Capitalines Spring Issue 2019

Page 1

Spring 2019 |


Dress for Success Empowering women one outfit at a time

pg. 22

2019 ity Commun Impact Update

It Takes All of Us

Inside JLA's Diversity & Inclusion Initiative

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CONTENTS IN THIS ISSUE League news and updates, our impact, spotlight on diversity and more

CONNECT 6 Letter from the Editor




28 A Night to Remember at Austin Entertains

13 Construction Update:

Community Impact Center By: Megan Nyitray and Keri Bollman

See photos from the social event of the season. By: Sheridan Butler Binford



16 How The Junior League is Empowering Women One Outfit at a Time By: Megan Nyitray

GIVING 34 Sponsors & Donors

18 Generation Serve: Growing a New Generation of Volunteers By: Keri Bollman Fund Development: Financial Impact Report By: Keri Bellacosa Walling




36 Letter from the Sustaining President By: Melissa Morrow 37 Past Presidents 39 Volunteer Extraordinaire

22 Community Impact Report By: Laura Robinson 23 The Junior League of Austin Projects & Community Advisors

IN EVERY ISSUE 6 Letter from the Editor 8 Board of Directors & Masterhead 10 Letter from the President 23 The Junior League of Austin Projects & Community Advisors 36 Letter from the Sustaining President 37 Past Presidents

4  The Junior League of Austin

It Takes All of Us

Learn about The Junior League of Austin’s committment to diversity and inclusion. By: Grace Young


20 Getting a “KIC” Out of

25 The League’s Future League leaders past, present and future paint a picture of where the JLA is going. By: Sheridan Butler Binford

12 Letter from the President-Elect

Junior League of Austin By: Erin Courreges

FEATURES is Female

10 Letter from the President

14 How and Why to Join The

Spring 2019



I was four years old when my mother joined The Junior League of Houston. My dad would joke that she was off to “see the FaFas.” I remember she would leave in a starched white shirt and pale yellow jumper and head to work as a waitress in The Junior League Tea Room. What I was too young to realize was that she wasn’t just going to socialize with friends and rub elbows with Houston society like my father’s moniker implied. The work she was doing at the League was making a big impact on her community. Yes, she served in the Tea Room, which was and continues to be a strong fundraising source for the Houston League, but she also served in several community placements throughout her Active years. She served as a drug prevention advocate and at a hospital serving women who could not afford gynecological services. Almost thirty years later, a new generation of women of The Junior League of Austin (JLA) are supporting non-profits in volunteer roles, just like my mom did in Houston. On page 16 you can read about how League volunteers are helping women make career strides through our partnership with Dress for Success Austin, and on page 18 you can learn how JLA members are training a new generation of volunteers through their work with Generation Serve.

Photos by: Cat Mattingly Photography

“The Junior League of Austin is a diverse group of smart, creative, and well-trained women.“

Some people in the Austin community may still think The Junior League is merely a group of “FaFas,” but it is so much more! Like so many other proud League members, my mother was committed to volunteerism and made it a priority in her busy life. She served as a role model for my sister and I who eventually also became members. The Junior League of Austin is a diverse group of smart, creative, and well-trained women. In the pages of this magazine you will read the stories of the strong impact JLA members are making in the community (pg. 22), the initiative the League is taking on to tackle diversity and inclusion (pg. 30), and what League leaders believe the future impact of the League will be (pg. 25). Today, my dad brags about his wife and daughters being members of The Junior League. He is proud of the work we do to make our communities a better place to live. And while he was just joking in the first place, he doesn’t call it the “FaFas” anymore either.

Kendall Guinn Capitalines Editor, 2018-2019 2018-2019 Capitalines Committee

6  The Junior League of Austin



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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Keri Bollman, Megan Nyitray, Erin Courreges and Grace Young

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AD SALES ASSISTANTS Photo by: Cat Mattingly Photography

The Junior League of Austin Board of Directors visit the construction site for the JLA’s new headquarters, the Community Impact Center, which is slated for completion in fall 2019.

