3039M Spring 2016 Edition

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the official magazine of the

3039M junior league of washington

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


Making Connections with Community Outreach Helping Literacy Lab Expand Its Impact Building Friendships within the League









s we wind down the Junior League of Washington (JLW) year and begin to plan our summer vacations, picnics, and fun in the sun, we should take a minute to celebrate all that the JLW has accomplished this year: We have strengthened our impact and presence in the community. Our fundraisers had another banner year and exceeded goals. We identified new community partners and volunteer opportunities for our members, while continuing to examine the possibilities around identifying a signature project. In recognition of our years of community impact, Bright Beginnings honored the JLW with its Champions for Children Award. We have increased training opportunities for our members. This year, we kicked off the new JLW Leadership Institute curriculum, formalizing the program by establishing a Leadership Institute Committee, which will begin next year. We held our second and third classes of Get on Board to prepare our members for nonprofit board service. And we have offered a large slate of training opportunities on diverse topics. We even received some “Lessons in Leadership” from high-profile members of Congress and women in government. And we have taken a number of steps to improve member engagement and satisfaction. A Membership Task Force identified ways to improve member recruitment and retention. Recommendations will be implemented in the coming months and years. Members had more opportunities than ever before to engage with each other through fun and interesting activities. We continue to examine the results of Placement Fair to evaluate the interests of our members and identify potential new placements for the future. Our volunteers continue to lead the way to improve the community around us and should be congratulated on their many accomplishments this year. There’s no doubt that the JLW has all the tools needed to ensure a bright future for our organization and that the JLW S.T.A.R.S. (Service. Training. Action. Results. Sharing our Story.) will continue to shine for many years to come! CAMERON GILREATH President

Our cover features JLW New Member Shannan Robinson and a guest interacting at Kids in the Kitchen


Spring 2016


ith 2,300 members and close to 45 committees, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) can sometimes feel intimidating to the individual member wondering where to get involved, how to meet other members and just what members are doing all across the JLW. At 3039M, we believe our job is to help you connect to the great work being done League-wide and to help you connect with each other. We want to take the sometimes overwhelming and make it manageable so you have a stronger sense of what the League is doing and how you can be involved. Our League’s leadership is just as committed to helping foster these connections, and it shows in the work being done across the JLW. In this issue of 3039M, you can learn about how a conservator is helping the JLW connect to our history. You can find out more about the ways the Membership Outreach Committee is fostering member-to-member connections and how the Community Outreach Committee facilitates connections between community organizations. Plus, we even have tips to help you stay connected to the League this summer! As another successful JLW year comes to an end and you take time out for fun, family and friends, I hope you will take pride in the dedicated work of JLW volunteers and the impact our connections have all across the community. TARA ANDERSEN Magazine Committee Chair


Maj-Lene Keech

Kristin Shaulis

Nichol West

Macie Leach

Meaghan Leister Rising Chair

Parker Jenkins

Casey Welch

Sara Nayeem

Elizabeth Jennings

Kit Thomson

Jacqueline Bauer

Jessica Feddersen

Phoenix Ricks

Annelyse Gast Mini Placement

Morgan Cosby

Kelly Giedraitis Phillips




2 Letters 4 From the JLW Kitchen 36 Dates to Remember

ABOUT OUR LEAGUE 4 All About the JLW Blue Book


Changes on CAC to

12 Increase League Impact 12

A New Partner for the JLW


Bright Beginnings Hosts Historic Groundbreaking


NMWA: More than Cultural Significance


Community Outreach Brings Literacy Partners Together

5 Why We Fundraise 6 Lessons in Leadership 8 Toasting the Kitchen Tour

10 A Year in Review 11

Introducing the Leadership Institute Committee facebook.com/jlwdc



20 Preserving JLW History:

32 President’s Message

A Chat with Jeanne Drewes

22 JLW and the Literacy Lab


35 2015 Financials

24 JLW from Every Angle: Summer Fun in D.C.

25 Getting Fit with Esprit Get to Know President-

26 Elect Elizabeth Keys

17 N Street Village

28 within the League

Making Connections

18 The Fridge Fund

30 Ann Fragale

Spring Party

Junior League of Washington

2015 Fundraising

34 MileMarkers

Sustainer Profile:





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 Cameron Gilreath

Vice Treasurer Erinn Colaianni

President-Elect Elizabeth Keys

Communications & PR Catherine Pepper Pickels

Secretary Amanda Walke

Youth & Family Community Placements Elizabeth Cathcart

Treasurer Kelly Wilson-Pisciotta

Cultural Community Placements Genevieve Moreland

Membership Development Courtney Mesmer

Adult Community Placements Jackie Malkes

New Membership Stacey Tuneski

Community Affairs Amy Shuart

Nominating Marie Hahn

Strategic Planning Tycely Williams Sustainers Rosemarie Hamm Ways & Means Diane Lebson






By Elizabeth Jennings

ave you heard of the Blue Book? An important document within the Junior League of Washington (JLW), the Blue Book is essentially the constitution of the JLW. The Blue Book used to be an actual blue notebook given to each member, with new inserts printed each year, but it can now be found online, under the “Resources” tab on the JLW member homepage. As a member, you might have questions about committee procedures or fundraising policies, and this book is an incredible resource for any inquiry you have regarding the League. It has everything you would ever want to know! The Blue Book is made up of multiple sections including big-ticket items, such as the JLW bylaws, standing rules and procedures, as well as the details of membership. As any such manual would do, this provides an outline of how the League is intended to run and sets a foundation for all League activity.

Other helpful information, such as an internal organizational chart and lists of past presidents and award winners also live in the Blue Book. If you have never taken a look, this is the perfect opportunity to learn something new about the League.•

EVEN MORE JLW LINGO Just like any organization, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) has nomenclature and parlance unique to the organization. What are some of these common phrases and acronyms and what do they mean? At 3039M, we’ve got answers! GMM: General Membership Meeting. These are held three times each year. The spring meeting, typically in April, is the League’s annual business meeting. CPC: Community Placement Council. There are actually three: adult, youth and family, and cultural NBF: National Book Festival.  A book festival held by the Library of Congress that attracts thousands of people each fall. The JLW has been providing volunteers for 13 of the festival’s 15 years. VOB: Volunteer Opportunities Brochure. This is what you should review each year to help decide what committees interest you most. The VOB is available on the Member Section of the JLW website as part of the Blue Book, under the “Resources” tab. TTP: Turning the Page. Our newest community partner, which became a standalone JLW placement for the first time this League year.


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WHY WE FUNDRAISE Special to 3039M by Ways & Means Council Director Diane Lebson


f we all pay dues, why does the Junior League of Washington (JLW) fundraise? The JLW is a membership organization. All of us have a say in the direction of our organization. And each spring, we write a check or swipe our credit card for almost $300 in dues. So why does the League need to fundraise? There are a few reasons, some philosophical, some practical. 1. Fundraising trains our members to be successful community leaders. In our mission statement, we assert that the JLW is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. By training our volunteers to raise funds, the JLW is providing members with valuable skills to serve and lead in the community. 2. We need revenue to fund our community investments and training opportunities for JLW members. The money that the JLW raises through our fundraising events enables us to provide significant grants to worthy community partners and to provide members with unique opportunities to learn new skills. If we did not fundraise, we would not be able to couple our time and talent with our treasure. 3. Our fundraising events are a great way to reach out to the community. On a very practical level, our events are fun ways for the public to see what the JLW is all about, whether it is joining us during Tossed & Found to witness how we support the community through our Community Cash Card program or for a fun shopping event where a potential new member might learn about our organization for the first time. We understand that you have a choice about how to spend your money – and we appreciate every dollar you contribute to help us advance our mission. Every bit helps, from the spare change you may donate at the mid-year event, to the JLW-branded items you purchase, to the tickets you purchase to attend our signature events. The JLW values every gift you share with us, and we are better for it. • If you would like to donate a little extra to help advance the JLW mission before the end of the League Year, you still can. Visit jlw.org, choose “Donate” and then select Friends of the JLW. You can even give a donation in honor of someone else you’ve served with this year.


JLW KITCHEN Looking for something delicious to satisfy your sweet tooth this summer? Try this recipe from the Junior League of Washington’s Capital Classics cookbook.

