3039M Fall 2018 Edition

Page 1

L O V E Living


the official magazine of the

3039M Junior League of Washington

3039 M STREET, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20007 | 202.337.2001 | WWW.JLW.ORG




The Power of Second Chances LOVE Theme Ignites a Spark in Our League Leaving a League Legacy




he Junior League of Washington is marvelously and meaningfully “Living Our Values Everyday”! This edition of 3039M highlights the many inspirational ways JLW actualizes our vision and successfully serves as a vibrant presence in the lives of women and children. We feature how our voluntarism at Horton’s Kids, Langley, and Historic Alexandria Docents serves as a resource throughout the community to effect positive change, seek common ground, and inspire hope. We celebrate the military members within the League while honoring the hands and hearts of the thousands of members who have lovingly supported the National Book Festival for sixteen years. Within each article and photograph our love of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community is perfectly captured and appropriately anchored in our values. Our values-driven mission delivery has received two special awards. In June, Washington School for Girls, an independent Catholic day school solely serving girls in grades 3-8 in Anacostia bestowed us with the “Best Friend Award” as an expression of appreciation for the human and financial resources we have invested towards their tuition-free model. In October, New Endeavors by Women honored us with the “Volunteer Service Award” to acknowledge the exemplary service we’ve rendered for more than thirteen years in support of their mission to transition women out of homelessness. Our values of COMMUNITY, LEADERSHIP, SERVICE, DIVERSITY, COLLABORATION, EMPOWERMENT, RESPECT and INTEGRITY are at the heart of how we lead, learn and love. Our annual theme is more than a hashtag. #JLWLOVE is a collective commitment to shared beliefs that genuinely influence our behavior. Enjoy reading more about the spark we’ve ignited and the members who literally and lovingly live our values everyday. On behalf of the 2018-2019 Board of Directors, thank you for your service to the Junior League of Washington and devotion to #JLWLOVE! TYCELY WILLIAMS President, 2018-2019, Junior League of Washington Our cover features From top to bottom: National Museum of Women in the Arts Committee Chair Onika Williams looks at the piece “They Call Me Redbone but I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake” by Amy Sherald (more on page 8). JLW volunteers show kids how nutrition can be fun at the Kids in the Kitchen event at Anthony Bowen YMCA (more on page 6). JLW volunteers assist children with Halloween activities at the Lee-Fendall House’s Pumpkin Hunt (more on page 7). JLW volunteers work with consumers at Langley Residential Support Services (more on page 24).


iving Our Values Everyday reminds the members of the Junior League of Washington and the greater Washington community that the women of JLW purposefully and passionately strive to live out their values in all that they do. JLW recently adopted a set of values that are showcased throughout this issue of 3039M. The JLW’s Sustainer Committee is focusing on the changing demographics of the JLW COMMUNITY and how best to serve each and every member (page 28). Each year JLW members attend the Association of Junior League International, Inc.’s Organizational Development Institute (page 27) to improve their LEADERSHIP skills and learn from other women in Leagues across the country. The Horton’s Kids Committee (page 2) and the Historic Alexandria Docents Committee (page 7) SERVE children in their communities by hosting events that are fun, educational, and inspirational. The National Museum of Women in the Arts hosts “Fierce Women” tours (page 8) to showcase a DIVERSE group of female artists who overcame challenges and social norms to achieve success in their field. The JLW’s Kids in the Kitchen Committee is working towards greater access to healthy food to enable kids to make healthy choices and COLLABORATING with the AJLI’s Food Security Network to address food insecurity across the country (page 6). The Done in a Day Committee is launching a new pilot this year that requires members to devote a certain percentage of their community placement to working with and EMPOWERING those who are in need of a second chance (page 15). In two articles, we honor and show our RESPECT for the volunteers who keep coming back to placements at Langley (page 14) and the National Book Festival (page 31). We showcase a former JLW member, Meg Graham, (page 12), whose INTEGRITY and devotion to helping others has inspired a scholarship and so much more. This issue highlights women who are truly living their values every day in unique and important ways. Through the emphasis on our values, JLW is striving to meet its mission with the greatest possible impact in the community, and that is what L.O.V.E. is all about. Enjoy! REBECCA PRYBELL Editor




16 Junior League Members

IC Letters

Live Our Values Everyday

BC Dates to Remember

17 All You Need is #JLWLOVE

COMMUNITY IMPACT 2 Celebrating a Decade of Home

18 L.O.V.E Theme Ignites

4 Small Grants = Big Opportunities


a Spark In Our League

Runs for Horton’s Kids

6 Ensuring Access to Healthy Food

Choices For Kids: JLW Joins AJLI’s Food Security Network

7 JLW Historic Alexandria Docents

Keep the Spirit of Halloween Alive

8 JLW Volunteers Reflect the

Fierce Traits of Popular Female Artists

10 Wherefore Art Thou Birthday

Cake?: JLW and Folger Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday

12 Remembering a Legacy through Service and Scholarship

20 JLW in the Military 21 Love Your Roots: JLW

Members Stay in Touch with Their Hometowns

22 Bringing Outside Leadership Experience Into JLW

24 Leaving a League Legacy

Rebecca Prybell Chair Mary Grove Rising Chair Mary Beets Vice Chair for Editing Allanté Allen Vice Chair for Photography and Graphics Sarah Valerio Vice Chair for Advertising Jacqueline Bauer Kristina Marie DiPano Katie Hatfield Brittany Higdon Tracy Ophelia Joseph Meredith Clark Lowery

ABOUT OUR LEAGUE 26 Opportunities Abound – Secondary Placements!

27 The Will to Lead: JLW Members

Attend AJLI’s Organizational Development Institute

14 Longevity and Langley: Volunteers

28 JLW Sustainers Focus on

15 The Power of Second Chances

30 How to: Start a Small Business

Who Keep Coming Back


Changing Demographics

facebook.com/jlwdc @JLWDC jrleaguewdc

Danielle Kidd Muenzfeld Ashley Nelsen Elizabeth Petrun Sayers Melissa Richards Holly Roberts Jessica Sanchez Alex Sarp Secondary Placements Ashley MacFarlane Jenny Kaplan Virginia Wallingford Ashley Cohen Mini Placements Sarah Wise Kendall Roberts Maria Santos Bier

Junior League of Washington jlwdc.blogspot.com @JLWDC

Members are encouraged to tag the League’s accounts when posting photos from JLW events. As with all social media sharing, please use #JLWvol as the main hashtag.

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD President Tycely Williams

Treasurer Molly Boyl Fromm

President-Elect Carly Mitchell

Vice Treasurer Kelly Jones

Secretary Angie Quinn

Communications & Public Relations Tara Andersen

Youth & Family Community Placements Ashley MacLeay

Adult Community Placements Carolyn Wilson

Cultural Community Placements Colli McKiernan

Community Affairs Lauren Wilk

Membership Development Kimberly Price

Strategic Planning Carolyn Lowry

New Membership Mandy Asgeirsson

Sustainers Erin Cromer

Nominating Amber Huffman

Ways & Means Jessica Taylor White






By Mary Beets

n June 27, 2018, Horton’s Kids put on its 10th annual Home Runs for Horton’s Kids event. Traditionally held on an evening in June, this event allows Horton’s Kids supporters and their families to explore Nationals Park together with participants in the Horton’s Kids program. Attendees can participate in activities such as running the bases, meeting the racing presidents, and batting practice.

Children are able to let their creativity run wild with pennant decorating.

Face-painting and pennant making are two activities JLW’s Horton’s Kids Committee helped with this year.


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The Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Horton’s Kids Committee (HKC) works with Horton’s Kids every year to provide support for some of the activities at Home Runs for Horton’s Kids. The HKC prepares for the event every year by deciding which activities to provide and then obtaining supplies and volunteers accordingly. With the money raised from this event, Horton’s Kids helps 500 children in Wellington Park, historically one of the most underprivileged neighborhoods in Washington, DC. Through programs at Horton’s Kids like academic tutoring and youth mentoring, children in grades K-12 are able to get the extra help they need to succeed at school. Home Runs for Horton’s Kids is an engaging event

for participants of all ages and serves as one of the organization’s largest sources of annual budget revenue. HKC member Brittany Lowrey said “JLW provides volunteers to work on a couple of activities with kids. In years past we’ve done baseball bracelet making, beading, coloring, and almost always face painting. This year we brought back the face painting and had kids decorate their own pennants with markers and stickers. Both activities were absolute hits, with kids crowding around our tables for almost the entire event!” Home Runs for Horton’s Kids draws many excited children and chaperones, which means the greatest challenges revolve


around keeping everyone entertained. Per Lowrey, an effortless flow is critical. “I think the most challenging part is making sure we have enough coverage. We’ve been really lucky in that kids have loved most of our activities, so right when you finish painting someone’s face, or decorating a pennant, there’s another kid right behind them ready for their turn,” Lowrey said. According to HKC member Farleigh Cunningham, activity selection also plays a big role. She explains, “Figuring

out which activities will be the most engaging and fun for the kids [is difficult]! We don’t want the activities to be the same each year.” After ten years, the annual event structure has not changed much, but activity offerings go through rotations to ensure children attending have the best possible experience. With all of the logistics involved with Home Runs for Horton’s Kids, it is helpful to look back and remember the real focus of the event.

Home Runs for Horton’s Kids gives participants a VIP experience at Nationals Park.

It’s nearly impossible to leave Home Runs for Horton’s Kids without a smile!

For Lowrey, it is written all over the children’s faces. “I think the most rewarding part of this event is seeing how excited the kids are to get the run of the Nats Park! The children in the Horton’s Kids program are coming from a very underserved area, where most don’t have the resources to attend baseball games. It really is a treat being able to walk into the Park and see that all the activities--the batting cages, the base running, the facepainting, the snacks, etc--everything that you see, is set up exclusively for Horton’s Kids.”

