchen. The houses were nicely spread apart so that the attendees were able to enjoy a scenic drive through the beautiful autumn settings that Indian Hill has to offer. Once again, the event sold out quickly with over 400 tickets sold. The event raised over $25,000 to support the League’s mission and program partner, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. In addition to the exquisite sites, this year’s attendees enjoyed delicious food or beverages from the following vendors: We Olive, Breadsmith, Eli’s Barbecue, Flip Daddy’s, Strongbow, The Birch, Funky’s Catering, Heineken, and Couch Family Barbecue. The immense success of this year’s event was made possible by our wonderful attendees and community supporters who attend year after year. Many thanks also goes to our Silver Sponsor, Kathryn Hayden Photography, and Executive Chef Sponsors, Bartlett Wealth Management, Foster & Motley Wealth Management, Garage Living, and the Megan Stacey Group, who helped make this year’s event a smashing success.

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Tour of Kitchen attendees enjoy some scrumptious samples along the route

thank you to our tremendous SPONSORS SPONSORS

Silver Sponsor Silver Sponsor Executive Chef Sponsors Executive Chef Sponsors

Sous Chef Sponsors

Allison Bushman Mary Ivers

The Welcome Home Committee Successfully Guiding Former Members Back into the League By KELLY SAYLOR


he Junior League of Cincinnati is well underway in celebrating its Centennial year. As part of this milestone, the League has undertaken a number of ambitious goals to mark this achievement, ranging from our goal of raising one million dollars in the Centennial Campaign to providing 100 hours of volunteer service in April of 2020. The Welcome Home Initiative is another facet of the League’s unique Centennial initiatives aimed at invigorating its members and the community. The Welcome Home Initiative invites past members who have stepped away from the JLC to come back and renew their membership, with a goal of having 100 former members rejoin by the end of the League year, in May 2020. The Centennial Committee hopes that by welcoming home past members during the Centennial year, all League members will have their passion and pride for the League reignited. The Welcome Home Initiative began in the Fall of 2018, when the Welcome Home Committee sent personal notes to former members and launched an email campaign. These efforts were followed by two lunch events, one at Welcome Home Committee Co-Chair Keke Sansalone’s home and the other at the Cincinnati Country Club. Both former Active and Sustainer members were invited back to learn about involvement in the League. Currently, fifty members have rejoined the League since the Welcome Home Initiative began in the Fall of 2018. Most of the former members decided to leave the League due to family or work obligations they needed to attend to. When these women decided to rejoin the League, the reason they repeatedly cited for renewing their memberships was that they missed their connection and friendships with other women in the League. With the League’s Centennial anniversary quickly approaching, many of the rejoiners

Welcome Home Committee Co-Chair Keke Sansalone hosted a well-attended brunch for former and current members

jumped right back into the League by volunteering for the Centennial Kickoff last May or by planning the upcoming Centennial Gala in March. How can current League members help in the efforts to get others to rejoin? Share what you do for the League and what the League does for the community. When talking to a former member who was active in the League, share your Mission Moments and encourage and engage in a conversation about rejoining. If you know former members, reach out and connect with them; it is the personal connection that engages former members to come back. If you know someone who has rejoined, keep deepening that connection with her: go to a GMM together, participate in a volunteer opportunity, or attend a social event. “Be the woman you want others to be; reach out to others,” advises Rachel Barski, Chair of the Membership Engagement Committee. The League is about forging connections for the greater good of the community, so as we move forward in our Centennial year, keep striving to build and strengthen those connections.