OLD-FASHIONED STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE • 2 cups flour • 5 tablespoons sugar • 4 teaspoons baking powder • 1 teaspoon salt

• 1/3 cup butter, softened • 2/3 cup milk • 2 pints fresh ripe strawberries • 1 cup heavy cream


1. 2.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt. 3. With a fork or pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Using fork, stir in milk until just blended. 4. Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead 10 times. (Dough will be crumbly.) 5. Pat dough evenly into greased and lightly floured 8” round cake pan. 6. Bake at 425 degrees until lightly golden, approximately 13 to 15 minutes. 7. Cool shortcake for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. 8. Hull and slice strawberries, reserving several whole strawberries for garnish. Toss sliced berries with two tablespoons sugar and set aside. 9. Cut cooled shortcake in half, horizontally. Beat cream and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form. Place bottom layer of shortcake on serving platter, cut side up. 10. Drizzle juice from berries over surface. Spread with half the whipped cream. 11. Arrange berries over cream. Place top shortcake layer over berries and spoon remaining whipped cream decoratively over center of cake. Garnish with reserved strawberries. Yield: 6-8 servings




REP. ANNA G. ESHOO “There is no silver bullet for balance in our lives … It’s a constant challenge. Life isn’t tidy. You need to be flexible and know your top priorities.”

REP. SUSAN BROOKS “The women next to you today could be your biggest supporters.”

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN “Excel beyond expectations, and be prepared to talk about it.”

ARCHANA VEMULAPALLI “Ask yourself: ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ You fail? Big deal!”



By Kelly Giedraitis Phillips

he theme of women in leadership resounded loudly at the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Winter General Membership Meeting, held on February 29, 2016, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Following a discussion with members of the JLW Board, the meeting featured an engaging panel discussion focused on lessons in leadership with some of the most powerful women in Washington, D.C. Panelists included: U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), U.S. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Archana Vemulapalli, the District of Columbia’s Chief Technology Officer.


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The panel was moderated by Mindy Finn from Empower Women. Brooks is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Indianapolis, Eshoo was part of the Junior League of Palo Alto prior to her election to Congress, and Blackburn’s daughter is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Nashville.. Panelists said they hoped their participation in the JLW’s General Membership Meeting would help inspire women to spend more time discussing leadership and the importance of diversity in the workforce. “I’m here to help break the glass ceiling,” Blackburn said. “It’s time for women to talk about leadership.”


BREAKING THROUGH The panel began with a discussion of how women can thrive amid lingering gender stereotypes in the workforce. The panelists shared unique insights from their own experiences in the largely male-dominated industries of technology, law and Congress. Speaking from her experience as a member of Congress, Eshoo described women as “political immigrants,” noting that although there are more women in politics than ever before, there still exists a significant gender imbalance in Congress. She advised women to “make your own weather” and to control the environment to accomplish goals. Eshoo said women sometimes undersell their accomplishments by qualifying them as “just” completed. “Don’t diminish what you’ve done… never underestimate how important confidence is.” Similarly, Blackburn advised women to tell their own stories and to be willing to take credit and celebrate success. She said performance counts, and what matters is not whether you are a woman but whether you are the most qualified person. “Excel beyond expectations, and be prepared to talk about it,” she said. As someone who has held a variety of roles in the legal field, Brooks noted the importance of preparation. “Preparation, preparation, preparation,” she counseled. “Being prepared gave me the confidence to engage in what had been a male-dominated field.”

Vemulapalli said she prioritizes work and home life at the expense of her social life at the moment, but that with time, she hopes that will change. She also said she has a strong partnership with her husband, who has been willing to take on more at home. Blackburn described a similar balance with her husband. She said they take turns alternating who is focused on the career-front and who is taking more of a support role in that moment. Despite the stresses of work and family, Blackburn also said it is important for her to spend time with friends. She has been part of the same supper club for more than 30 years and draws support and energy from her decades-long friendships with those in the club. The panelist’s comments echoed those of the JLW Board members who had earlier shared their thoughts on balancing commitments to the JLW with work and family. Board members emphasized the importance of letting your JLW colleagues know when you need help and relying on other women in the League when you need support. “Give what you can to the League when you can,” said Stacey Tuneski, New Membership Council Director. •

CONFIDENCE Panelists also took time to offer their tips on building confidence. “Ask yourself: ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ You fail? Big deal!” Vemulapalli explained. She said failure is a natural part of life and that if you have a safety net, risks are always worth taking. Blackburn echoed this sentiment, noting that she always told her children, “there is no such thing as a failed test.” Instead, she said, the lessons learned are more important. She advised women to think critically about the risks, responsibilities and rewards of each new opportunity but to welcome failure and learn from it. Accepting and learning from failure was also a key theme in Eshoo’s advice. In Silicon Valley, part of Eshoo’s congressional district, she explained, “you don’t count if you haven’t failed.” She also said there is a difference between losing and being a loser. If you have integrity and no regrets, you are not a loser, she explained. Eshoo encouraged women to accept failure as a possible outcome when taking a risk. Brooks said her confidence is in part derived from her family and friends, explaining she can always turn to her girlfriends in the Junior League of Indianapolis when she needs advice or confidence to move forward. “The women next to you today could be your biggest supporters,” she told the JLW women.

WORK-LIFE BALANCE Another topic of discussion was the seemingly elusive “work-life balance.” “There is no silver bullet for balance in our lives,” Eshoo said. “It’s a constant challenge. Life isn’t tidy. You need to be flexible and know your top priorities.” Many of the other panelists echoed this view, noting that balance is about prioritization.


NOV. 18 - 20








Toast of the Tour volunteers pose for a quick picture before all the action begins. (Vithaya Phortography)

Toast of the Tour attendees enjoying a fun evening raising funds for great causes. (Vithaya Phortography)

n a cold evening in January, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) was already raising awareness for this spring’s Kitchen Tour. Attendees of the newly renamed Toast of the Tour (TOTT) sampled food and beverages donated from local restaurants and distillers, participated in a silent auction and wine pull and took photos together at a special booth. Special Events Vice Chair Nikki Hurt reflected, “My favorite part of the evening was meeting with different vendors and learning about their products; it was great to see all of these local establishments give their time and resources to support JLW’s mission.” As with the Kitchen Tour and all other Special Events Committee fundraisers, proceeds went back to the League to support our mission of training women to improve their communities through voluntarism. An example of JLW’s growing footprint in the community, the Kitchen Tour began as a new fundraiser in 2012 and has increased in scope and participation ever since. Now in its fifth year, the event is a JLW fixture that allows attendees a behind-the-scenes look at some of D.C.’s most exquisite and interesting kitchens alongside fabulous food and drink to inspire your inner chef and hostess. This year’s Kitchen Tour was held on Saturday, April 23, in the Cleveland Park/Woodley Park neighborhood. For the first time, Special Events featured a smartphone app, that included a map of the tour and a virtual goodie bag with discounts and promo codes from vendors like Puja Satiani Chocolates, Hello Fresh, FIT4MOM and Flywheel. Food and beverage tastings were made available from Jam Jar, Biergarten House, Kind bars and Black Finn, just to name a few.

Ways & Means Assistant Council Director LaTonya Clark notes, “Kitchen Tour resonates with both League and non-League members with its fun atmosphere and opportunity to see and learn something new, but it also raises critical funds.” 

O 8

Spring 2016

MARKETPLACE COMMITTEE UPDATE According to Marketplace Committee Chair Cady Clapp, “Marketplace did extremely well at Holiday Shops, bringing in close to $5000, a significant increase over last year’s Marketplace revenue of only $350 for the entire year. We hope that all of our new offerings really encourage Junior League of Washington (JLW) members to advertise our JLW brand out in the community.” This spring, Marketplace sold JLW-branded items at the New Member Mid-Year event, the General Membership Meeting and Tossed & Found’s Children’s Trunk Show and Hoops & High Heels. In addition to all of the new items the committee debuted this fall, Marketplace has added navy long sleeve t-shirts and has brought back everyone’s favorite JLW Vineyard Vines totes. Marketplace is in the process of ordering new Tervis Tumblers, as well. Be on the lookout for the Marketplace at even more JLW events in the fall. For more information about Marketplace products, please email jlwmarketplace@gmail.com.