IT REALLY IS A TREAT BEING ABLE TO WALK INTO THE PARK AND SEE THAT ALL THE ACTIVITIES... EVERYTHING YOU SEE, IS SET UP EXCLUSIVELY FOR HORTON’S KIDS. While the date of next year’s Home Runs for Horton’s Kids has yet to be set, HKC Chair Ellen Whitesides Kalisz counsels that work with Horton’s Kids is never done. “Opportunities to volunteer with Horton’s Kids are plentiful.” Whether it’s bringing an old winter coat for a coat drive, buying Christmas gifts, establishing a relationship with a child through tutoring, or attending one of Horton’s Kids’ many fundraisers, there is always work that can be done to help the organization.






ometimes a seemingly small gesture can have a huge impact. In addition to the larger grants awarded by the Junior League of Washington (JLW), the League also allocates five Opportunity Grants each year. JLW’s Opportunity Grants of $1,000 or less are awarded to nonprofit organizations demonstrating an unexpected short-term financial need or smaller-denomination financial need related to their respective missions and/or operations. The Opportunity Grants program began five years ago in the League’s Centennial year. “While the dollar amount of our Opportunity Grants might be small, [they] have the ability to greatly help a nonprofit through an unexpected shortfall,” says Sheila Archambault Helke, Rising Chair of the Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee. “The grants also give us a unique way to support and build relationships with other community organizations and spread the word about the Junior League of Washington.” Together We Bake (TWB) is one of the organizations that received an Opportunity Grant last year. This innovative job training and personal development program revolves around a small baking business in which team members develop the skills and confidence to gain and sustain employment. TWB serves low-income women involved with the criminal justice system, facing long-term unemployment, experiencing homelessness, or assimilating to America as a recent immigrant. Participants master skills in


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By Jacqueline Bauer

DC Scores coaches show off poetry manuals purchased with JLW Opportunity Grant funds. commercial food production, food safety, and business administration. Stephanie Wright, the Co-Founder/ Co-Director of Together We Bake is very grateful for the Opportunity Grant. “We purchased ServSafe books and exams and used these to train our most recent team of deserving women. All of the women who took the exam received a passing score and now have their ServSafe certificate! This certification will allow these women to benefit from preferential hiring, a higher starting wage, and to be in line for supervisory positions.” DC Scores used their Opportunity Grant to purchase manuals for their Power of Poetry program. This program provides low-income schoolchildren with 45 hours of supplemental academic enrichment and language arts instruction

JLW Opportunity Grant funds were used to provide ServSafe study guides to Together We Bake participants.


each year. Students spend two days each week for 12 weeks working with literacy coaches to develop skills in writing and poetry. Each participant performs original poems on stage before a live audience at the culminating Poetry Slam! in late November.

“Our Power of Poetry curriculum provides a structured framework for students to read established poets, learn about poetic devices, and study the conventions of poetry, while they gradually build the writing and performance skills they need to experience the power of individual,

DC Scores coaches were able to purchase poetry manuals to facilitate lesson planning through JLW Opportunity Grant funds.

artistic self-expression” says Lindsey Sharp, Manager of Partnerships and Events for DC Scores. Poetry manuals purchased with JLW funds help students by enhancing their skills in poetry and spoken word. These manuals also help Power of Poetry teachers and coaches develop new techniques to bring to the program. JLW opens Opportunity Grant applications three times a year—usually in the fall, winter, and spring. Interested groups complete a short application form available on the JLW website. The application asks for information about the organization requesting funds, the nature of the request, and how funds will be used to support the JLW mission. Financial documents to support the request are also required. Members of the Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee read and rank the applications and make decisions on awards.

RECENT OPPORTUNITY GRANT RECIPIENTS INCLUDE: • Community of Hope (2017 and 2018) – $1,000 to fund the purchase of books for the waiting room of the Marie Reed Health Center. • MOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet Inc. (2018) – $1,000 to fund a final end-of-year performance of students enrolled in its innovative, bilingual afterschool program focused on low-income neighborhood schools. • New Futures (2018) – $1,000 to fund the purchase of a laptop for New Futures Career Launch Program, which provides career navigation, networking support, and a variety of workforce skill-building workshops.

DC Scores coaches showcase the ways they use poetry manuals to enhance their program.






t is hard to believe that food insecurity is a growing problem in our nation’s capital: the land of pressed juices, organic vegetables, and quick service restaurants focused entirely on quinoa. The Washington Post reported last fall that one in seven Washington, DC, households experiences some form of food insecurity, meaning difficulty accessing the necessary food to lead a healthy life. Moreover, a recent medical study found a link between food insecurity and childhood hypertension. While there is a proven correlation between nutritional intake and blood pressure in adults, this correlation is now surfacing in childhood populations as well. Addressing food insecurity for children today will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Junior Leagues across the country have stepped up to address this issue in a number of different ways. Roughly one-third of all Junior Leagues have chosen to tackle this problem in their communities through programming and outreach. In Kansas City, Austin, and Portland, Leagues have created weekend “backpack programs” to provide students with supplies for nutritious meals over weekends, holidays, and school breaks. The Junior Leagues of Boca Raton and Asheville have created community gardens as a way to provide local produce. Leagues in Ann Arbor, Phoenix, and Winter Haven have built upon this concept to include mobile delivery of fresh produce to their community neighbor. The Junior League of Washington (JLW) has long been working to address nutrition-


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al literacy in Washington, DC, through its Kids in the Kitchen (KITK) programming. KITK is an Association of Junior League International (AJLI) initiative that aims to make healthy lifestyle choices possible for kids of all socioeconomic backgrounds through free, educational outreach. JLW’s KITK committee hosts an annual event featuring local chefs, who hold cooking demonstrations, and fitness experts, who lead fun, energetic exercise classes. Kids learn to choose healthy alternatives to soda by testing vats of lemon water, cucumber water, and strawberry water. They have the chance to get creative through art projects with vegetables. They dance and bop and elevate their heart rates with group Zumba. KITK has always been a must-attend event promoting nutritional literacy for kids. However, recently, JLW has expanded its initiative to include education on food insecurity, as well. This year, JLW joined AJLI’s Food Security Network (FSN). The FSN is a unified coalition of League efforts and programs focused on addressing food insecurity to drive change in this area. AJLI hopes that by incorporating advocacy and coalition building into the direct services initiatives existing in Leagues across the country, the community of Junior Leagues can leverage its network to effect real change in our communities. By leading grassroots advocacy, convening stakeholders in the communities, leveraging the relationships already made throughout the Junior League network, the League can bring about real structural improvement. JLW is excited to partner with AJLI in this

national movement to address food insecurity and ensure that kids have access to the nutritional foods they need to increase wellness and build healthy habits.

Kids in the Kitchen shows kids how nutrition can be fun through games and activities at Anthony Bowen YMCA.

District children learn how to choose and prepare healthy food choices at JLW’s Kids in the Kitchen event at the Anthony Bowen YMCA.




hroughout October, the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Historic Alexandria Docents (HAD) Committee plays an integral role in bringing the feeling of Halloween and keeping the legends of spirits alive at historic properties in Old Town Alexandria. HAD volunteers work with five historic properties, most of which host Halloween events for children and adults. The HAD Committee brings the magic of trick or treating to little ghosts and goblins at the Lee-Fendall House’s Pumpkin Hunt, in addition to trick or treat events at the Carlyle House Historic Park and Mount Vernon. JLW volunteers immerse themselves in pre-event logistics, such as candy sorting, setting up crafts, and filling goodie bags, in addition to day-of assistance, which includes reading spooky stories, encouraging little ones during the pumpkin hunt, applying seasonal temporary tattoos, and handing out candy. The HAD Committee ensures that the events run smoothly and that fun is had by the young and the young at heart. The HAD Committee also assists the staff of the historic properties in hosting programming for adults. One such event is the “Zombie Apocalypse,” in which visitors to the Carlyle House Historic Park navigate through “zombie infested territory.” For this event, JLW HAD volunteers are transformed into zombies with liquid latex makeup. Allison Kelley, Curator of Education at Carlyle House Historic Park, found that JLW HAD volunteers “were absolutely perfect at scaring the pants off of people as zombies.” The HAD Committee also takes part in educational Halloween events at the properties, such as “Ghostly Tales” at Carlyle House Historic Park, which tells ghostly tales of Alexandria’s past, and “Grief and Ghosts” at Lee-Fendall House, which educates visitors about Victorian mourning traditions and tells tales of tragic deaths and mysterious occurrences at the house. Laura Lieberman, the HAD Committee Vice Chair, was personally involved in a “mysterious occurrence,” which is now part of the Lee-Fendall House lure. While volunteering at the property, Lieberman asked Mr. Fendall to give a sign if he was there. Upon her utterance of this request, the power at the property went out. The zeal with which the HAD volunteers approach the seasonal events makes the experiences memorable for visitors and the property

Excited kids getting ready to hunt for pumpkins at Lee-Fendall House’s Pumpkin Hunt.

A volunteer applies a spooky seasonal temporary tattoo.

A volunteer helps to ensure fun is had by all at the Lee-Fendall House’s Pumpkin Hunt.

staff. Melissa Petersen, former HAD Committee Chair, said that “it’s fun to see the kids’ eyes light up and adults engaging” in the programming. The JLW’s volunteer efforts are integral to the success of many of the Halloween events, which not only celebrate the season, but also serve as key fundraisers for the properties. Melanie Shere, the current HAD Committee Chair, explains that the advantage of a wide variety of Halloween events and ways to volunteer is that JLW members can volunteer “in a way that is comfortable” for them. It also allows committee members to select shifts that match their preferences and skill sets, be it organizing for an event or reading in a spooky voice. For Kelley, “[JLW volunteers] always seem to be on board with whatever crazy thing I throw at them, which is great, especially with the Halloween events. Things get a bit chaotic with the holiday, so without them as part of our volunteer base lending a hand… I’m not sure we’d be able to survive the programs.”






ashington, DC’s National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) features artwork by women who have blazed trails as artists, activists, and innovators. One of the museum’s most popular tours focuses on a series of pieces by a diverse group of female artists who overcame challenges and social norms to achieve success in their field. The “Fierce Women” tour is offered at various times throughout the year and is touted as unconventional, edgy, fearless, and fun. Those adjectives can also describe some of the Junior League of Washington (JLW) volunteers serving on the NMWA Committee. “My goal for the NMWA Committee is to foster an environment where members can connect and learn about art, women artists, social change, and the Washington, DC, community, while interacting with fellow Junior League members,” says Committee Chair Onika Williams. NMWA Committee members support the museum through staffing a variety of programs, including role model workshops, family programs, films, literary events, and musical performances. Committee members also staff the NMWA information desk, assist with special programs, such as the annual Spring Gala, and have the option to serve as docents. NMWA was Williams’ first Junior League placement. “Honestly, I had passed by the gorgeous yet intimidating museum before joining the League, but I often thought it was a place where I likely did not belong. The first time I entered the museum was for my new volunteer orientation, and I have been in love with the museum since that day.” NMWA Committee members complete comprehensive training prior to beginning their duties and many of them, including Williams, refer to the museum as their second home, where they often see themselves reflected in the art. Williams said “One of my favorite works in the museum is Amy Sherald’s They Call Me Redbone but I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake. The way in which Sherald allows her paintings to tell


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Committee Volunteer Emily McClintock staffing the reception desk where she greets visitors and answers questions.