The Cincinnati Country Club provided the perfect venue for former members to mingle with present Active and Sustaining League members

Welcome Home brunch attendees Sansalone’s home for brunch




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Junior League Member and Miss Ohio, Caroline Grace Williams, Competes for Miss America By KOURTNEY P. BRUECKNER


his December, Cincinnatian and first year Active member, Caroline Grace Williams, took the stage to compete for the job of Miss America. Known to the general public traditionally as a beauty pageant, the Miss America organization has completely revamped its competition for the 2019-2020 season. Gone are the required swimsuits and evening wear scores. Instead, the competitors presented their practical and implementable ideas to make the world a better place. The competitors were judged not on their outer physique, but rather their intellect and knowledge of world affairs. While in the role of Miss Ohio, Caroline Grace traveled the state of Ohio spreading the word about her social impact initiative, Caroline’s Crisis Call: Know the F.A.C.T.S. of Calling 911, an initiative that strives to

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teach the public to effectively use the 911 system. During that time she was also able to hone her skills that she learned as a member of the Junior League of Cincinnati, particularly the ability to move beyond her comfort zone to take on new challenges. On one occasion, she was even able to present her social impact initiative to Governor Mike DeWine. Caroline Grace stated that her involvement in the Miss America competition and League have one key commonality, in that they are both organizations full of strong and intelligent women who empower each other toward their goals. Both organizations have pushed her to grow and to be the truest version of herself.

Unearth a world of innovators

MAYA Coming March 14

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It Starts with a Woman CPS Board of Elections Panel

JLC members and the public joined SPAC and Advocacy and Education as they hosted the CPS Board of Education candidates for an interactive panel and small group discussions. Members learned about the different positions of the candidates and had the opportunity to ask questions. Read more on pages 14-15. #WomenInAction #LearnedItinJuniorLeague

Out and About with CandO The CandO Committee generated multiple opportunities for members to volunteer with the League’s community partners, including The Children’s Theater, Girls on The Run, Action Ohio, and Freestore Foodbank. #WomenBuildingBetterCommunities

9th Annual Tour of Kitchens

Tour of Kitchens took place in Indian Hill this year. Members and guests went on self-guided tours in six beautiful homes. Along the way, guests sampled delicious food and beverages from the Tour’s generous vendors. #TourofKitchens

Sweet Cheeks

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

December GMM

At the December GMM, members engaged in the Real Talk Round Tables, which were facilitated discussions concerning what the League’s next program should be. Moderators noted members’ feedback, which will help determine the League’s next steps. #LeadingChange #JLCincy | 10

Thank you to all who have contributed photos from this season’s events!

JLC Holiday Party

JLC members gathered for the annual holiday party at Fueled Collective for an evening of fun, festive attire, and holiday tidings. Guests enjoyed heavy hor d’oeuvres and libations, as well as several pop-up shops and raffles. Attendees also donated toys for St. Joseph’s Orphanage. #JLCincy

January GMM

League members gathered to listen to Kristin Shrimplin, CEO of Women Helping Women, speak powerfully on the topic of gender-based violence. She energized GMM attendees to think about how to prevent gender-based violence and create a new framework for responding to it. And for the first time ever, all levels of League members, including Active members, Sustainers, and New Members, voted on leadership positions for the following League year. #LearnedItinJuniorLeague

Winter Wonderland Fashion Show

The League’s Winter Wonderland Fashion Show was at the 3 Points Urban Brewery. It featured a happy hour and dynamic fashion show that showcased some of Cincinnati’s best women’s and men’s boutiques modeled by members and friends of the JLC. This year’s event included a unique vendor fair of curated vendor boutiques. All proceeds benefited the Junior League of Cincinnati. #WinterWonderland #FashionShow

February GMM

At the February GMM, League members heard from guest speaker Dima Ghawi, who spoke inspirationally about how Diversity and Inclusion enables women across cultures, increases effectiveness, and leads to financial benefits for organizations. She provided a lens for members to look for Diversity and Inclusion, and a lack thereof, so that we can continue driving change. #ItStartsWithAWoman

Email your favorite photos to the Perspectives Committee for inclusion in future issues!

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New Member and Transfer Spotlight By ELIZABETH LONGABERGER

New Member, Casey Burleigh


ew Member Casey Burleigh grew up in Florida and recently moved to Cincinnati with her husband, J.P., and Springer Spaniel dog, Murphy. Casey wanted to join the Junior League of Cincinnati because she hoped to get involved with local charities and meet likeminded women. She has quickly found that the League has women from “all walks of life,” ranging from engineers to marketers to stay-at-home moms. She is also an advisor of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Casey owns her own business, 513 Creative, specializing in graphic design and marketing consulting for small businesses. When not running her business, Casey loves to cook, try new restaurants, take Pure Barre classes, and is enjoying her newest obsession—needlepoint!