Special to 3039M By Cameron Gilreath and Tycely Williams

rom working author signing lines at the National Book Festival, to manning registers at Holiday Shops or Tossed & Found, to running the Bright Beginnings 5K or reading with students at Literacy Lab, our members have spread Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) mission across the D.C. region this year. But did you know these activities all fit into a broader JLW strategy? Each year, the Board sets objectives that align with JLW’s five-year Strategic Plan. These are contained in the Annual Plan. The 20152016 Annual Plan Objectives were to:

• • • •

Strengthen the culture of philanthropy with JLW Increase our brand as a convener and unique developer of women Improve members’ connection back to the League and each other Develop and deploy effective benchmarking and metrics to measure our impact From the Annual Plan, JLW leaders then built over 150 supporting tactics to execute this year; tactics that also laid a foundation that future years’ volunteers can build upon. Here is a snapshot of just a few of the JLW’s many accomplishments this year: Continued on page 11

KEY WAYS THE JLW IS IMPLEMENTING THE ANNUAL PLAN By Nichol West DEVELOPING CULTURE OF PHILANTHROPY This year, the Annual Plan placed a focus on further developing a culture of philanthropy within the League. In addition to our traditional fundraisers, members have the opportunity to include the League in their direct charitable giving in the following ways: • The 3039M Society is a new giving program that offers donors benefits throughout the year through a single contribution. • The Combined Federal Campaign is an opportunity for federal employees to spread their giving across the year by designating a monthly contribution directly from their paychecks. • Giving Tuesday, which took place on December 1, harnessed the power of social media in the year-end season of giving. • Anyone can designate the Junior League of Washington as the recipient of 0.5 percent of the purchase price of their smile.amazon.com purchases. FOSTERING CONNECTIONS In addition to the work done by the Membership Task Force to examine


Spring 2016

member recruitment and retention, the League has begun to foster member-to-member connections through new Assistant Council Director (ACD) Meetings. ACDs are now meeting three times per year to have discussions co-facilitated by JLW Councils and at least two current JLW Board Members. A few topics for the 2015-2016 ACD meetings were membership and strategic planning. DEPLOYING EFFECTIVE BENCHMARKING Finally, 3039M sat down with Strategic Planning Committee Chair Tycely Williams to learn more about why the Annual Plan’s fourth objective around benchmarking is so important to making sure the JLW stays on track towards the goals outlined in the Annual Plan. “Each year, the Board uses quantifiable benchmarks to measure success and to ensure the advancement of our mission and vision,” Williams noted. “Benchmarks are valuable to the past analysis of League activity and are used on an ongoing basis to assess the allocation of current human and financial resources. This year, as in many past years, each council defined benchmarks during our JLW Leadership Institute Summer Session. The benchmarks serve as a shared understanding of how annual goals will be achieved. Each benchmark carries an anticipated deadline to aid in prioritization and sequence at the council and committee level.”


• JLW fundraisers had another outstanding year. Holiday Shops, Marketplace, Tossed & Found and Friends of the Junior League all exceeded their goals as they raised the funds necessary to support our mission and worked to raise member awareness of the importance of supporting the JLW. • A Membership Task Force identified ways to improve member recruitment and retention. Their recommendations will be implemented in the coming months and years. • To increase volunteer opportunities that fill identified community needs, the JLW is finishing the first year of providing shifts at Washington School for Girls and has formalized a partnership with A Wider Circle for a new placement to begin next year. We engaged existing community partners to analyze current partnerships and expand on them where appropriate. • The JLW brought together community stakeholders numerous times to discuss challenges and opportunities in literacy with an eye toward identifying community needs. • Building on the success of last year’s Get on Board training, which has now prepared approximately 130 women to serve on community boards, the JLW launched a new Leadership Institute curriculum and established a committee to run it. • The JLW Board analyzed placement fair results to determine trends in placement preferences so we can ensure our volunteer opportunities and grants align with member interests. • To develop a more robust training program, the JLW offered a more diverse slate of learning opportunities for members. To improve engagement with new and potential members, the JLW improved training for new member and transfer advisors and recruitment sponsors. 

MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TASK FORCE UPDATE The Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Membership Task Force, co-chaired by Anna Pugh, Alison Ottenbreit and Susan Snare, was created to identify issues with member satisfaction and engagement across the membership lifecycle with the goal of improving member retention. The Task Force focused on four separate demographic groups: recruitment and new members, 5-7 year actives, sustainers and members who recently rolled off leadership. The Task Force conducted an extensive review of existing research and collected original data from within and outside the JLW. The Task Force reviewed all available survey and focus group data collected over the last five years and collected and analyzed data on women who have left the League. The Task Force also conducted focus groups and a leadership survey and collected information from other leagues on their membership policies. The Task Force’s recommendations were presented to the Board in January. Following Board analysis and discussion, recommendations will be implemented in coming months and years.




By Macie Leach

he Junior League of Washington (JLW) Board of Directors has approved the creation of a new Leadership Institute Committee beginning next year. The committee will focus on developing current and future leaders within the League. As part of the training curriculum, the new committee will pilot an executive coaching program for current committee chairs, with past leaders acting as mentors for current leaders. Committee chairs will have the opportunity to be partnered with an established leader, such as a Sustainer or past Board member, who will coach the chair through the year and act as a sounding board. The leaders will help current chairs by attending committee meetings and giving feedback.

...DEVELOPING CURRENT AND FUTURE LEADERS... The Leadership Institute Committee will also work to establish bite size e-learning sessions for current chairs to help JLW leaders brush up on skills and knowledge about the League on their own time. In the fall, the Leadership Institute Committee will implement the fourth round of Get On Board training, which has already prepared approximately 130 women in the League to take on leadership roles on community boards across the metropolitan area, including JLW’s own board. The committee also is holding a new communications training, “Finding Your Leadership Voice.” Membership Development Council Director Courtney Mesmer said the new committee, which will be located within the Membership Development Council, has many initiatives it hopes to implement as it establishes itself. One long-term goal for the committee is eventually to expand its offerings to women in the community by offering seminars and trainings open to those outside the League. 






By Kelly Giedraitis Phillips and Meaghan Leister

ave you heard of the Literacy Events Planning Committee (LEP)? New to the Junior League of Washington (JLW) next year, the committee will bridge some of the League’s critical literacy work. Sarah Amick, next year’s LEP Chair, explained, “The new committee combines two literacy-focused committee activities, the National Book Festival and Resolution Read, into one committee. We’re excited to have one committee that is specifically geared toward focusing our resources and trained volunteers on the complex issue of literacy in the D.C. community - underscoring the JLW’s literacy focus.” In addition to continuing the League’s strong partnership with the Library of Congress to provide volunteer support for the National Book Festival, the new committee will build on the past successes of Resolution Read by continuing to provide new books to children and families who do not readily have access to them in order to promote reading aloud to children. Community Events Planning, which previously managed the JLW’s work with the Book Festival and put on Junior League’s



he Junior League of Washington (JLW) will kick off an exciting new committee partnership next fall with A Wider Circle. A Wider Circle has a mission “to end poverty for one individual and one family after another,” and the organization focuses on provision of basic need items, workforce readiness, wellness programming and wraparound support. For example, A Wider Circle’s Job Skills Boot Camp helps individuals in need with resume writing, interview skills and career path identification. The group also helps individuals prepare for job interviews by providing professional attire through its showroom.


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Kids in the Kitchen events, will be split into two committees – LEP and a new Kids in the Kitchen Committee. Both will remain part of the Community Affairs Council. This change will allow the JLW to continue expanding on its work in both areas and to increase member engagement in the community. Resolution Read collaborates with schools and libraries, especially those in Wards 5, 7 and 8, providing take-home books and replenishing school and public library stocks of books. The committee’s goal during the spring as the end of the school year approached was to help children exercise their minds and become avid readers. This League year, a holiday tea event with JLW Sustainers brought in critical cash for the program, as well as several of the most coveted titles for young adults, including the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series and biographical stories about minorities and women. And children who attended Kids in the Kitchen took home more than just a new appreciation for cooking; they also went home with new books courtesy of Resolution Read, which donated 450 books to the event.