Committee Chair Onika Williams looks at the museum piece “They Call Me Redbone but I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake,” which inspires her to live her best life.


their own stories and not the stories that the audience expects is how I want to live my life. I want to create my own path, in my way, on my own terms.” Committee Vice Chair Sumana Chatterjee also relates to Sherald’s work. “I absolutely love our two pieces by Amy Sherald. Her colors are so vibrant, and I feel as though I’ve come to know her subjects like old friends,” says Chatterjee. Her other favorite piece is a rhinestone-encrusted painting by artist Mickalene Thomas—a work which is featured on the current “Fierce Women” tour. Chatterjee plans to emulate this artist’s go-getter attitude as she begins her first leadership role with JLW. “It was a bit intimidating at first to take on the role of Vice Chair when I knew my predecessors had set such fantastically A-E-I-O-U AND SOMETIMES Y by artist Mickalene Thomas. Committee Vice Chair high standards. But I’m certainly going Sumana Chatterjee admires this artist’s innovative approach to female beauty. to try my best to channel their ‘fierce’ qualities this year.” JLW member Elaine Bussjaeger is new to the NMWA committee this year, but she is already finding parallels between her life and the trailblazer female artists whose works line the gallery walls. “I’ve been lucky to have worked with many fierce women, both in my career and within the Junior League. In moments where I’ve needed to achieve a new goal or prove my abilities, I channel these women. I ask myself, ‘How would they handle this situation?’ That’s where I draw the strength to keep going when faced with a challenge,” says Bussjaeger. JLW Volunteer Erica Woodward has served for several years with the NMWA committee. “There are so many pieces at the museum that resonate—it is almost like JLW members volunteering with the National Museum of Women in the Arts begin their experience with intensive training sessions. seeing old friends when they pop up in the permanent collection.” Woodward points to a wax sculpture by artist Petah Coyne: The museum will host “Fierce Women 2.0,” a second edition of “Appearing as a bodice-like form, the piece beckons back to a the tour featuring different artists, on January 6, 2019, from 1 - 2 baroque styling,” says Woodward. “From a distance it looks light p.m. This event takes place during the museum’s monthly Commuand airy, but up close you see the melted wax, metal form, and nity Day, which features free museum admission. Spaces on the tour heavy gauge structures suspending it from the ceiling.” Like many are first come, first served, and guests must register at the front desk fierce women, this piece of art breaks stereotypes. It seems feminine, when they arrive at the museum. If you plan to visit the museum for delicate, and conventional at first glance; but a closer view unveils the tour, be sure to also keep your eyes open for a fierce JLW member unexpected intricacy and strength. sharing her talents as a museum volunteer.







By Katie Hatfield

ach year, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) partners with its longstanding community partner, Folger Shakespeare Library (The Folger), to host a celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday. Boasting the most extensive collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, the Folger has been an iconic institution for lovers of The Bard from both sides of the pond since its opening on Capitol Hill in 1932. The connection between Shakespeare and JLW is an obvious one: by promoting the legacy of one of history’s most famous authors, JLW members can further the League’s focus on literacy — joining the Folger in its commitment to the importance of both the spoken and written word. PHOTO CREDIT: BEN LATER, FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY “The Folger works with young kids Assisted by JLW volunteer Robin Morgan, attendees use stamps to create a folio, a pocket-size and teens in the DC public school version of one of Shakespeare’s plays. system by introducing them to Shakespeare’s works through their education program,” said Robin Morgan, a former member of the “Because of the long-standing partnership with the JLW, many of Folger Shakespeare Library Committee for more than a decade. the docents and other community volunteers at the Folger recognize But the committee’s overall impact extends beyond children the JLW women as huge supporters of their mission and as friendly to all lovers of reading and the arts. “There are also events faces to welcome the patrons and visitors to the library for their more geared towards adults as they bring in brilliant authors many events,” said Morgan. through their PEN/Faulkner Fiction and O.B. Hardison One of the most beloved traditions is Folger’s largest open house Poetry series. They also offer concerts, lectures, screenings, event: the annual celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday that takes exhibits and more throughout the year, so the educational place each April. and informative events held by the Folger seem endless,” “All of the pillars that the Folger supports, including theater, music, added Morgan. and Elizabethan history, are represented. With the help of JLW women, For 45 years, the League has supported the Folger’s public the Folger can provide every event at the celebration for free,” said Kelle programs by volunteering at their professional theater productions, Long, current Cultural Community Placements Assistant Council Diexhibitions, lectures, concerts, and family programs. rector and last year’s Folger Shakespeare Library Committee Chair.


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“I love volunteering at the Folger Shakespeare Birthday celebration because it gives me a chance to engage with Shakespeare lovers of all ages through fun, kid-friendly activities,” said current JLW Folger Committee Chair, Lauren Dudley. “It’s also a nice change of pace from our normal ushering duties at the Folger [Theater], and JLW volunteers look forward to the event every year,” Dudley added. Twenty-five JLW committee members staffed several activity stations at the daylong celebration this spring, including drawing Shakespeare’s portrait, building a medieval knight’s shield, and dressing up in Elizabethan costumes. While a source of great merriment for those who attend, the event also has a positive impact on the community at large. “The JLW volunteers Ashley Hollingsworth and Courtney Simmons assisted attendees partaking most inspiring moments are when we as JLW in the “Photo Op” activity. volunteers have the opportunity to support a passion for the arts and literature among all ages,” said Long. “In my first year as a volunteer at the Birthday, a grade school age girl asked if she could share her poetry she’s written in the style of Shakespeare’s couplets she had learned the year before. I loved seeing her excitement for reading, writing, and creativity.” By hosting an event that is accessible to everyone, younger generations have the opportunity to gain exposure to Shakespeare’s works in a manner that makes them seem both approachable and fun. “I loved volunteering at Shakespeare’s Birthday Party last year. I was working in the costume section of the event, where we helped visitors dress in clothing from Shakespeare’s time. It JLW volunteers Hollingsworth and Simmons assisted in the “Photo Op” activity. was so fun to see the kids’ eyes light up when they saw themselves in the fancy “Shakespeare’s Birthday is a wonderful opportunity to spread a dresses,” said Liz Tyler, one of the 25 JLW volunteers. passion for the written word and experience how Shakespeare’s writ“One person who stuck with me was a woman who was so ings have influenced our culture for centuries.” excited to be dressed, and when she saw herself in the mirror, she just This past year’s event took place on April 22, 2018, and instopped and looked at herself for a minute with a smile on her face. cluded such entertainment as sword fighting demonstrations, live I could tell it meant a lot to her, and I was so happy to be a part of performances of Elizabethan music, tours of the Folger reading her day,” Tyler added. rooms, an appearance by an actor portraying Queen Elizabeth I, Next year, the celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday will take place discussions with Folger museum curators and scholars, and (like on April 14, 2019. As with every year, the celebration will include any good birthday party) cake. events all day and is free to the public.






By Kristina Marie DiPano

ach year, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) recognizes local high school seniors for their excellence in voluntarism through the Meg Graham Scholarship. Named in honor of the Reverend Margaret (“Meg”) Graham, the scholarship targets DC-area high school seniors who demonstrate excellence in service and academic achievement. Graham was a natural leader, remembered not only for her dedication to scholarship and voluntarism, but also for her sense of humor and grace. Her commitment to social justice is evidenced in every stage of her life — through her service to the Junior League, her lifelong career of leading nonprofits, and later, through her service as Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Georgetown.

GRAHAM WAS A NATURAL LEADER, REMEMBERED... FOR HER DEDICATION TO SCHOLARSHIP AND VOLUNTARISM. She lived to serve others, whether through her faith, or in the various leadership positions she held with charitable organizations in the local community, including the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, Covenant House, Bright Beginnings, and the Children’s Defense Fund. Graham’s legacy makes one thing certain: she was nothing short of a force of nature, a leader by example, and a source of light in the dark corners of our society.


Fall 2018

The beautiful and ambitious Reverend Margaret “Meg” Graham, taken around the time of her leadership as President of AJLI.


Through all of her accomplishments, the Junior League was at the heart of Graham’s story. Graham came to the Junior League prepared to leave her mark. She brought unwavering ambition and a solid history of academic achievement, made possible by the scholarships that were available to her. In the League, she worked her way up through the ranks, serving in a number of different roles that targeted education, community outreach, and educational opportunities. After holding the role of Area Director for JLW, she was elected to serve as President of The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) from 1980 - 1982.

TODAY, THE MEG GRAHAM SCHOLARSHIP SERVES THE MEMORY OF ITS NAKESAKE BY PASSING THE TORCH TO STUDENTS IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY TO FOLLOW IN HER FOOTSTEPS OF PUBLIC SERVICE. Graham’s husband, William P. Graham remembers, “Meg had strong convictions about how much more the Junior Leagues could do for their communities … She traveled tirelessly, taking that message around the country and overseas, speaking... [at] hundreds of League events. No question she was a leading change agent in the evolution of today’s League open membership.” Following Graham’s return to the JLW after serving as President of AJLI, the Meg Graham Scholarship was born. Graham knew firsthand the doors that are opened by the opportunities that scholarships can provide. JLW Sustainers rallied to generate support for funding in order to develop a scholarship that would benefit students like Graham, who had progressed through public school education and used scholarships as a springboard to reach opportunities that would have otherwise been unavailable to her. Today, the scholarship seeks to honor Graham by rewarding students who exemplify her qualities of voluntarism, academic achievement, and the potential for future success. One winner is awarded a $10,000 prize each year that directly contributes to the cost of the student’s college education.