New Member, Audrey Shelton


s a second generation League member, Audrey Shelton has grown up exposed to the impact the League has on the community by her mother, Susan Shelton, an extraordinary Sustainer and Past President. Audrey has been shown that volunteering and a passion for others can truly change your life. “As I start my career, I can think of no other organization to help me begin to make an impact on Cincinnati as my mom and many of her friends and mentors already have,” says Audrey. She is excited to continue to make an impact on Cincinnati just as her mother has. Audrey is an Associate Project Manager at Curiosity Advertising. She is also an opera singer and enjoys playing tennis.

Transfer, Sabrina Depenbrock


abrina Depenbrock is a native Cincinnatian and has found her roots back in Cincinnati after seven years of living across the country. Sabrina, her husband, and four children moved from Ogden, Utah where she was most recently an Active member for four years in the Junior League of Ogden. Prior to that she was a member of the Junior League of Albany, Georgia. Sabrina found that the League was a great way to instantly feel connected to a group of amazing women and the community in each city she has lived in. She found time to also be on the board for the United Way of Northern Utah and on Utah’s State Workforce Development Board. Sabrina is a Senior HR Manager for Procter & Gamble and enjoys outdoor activities with her family including hiking, camping, running, biking, and skiing.

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Diaper Banks in America Conference Raises Awareness for Diaper Need By CARRIE M. STARTS


he Eighth Annual Diaper Banks in America Conference was held in at the Cincinnati Airport Marriott from October 24 - 25, 2019. This year’s theme was “Teaming Up to End Diaper Need”. The National Diaper Bank Network puts on the event in an effort to bring together individuals and organizations involved in addressing diaper need. It is the only national conference to provide professional-level nonprofit leadership training for diaper banks, andallows diaper banks to network and see how other banks are operating, sharing best practices. Junior League of Cincinnati members assisted with the conference by leading tours of Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank’s new facility and hosting an educational panel, “Advocacy 101: Diaper Poverty and Period Supply”. The discussion was well received by the panelists, who gave thoughtful responses to an interactive audience. Topics covered by the panelists included: the motivation to get involved with eliminating the pink tax, which is the extra amount women are charged for certain products or services; how to implement legal changes in Ohio regarding the


pink tax; the biggest barrier to getting the bill passed in the House and Senate; and what other states have done that have passed similar laws. The week the panel was held, Ohio enacted Senate Bill 26, which includes a new exemption that will eliminate taxing sales of tampons and other feminine hygiene products. The JLC Advocacy and Education Committee felt that the most memorable part of the conference was the participation of several members of Junior Leagues from across the U.S.

Sweet Cheeks hosted an interactive panel during the Diaper Banks in America Conference

touch of elegance goes a long way

Contact Jo Moore for quality, custom-made window treatments and soft furnishings.

513-652-0546 • •

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SPAC AND THE ADVOCACY AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Throughout the fall, the Advocacy and Education Committee and Junior League of Ohio’s State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC) joined together to educate both the women of the Junior League of Cincinnati as well as the community at large on how to engage meaningfully in the political process. The Advocacy and Education Committee leads the League’s efforts to engage strategically in community partner forums and to communicate findings back to the general membership. Committee members also create training materials and engagement opportunities for both the League and community partners to support the League’s mission. This Committee also provides delegates to SPAC, who participate in the legislative process by advocating for bills that support the League’s mission and educating League members on how to be active citizens in the political process. The fall programming was kicked off on September 14, 2019 with speaker Rachel Coyle, former Ohio House staff and current ACLU staff, presenting on how to be an active advocate for bills working through the legislative process. Special emphasis was given to how to continue advocating for the elimination of the sales tax on disposable diapers, following in the footsteps of the elimination of the tampon tax earlier this year. Currently, disposable diapers are taxed as clothing according to the Ohio Department of Taxation website. This issue is considered particularly critical to the economic wellness of women, who disproportionality pay for the cost of diapers. While this presentation was hosted at the Columbia Center, it was put on in partnership with several outside organizations, including the League of Women Voters and the Cincinnatus Association. SPAC Junior Delegate Emily Thobe credited the decision to involve outside organizations with the desire to ensure the community had access to this valuable information in a nonpartisan environment. Additionally, Emily feels that opening the League’s doors allows the community to get a better understanding of the depth of the League’s mission, while creating networking opportunities for members.