JLW volunteers will work with the organization to staff boot camps and skill development events, as well as staffing the store. This will be an important new opportunity to help meet a critical need in the greater metro area. A Wider Circle was founded in 2001 by Dr. Mark Bergel. For his efforts, Bergel has been selected as a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine and as a 2014 CNN Hero. A Wider Circle has 50 staff, 15 interns and works with more than 15,000 volunteers each year. Last spring, the organization purchased a 38,000 square foot center in Silver Spring, MD.


Presenting Sponsor

Corporate Sponsors

Special Event Sponsors AstroJump Bar Louie Buffalo Wild Wings Chik-fil-A Chili’s

Ridgewells Catering Neramitra Cosi San Antonio Bar & Grill Potbelly Sandwich Discount Ice Sine Irish Pub Company Eco Caters Stylisted Potomac Wine & Spirits Giant Food Sugar Shack Jimmy Johns Quinn’s Auction Galleries

Major Auction Donors Deloitte JetBlue

Southwest Airlines Styleauteur by Lauren Rothman The Fitzpatrick Family

The Bridges & Shaw Families Zulu Nyala Safaris



Members of the JLW at the Bright Beginnings groundbreaking


right Beginnings held a groundbreaking ceremony on March 15 for a second child development center at 3418 4th Street SE in Ward 8. Bright Beginnings has raised $6 million of the total $7.5 million needed for the project, which will allow the organization to serve 100 more homeless children in Washington, D.C. Martha Kendrick-Kettmer, Junior League of Washington (JLW) member and former president, poignantly commented that the original Bright Beginnings children are now adults and parents themselves, and not a single one is a client of Bright Beginnings, proving that early childhood education can cease the cycle of homelessness. Courtney Snowden, Deputy Mayor of D.C., remarked that although the empty lot doesn’t seem like much now, many people


Spring 2016

would look at the same empty lot and see hope. Her grandfather, for example, “sees this ground and he doesn’t just see the dirt and the grass. He sees opportunity. He sees a bright beginning.” Founded by the JLW, Bright Beginnings has been serving homeless children and their parents since 1991. On May 5, JLW received the Bright Beginnings “Champions for Children” Award for its continued work with the organization. Other honorees were John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Sue Marshall of the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness. JLW member and former president Caren Forsten noted of the groundbreaking, “I was reminded again of the story of the beginning of Beginnings. To see the faces and hear the names of these dedicated and creative individuals was again inspiring. It is the story of the best of the JLW - women who can change the future for others.”





By Elizabeth Jennings

very day living in Washington, D.C., we are exposed to numerous institutions of cultural importance. While one might think first of the Smithsonian when asked about the arts, there is another place that Junior League of Washington (JLW) members often have front of mind. The National Museum of Women in Arts (NMWA) has captured the hearts of many JLW members and has left a lasting impression on their lives. Ashley Harris, Assistant Educator at the NMWA, and the JLW’s primary contact, explained that the relationship between the organizations began over 30 years ago, in 1982 when JLW awarded NMWA a grant of $89,000 towards a dynamic volunteer program. Since then, funds from the League have supported numerous initiatives, such as tables used for educational programming, portable stools to provide additional seating in the galleries and artist books for the museum’s teaching collection, among many others. Upon joining the committee, JLW volunteers attend a half-day training, where they review the Volunteer Handbook, take a tour of the building and get a brief introduction to Volgistics, a volunteer management program. After these initial steps, the final step is the first shift, where they shadow a more experienced volunteer. As part of the NMWA Committee’s year, there are numerous orientations before events and programs, as well as continuing education opportunities. Volunteers have a vast array of duties when assisting at NMWA, ranging from greeting visitors and manning the information desk to helping with programming opportunities such as workshops, teacher programs, concerts or receptions to administrative support like assembling the museum’s See for Yourself self-guided tour packets. When asked about the activities at the museum, Harris offered, “As the museum evolves, so does the placement. As more programming [is] being offered by various departments, the opportunities for those types of experiences have increased. Over the years, some JLW volunteers have also trained as docents and even continued volunteering after their placement ended.” Many JLW members have fond memories of their time with NMWA. Former NMWA Chair Tracey Jerrard recalled, “My favorite memory was from volunteering at a writing workshop for young women led by

NMWA Committee Social: brunch and exploring the exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art. author Adriana Trigiani. She was very inspirational and truly cared about empowering young women and their pursuit of writing. She even gave the participants her personal email address in case they had questions after the class or wanted to reach out to her in the future.” Current NMWA Chair Lori Vitelozzi said that her favorite activity is giving tours to school children and watching them become more intrigued as the tour goes on. Volunteer Colli McKiernan added that she “loves the training opportunities we’re given; I feel like I’ve learned so much about female artists from the exhibition walkthroughs and continuing education opportunities the museum periodically offers.” Former Vice Chair Diane Lebson’s experience even helped her with her professional career: “My favorite memory was working with museum founder Mrs. Wilhelmina Holladay during one of the NMWA galas. I had a chance to meet so many interesting folks that night and developed a skill that I would later use in my role as chief of protocol at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia.” Lebson further explained, “For me, the training was the best because I wanted to learn about a world about which I knew so little. NMWA was truly a placement in which I took more than I gave, and I still feel a little guilty.” For committee members, NMWA is much more than just a cultural placement. Volunteers walk away with lasting memories and lifelong lessons. 






By Jessica Feddersen

he Community Outreach Committee can proudly say that they are bringing the Junior League of Washington (JLW) together with our community partners and other community organizations. The committee has been a standalone committee in the JLW for five years. Three times a year, Community Outreach brings together community stakeholders from around the region to discuss their resources, missions and initiatives to increase literacy in the greater Washington, D.C. area. These events are hosted in a roundtable format to foster communication and collaboration between organizations working in complementary areas. The roundtables are typically attended by representatives of 10-20 organizations and provide a forum for participants to share information and learn what others are doing to enable positive change.

The genesis for the committee stretches back to when the JLW identified literacy as its main focus. After several years of partnering with various organizations focused on literacy, JLW volunteers discovered that although these organizations were all involved in literacy advocacy and promotion in the D.C. area, they lacked a mechanism to collaborate or engage with each other. The JLW created the Community Roundtable on Literacy, now known as the Community Outreach Committee, to fill that void. At the roundtable on March 24, representatives from Calvary Women’s Services, DC Scores!, Everybody Wins!, Horton’s Kids, D.C.’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education and Reading Connection came together to discuss outreach efforts and possible collaborations regarding nutritional literacy. The third roundtable of the year focused on geographic literacy and included the National Geographic Society, among others. 


Did you recently move or get married? Have you had the same profile picture for way too long, or maybe you don’t have one at all?

3. Make sure the photo you submit is a close-up or headshot (as it will be cropped to a headshot), not a picture taken at a distance.

Making changes to your Junior League of Washington (JLW) online profile is easy. On the top right of the welcome page, you have the option to either “View Profile” or “Edit Profile.” To edit a name, phone number, email or make an address change, it’s easy right from the “Edit Profile” area.

4. Dress for success. We recommend you dress as you would for a first date or in work-professional, JLW-appropriate attire.

To change or add a photo to your profile, email your photo to JLW Membership Coordinator Katy Longworth (katy@jlw.org). All photos must be approved prior to being loaded to the website, and must meet the following requirements: 1. Pictures must be in .jpg format. 2. The picture file size must be 5MB or smaller, with a maximum of 550 pixels wide.


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5. Your photo must be clear, not blurry, and facial features must not be obstructed by items such as sunglasses or a mask. 6. Pictures must be right-side up. 7. Group pictures are not permitted. 8. Pictures that contain a copyright notice are not permitted. Now that you know how to make changes, it is time to make sure that your profile is updated in preparation for the 2016-2017 year.