JLW’s Community Outreach Committee is tasked with sorting through the pool of applicants to choose a clear winner. Given how competitive the college application process can be, most college-bound seniors have already set themselves apart as athletes, scholars, and participants in extracurricular activities. Washington, DC, public schools require students to complete at least 100 hours of community service to receive a diploma — the District of Columbia was one of the first large urban school districts to do so in the country. Because students are already required to meet a substantial hours-minimum for community service, the winner of the scholarship must do more to stand out from other applicants. Deena Smith, 2016-2017 Chair of the Community Outreach Committee, and the current Assistant Director of the Community Affairs Council, provides her perspective on the “it” factors that serve as guideposts for the decisions when considering candidates: “In the past we have paid special attention to uniqueness, impact, and sustainability. Is the student providing an existing service in a novel way? Are they addressing an overlooked need in the community, or are they tackling problems using their personal, special skill set? What is the impact of their work? Have they solved a problem or helped someone? Has the student learned something from the experience that they can apply in other areas of life? Is their service engaging, hands-on, and personal? Will the activity have a long-lasting effect, can it be continued?” Community Outreach Chair Kelly DeLoach said that the interview is another key to distinguishing applications and selecting the scholarship recipient, “We want to see students that go beyond the DC Public School graduation requirement of volunteer hours (100 hours) and we want to see their passion for…[voluntarism] come through in their application [and] in the interview.” Today, the Meg Graham Scholarship serves the memory of its namesake by passing the torch to students in the local community to follow in her footsteps of public service. The scholarship not only provides the resources needed for students to pursue opportunities that otherwise may be unavailable, but it also continues to strengthen JLW’s bond with recipients. Smith describes what being a part of the selection process has meant to her: “Selecting these winners help[s] connect the dots between our mission, our values, and the people we serve … The Scholarship is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to voluntarism and honoring outstanding members of this community. Members of the committee have formed personal relationships with the winners (and other applicants), and we always look forward to hearing how well they’re doing in college. Our scholarship winners are the best advertisement JLW could ask for: intelligent, articulate, well-rounded young people who are making this world a better place.”






had no idea what to expect during my Junior League of Washington (JLW) “community experience” back in 2013. I chose to go to Langley Residential Support Services (Langley) because it was [near] the house I was living in at the time, but I knew almost nothing about it. Given the League’s focus on literacy, I assumed I would be reading with children or organizing books. When I walked through the doors of Trinity United Methodist Church in McLean, VA, I was beyond surprised to see no children, but instead intellectually disabled adults, and my heart swelled. My grandmother was one of the first special educators in my Ohio hometown, and being around “other-abled” adults and children my entire life made me feel right at home. Feeling right at home is customary with JLW Langley volunteers. In 2016, six JLW volunteers went sustainer after spending all of their JLW active years at Langley volunteers. Why? Langley’s consumers, without a doubt, capture hearts, and volunteers feel as though their time with them is appreciated. Second-year volunteer and current Langley Vice Chair, Emily Jordan, moved to Washington, DC, to work as a special educator at a school for children and young adults with disabilities. Even though she has moved on from the school and into a role in the business world, Jordan misses several aspects of special education, which volunteering at Langley provides. “I don’t have fulfillment at work, but here I have it,” she said with a smile.


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Langley consumer, Jennifer, and JLW member, Ashley Engel, at the Langley kickoff event. “Everything from Corey’s constant talking about his Crock Pot to Donna’s curmudgeon ways makes me laugh.” Second-year JLW volunteer, Caroline Bernard agrees, “No matter what is going on in life, I leave Langley feeling fulfilled.” Like Jordan, Bernard works in the business world and feels as though it is not always as fulfilling as working with people who truly value the time they spend together. Chris, a Langley consumer, said that the JLW volunteers are some of the friendliest people he has ever met. “They’re honest about their jobs, and I really like when they visit my house.” Here, Chris is referring to the annual visit Langley volunteers make to the consumers’ houses. The evening usually consists of tours, pizza, and wonderful conversation. It is eagerly anticipated by Langley consumers throughout the year. Chris’ favorite thing about the Tuesday JLW

Langley night? “They listen to us,” he said without hesitation. A first-year Langley volunteer was attracted to Langley because she has a brother with special needs. “It’s nice to give back,” she said. “I wanted continuity in my volunteer role, and Langley seemed like the perfect fit.” Current Chair, Steph Rowan, who has served on the committee for four years, appreciates that her time at Langley has resulted in strong relationships with the consumers. “They make me laugh,” she said. Even though a new generation of Langley volunteers has stepped up in leadership and many long-standing volunteers have moved into sustainerhood, current volunteers have no intention of switching committees. The fulfillment of working with and forming relationships with the consumers is invaluable, and their passion is contagious. It’s what keeps these Langley volunteers coming back.




ho has never needed a second chance?” asked Victoria Sheard, current Done-in-a-Day (DIAD) Committee Chair of the Junior League of Washington (JLW). While a simple question, it strikes a chord with many of us. Haven’t we all needed a second chance at some point in our lives? “When I transferred here from Dallas, I saw the needs of the people around me in ways I had never seen before. I was no longer driving alone down the highway, but I was now walking next to people. People I never would have met previously, and I [saw] their needs in a profound way,” explained Sheard. The realization that so many people in the world, including in Washington, DC, are in need of a second chance served as the catalyst for the creation of a new pilot program this year for the JLW Done-in-a-Day Committee. The pilot program will require DIAD Committee members, secondary placement participants, and mini-placement participants to devote a percentage of their community placement time to serve those in need of a second chance. Open shifts are going to be offered to new members and transfer members as continuing education (CE) credits. Any remaining shifts will be open to all members of the League who want to lend a helping hand. JLW has identified three main groups of individuals in need of second chances: those in need of recovery, those in need of empowerment, and those in marginalized communities. Individuals in these groups might include those suffering from substance misuse, refugees, human trafficking survivors, or those experiencing homelessness. The list is long, and Sheard and her team are hoping the impact will be monumental. “I’m excited about this opportunity to make an impact in ways we never have

before,” said Sheard. In addition to helping with second chances in the Washington, DC, community, Sheard is also enthusiastic about the opportunity to educate League members about these populations and how we can better serve them. Ilana Kowarski, the DIAD committee member who originally proposed the idea of supporting those in need of second chances, is also excited about the program. “I think hardship can be a very isolating and disorienting experience, so it is good for us to reach out [to] vulnerable populations directly to let them know that we care about their adversity and for us to continually ask them what help would be most valuable on their road to recovery,” said Kowarski. “I’ve always liked the idea of fresh starts, new beginnings, and second chances. This concept is empowering for anyone who is going through a difficult time. It helps them imagine a better life and believe in themselves.” To better identify and support these individuals, JLW will be expanding its partner base to include new partners who are already rooted within second chance communities. Sheard is particularly excited about a few new partners such as I Support the Girls, which collects and distributes feminine hygiene products, along with gently used bras to women experiencing homelessness. Another new partner is Samaritan Inns which includes a variety of programs aimed at providing homeless or at-risk individuals who suffer from drug and alcohol addictions services that help them get back to living a healthy and productive life. “We hope that through the Second Chance Project, DIAD can increase awareness and decrease the stigmatization of these sometimes-overlooked topics to create an open environment for discussion while helping second-chance survivors move forward,” says Sheard. “The key is awareness and [action] which goes back to a key part

of Junior League’s mission: ‘improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.’” In addition to increasing awareness among League members, this pilot program creates an opportunity for each and every JLW member to support those in need. It is an opportunity to confront these issues, and listen. It’s an opportunity to not pass judgment, but to learn from past mistakes. After all, isn’t that what we’ve all wanted when we were the ones in need of a second chance? To be supported, to be heard, and to be able to move forward.






ycely Williams, 2018-2019 President of the Junior League of Washington (JLW), is helping to shape how the JLW and its members think about its purpose, decisions, and actions. This year Williams encourages JLW members to commit to L.O.V.E. or “Living Our Values Everyday.” JLW has adopted and will embrace and share the values of Community, Leadership, Service, Diversity, Collaboration, Empowerment, Respect, and Integrity both inside and outside of the League. The idea for L.O.V.E. began when Williams noticed a need for organizational values during her time on the Strategic Planning Committee. While JLW had already established a mission, vision, and diversity statement, there was still one piece missing. As Williams puts it, “how can you make decisions without values about material and human resources?” With this gap uncovered, Williams and other JLW leadership searched for solutions. In early 2018, the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) shared a set of initial values which served as a base that JLW chose to adopt. JLW opted to add one value to the original AJLI list: Integrity. “Integrity was added because we wanted a principle that would inspire women with a high level of civility and morality, and we didn’t feel as if the other values spoke explicitly to the importance of that,” says Williams. These eight values are much more than words on paper. Rather, they are a roadmap to help members actualize values in


Fall 2018

By Elizabeth Petrun Sayers

Back row: (left to right) Colli McKiernan, Carolyn Wilson, Kelly Jones, Tara Andersen, Kimberly Price, Erin Cromer, Jessica Taylor White, Carolyn Lowry Front Row: Amber Huffman, Lauren Wilk, Angie Quinn, Tycely Williams, Carly Mitchell, Molly Fromm, Mandy Asgeirsson, Ashley MacLeay fundamental ways. For example, when representing the League, ideally each member will approach her interactions with other members, the community, and beyond with L.O.V.E. in mind. While JLW policies and procedures cannot outline the right course of action for every possible scenario, these values serve as a beacon for what JLW stands for every day. Ultimately, Williams finds that the values “will pair with our mission and vision and speak to who we are as a collective powerhouse of volunteers.” Williams hopes that members find the values helpful as they contribute to the League’s work. She has noticed that

“because we like one another, and we don’t want to offend or upset our peers, it can be difficult to have a critical conversation or a dissenting opinion. The values will help us all advocate for certain positions and anchor them to our core beliefs.” These types of honest conversations help us be the best versions of ourselves and make the right choices for JLW. Embracing L.O.V.E. strengthens JLW and reminds us of what we stand for. As another League year begins, JLW members will embrace these ideals in every action in support of the League’s mission. How will you share the #JLWLOVE this year?