This event was followed the next week on September 19th with a viewing of the documentary Knock Down the House. This film followed the journeys of four female candidates seeking congressional seats in the 2018 midterm elections. The four candidates selected were not career politicians but were motivated to run by a desire to serve their communities. The viewing was followed by a discussion with two local female elected officials, Sara Caruthers and Jessica Miranda. Representatives Caruthers and Miranda were both recently elected #JLCincy | 14


to the Ohio House of Representatives. Despite being from different parties, they shared that they had similar experiences running for office as women and appreciated the ability to work collaboratively on a local level. They also offered tips on how to run for office and spoke of the importance of women stepping forward to serve their communities in government. In addition to Representatives Caruthers and Miranda, other organizations attended this event, and there were resource tables with information for community members and interested League members.

Continuing on the theme of local politics, a Board of Education Candidate Panel was hosted at the Columbia Center on October 3rd. Again, the League partnered with outside organizations, including the League of Women Voters. All candidates, with the exception of Ben Lindy, attended, allowing participants the chance to interact directly with the office seekers. The panel was organized into small group discussions, with the candidates moving from table to table and answering voter questions directly. According to Emily, there were dialogue-starting questions and moderators at each table, but they were rarely used; the participants came with plenty of thoughts and questions to keep the conversation moving. Emily found the impact of this event to be immediate and worthwhile. She shared, “Some of the people who attended didn’t realize the kind of impact the School Board can have. They left more informed on why they should care.” Attendee and League member Andrea Bushmiller echoed these sentiments, reflecting, “The Board of Education event was very eye opening and helped me feel confident in my decisions on election day.”

SPAC and the Advocacy and Education Committee will continue facilitating programming for League members and the community at large this spring. Currently in the works is a human trafficking event, a forum on the proposed sales tax increase on transportation in Hamilton County, and an event on mental health. Dates and times for these events will be shared as plans finalize.

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Member Milestones Lauren Thamen Lauren was inducted into the Brand Masters Society, which is P&G’s highest honor and is given to less than 1% of the organization in total ever.

Rebecca Bryson Rebecca, Josh, and proud big brother, Bennett, welcomed Charles (Charlie) John Bryson on September 25, 2019.

Kathryn DeNicola

Catherine Elfrig

Lauren Gonzalez

Marlea Handler

Kathryn and Christopher DeNicola welcomed Alice Arlington on June 27, 2019. Alice joins big siblings Charlotte, age six, and George, age two.

Catherine Eifrig started a new role at Paycor as the Customer Marketing Manager. She will be managing communication and marketing efforts for current Paycor customers.

Lauren Christine Gonzalez began a new position as a corporate attorney with Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP in the Scripps building downtown.

Marlea Handler and Alan Raveling celebrated their engagement on December 20, 2019. They plan to be married in 2020.

Deanna Hillard

Emily Keller

Deanna Hillard has recently graduated with her Masters of Public Administration with a focus in nonprofit management from Northern Kentucky University.

Emily Keller welcomed her second baby boy, Oliver Arthur Keller on September 21st, 2019. She is completely head over heels in love, and Eli has been a great big brother!

Elizabeth Longaberger

Heather Couch KatHeather

Couch’s book, The School Counselor’s Guide to Surviving the First Year, was published through Routledge Publishing on December 20, 2019.

Elizabeth earned her National Council of Interior Design Qualification certification, which is the industry’s highest standard of aptitude in interior design.

Rachel Maley

Katey Mueller

Rachel Foster married Michael Maley on October 12, 2019 at The Monastery Event Center.

Katey Mueller and Scott Baron were engaged on December 5, 2019 with a surprise trip to the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. The couple is planning a December 2020 wedding.


Susan Shelton

Mina Shen

Carrie Starts

Susan Shelton received the 2020 Pillar Award for Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year.