JLW volunteers are ready to serve residents at the N Street Village Spring Party


ith the Easter eggs carefully hidden, Junior League of Washington (JLW) volunteers finished their preparations for the N Street Village Spring Party. Over 35 residents and their families attended the party to celebrate the spring season. Committee Member Ileana Rodriguez said of the event “The Spring Party is always a nice way to end the year with the ladies of N Street Village. It is a lot of fun watching the ladies work on crafts and getting to meet some of their families after seeing and chatting with them throughout the year at our dinners. You can really tell that it brings a little sparkle to their day.” N Street Village’s mission is to empower homeless and low-income women to achieve the highest quality of life by offering a broad spectrum of services and advocacy in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. N Street provides affordable rental housing for low- and

moderate-income individuals and families. During the most recent year, shelter and housing was provided to 176 homeless women. N Street also provides mental health, physical health and addiction recovery programs. “The residents at N Street Village look forward to the Spring Party because it’s a celebration of Easter and spring and a fun afternoon or evening,” said N Street Village Director of Programs Kristyn Carrillo. “Last year people could paint egg-shaped salt dough ornaments! Most people had never even heard of salt dough and wondered if you could eat it. It’s always fun to see everyone’s artwork and enjoy pizza and snacks together. Finding eggs filled with candy in the courtyard is a highlight for some, and for others it’s asking the egg hunters to share their spoils!” JLW has been a community partner with N Street Village for 25 years. In addition to the Spring Party, the Committee holds two dinners a month with the residents and hosts a winter holiday event.





By Morgan Cosby

hat do loveseats, patio furniture and dishwashers have in common? All are purchases made by community partners with the help of the Junior League of Washington (JLW) through the Community Fund. The Community Fund is administered by JLW’s three Community Placement Councils (CPC) and provides financial support for one-time unbudgeted or emergency needs of community partners. This fund has helped to provide microwaves, washers and dryers and various other items, including refrigerators, and has come to be known as the “Fridge Fund” in JLW lingo. In 2015, Horton’s Kids received one of the Fridge Fund grants. “The funding for IT support and printers was crucial for our work at the Horton’s Kids Community Resource Center in Ward


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8. Children use technology in the Center to print out homework assignments, complete research projects on the Internet and apply for high-performing schools with the help of our education staff,” said a member of Horton’s Kids staff. Jennifer Choudhry, chair of the Horton’s Kids Committee, further highlighted the importance of the grant to the community partner. “In this digital age, it’s vitally important that our community partners have IT systems in place that can meet the needs of the children and families they serve. Technology provides an avenue of educational opportunity that these children desperately need. The ability to simply print out a homework assignment is something many take for granted, but for the children in Ward 8, it’s a luxury.” Last fall, Fridge Funds supported the Historic Alexandria Docent (HAD) program by providing money for two leather armchairs for


JLW funds contributed to the creation of a beautiful outdoor space for Calvary Women’s Shelter residents

JLW members Jinny Shen and Abena Antwi use the docents chairs at the Carlyle House

the docents’ lounge in the Carlyle House. It also provided funding for an educational promotional display about the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, which has already used the display numerous times as a way to showcase the museum when full tours are not available. The display is also portable, allowing presentations about the museum to be given at different sites. Fridge Funds also recently financed furniture for Calvary Women’s Shelter’s new outdoor patio, to great effect. One Calvary resident describes it: “The patio is beautiful. I love being outside where the different aroma permeates the air. I love to be a part of nature. I love the wood of the furniture – the color of sand on the beach. I love the togetherness of the Calvary women, how stories are shared on the patio. There’s a healing of our souls – to be outside soaking up the sun, to see the birds fly overhead, the swaying of the trees. Seeing the vegetation mature along with us ladies. The shade of the patio umbrella covers and protects us the same way that Calvary does – as a roof overhead, where there’s love and protection from the harsh elements that keep us from forging ahead. There is a coming together of lives that have been damaged. The patio is a blessing to Calvary.” Most recently, a Fridge Fund grant helped 826DC transition to its new headquarters by providing comfortable seating to make the

space more appealing to older students after a long day at school, helping them to be more productive during tutoring sessions. “Teens have different developmental needs from our younger students, some of which are met by more relaxed seating and a sense of responsibility and autonomy for ‘their’ space,” said Lacey N. Dunham, 826DC Program Director. “We’re grateful for the Junior League of Washington’s support helping us make a welcoming space where teens can further connect with our programming.” These Fridge Fund purchases are not the only ways the JLW financially supports the community. The Targeted Grants & Volunteer Resources Committee (TGVR) manages JLW grants. Opportunity Grants, like the Fridge Fund, finance short-term or one-time projects under $1,000, but unlike the Fridge Fund, Opportunity Grants are open to all nonprofits in the community and are not limited to community partners. TGVR has provided funding through these grants to various nonprofits in the area, such as 826DC (which has since become a community partner), Carpenter’s Shelter, Hope House DC and Little Lights Urban Ministries. TGVR is also in charge of administering the grant process to give out the League’s largest monetary awards, Targeted Grants, which are typically $25,000 grants awarded to two different organizations, and the Community Partner Grant, which typically ranges between $10,000 and $12,500 and is awarded to a current JLW community placement partner. Like all JLW grants, the exact amount is dependent on the prior fiscal year’s fundraising. Last year, the League donated more than $130,000 in grants, including a new multi-year grant. Through these grants and others, the JLW has provided over $5.8 million to support organizations throughout the greater Washington, D.C. area. A full list of recipients is available on the JLW website, but past recipients of the JLW Targeted Grants include: The Children’s Hospital Foundation, The D.C. Public Library Foundation, Inner City Inner Child, The SEED School of Washington D.C., New Futures and The Reading Connection. 




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Jeanne Drewes examines an archived JLW scrapbook





eanne Drewes is a conservator who has been supporting the Junior League of Washington (JLW) Archives Committee since 2014. When she is not helping to preserve JLW’s history, she can be found working as a Preservation Director at the Library of Congress. 3039M is excited that Drewes was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions about her work. How did you get into the preservation profession? What made it appealing? I decided to go to library school after working in libraries as a support staff. I actually wrote my graduate paper on preservation and that was the start of my continuing interest in this work. How do you spend a typical workday? As a manager, I am in meetings to help with coordination of projects where my staff or contractors can be part of a project. I act as the preservation voice, or as I say, the voice of the collections. I am active in professional organizations including the American Library Association (ALA), Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS), and the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and serve on boards both domestic and international. My day is filled with problem solving and exploring options to streamline workflow and to better care for the collections at the Library of Congress. I am responsible for the “General and Reference” collections, and I am very thankful for the great staff and contractors who help in that care. How does social media tie into your work? Social media is a great way to share and sell a message and ALA uses it to promote Pres-

ervation Week, a focused week to help the public understand what they need to do to preserve their valued possessions, whether that is a toy, or a book, a wedding dress or a valued family heirloom.

Why have you chosen to support JLW? What about the organization piqued your interest? In 2014, I was asked to give a talk about preservation, and I was so pleased to be asked. The best part of my evening at JLW was actually two interactions. First, after my presentation, several members asked me about creating wedding albums. They had recently gotten married and had digital images, but wanted something more traditional for the photos. I loved that interest. I also greatly enjoyed the opportunity to look at the JLW archives and especially the scrapbooks. It is really wonderful that the JLW has a long history that has been documented and kept. However, the scrapbooks are not in great shape. Because there was some interest, I later helped JLW craft a grant proposal. Unfortunately, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) did not fund our grant. That said, I think JLW has a wonderful collection that very much deserved to be well cared for and preserved for future generations. It has been wonder-

ful to meet and talk with JLW members and hear their interests in the organization and in the historic collections. If JLW was given a conservation grant, what should the organization prioritize? JLW’s oldest scrapbooks are sensational materials and should be prioritized. If the 2016 JLW members were to create a time capsule to be opened at the JLW bicentennial (2112-2113) what items should be included and why? Things from here and now that capture the essence of the organization today. I helped to open several time capsules 100 years after they were made. So think about all the changes that have happened in 100 years and make sure your time capsule is well sealed and contains things and writing that don’t require technology (you can’t count on any technology to be the same in the future). Paper will last and can be read, computer files, not so much. How do you preserve intangibles (e.g., culture)? A big question with no short answer. The broad answer is to make sure that culture is “valued,” because what is valued tends to be preserved and carried forward into the future. That is what is needed. Sometimes it is the “thing” that holds the memory of a time or place, a person or experience. It could be a cup given to you by your grandparent, a book from childhood that you want to share with your children or grandchildren. Things hold stories because they hold memories and those memories need to be captured to carry the memory or story into the future. That seems important to me, and while it is my job, it is also my vocation.