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8  The Junior League of Austin

OUR MISSION The Junior League of Austin is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Cover Credit: Thank you to Erin Condren Domain Flagship for providing the location for our cover shoot.



Stronger. Leaner. Healthier. t e G





Nelson Henderson said, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” The women of The Junior League of Austin have been doing this for 85 years through our mission of improving the community, developing the potential of women and promoting voluntarism. We have played a role in building organizations like Con Mi MADRE, Dell Children’s Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House, CASA of Austin, FIT – Food in Tummies and many more. As League members that change roles every year, we have planted seeds for many meaningful programs. I am so proud of all we have accomplished this year. We exceeded our goals for the year in our fundraising efforts through grants, sponsorships and ticket sales for A Christmas Affair and Austin Entertains. We had our first two sponsors for our new KICS – Kids In Cool Shoes program. We kept over 37,000 children warm through Coats for Kids and fed every child in our partner schools in Del Valle through FIT – Food In Tummies. Our members embraced our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we were fortunate to hear from community leaders and organizers on their experiences as well as have important discussions on this topic.

Photo by: Cat Mattingly Photography

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” - Nelson Henderson

In addition to these successes, we also made great strides in our Capital Campaign, and we built our new headquarters, The Community Impact Center (CIC), which will be completed ahead of schedule. The CIC has been a labor of love for the past several years, and I know it will have a positive impact on our community and our members for years to come. Being President of this outstanding organization has been a gift. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of The Junior League of Austin. I have learned so much from them this year and am thankful to them for empowering me to do this job. It has truly been life changing. Our members are busy women who give so much time, passion and heart to this organization. They are a true blessing to our community! It has taken many members and supporters of the League to get us where we are today, and I know the future leaders of The Junior League of Austin will continue to blaze amazing trails for our community under Carrie Semple’s leadership in 2019-2020 and beyond. Thank you for continuing to plant trees. I am so grateful for you all!

Amy Hurt President, 2018-2019 The Junior League of Austin 10  The Junior League of Austin

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The Junior League of Austin is having a great year. Under 2018-2019 President Amy Hurt’s leadership, the women of The Junior League of Austin have lived our mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving our community. We have raised funds through A Christmas Affair and Austin Entertains. We have helped disadvantaged and at risk children through our signature programs: FIT – Food In Tummies, Coats for Kids, and KICS – Kids In Cool Shoes. Hundreds of our members are working with our community partners to improve the Austin community every single week. We did all of this while also overseeing construction of a multimillion dollar new headquarters. We are truly “Women Building Community.” It is my hope in the year to come that we build on the momentum that Amy and this year’s team have created. They are trailblazers, and we are grateful for their leadership and inspiration. As I look toward next year, I am excited to celebrate the opening of the Community Impact Center. I look forward to our members having a fresh, new and inspiring place where we can be excited to meet, work and celebrate together.

Hundreds of our members are working with our community partners to improve the Austin community every single week.

Still, there is work to be done. While we celebrate the opening of our new headquarters, we must also embrace our mission and rededicate ourselves to living up to its high ideals. We must offer meaningful training and education opportunities to our members, recognize our members who are doing outstanding work in our community and empower a new generation of women leaders who will learn the true life changing possibilities that voluntarism provides us. Finally, I want to thank 2018-2019 President Amy Hurt for her dedication and commitment to making diversity and inclusion a priority for our organization. The Junior League of Austin has always welcomed women who share our vision for servant leadership and who are interested in making the community that we live in a better place. Amy has made it a priority for us to be intentional about how we share that message, and the Junior League of Austin will be forever indebted to her for her visionary leadership in this area.

Carrie Semple President-Elect, 2018-2019 12  The Junior League of Austin


Community Impact Center By: Megan Nyitray and Keri Bollman Carrie Semple, JLA’s President-Elect for 20182019, is honored by the hard work of the past presidents and League members who have made the League’s vision for the CIC a reality. “The League has been fortunate to have a long list of amazing female leaders serving as chairs and committee members of CICPO over the course of the project,” says Semple. “We are optimistic that the building will be completed this summer.”