Mina Shen had a baby girl, Reilly Rose Shen, on October 24, 2019 at 1:24 a.m. Reilly weighed 6 lbs, 7 ounces and was 18.5 inches long

Carrie and Jason Starts welcomed Cameron Scott Starts on July 18, 2019. He joins big brothers Jace and Cole.

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We love to celebrate your milestones! Share your promotions, retirements, awards and nominations, Kacey Vaught new babies, engagements, Kacey Vaught earned weddings, and other her certification as an milestones! OSBA Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, & Probate Submit your milestone Law. Kacey was also by logging into the JLC selected as a 2020 Ohio member site online at Rising Star.

Michelle Vaeth Past President Making an Impact on the ALJI Board of Directors By KOURTNEY P. BRUECKNER


s a League, part of our mission is to develop the potential of women. Michelle Vaeth, Sustainer and former President of the Junior League of Cincinnati, is the embodiment of this mission. Joining the League in 2002, her involvement has had a substantial impact on her career and social life. She is currently serving in the final year of her term on the Board of Directors for The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI). Michelle credits not one, but two major career changes to connections and skills she learned in the League. During her New Member year, the then President of the League met with Michelle and ultimately advocated for her within P&G as she changed her career focus from the buyer side to communications. Then, later in her career, she learned of an opportunity with her alma mater, Cornell University, as the leader of Alumni affairs. The position would utilize her communications and public relations background. After interviewing and being offered the position, Michelle learned that it was her years of volunteer management as a member of the League that set her apart from the pool of very qualified applicants. During her term on the AJLI Board, Michelle has witnessed change and collaboration as well as made a significant impact through her own work. She remarked that it was truly amazing to see how much work could be accomplished by the Board in a relatively short time. Some of her work included serving on the Seat at the Table Task Force, which ultimately developed a way for Junior Leagues to operate with a collective voice across AJLI. She also wrote the initial draft of the AJLI Values Statements, which were voted on at the 2018 Annual Conference. Michelle credits her success on the Board to her time in the JLC. She emphasized her gratitude and enthusiasm saying, “the League is definitely one which inspires members to truly dive in, roll up our sleeves, and do great work! JLC’s community-based impact approach and top-notch training have been in place for a long time; not every League around the world can say this. However, the challenges our League has sometimes faced over the years, especially on membership engagement and retention, are common challenges

many Leagues continue to face across the Association. Having first-hand experience as a member, as well as a President of the JLC, helped me understand these challenges even more deeply—which has allowed me to contribute deeply to the work and discussions on these issues at the AJLI Board level.” This year, Michelle is excited, just as other JLC members are, to be working on the AJLI Conference Committee. Michelle’s time on the Board will come to an end at the 2020 Annual Conference hosted here in Cincinnati. Please be sure to say hello and thank her for her service and dedication to the League!

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The Junior League of Cincinnati’s Endowment Fund

n the 1990s the Junior League Endowment was created as a platform to provide additional income for the Junior League of Cincinnati’s future investments and expenditures by investing donations. Four Ex-Officio members and a distinguished Board of Trustees manage the fund, distributing over $500,000 to the League for projects and additional support. Most recently, the Board of Trustees approved funding towards training at the GMMs on the topic of Diversity and Inclusion by funding several speakers, including Philecia Avery and Sarah Brown. Additionally, the Endowment Fund provided a special distribution to fund a feasibility study in partnership with Skystone Partners as a part of Centennial Campaign, which included further training for members on how to professionally raise funds. In partnership with renowned design thinking firm, Design Impact, the Endowment Fund further funded a large investment in a multi-year curriculum to enhance the League’s mission and strategic priority of cultivating civic leaders. The partnership with Design Impact built the core of the League’s GMMs using a Learn It! Practice It! framework. Furthermore, the Endowment Fund funded a Cincinnati Poverty Simulation through the Ozanam Center for Service Learning at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Cincinnati. By donating to the Endowment, donors are investing in the League and its future.

Thank you, D onors, for your C ontributions in 2 0 1 9!