ALL YOU NEED IS #JLWLOVE By Kristina Marie DiPano


very year, somewhere between 250 to 300 New Members join the ranks of the Junior League of Washington (JLW) to contribute their time, skills, and resources to the community. Last year alone, JLW women served 25 community partners, contributed approximately 17,590 hours of direct service to the community, and provided more than 6,000 hours of training to League members. Beyond time spent, JLW awarded $125,000 in grants to support programs dedicated to improving the local Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area through education and development opportunities. JLW volunteers are frequently found assisting at headline events around town, such as the National Book FesJLW President Tycely Williams with tival. How can New Members New Members Sara Eisele and find their footing among seaAlexandra Chittams. soned volunteers in the League? New Members come from across the nation (California, Arizona, the Carolinas, Florida, Massachusetts, and the DMV, to name a few) and bring diverse work and life experiences, ranging from government and politics to real estate, law, event management, and consulting. A common desire to promote voluntarism and leadership with other driven, like-minded women helps this diverse group of women bond and thrive during their time with JLW. Alexandria (“Alex”) Palmer, a New Member who recently moved from Clemson, SC, joined JLW to put down roots in her new city and to find opportunities that would allow her to give back. “As a woman, I feel that it’s imperative that we step up in our communities, while developing our sense of self, formulating new ideas, and realizing our innate worth in order to be an asset for change and betterment not only for us as individuals but our friends, families, and communities as a whole,” Palmer explained. The Junior League of Washington has a long-standing history of positive impact and change on a scale made possible by the collective efforts of its passionate, driven members. In our 106th year, under the leadership of JLW President Tycely Williams, we are reminded that creating that level of impact starts with a foundational, internal commitment to Living Our Values Every day. Self-growth and service go hand-in-hand. Like Palmer, many of the New Members of year 106 embody the message embedded in JLW’s newly adopted values and seek to carry them forward through their

involvement in the League and the personal values they bring to our organization. Brittany Sawyer, a New Member who recently moved to DC from Tulsa, OK, puts it simply, “Service above self aligns with my core values. JLW is an avenue in which to express this.” While some come to JLW in search of ways to give back, others New Member orientation begins. come to JLW after witnessing the League’s impact firsthand. Madeleine (“Mimi”) Spjut, a New Member originally from Houston, TX, is a tutor at Horton’s Kids and volunteered with that organization prior to joining JLW. “Through [Horton’s Kids], I was introduced to the Junior League, and I saw firsthand, the kind of impact JLW has on the community and on children. I 2018-2019 New Member Steering saw confident, organized teams Committee Group celebrating the of women swoop in and host New Member class of 2018 - 2019. fun, exciting events for the kids Top (L to R): Courtney Brady, while making it look effortless,” Allie Cleaves, Camden Stuebe, Spjut said. “The remarkable thing Jenny Dawson, Lynn Clark, and Rachel Layher was that not only were these volunteers doing great work, but Bottom (L to R): Allison Rafti, Emily Patt, Celina Kurani, and Jen Beyer they were having so much fun! My student looks forward to the Halloween party every single year because of the Junior League. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of such an awesome group of ladies?” A good question, indeed. Perhaps New Members have no trouble finding their footing in the League because they come to JLW committed to service and driven to grow beyond what they have accomplished alone. They take personal responsibility for developing themselves and each other, and for sharing this love and passion with the surrounding community. For New Member Kesha Butler, it is second nature. “I firmly believe that we are here to help one another. We lend a hand; we pay it forward. Doing so is how we keep the world spinning. JLW aligns with my most fundamental values of service to one another and our communities. JLW women support and build up one another, and then extend that love to the DC region.”






hile the “Living Our Values Everyday” (L.O.V.E.) focus is new for our 106th year, it is no surprise that members already embody the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) recently adopted values of Community, Leadership, Service, Diversity, Collaboration, Empowerment, Respect, and Integrity. With a little intentional effort, we expect that members will begin to incorporate the L.O.V.E. mentality naturally. From new members to sustainers, L.O.V.E. abounds throughout JLW. Members are quick to offer insight about how they see L.O.V.E. impacting their day-to-day life, and also advice for others looking to embed purpose in their everyday thinking and actions. “I’ve been surprised by the sense of community I’ve found in the League,” says Stephanie Hoehn. Even though all of her committee placements have been in the community, she cherishes the internal sense of community JLW offers, particularly after welcoming her daughter last year. Elizabeth Keys learned over her years in the League that leadership is about more than having decision-making power; the real value comes from building consensus, listening, considering different opinions, and inviting others to the table. “That also means recognizing that you may not know all the answers!” she shares. Service, particularly in the community, remains impactful for Alesandra Trilivas, who finds meaning in giving back to causes she cares about in JLW and outside the League including the Greek Orthodox Church, which helps her stay connected to her heritage.


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“I am [grateful] to know that diversity is an important value for both JLW and the AJLI [Association of Junior Leagues International]. I wanted to join the League for over a decade, but hesitated to do so, because I was afraid I wouldn’t fit in, as a woman of color,” says Melissa McCall. McCall adds that she was delighted by a warm reception throughout her new member year which quickly alleviated her fears. Jacqueline Frederick-Maturo remembers the value of collaboration as Co-Rising Chair for Kitchen Tour, sharing that “as a leader, I am only as strong as my team. Without committee members and leadership working together, it would be impossible to achieve the JLW mission and have a lasting impact.” TwensQueen Jean-Baptiste reflects that her new member year in the League taught her how to feel empowered. “My first year in the League taught me to have confidence and try all the things that interest me.” Many members feel respect and integrity are at the roots of JLW values. “I believe respect is the most important way someone can show [another person] they appreciate them and recognize their hard work” notes Marissa Da Silva. When it comes to integrity, “JLW members should commit to walking, breathing, and serving with all of these values. This is how we will make an impact on all of the Washington, DC, community” says LaTonya Clark.


Members who want to get in on the L.O.V.E. but do not know how should start small. For example, every member’s role on a committee is important. Don’t be discouraged from going above and beyond the call of duty just because you are not currently in a leadership position. “Sorting clothes for Tossed and Found or volunteering to be a guide for Kitchen Tour is leadership in development,” offers McCall. Clark offers similar advice to members, “Always show up and do your best no matter what!” Members can also think about choosing one core value that resonates the most with them and dedicate their year to exploring what that value means to them. “As a Hispanic woman, I understand the power of diverse thinking and inclusivity. I look forward to exploring that more in the year to come,” says Frederick-Maturo. Keep in mind that all values are not mutually exclusive. Clark reminds us that something as simple as attending a fundraiser and inviting two or three friends or colleagues to attend is not only fun but also broadens your JLW networks and brings new ideas and individuals to interact with the League.

TRYING SOMETHING NEW IN SUPPORT OF A VALUE CAN BE INTIMIDATING AT FIRST BUT CAN ULTIMATELY CHALLENGE AND INSPIRE YOU. Finally, while there are many ways to “start” working towards these values, it is equally important to consider what thoughts or behaviors we might like to remove from our everyday lives. For example, if something is impacting how empowered we feel (e.g., Fear of public speaking? Lacking the expertise needed for your dream profession?), consider what barriers could be blocking this goal. Removing barriers that impede the ability to achieve goals is equally as important as trying new strategies. While L.O.V.E. may require a little more work through active thinking and behavior change, these transformations can lead to positive outcomes. Trying something new in support of a value can be intimidating at first but can ultimately challenge and inspire you. “The minute you start to espouse the values that you preach, they will start to trickle back to you. You feel that sense of community, you get promoted to leadership, others want to help you in your time of need,” finds Trilivas.






nyone who knows Holley Rosser knows that she is an enthusiastic patriot who loves her country. Rosser, a 13 year Army veteran and current reservist” after the words, joined the Junior League of Philadelphia five years ago before transferring to the Junior League of Washington (JLW), where she currently serves as the Special JLW member, Army Events Co-Chair for Bright Beginnings. veteran, and current As an Army Intelligence Officer, Rosser reservist, Holly Rosser won several awards including the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. She has always been an avid volunteer and has made it a priority to give back to the communities in which she has lived. Even while serving overseas, Rosser used her role in the military to organize volunteer efforts for animals and children in need. For Rosser, joining the Junior League was an easy decision, as she desired to volunteer in an organized manner while surrounding herself with like-minded, service-oriented women. She shares, “the most rewarding thing about being in the military was having a direct and measurable impact on the battlefield in Afghanistan. Additionally, the people you serve alongside are amazing, selfless patriots. The most rewarding thing [about the] Junior League is the same as [in] the military, it all boils down to seeing the impact you’re making in communities and working with amazing, selfless women.” The number of women in the military today is higher than ever before. Currently, there are roughly 1.3 million active-duty troops, which includes more than 200,000 women.1 For Chandler Brown, a member of the JLW Historic Alexandria Docents Committee (HAD) and a five-and-a-half year member of the Navy, the most rewarding part of being in the military has been the opportunity to serve her country and the camaraderie she has developed with sailors and friends along the way. Being in the Navy is one of the main reasons she joined JLW member and Navy the Junior League. service member, Brown shares, “the number one lesson Chandler Brown you learn as an officer in the Navy is ‘take care of your Sailors.’ No matter what your role or rank, your job is to watch out for your Sailors, take care of them (e.g., keep them out of


Fall 2018

trouble), and help them accomplish the mission.” That very same philosophy inspired her to seek out additional ways to take care of others and her community and ultimately led her to join the Junior League. “I especially love working with teenagers and young women, such as working with the Girl Scouts through HAD. Leading the girls in projects feels a lot like leading junior sailors, which there is not a big opportunity to do here in D.C. I love taking my Navy values and using them to benefit the community around me,” Brown says. Brown originally joined the Junior League of Monterey County in 2015, before transferring to the JLW a year later. She is a Lieutenant and Human Resources Officer in the Navy and has won many different awards including the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Brown adds, “My most important values are service to others and hard work. My parents instilled a strong sense of patriotism in me growing up and also taught me the value of hard work and personal initiative. I believe in serving others, in little and big ways, whether that means community service or just looking out for your friends and family. I also believe that hard work and taking the initiative are the biggest factors to personal and professional success.” Sixteen-year Army veteran and Holiday Shops volunteer Virginia Wallingford originally joined JLW during the centennial in 2012. Voluntarism and her service in the military create an indescribable feeling within her that she finds fulfilling. The rewards of her military service and JLW membership also parallel. She shares, “the most rewarding thing about being in the military is the relation- JLW member and ships that you create. The most rewarding Army veteran, Virginia Wallingford thing about being a member of JLW is also the friendships I have made with selfless and awesome ladies.” Wallingford is currently a Senior Logistician, and like Rosser, she earned the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. These dynamic JLW members and servicewomen bring a unique experience to the JLW community. Their sacrifice for our country and our lives is immeasurable. Through it all, these women continue to persevere, live their values, and serve our country and the community. What drives these fierce, driven women to continued service, both in the armed forces and through the JLW? As Chandler Brown states, “I think [the] Junior League is a perfect fit and balance for military women!” 1 All data are from CNA’s, Population Representation in the Military Services: Fiscal Year 2016 Summary Report.