JLW volunteer Abby Compton works with children on vocabulary related to the day’s text




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he Literacy Lab, founded in 2009 to provide intensive reading intervention in Washington, D.C. schools, is a unique partnership for the Junior League of Washington (JLW) in that the JLW serves as the organization’s sole volunteer partner. JLW volunteers have helped expand the work of this innovative organization to reach high-need children in two homeless shelters, and the committee has grown significantly in size and responsibility over time. The Literacy Lab’s primary mission is to help close the literacy gap by providing supplemental one-on-one literacy instruction resources within D.C. schools. The need for reading intervention is dire in the Washington, D.C. area, where 37 percent of adults read at the lowest measured literacy level and


70 percent of 10-year-olds read below grade level. Schools often have only one reading specialist for the entire student body. The Literacy Lab’s Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder Ashley Johnson had been a teacher in the District of Columbia through Teach for America, and observed first-hand the overwhelming need for additional resources. “Literacy is a key driver for success – academically as well as socially,” said Tom Dillon, Co-Executive Director of the organization. “As a D.C. teacher in the mid-2000’s, Ashley saw 9th and 10th graders reading at a 2nd and 3rd grade level. This literacy gap results in adults who can’t engage in the economy or in the political system. When The Literacy Lab was founded in 2009, there were organizations focused on book giveaways and other literacy efforts, but none focused exclusively on supplementing the schools in terms of rigorous instruction to actually teach children to read. The Literacy Lab was created to help bridge that gap.” Dillon and Johnson determined that in order to provide the type of intensive intervention to students that schools did not have the resources to reach, full-time assistance would need to be provided. The Literacy Lab created its “Reading Corps” program, a replication of the nation’s largest state AmeriCorps program. The Reading Corps is composed of 120 intensively trained full-time tutors who make a one-year commitment to The Literacy Lab through AmeriCorps. These rigorously trained tutors are embedded in schools and are heavily supported and coached by Literacy Lab staff members. The tutors focus on one-on-one literacy instruction for high-need children from age 3 to grade 3. They apply research-based techniques with the goal of children reading on grade level by the end of third grade; it is at that point that children transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” The organization has seen substantial success with its approach: 91 percent of pre-K participants significantly increased their kindergarten readiness skills, and 3rd graders who graduated from the program were twice as likely to be reading on grade-level

than their peers. The organization has expanded in recent years to Alexandria, Virginia, Baltimore, Maryland and Kansas City, Kansas. This year, The Literacy Lab is also training and coaching a cohort of early-childhood paraprofessionals to help build and augment their skill sets around literacy instruction. The Literacy Lab’s tutors are mostly young: 90 percent are 3-4 years out of college and few have teaching experience prior to working with the organization. Most make a one-year service commitment (20-25 percent return for a second year), and two-thirds go on to work in education long-term. As such, The Literacy Lab represents a high-quality pipeline of future D.C.-area teachers. Finding new tutors each year is a major feat, but it is critical to the success of the organization. Recruitment for the upcoming class is ongoing now (please refer any potentially interested individuals to Recruitment Manager Jordan Smith at jsmith@theliteracylab.org). Given the organization’s focus on fulltime tutors, it was initially tricky to figure out how to incorporate the efforts of JLW members. However, the JLW volunteers’ work at two homeless shelters has proven to be an impactful adjunct to The Literacy Lab’s primary work in schools. JLW members volunteer at D.C. General Shelter on Wednesday evenings and the New Beginning Shelter on Saturday mornings. The program, “Ready to Read,” is built around eight high-quality early-childhood texts and related materials. Participants are generally in the age range of 3-6 years old. Volunteers introduce vocabulary words related to the day’s text, read the text aloud, ask open-ended questions and provide children with a journaling or drawing activity at the end of the session. One of The Literacy Lab’s master coaches leads the work at both shelters and a handful of fulltime tutors are present at most sessions to provide guidance and support. Recently The Literacy Lab has trained JLW volunteers who have been working with The Literacy Lab for three or more years as session leaders. Session leaders are responsible for kicking off each session, en-

suring groups are staying on task, assisting fellow volunteers if they have any issues during their tutoring sessions and leading the closing circle where the children share from their journals. This role was previously limited to Literacy Lab tutors. The program also includes “reading celebrations” around holidays and in the summer, which are League-driven activities. At each celebration, volunteers choose a read-aloud book and help the children with literacy-related crafts that relate to the book. Volunteers also obtain books from Resolution Read to distribute to the children at the end of each party. At the summer reading party, children are sent home with a summer reading bag that includes literacy materials (books, journals, crayons, etc.) so they can continue learning at home over the summer. Dillon says the primary word that comes to mind when thinking of the JLW volunteers is dedication. “I’ve been blown away by the Junior League volunteers since Day One,” he commented. “They always come in with their sleeves rolled up and willing to work, and are fully committed, despite often having demanding full-time jobs elsewhere. They are going into a difficult environment to work with very active, young children, and they do so with great skill and tremendous caring.” As responsibilities given to JLW members have increased over time, so has the size of the committee. By expanding from only offering sessions at D.C. General to also offering sessions at the New Beginnings Shelter, the committee was able to add 15 additional volunteer slots, taking it from 20 committee members in 2013 to 35 volunteers this year. “The Literacy Lab is an incredible committee to serve on and I’ve loved watching both the committee and our relationship with The Literacy Lab grow over time,” said Committee Chair Leanna Wood. “As a volunteer, it’s very rewarding to see the progress of the children we work with throughout the year. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a child develop an enthusiasm for reading, gain the confidence to share their work with the group or write their name for the first time.”







any of the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) committee meetings and projects ease up a bit during the summer months but that doesn’t mean our members slow down. Living in an area as vibrant as Washington, D.C. means there is always a lot going on, and JLW members take full advantage of the lazy-hazy days of summer to enjoy fun activities unique to the area. We asked several members to share their top picks for the best summer spots and activities in Washington.


I love going to Nats games during the summer! We head to The Bullpen for a few hours before the game for food and drinks. It’s a fun and easy plan with a group. They Junior League member Sarah Kelley at a sometimes have live Nats game with new Junior League member music, corn hole and Emeri Lewkowicz it’s great to spend the day outdoors before the baseball game. You can also head over to Bluejacket Brewery for a bite after the game, or halfway through!

SAMANTHA BRAINARD My favorite summer activity is a picnic on the National Mall. It’s easy and fun something you can do impromptu or plan with friends. One of Junior League member Samantha Brainard my most favorite times picnics on the National Mall while WWII was this past May planes fly overhead when WWII airplanes flew overhead. My husband (then fiancé) and I watched from the Lincoln Memorial while eating sandwiches from Whole Foods.

KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ I have many favorite summer activities in D.C. including the Yards Park Weekly Friday Concert Series, the Union Market Drive-In Movie and kayaking on the Potomac.


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MARY BETH TYLER Here are a few of my favorite D.C. summer spots: Wineries: nothing like a quick trip out of D.C. to enjoy some of Virginia’s wineries and sunshine – a personal favorite is Barrel Oak. Nats Games: spending an afternoon at The Red Porch lets you catch up with friends while catching a game. Georgetown Waterfront: be a tourist in your own city - go grab a summertime cocktail at Sequoia and enjoy some people watching.

STARR WEB I have attended the summer event, Dîner en Blanc in Washington D.C. for the past two years. The event is held annually in many cities around the world and features Junior League member Starr Webb looking thousands of people great at Diner en Blanc dressed in all white gathered together at secret location for dinner. The event is full of fun, dancing, and [is] a great way to meet new people.

GINA RUSSO My favorite D.C. summer activity is taking a walk with a girlfriend, exploring neighborhoods and stopping to check out interesting places along the way. I particularly enjoy walking through the Shaw Neighborhood with its mix of beautiful residential and diverse commercial offerings. The warmth of the sun is much needed after a long winter!