As of May 29, 2019, the League received donations from the following generous Donors: Julie M. Bodnar Alison Bushman Stephanie Chapman Mrs. Jackson Clagett III Lyndsay Coleman Liz Colohan Patricia Culp Judy Dalambakis Lynnette Dawe Tiffiny Dawson Jane Dumbadze

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Aileen Eckert Kari Ann Ellis Sara Gilmore Nancy Gottschalk Carrie Hayden Laura Jane Hinkel Barbara Homlar Theresa Hooker Sarah Johnson Junior League Gardeners Fran Kohl

Lynn Pulsfort Larson M. Drue Lehmann Carol MacGregor Nazly Mamedova Peggy Mathile Mary Jo Mock Marjorie McCullough Motch Joyce Mueller Valerie L. Newell Kailen Nowik Allison Papathanas

Nicole Portal-Velarde Karen Post Natalie Schoeny Carole Conrad Siegrist Deborah Sims Bette Stith United Sustainers Sally Wood Thomson Natalie Wais Saundra Lamb Walker Rosemary Dahlen Welsh

20th Anniversary of Dress for Success Fashion Show Celebrates Success!



erspectives readers may be familiar with the many ways in which Junior League of Cincinnati members engage in voluntarism throughout the League. But for many members, their efforts are not limited to volunteering in League-organized events. Indeed, one group of League women is making large contributions to another organization also focused on empowering women and frequent League partner, Dress for Success Cincinnati (DFS). DFS is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to women who need to obtain a professional job, including skills, confidence, and an outfit for the interview. This past year marked the twentieth anniversary of the DFS Fashion Show. It took place on September 12, 2019 at JACK Cincinnati Casino and raised $300,000, with nearly 800 guests present for the event. A number of Junior League of Cincinnati members were involved in the benefit. Sustainer Mary Ivers, DFS Cincinnati founder, was the Honorary Chair of the Fashion Show. Active members Emily Ryan and Molly Flanagan were the Co-Chairs of the DFS Fashion Show, Sustainer Lisa Nolan is the Executive Director of DFS Cincinnati, and the 2019 Fashion Show Committee members included Active member Sadie Bonifas, Sustainer Jamie Humes, and Active member Brooke Olson. Mary Ivers founded DFS in 1999 and her legacy still reigns with the heavily involved Junior League of Cincinnati members volunteering their time and efforts to put on a successful fashion show and assisting in the success of such a needed organization. Since Mary founded the organization, DFS has helped over 18,000 women succeed in their careers and life journeys. Emily Ryan’s connection to DFS was initiated after she volunteered at a CandO event many years ago and immediately felt a connection to the cause. A couple years later, Emily was matched with DFS through the JLC’s Board Bank program. Emily took her passion for the cause to the next level and proceeded to become Co-Chair with Molly for

Co-Chairs Molly Flanagan and Emily Ryan with Miss U.S.A, Cheslie Kryst

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Saks Fifth Avenue runway show

Mary Ivers with DFS Worldwide CEO, Joi Gordon

the very special 20th anniversary DFS Fashion Show. Emily shared her thoughts on how impactful the organization is to our community and how the JLC impacted her role as CoChair of the event, “Not only did the League introduce me to Dress for Success, it provided the training to deepen my involvement with the organization. Past League placements in marketing and support on JLC fundraisers helped to set me up to successfully Co-Chair this event. We also recruited fellow JLC members that we knew had the skills that were needed on our committee. Overall, the JLC was instrumental in my involvement with Dress for Success and the Fashion Show.” The Fashion Show Committee welcomed quite a few special guests for the 20th Anniversary celebration, including DeAnna Hoskins, the organization’s very first client in 1999, who is now the CEO of JustLeadership USA; Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide; and Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019, a Dress for Success volunteer and advocate. These JLC members’ achievement in the DFS Fashion Show exemplifies how skills honed in the League can help transform communities beyond the work our organization accomplishes.

Junior League of Cincinnati March 7, 2020 Music Hall Ballroom Cocktails, Dinner by Eat Well, Dancing to the Sly Band and fabulous prizes featuring jewelry from Krombholz Jewelers For more information on this fabulous event or to purchase tickets visit