By Alex Sarp

he Washington, DC, metro area currently ranks fifth in population growth in the U.S. It also has the second busiest subway system in the nation due in part to the estimated additional one million people commuting into the city each day for work. A study by the New York Times found that Washington, DC, has always had an influx of outsiders; it has the largest share of newcomers to any state except Florida and Nevada. The Junior League of Washington (JLW) membership reflects this trend, with members representing states from all across the nation. As the saying goes, in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you have been. In today’s society it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle without taking a second to pause and reflect on why we are who we are and how we got here. This is especially true when living in the nation’s capital, a place that sometimes allows us to forget our roots and find a new identity among the monuments and museums. Several JLW members shared about how they stay connected to home while living the metropolitan life in the nation’s capital. JLW member Taylor Jackson is the Communications Chair of the DC RAM Network, the local alumni group for Colorado State University. The group’s social activities include football watch parties every game day and attending the “Go West Beer Fest” each year. “My city, Fort Collins, is definitely famous for beer. It’s home to New Belgium Brewery and Odell’s Brewery and a countless number of other microbreweries. You could spend an entire day trying different beers and still not even come close to seeing everything Fort Collins has to offer,” said Jackson. While the group is definitely a way to make friends, it still devotes resources to give back to the community. Each spring and fall, members greet the Northern Colorado Honor Flight, which brings veterans from the region on an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC, to see the monKentucky Executive Member Tara Gabaldon and Vice Chair- uments and memorials honoring military service. man Amanda Faulkner pose in “They’re always so excited to see front of their state’s booth at the us there with the Colorado flag 2018 Taste of the South gala.

Kesha Butler snaps a photo with a fellow volunteer during the Big Ten Day of Service cleaning up Deanwood Park in southeast DC. and CSU gear when they get off the plane at the airport. It’s a very moving experience every time,” Jackson said. Taste of the South (TOTS) is a nonprofit organization that raises more than half a million dollars annually for charities throughout the southern states. JLW member Tara Gabaldon is the Executive Committee Member for Kentucky and hails from Richmond, KY. Each spring, TOTS hosts a charity gala at a venue in Washington, DC, and participating states set up booths that showcase the great things that best represent them. Kentucky is well known for “horses, bourbon, basketball, and great southern food,” Gabaldon said. JLW New Member Kesha Butler is on the board for DC Illini, the local alumni club for the University of Illinois. She recently coordinated a service event for the group along with other Big 10 Conference schools. A native Chicagoan, she is passionate about ending the misconception that her city is completely overrun with crime. “While those issues should be on the forefront in order to lead change, it’s important for people to recognize that it is not our city’s whole narrative. Chicago is a beautiful, diverse city full of culture, music, different ethnic groups, art, and nature. It’s a world class city,” Kesha stated passionately. While many agree with the sentiment that home is where the heart is, in a city as diverse as Washington, DC, it’s possible to find home away from home. JLW offers members a place to connect with others who share similar backgrounds and meet people from all over the country.





ransferring into a new League typically comes with a great deal of excitement, as well as challenges. Every year, women transfer into the Junior League of Washington (JLW) and bring a wealth of experience from their former Leagues with them. Four members reflect on transferring to JLW, share how their leadership experience aided in their transition, and provide advice on how to make the most of time in JLW.

Megan Hauck, originally from New York Junior League. Member Name: Megan Hauck How many years have you been in the Junior League? 11 years What year did you transfer into JLW? 2018


Fall 2018

What League did you transfer from? New York Junior League (NYJL)

House, a transitional housing community for at-risk youth.

What leadership roles(s) did you hold in your former League? Most recently, I was on the Management Council serving as Adult Education and Mentoring Council Head. In this role, I oversaw one of the five community areas, specifically focused on providing life skills training, support, and advocacy to adults transitioning from incarceration, survivors of violence and abuse, and adults and families living in transitional housing. Prior to this role, I was a member of the Nominating Committee; chaired the Community Program Research Committee, which focused on creating new partnerships and evaluating existing community partner relationships, co-chaired Da Vinci Explorers, which taught kids science through art projects; and Rights of Passage, which mentored young adults living at the Covenant

How did your role(s) in your former League(s) help your transition to JLW? So far, it’s helped me understand the organizational structure of the JLW. There are similarities between the two Leagues. I’m excited to begin volunteering with the Reading All-Stars Committee this fall! It reminds me of the Reading Rangers Committee in NYC. What advice would you give to transfers on transitioning to successful general membership or leadership roles in JLW? I’m still in my transfer year, but so far, I’ve had a great experience. My advice is to be yourself, attend events, and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation! You have an instant network when transferring... [between leagues]. Lastly, have fun!


What leadership roles(s) did you hold in your former League? Co-Chair, Donein-a-Day (DIAD). I was also slated to be the Day of Giving Co-Chair for 2017–2018 before I transferred.

Lindsay Wilson, originally from Junior League of Fort Worth. Member Name: Lindsay Wilson How many years have you been in the Junior League? Eight years What League did you transfer from? Junior League of Fort Worth (JLFW) What year did you transfer into JLW? 2017

Adrianne James, originally from Junior League of Philadelphia. Member Name: Adrianne James How many years have you been in the Junior League? Eight years What League did you transfer from? Junior League of Philadelphia (JLP) What year did you transfer into JLW? 2016

How did your role(s) in your former League(s) help your transition to JLW? JLFW supported my passion for volunteering and impacting my community. When I was asked to serve as DIAD Co-Chair, it afforded me the opportunity to work more closely with the community agencies that we supported. [Getting] a first-hand view of so many different agencies, the League’s positive effect on their work, and the impact on volunteers furthered my passion for the League and the work [that] we do. It also allowed me to learn more about the governance and administrative side of JLFW. All of this helped me with my transition to JLW and encouraged me to get involved in my new League.

What advice would you give to transfers on transitioning to successful general membership or leadership roles in JLW? It can be overwhelming and sometimes even discouraging coming into a new League because it feels like starting over. You don’t know anyone, and if you’ve been in a leadership role previously, you have to prove yourself all over again because no one in the new League knows anything about you. For me, I channeled [those feelings] into excitement and determination. I wanted to be involved in order to get to know my League and the agencies in DC. During my transfer year, I attended extra events to learn more about JLW and our members. I volunteered for things, and though I didn’t get a “yes” every time, I didn’t let that get me down. This year, I have a secondary placement, DIAD, that is giving me the opportunity to get to know more League members and offer my leadership skills. In short, try not to be discouraged, put the work in, and pursue what you want.

What leadership roles(s) did you hold in your former League?: Co-Chair, Thrift Shop Committee.

as Thrift Shop Chair prepared me for the task of tracking and managing the progress of the women in my JLW Transfer group.

How did your role(s) in your former League(s) help your transition to JLW? The Thrift Shop Committee manages JLP’s largest fundraiser, a thrift store that is open yearround, which means the Thrift Shop Committee is active year-round as well. As Co-Chair of the committee, I was responsible for ensuring that a committee member was present in the shop every Sunday to assist the store clerk, leading committee meetings, acting as a liaison to the Thrift Shop manager, and working with the JLP Fundraising Committee. As a representative to the Fundraising Committee, I attended those monthly meetings and provided a monthly committee report which included the status of Thrift Shop activities. This leadership role prepared me well for my duties as a Transfer Advisor when I transferred to JLW. I had gained experience leading a group of 20 women, facilitating committee meetings, and organizing committee events and the committee calendar. The work I did

What advice would you give to transfers on transitioning to successful general membership or leadership roles in JLW? I would advise transfers to attend as many events as they can and have conversations with women who have been in the League for a few years. If you want to go for a leadership position, let someone in leadership know. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and volunteer to do more than your committee requires. If you see a place where your skills can be used, do not hesitate to speak up. Finally, enjoy yourself. Attend Esprit events and introduce yourself to people you don’t know. Exchange contact information and keep in touch. If you are planning to attend an event, reach out to people on your committee to find out if they are attending the event as well. At the end of the day, most people transfer to meet new people. Many are in the DMV for the first time and want to make lasting connections; JLW is a good place to make lifelong friendships.






he Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) legacy of voluntarism and giving is known throughout the Washington, DC, community. Giving for many League members goes beyond volunteer hours and extends to creating a legacy of financial contributions and encouraging new generations of women to become League members. Sheri O’Connell, a 30-year League veteran, and her daughter and fellow JLW member Claire O’Connell are embodiments of the kind of legacy that is common throughout the JLW. “There’s no doubt that my mom’s involvement in the Junior League impacted my decision to join. The League has played such a positive role in my mother’s life, and it has in my life as well,” says Claire O’Connell.

I BELIEVE IT IS IMPORTANT FOR CURRENT MEMBERS AND SUSTAINERS TO SUPPORT JLW FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. Sheri O’Connell added, “I hope to have paved the way for my daughter to make lasting friendship[s], develop strong leadership skills, and give back to our community in her own way.” Not only has Sheri served as an inspiration for her daughter to join the JLW, she has also donated gifts to the League that will carry on her legacy in the League for years to come. “I believe it’s always important to give back,” says Sheri O’Connell. “JLW is such an invaluable organization to women and the community. I believe it is important for current members and sustainers to support JLW for future generations.”