JLW members participating in a spin class organized by Esprit


ife in Washington, D.C. often means trying to schedule as much as possible into a 24-hour window—work, play and beyond. Luckily, the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Esprit Committee makes incorporating fitness into schedules a little bit easier for members by offering events geared toward staying in shape and making friends. “When we started including fitness events into the Esprit schedule, we thought it would be something members would enjoy and would help cultivate relationships between the League and local businesses,” said Alex Corby, Esprit’s committee chair. “But after selling out the events time and time again, we’ve learned that they provide a much needed outlet for members.” The fitness track of the Esprit Committee is dedicated to planning a number of workout events throughout the year that help members add in some cardio or shake up their fitness routines. “[The events] are a great way to try something new with people you know, or you at least know they’re coming from the same place,” said Stacey Price, a member of the committee who planned fitness events this spring. “It takes away the intimidation factor a little.” Price added that workouts offer the obvious benefit of staying in shape, while still taking into account the busy lives of JLW members. Events are scheduled periodically at a range of times and places to help members get involved no matter what their work schedule or location. Adding in fitness to a JLW event can also take away some hesitance for members who may not have many friends within the League just yet. “The fitness events are more relaxed than others,” said Caitlin O’Donnell, another member of the committee. “They’re more lowkey, so there’s a comfort level there.” But beyond just trying something new, these events also offer an opportunity for members to make friends within the League.

“You get to interact with people on a different level than just seeing [them] at a meeting,” Price said. “It’s been fun to make connections with people who like to do what you like to do, but you just didn’t know it. It’s great to come out, but even more, it’s a way to get to know people.” O’Donnell agreed. “In Junior League, it’s so hard to see the same person twice unless you’re on a committee together,” she said. “[Fitness classes] draw people over and over again.” This spring, Esprit’s fitness events included yoga, spin and barre, among others. Although committee members are constantly trying to think of different activities that may be of interest to League members, they don’t put a big focus on trying to stay on top of fitness trends. “It’s pretty organic in that women plan events based on their interest,” O’Donnell said. Corby added that the committee also loves to hear input from members. “If there’s something you’d like to try, shoot us a note and let us know,” she said. “We do our best to create events based on member feedback and interests.” In-League connections within the community often mean members can try out a new class at a discounted price, which also encourages members to branch out from their standard fitness routine, Price said. But most of all, it is another way to make connections in the League while staying fit and healthy. “It’s a yoga pants wearing, makeup-free, safe haven to meet up with friends, old and new,” Corby said. “We all try to incorporate working out into our busy schedules. Why not join some fellow Junior Leaguers and try a new fitness class?” If you have ideas for fitness classes you would like Esprit to consider, email jlwesprit@gmail.com.






year is continuing the great work already in progress. In terms of new things, I’m so pleased that after two years of incubating on the Membership Development Council, we are rolling out a new committee for the 2016-2017 year, the JLW Leadership Institute Committee. That’s new and is really exciting. The committee will work to provide training to support our current and developing leaders. Our current strategic plan expires at the end of the 2016-2017 league year, so under the leadership of our Strategic Planning Committee, we’ll be working as a League to develop a new plan to guide us into the 2021-2022 year. Wow, it’s strange to say that!

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE JLW PLACEMENT? Elizabeth Keys (right) with fellow JLW Board Members Amy Shuart (left) and Courtney Mesmer (center) at Holiday Shops 2015


ach spring, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) welcomes a new president to take on the sometimes daunting, but always rewarding, role of JLW President. In 20162017, the JLW will be led by Elizabeth Keys. 3039M sat down with Elizabeth to ask her some questions about her plans for leading JLW during her presidential year.

WHAT ARE YOUR KEY GOALS FOR YOUR YEAR AS PRESIDENT? Ours is a large League, in numbers and in geography – not many, if any, other Leagues can say they draw from multiple cities and states like we do. On the one hand, it means we have a richly varied group of members, which is a real asset to our organization. On the other hand, our size can make it hard to meet people and find your place in the League. The word we hear members use a lot is “connected.” In our 104th year, we’ll continue working to make sure every member feels like she has a home here, like she’s made those connections. Our tagline for the year, Connecting the Dots: Members and Mission, plays on that idea. (Read more about what the League is currently doing to foster member connections on page 28.)

WHAT CAN JLW MEMBERS EXPECT DURING YOUR TENURE? We have a lot going on in our 104th year! We are really lucky to have had so many smart, talented women leading our League and a lot of what the Board and I will be working on during the


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My favorite placement was Member Communications. We did a monthly printed newsletter, Hotline – the predecessor to 3039M, actually – and I loved it. My co-chair and I had not met before we were slated by Nominating, but became fast friends.

HOW HAS JLW CHANGED YOUR OUTLOOK OR SKILLS? In terms of outlook, you may have heard discussion over the past couple of years about governance and management at the Board


Elizabeth is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and transferred to JLW from her hometown of Atlanta in 2000. Her impressive JLW resume includes time as co-chair of the Fund Development Committee, Secretary, and chair of the Nominating Committee. She even wrote for 3039M’s predecessor, Hotline. An admitted shutterbug, Elizabeth loves to take photos, to travel, to bake and to read. She is also active at her church in Arlington. This is all while balancing a busy career at FBR & Co where she is a senior vice president and the head of corporate access. Elizabeth takes great inspiration from her 92-year-old grandmother, who lives in McLean and who Elizabeth quotes often. One favorite is, “Make peace with reality,” something her grandmother wrote when she turned 90 and shared nine life lessons she’d learned over nine decades.


level. In a nutshell, it means that we as a Board have committed to spending more time thinking strategically about the organization and the direction we want to go and less time in the weeds executing a particular task. It sounds obvious, but that’s not how Leagues were originally built and it’s hard to change a 100+ year habit! That was a meaningful change to begin with, but it happened to align with a similar change at work, so it was really interesting to get to develop that governance “muscle” in both places and I think it has made me a better leader in both areas.

Elizabeth acknowledges that it would be quite a challenge to meet every member of the League, but she would love to hear from as many members as possible. She encourages anyone with a good idea to put it forward, either to her, a Board member, or another JLW leader. After all, she muses, “We are a pretty impressive group!”



1. Keep up with our community partners via social media, even if it is not your committee or assignment. With everyone’s vacation schedules, local organizations could always use an extra volunteer.

EarthScape ImageGraphy / Shutterstock.com

2. If you are just getting into your book club groove, there is no reason you have to stop now. If your group’s members are going to be around throughout the summer, keep up the outreach and work on a summer beach read. 3. Missing old committee members or mentors from your early days in the Junior League of Washington? Summer is the perfect time to meet up for an informal reunion. 4. Are you a new member? Kick off your League experience the right way by attending the New Member Committee’s New Member Potluck event held each summer.






Ivy Malone, Summer Bravo, Emily Kelley, Baby Oliver Kelley, Jessica Taylor White, Jess Battaglia, Katherine Rodriguez, & Courtnay Davis celebrating their April birthdays with brunch

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hen I showed up in D.C. fresh off the plane from California, I had seven suitcases and an empty studio apartment, but not much else to my name. After several trips to Ikea and Bed, Bath & Beyond, my apartment was furnished. I had a new table and chairs, flatware, and a Pinterest-worthy dish set. The only problem was my dinner party guest list was composed

Spring 2016

Bethany Poteat, Rachael Nease, Danielle Addison and Morgan Cosby pay homage to their League roots with a quick photo in front of the JLW house in Georgetown after brunch only of people on the other side of the country, and unfortunately, the “Beyond” portion of Bed, Bath & Beyond didn’t include a “friendship” section. I found myself alone in a new city, thousands of miles away from anyone I knew and missing the camaraderie of female friends. Meeting guys was easier; I mean, hey, there’s an app for that. But, I soon started wishing I could just as easily “swipe right” on a friendship. Thankfully, since a non-creepy friend-finder app has yet to be


Active members Heather Foss and Erin Loomis enjoy Jazz in the Garden

Members Lauren Robinson, Miranda McDaniel, Emily Roy and Kimberly Price at Lady Camellia teahouse in Georgetown celebrating Miranda’s upcoming wedding

invented, I found the Junior League of Washington (JLW). Now when I throw a dinner party (or I should say co-host since I currently live with JLW member Bethany Poteat), it is full of current or past JLW members. My story of “single female seeking friends” is not unique; according to the 2015 annual JLW survey, 46 percent of members surveyed listed making new friends as one of their top motivators for joining the League. Using the League as a way to meet new people and build friendships isn’t misplaced; the League connects people who have common interests and values, and provides events and activities that can provide common experiences and history, which are the foundations of friendships. This is not to say, however, that upon acceptance to the League, POOF, your iContact list comes pre-populated. I joined in 2008 and spent many a Junior League event all but plastered to the wall like an 8th grader at her first boy/girl dance. It can be intimidating to enter a room full of JLW women mingling and simply join into a conversation. Then if you do meet someone at an Esprit happy hour or other League event, you may find that you never run into her again. JLW member Summer Bravo’s experience echoes these challenges and she describes her approach to befriending other Leaguers similarly: “To sum up my experience as a new member, I was awkwardly trying to ‘date’ a new stranger at each event and committee meeting. Everyone was friendly and participated in small talk, but it always ended there. When/if I would see them again, it was wonderful - we would sit together, or pick the same small group table, but no exchanging of phone numbers or out-of-League contact. And I was okay with that until I experienced real friendship. I feel like everyone new to the League gets stuck on ‘first base’ so to speak, and it can be frustrating. Everyone wants the same thing, we’re just all a little too scared, or don’t seize the right moment.”

This is something the JLW recognizes can be a big challenge for members – both old and new. The Membership Outreach Committee launched JLW small groups in 2011 that match women by various interests, location or availability. This small group approach of pairing members by similarities and providing the opportunity to meet on a regular basis fosters the perfect environment for making lasting connections with other members. Since then, the Membership Outreach Committee has continued to provide opportunities to connect in both the fall and spring. Members looking to connect can contact membershipoutreach. jlw@gmail.com (which is surely easier than the agony of drafting a witty dating profile!). So, to all my fellow lonely hearts looking to make new friends, fear not, your newest best friend may just be waiting for you at the next JLW event.


• Make eye contact and smile. • Be friendly • Ask insightful questions • Exchange contact information and follow up (no three day rule required!)







nn Fragale is a Junior League of Washington (JLW) Sustainer with a rich history of service in the League. As a volunteer, she has dedicated hundreds of hours to the community and intra-League initiatives. She started in the JLW as a transfer member, which inspired her to become a transfer advisor, helping new Washington, D.C. transplants acclimate to the pace of the city. In this insightful interview, she reflects on her family, career and more than two decades in the JLW.

not hold night meetings, but with more of our volunteers working during the day, the League “changed with the times.”

Would you tell us a little about yourself, your family and your membership in the JLW?

I have served in a variety of positions since joining the JLW. I was lucky enough to take the JLW’s Facilitator Course Program, which provided super skills to use on the job. I held posts with Development & Training and the Provisional/New Member Committee for many years. I volunteered to write a brochure, supported by grant money, for the Women’s Center in Vienna. During my time with the League, many changes have occurred, both within our League, and within the city of Washington. The League supported the publication of a book concerning the history of the city [and] our League’s own cookbooks, Capital Classics and Capital Celebrations (I enjoyed taste-testing some of the recipes). Bright Beginnings came into being; the National Museum of Women in the Arts opened; and now our focus on literacy continues to be strong. One of the joys of working over the years with many new members to our city is learning from them and helping them be at ease in our vibrant League. It is one of our great strengths that we have a League that is constantly enriched by new members. On all those committees, whether at League fundraisers, museums, decorator showhouses, theater or just going out for a meal, I had the pleasure of representing our League and enjoying the company of individuals who care about the present and the future of the city of D.C. My biggest honor was being one of the recipients of the Sally Carruthers award. I actually met Sally in the late 1970s when she was still helping in the JLW office.

I have enjoyed being a member of two big city Leagues, New York City, where I served my provisional year, and Washington, D.C. Following my provisional year in New York, in addition to my volunteer service, I was pleased to be a part of their first Women’s Issues Seminar group formed in the early 1970’s. I realized how lucky I was in my youth in NYC with a mother employed outside our home in a high-powered job working for Harry Luce (founder of Time Inc.). My father was an artist and I witnessed, on occasion, his housekeeping skills. Thus, I was not bothered by some of the issues the other gals had with stay-at-home-mothers and goout-to-work-fathers. While a member of the New York League, I formed a bond within a smaller group of League members and we continued to meet for about three years sharing many fascinating discussions concerning women and the changing times. I was employed by Time-Life Books (TLB) in NYC and transferred to Alexandria, Virginia, when TLB moved their offices. I became a Letters Correspondent at TLB. We actually answered questions pertaining to our many book series from subscribers! I met my husband, Don, at TLB and we were married in May 1976. After the Letters job, I worked as an assistant in TLB International, performing marketing liaison work for our international offices – sending them the marketing reports and promotional information pieces for all the book series we produced from the U.S. headquarters. I left in 1981 when our son, John, was born. I continued with my JLW membership because I was able to perform committee work in the evenings and go to meetings at night, as well. The timing of the gatherings helped me maintain attendance. Historically, the League did


Spring 2016

You have supported JLW members who transferred from other Leagues. How did you become interested in their cause? I was a transfer when I first lived in Washington, D.C., so I guess I was glad to share my knowledge with them. I was a transfer advisor for many years. I always enjoyed working with these talented women and helping them acclimate to Washington and environs, and showing them the interesting sights in the D.C. area.

You have had many roles within the JLW. I am sure you enjoyed all of them. Would you identify a role that you deeply enjoyed and tell us why?

Tell me about some other League experience you’ve enjoyed or found personally meaningful. As Sustainer Chairperson in 2002-2003, I had a wonderful Committee of about 24 ladies. Many of them were mentors to me and some were


past Sustainer Chairs. We all worked hard to help the Actives with projects that benefitted from our input and to support the League’s mission. Our own sustainer activities included planning the annual Sustainer Luncheon in the fall, a Sustainer Dinner in the Spring; we had a luncheon speaker’s group at Headquarters; there were many Interest Groups that we oversaw from a Sustainer Dinner Group to a Great Books reading group, Gardeners One and Two, a Sustainer Transfer group, a Christmas Tea and planning a luncheon for our 50 year Members. When the League celebrated the 90th Anniversary, it was the most fun and the most challenging time for me. It was wonderful being a part of the Sustainers and on the Active Board planning the 90th Celebration; all of us felt so united working together on the planning of events. The Sustainers had a wonderful gathering at the Historical Society when it moved into the old Carnegie Library Building at 801 K Street. And now we are over 100 years and counting! When at the Annual AJLI meeting as one of the Sustainer Chairman Reps, I realized how lucky our League is to have such an extensive and broad sustainer event schedule. Working ten years later in a small way with the Centennial Committee was also special; to see the League’s talented members

plan such a terrific luncheon was a great bonding experience for all of us. I love the chance to see our League in action; the young women do so much with their time - most all work, and also manage to raise families and enjoy a busy life.

In a note to Sustainers, JLW President Cameron Gilreath wrote, “Using the results of recent surveys and focus groups, this year one of our priorities will be to determine how we can best engage our members and improve our internal sense of community at every level, from New Member to Sustainer.” What are your thoughts? Looking to our current functions, I appreciate the wonderful addition of zip code parties. I have gone to one in Great Falls and it was terrific. Maybe the zip code dinner idea could be extended to sometimes incorporate a Done-In-A-Day task? Our December zip code party had people bring things for a women’s shelter – good idea there. It would be great to have a signature project and try to rally all our members to do something for it. I don’t have any special ideas, but it might really excite people to be a part of something big and new that would be important and helpful to society and our mission.

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE THING YOU WOULD TELL NEW SUSTAINERS TO DO TO MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR SUSTAINERHOOD? “When you are a new Sustainer, remain connected to the League. Attend events for Sustainers, support League fundraisers, both financially and by going to Holiday Shops and Tossed & Found. And continue to volunteer in the community.” – Constance Christakos

“Stay connected!” – Carrie Johnson Clark

“Read the weekly Sustainer Chair’s letter, participate in Sustainer activities of interest and, better yet, volunteer to serve on the Sustainer Committee” – Maria Estefania

“If you enjoyed one of your placements from your time as an Active, support the ladies currently serving in that placement. Volunteer or contribute and let them know that you’d like to help out where you can.” –Jessica Furst Johnson

“Pick an event. Call a friend. Show up together!” –Alison Mundy



3039 M Street, NW Washington, DC 20007


MAY 12 Washington School for Girls Variety Show

JUNE 11 JLW Leadership Institute: Summer Session

MAY 19 Annual Reception

SEPTEMBER 20 Holiday Shops: The Women’s Leadership Lunch

JUNE 1 Start of a New League Year

SEPTEMBER 24 2016 National Book Festival

OCTOBER 22 Holiday Shops: Soirée NOVEMBER 18-20 Holiday Shops *Dates subject to change

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