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Junior League of Washington mother and daughter members Claire and Sheri O’Connell. Martie Kendrick Kettmer and Christine Kettmer are another JLW mother/daughter duo. Martie Kendrick Kettmer served as President-Elect and President from 1988-1990 and has been a sustainer member for more than twenty years. Her daughter, Christine Kettmer, joined JLW in 2006. “My mother definitely had an impact on my decision to join JLW”, says Christine Kettmer. “I grew up watching her example of


serving in various leadership positions and feeling inspired by the community involvement and impact of the League. Some of my earliest and fondest childhood memories are going to the very first Bright Beginnings races, attending the ‘Capital Collection’ events (before it was called ‘Holiday Shops’), and helping my mother do recipe testing for the JLW ‘Capital Celebrations’ cookbook.” In addition to encouraging her daughter to be a member of the JLW, Martie Kendrick Kettmer also made the decision to give a financial gift to JLW because “the Junior League [has] consistently maximized the impact of its dollars by combining the commitment of volunteers and its community funding. I value the careful stewardship and good use of hard-earned fundraiser and contributor dollars.” She adds that “sustained JLW members Martie Kendrick giving to the League remains Kettmer and Christine Kettmer. critically important.” Martie Kendrick Kettmer also sees her gift as an opportunity to give back to a League that has given so much to her. “The League provided me two of the most significant gifts in my life; first, the gift of amazing and deep friendships nurtured and developed over long years of serving together, and second, the opportunity to make a difference in touching lives and doing good. JLW training gave me foundational professional skills which helped me in the legal field.” Christine Kettmer feels the shared participation with her mother in JLW has been a positive bonding experience. “For us, participation in JLW has brought us closer when we are able to attend various events together and share in special experiences with extended friends who are also part of the League. It has been a great way for us to connect with each others’ friendship groups throughout the years,” she says. Twenty-eight year League member Barbara Franklin is the JLW Sustainer Committee Liaison to Strategic Planning and served as JLW President from 2005-2006. She too has chosen to make a part of her JLW legacy a financial gift to the League. “I love the JLW and all it has meant to my life. I wanted to honor that with a gift,” Franklin says. Franklin is working to create a legacy society within JLW that will encourage members to make the League a part of their legacies, just as she did. “When an organization like the JLW has been an important part of your life, honoring that legacy with a gift in one’s will is a way to help ensure the future for something you care about,” she says, adding that “Planned giving is an important

part of how nonprofits fundraise. I see legacy giving as the JLW taking our financial health to the next level.” JLW 2018-2019 President-Elect Carly Mitchell is leaving a part of her legacy to the League as well. “When creating my will, I thought of a few institutions and organizations which shaped me as a person and to whom I am eternally grateful; my prep school, my summer camp, and the JLW rose to the top.”

I LOVE THE JLW AND ALL IT HAS MEANT TO MY LIFE. I WANTED TO HONOR THAT WITH A GIFT. Though Mitchell is only in her 12th year in the League, she says that she hopes others will “consider making the JLW part of their legacies – regardless of your age. It is never too early to do.” Both Mitchell and Franklin note that they don’t have any particular directives for ways in which their gifts are to be used. “Having done fundraising for the JLW, I trust that the women who receive my gift will use the money wisely, so I do not have any conditions on the gift,” says Franklin. “The League does so many wonderful things and has changed and evolved throughout our 106 year history in order to best serve the needs of our community and our members. I trust the JLW’s leadership to use funds given through the legacy giving program in the best possible way to support our mission and programming at that time,” Mitchell says. She does, however, have one specific hope for the future. “My newborn daughter is just a few weeks old but I would love to see her grow up to be in a Junior League.”

Thank You to Our WRITER LEVEL SPONSORS Ravina Claussen, Financial Planner Kelly Morgan, Tsirona Health Coaching

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orty-two. That’s how many placement options there were for Junior League of Washington (JLW) members this year. Many League members have trouble narrowing down their top few choices, but the JLW offers a solution: secondary placements. Every year there is a group of passionate Junior League women who dedicate their time not just to one committee, but to two. It is a way for League members to quickly broaden and diversify their skillset, increase their exposure and understanding of the League, and multiply their impact on the Washington, DC, community. Last year, JLW member Rebecca Poyatt served on both the Higher Achievement Program Committee as well as the Washington School for Girls Committee. She said, “Having a secondary placement was a great way to meet different JLW members and have an impact in two places rather than just one. I chose to work with two tutoring programs because I am an educator and wanted to help in several areas of DC. It was a great experience, and something I would do all over again.” While Poyatt chose to double down on one area of expertise, participating in a secondary placement also provides members the chance to explore an entirely new area of the community, a different skill set, or an unknown organization. Many members of the League struggle with the choice between in-league placements and community placements. Working with women and children in DC is incredibly rewarding, but learning about the inner workings of the League, like the grant process and the creation and implementation of the League’s strategic plan, is an important function of the League and provides members with valuable opportunities to learn new skills. A secondary placement can provide both experiences in one League year. Secondary placements can also lead to leadership opportunities. JLW member Brooke Horiuchi did not self-nominate for a leadership position, but because she was an active secondary placement with Holiday Shops and expressed interest in leadership, she was ultimately offered a leadership position with Holiday Shops. Horiuchi eventually spent several years on the JLW Board of Directors. For as many women as participate in secondary placements each year, there are many more who would like to but are not certain of the process. However, JLW makes this process simple and easy. If a JLW member would like to explore the opportunity for a secondary placement, she should email JLW Membership and Communications Manager, Katy Longworth at katy@jlw.org, and ask to be placed on


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the specific committee in which they are interested. Membership needs are different each year, so the JLW staff will check to make sure there is space on the committee of interest before confirming the placement with the member and the committee chair.

HAVING A SECONDARY PLACEMENT WAS A GREAT WAY TO MEET DIFFERENT JLW MEMBERS AND HAVE AN IMPACT IN TWO PLACES RATHER THAN JUST ONE. One misconception surrounding secondary placements is that the time commitment is impossible. However, obligations for secondary placements are modified to make them manageable for the interested JLW member to take advantage of the opportunity. For example, the Folger Shakespeare Library secondary placement only requires four hours per month, but volunteers have the opportunity to provide ushering services for theater and music performances, and to engage with other JLW Folger Committee members through continuing education and arts-related social events at the Folger Shakespeare Library and throughout the city. The secondary placement at the National Rehabilitation Hospital only requires four bingo shifts per year, though of course there is the opportunity to do more. Members have the opportunity to play interactive games with the patients and their families to improve the patients’ motor skills and provide an enjoyable escape from the normal hospital routine. JLW members can look to the JLW website or League Lines at the beginning of the League year to learn more about available secondary placements.





By Alex Sarp

he Junior League of Washington (JLW) provides its members with opportunities for training and networking beyond the JLW’s own programming, including the opportunity to attend the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.’s (AJLI) Organizational Development Institute (ODI). Every year, AJLI hosts three ODI sessions in different cities across United States. Women from leagues all over the country fly in to attend the weekend-long conference and may select to focus on a particular area of interest such as member development, fundraising, diversity and inclusion, or public relations and marketing. The JLW selects up to four members to attend each of the sessions through an application process or from nominations by other members. ODI is an important tool for member development and growth, so the JLW sponsors the four women to attend the conference. Jennie Kronthal, an active member in her 15th year with the League, attended the Tampa Bay, FL, ODI in 2010 as she was starting her term as JLW members pose for a photo at the April 2018 ODI in Memphis, TN. Vice Treasurer of the JLW. As part of the financial Top Row: Shelley Mayo, Jackie Frederick-Maturo, Aimee Picard Soller, Erin Cromer, track, she attended workshops related to money Elizabeth Keys management and fundraising. The days were full Bottom Row: Alison Ottenbreit, Carly Mitchell, Alesandra Trilivas, Tycely Williams and began around 7:30 a.m., lasting until dinner. “Our breakout sessions encouraged discussion and brainstorming of new ideas. I am certain that I used these skills With specialized areas of focus tailored to members’ interests, during my two years as a member of the JLW Board,” Kronthal said. attending an ODI provides a valuable opportunity for women As part of the membership development track at the Memphis, looking to lead in their JLW or professional career. This League TN, ODI in 2018, League member Jackie Frederick-Maturo honed year, ODI’s are being held in Little Rock, AR, on October 19 – in on her communication skills and learned about the struggles other 21, 2018, St. Petersburg, FL, on February 22 – 24, 2019, and leagues face with member recruitment and retention. “I found that Charlotte, NC, on May 31 – June 2, 2019. Applications and the most fruitful part of the ODI experience was collaborating with nominations are generally due a few months prior to the conference leaders of other Junior Leagues. In brainstorming how to solve some and are kept on file throughout the year. Be on the lookout for of their challenges, I left with many ideas on how to improve our announcements pertaining to the next ODI in League Lines or at processes,” Frederick-Maturo said. Workshop discussions focused on your committee meetings. how to make league membership worthwhile, facilitating connec“We have a membership of 2,300 highly intelligent, highly tions between members, and encouraging lifelong relationships. skilled, and kind women. I get so excited when I imagine what “With so little discretionary time, our members need to feel like they we could accomplish once we tap into all of that talent,” are spending their time wisely,” Frederick-Maturo said. Frederick-Maturo said.






By Meredith Clark Lowery

he demographic landscape of Junior League members nationwide reflects that of our workplaces, communities, and our nation. Lifestyle and career choices of women across all age groups are shifting as our political, cultural, and economic environment continues to change. The League, a microcosm of our broader society, reflects this shift and results in changing needs of its members. Volunteers’ availability and desired level of engagement has become a topic of focus across many leagues. The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) recognizes this shift in members’ needs and is piloting a membership model to support its volunteers. AJLI states, “Unlike Leagues of the past, Junior Leagues today must shift to a new approach that: •

• •

Introduces greater flexibility for members in deciding their level of community and League involvement; Seeks members’ voices in deciding the direction of the League; Offers new onboarding that takes advantage of members’ professional, personal, and civic talents; Promises opportunities for meaningful connections within and outside of the League; [and] Encourages Sustainers’ continued engagement.”

Other leagues across the country are addressing the needs of their members in a myriad of ways. Some leagues have adopted a “one membership” approach, which does not differentiate members


Fall 2018

JLW Sustainers Susan Michels, Former JLW President Betsy Hannah, Amie Wheeler, and Former JLW President Wendy Cumberland. based on provisional, active, or sustainer status. The Junior League of Birmingham, Alabama, received the 2017 Membership and Recruitment Award for its Membership Matters Program. This Program used a strategic approach to address low membership by reducing admissions age requirements to capture recent college graduates, instituting member advisors for first- and second-year actives, and adding events to attract younger sustainers.

The Junior League of Washington (JLW) is focusing on the current needs of its members. The Sustainer Committee is currently leading efforts to “balance tradition with change,” Erin Cromer, Sustainer Committee Chair states. “We are looking at the changing demographics. We have more than 850 vibrant sustainers, ranging in age from 30 to 103. We are so appreciative of their contributions to the League and want to serve them in ways that feel


meaningful and supportive to them, wherever they are in life.” The 2016 Junior League Annual Conference presentation, Reimagining the Sustainer Experience noted that often, “women are sustaining earlier in their League careers and want to be involved ‘on their own terms.’” The Washington, DC, metro area offers several opportunities to volunteer outside of JLW, which creates an opportunity for the League to emphasize its value proposition and become more targeted in its membership engagement strategies, particularly for Sustainers. Many Sustainers are active in their local communities or serve on boards outside of JLW. Sarah Carey, Sustainer Committee Vice Chair, noted, “A vast majority of Sustainers volunteer in capacities beyond JLW while continuing to sustain the League through membership, financial contributions, and a willingness to act in advisory roles for the League and our members. Serving the community is one of the core principles of Sustainer membership, and many of our members have been making a positive impact on the lives of people in the Washington area for decades.” The Sustainer Committee has updated its focus to adjust to the changing needs of the League. Two main efforts include introducing a Sustainer/Active Liaison position and remodeling the Sustainer Committee to continue to support our current membership. In the 2018 JLW Annual Survey, active members made it clear that many of them are interested in additional engagement with Sustainers. Comments included, “I want to meet and network with Sustainers,” “I really appreciate that this League has engaged Sustainers,” and “I’m going Sustainer so would love to know more.” The new Sustainer/Active liaison will be conducting outreach to all councils across the League, sharing information about the Sustainer experience, and generating opportunities within the League for connection with Sustainers. She will also bring the feedback from active members

JLW Sustainers enjoy the JLW Sustainer Luncheon in October of 2018.

JLW Sustainers Margaret Graves and Estelle Noone. to the Sustainer Committee, sharing ideas and recommendations for enhancing relationships across our membership. The Sustainer Committee model has evolved over the decades. This year, the committee members have a diverse range of League experiences, representing multiple generations of Sustainer life, with a total of more than 300 years of Junior League experience. Sustainers are also excited to support and partner with

some of our community programs, such as Washington School for Girls and A Wider Circle, facilitating not only increased knowledge about JLW’s role in the community but also how Sustainers can have a direct impact. Cromer notes, “Our goal is to evolve the Sustainer experience as our membership evolves, reinforcing the values of the Junior League and helping our members to enjoy their experiences throughout their JLW tenure.”





HOW TO: START A SMALL BUSINESS By Danielle Kidd Muenzfeld

tarting a small business is a thrilling, daunting undertaking, and one that many Junior League of Washington (JLW) members have experienced. JLW has many members who have established their own business and several offered their best advice to anyone thinking about taking the plunge and turning their dreams of owning a business into a reality.

EDUCATE YOURSELF Prior to establishing your business, learn as much as possible about your target industry. Lacey Campbell, JLW member and owner of Clover Lou, a children’s clothing company “always advises people to go to conventions, expos, trade shows, [and] conferences. There is a conference out there for everything.” Conferences and trade shows help aspiring business owners learn about the fundamental aspects of the industry. As an added benefit, they facilitate connections between like-minded entrepreneurs, and connect business owners with suppliers and vendors that may be critical to a business’ success. For example, through an industry convention, Campbell connected with seamstresses who now sew the clothing for her business. Trade blogs and publications also serve as resources for learning about the current and future landscape of a specific industry. Their content may include spotlights on current industry issues, trends, and events, practical advice, and useful products for that industry. Joining the appropriate trade organization will also enable you to keep abreast of industry developments and to network within the industry. Educating yourself about your industry will also enable you to conduct appropriate market research to determine whether there is a relevant market need for your product or service. Mastering operations is the next challenge when building a successful small business. Kelly Morgan, League member and owner of Tsirona, a health coaching business, emphasizes that there is “no reason why you should hold up starting [a] business to get a [Masters in Business Administration].” All the information that you need to establish your business, including drafting a business plan, validating your business concept, determining the best legal structure for your business, and marketing your business, can be found online for free. For example, the U.S. Small Business Administration has several online resources to help


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you establish your business on its website. There are also community partners that focus on assisting individuals with establishing and nourishing small businesses. Beth Fuson, JLW member and owner of Pathways College Advising, underscores the importance of connecting with small business incubators and local groups that support women business owners. These organizations can assist aspiring business owners with honing business acumen, mentoring opportunities, finding support services (such as legal, accounting, and technical assistance), and identifying sources for funding for your business. Educating yourself about web development, photography, and marketing will enable you to establish a presence in the market without spending critical capital on outsourcing these tasks. Many JLW small business owners underscored the importance of learning these creative skills to effectively connect with your target customer without relying on a big budget.

BE PREPARED All of the JLW business owners emphasized being prepared emotionally, financially, and logistically when starting a business. To determine when to establish a new business, it is important to consider your stage in life and any anticipated major life changes, such as the birth of a child or moving to a new city. Many women suggested that launching a small business in the midst of life-changing events may be particularly challenging due to the stressful nature of establishing a new business. Additionally, taking into account your current and anticipated life situation will assist you with determining how much time you will be able to devote to establishing and growing your business. This, in turn, will help to inform the scale of your business. Being prepared financially means not only having access to capital to launch your business, but also being prepared for running a business that may not initially generate much, if any, revenue. For those individuals who would like to run a business full-time (or to transition a side business into a full-time job), Nikki Powers, League member and owner of Nourish & Refine, a natural wellness and personal care business, recommends having a fallback plan and making sure that you are financially supported before you make the leap. As she puts it, “it makes the transition much less scary and stressful.” Similarly, Campbell highlights that fledgling small businesses are not financially stable and advises to not initially depend on them


for income as it “will be really hard to live paycheck to paycheck on small business where no one who knows who you are.”

GET ORGANIZED Organizing the administrative and financial side of your business is critical to success. Morgan suggests taking advantage of free online tools such as Dropbox and Google Docs to keep critical information organized. Methodically organizing and retaining information, such as financial spreadsheets, customer order information, and marketing pieces, will enable you to manage customer data, forecast future sales, prepare for tax season, and more.

UTILIZE JLW-HONED SKILLS AND THE SUPPORT OF JLW MEMBERS JLW provides a multitude of ways to develop yourself and your business. Attending Development & Training sessions, such as those on developing personal brand and utilizing

social media, can help you develop a new skill set for launching and growing your business. Additionally, consider which League placements may assist you with starting your own business. For example, if you want to learn more about marketing, you may consider a communications-focused placement to learn more about effectively utilizing social media to engage with a target audience. Fellow JLW members have provided JLW entrepreneurs with critical emotional support and honest feedback that has helped these women grow their businesses. For example, Holiday Shops has provided many JLW-owned businesses a platform to reach new customers and to engage with potential customers to obtain feedback on products. For Morgan, her JLW experience has been pivotal in her entrepreneur experience, as she “wouldn’t be able to do without skills, friends, [and] confidence” gained through JLW.


This year, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) celebrates its most dedicated National Book Festival (NBF) volunteers. With volunteers ranging from eight to fifteen years of experience, it is easy to understand why the NBF continues to be one of the League’s most celebrated events. Marta Hernandez, an eight year NBF veteran, has held numerous Literacy Events Planning (LEP) Committee leadership roles and returned to her original role this year as Book Signing Line Captain. Fourteen year NBF veteran and sustainer Lydia Zamora also assisted in the book signing and Parade of States lines. Both Hernandez and Zamora enjoy volunteering for the NBF because it aligns with JLW’s mission of training our members and with our focus on literacy. Hernandez says she enjoys volunteering at the NBF because, “it is the first event for many of our new members, and their excitement for the festival and getting to know other members is infectious. It is also an event where our experienced volunteers shine with so many former chairs, vice chairs, and committee members returning annually.” When asked about their most memorable moments during the NBF, Hernandez recalls walking seven or eight miles when the festival was still on the National Mall. She has even been witness to a marriage proposal in a book signing line! Zamora shared that she enjoys engaging with children visiting the Parade of States, who take pride in telling her how many books they read over the summer and what they want to be “when they grow up.”

When asked about the League’s 16 year commitment with the Library of Congress (LOC), Hernandez points to the mutually beneficial partnership, “The League is incredibly lucky to be able to partner with the Library of Congress, an esteemed national institution based in our home, in our nation’s capital. I am proud JLW has supported the NBF for all but the first two years of the Festival’s existence--16 years of total support worth millions of dollars in volunteer time. It’s a perfect display of what makes JLW volunteers so special.” Zamora points out the reason volunteers and patrons alike return each year to the NBF, “The festival participants that JLW volunteers engage with during the event may not remember your name, but to paraphrase the late Maya Angelou, ‘they will always remember how we made them feel.’” JLW would again like to extend its appreciation to our long-standing NBF volunteers for their dedicated service to the League, NBF, and the greater Washington, DC, community.

NAME Emily Hague


Carolyn Wilson


Jennie Kronthal*


Marta Hernandez


Elizabeth Haddad


Kim Tuomey


Carly Mitchell


Johanna Dubay


Fay Arrington


Lydia Zamora


Carrie Meadows





Thank You to Our



3039 M Street, NW Washington, DC 20007

DATES TO REMEMBER JANUARY 15 General Membership Meeting

MARCH 9 Children’s Trunk Show

JANUARY 31 Bubbly with the Board

MARCH 22 Hoops & High Heels

FEBRUARY 12 Diamonds & Desserts

MARCH 23-24 Tossed & Found

MARCH 2 Kids in the Kitchen at Anthony Bowen YMCA

APRIL 27 Bright Beginnings 5K

APRIL 28 50-Year & Emeritus Member Luncheon MAY 4 Kitchen Tour

MAY 11 Georgetown Shop Around

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