Construction is well underway at the Community Impact Center: the exterior is nearly complete, only requiring small finishing touches and landscaping.


he Community Impact Center (CIC), The Junior League of Austin’s (JLA) new headquarters, is taking shape. Set to open in fall 2019, the exterior of the building is almost complete, only requiring small finishing touches and landscaping. The interior has been framed, electrical is completed and air-conditioning is installed. “Building a space from the ground-up has taken the hard work and dedication of many The Junior League of Austin and community members,” says Katie Turner of the League’s Community Impact Center Planning and Oversight Committee (CICPO). “It has been an exciting and challenging endeavor, and we are all excited to finally see the final product taking shape.” The large, multifunctional venue is scheduled to be completed by July 1, 2019, a month earlier than originally projected. The Junior League of Austin is actively hosting Hard Hat Tours of the CIC to donors and neighbors this spring and plans to officially open its doors in the fall of 2019. JLA leadership and the League’s CICPO members have been working closely with construction company The Beck Group, architect STG Design, and project manager Square 1, to finalize design and logistical decisions. They have also begun evaluating proposals for janitorial services, security monitoring, trash pick-up and other services that will be required to keep the CIC functioning once delivered.

Once the building is complete, a building dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be scheduled. Semple is looking forward to hosting a general meeting in the CIC, hopefully in the fall. For more information on how to donate to the Capital Campaign or attend one of the donor tours please contact The Junior League of Austin at (512) 454-7518 or

NOW BOOKING EVENTS FOR FALL 2019 In addition to serving as headquarters for The Junior League of Austin, the Community Impact Center will will also provide space for community members to gather for both collaboration and celebration. The building will offer multiple areas for booking by the public and could be the perfect spot for your next event. The building offers spaces small enough to host gatherings of 10 or less people and large enough to accommodate up to 1,000 people. It will also be able to seat 440 people at round tables and offer 268 parking spaces. To learn more about renting out the CIC, see floor plans and more, visit and click “Book Our Space.”

The Junior League of Austin  13



Why Join The Junior League of Austin? A meaningful way to help your community and make new friends. by: Erin Courreges


hen I first relocated to Austin, I felt isolated. I did not grow up here, I did not go to school here, and my job was relatively isolated with odd hours preventing me from easily making new connections. Initially, I thought finding an area non-profit where I could volunteer my time would be a great way to meet new people. I tried, hopelessly, to find volunteer opportunities on my own, and I was rejected time and again. With so many active groups and organizations in the Austin area, most volunteer support was filtered through organizations and not facilitated by individuals. Feeling frustrated, I turned to a friend who had been in Austin for a while. She suggested I explore The Junior League of Austin. She shared with me its history and explained how the organization and its volunteers make a profound impact on the city and surrounding areas. The Junior League of Austin (JLA) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The Austin chapter was founded in 1934. It supports community partnerships, signature programs, and promotes the leadership development of its members while providing an inclusive environment. A lot has changed over the past 85 years.

14  The Junior League of Austin

Erin (left) has participated in JLA’s A Christmas Affair as both a volunteer and a merchant.

Austin has grown significantly in both size and geography, women permeate all aspects of the workforce, and technology connects our society. Just as Austin has grown, so has The Junior League of Austin. We are a diverse group of 2,500 women who annually give more than 160,000 uncompensated hours of service to more than 30 projects and non-profits in Austin. Active members have various opportunities to volunteer in the community or work on the League’s signature projects. JLA also offers remote access opportunities for those who need more flexibility in volunteering. Placement opportunities can be semester concentrated or spread across an entire year. The League’s Active members range in age from 25 to 45 and are business owners, working mothers, professional women and stayat-home moms. Members serve unique roles while giving back to non-profit organizations in Austin and the surrounding communities. Members are provided training opportunities that often translate into future community roles – further impacting the greater Austin area. Many members go on to serve in leadership and executive roles for other non-profit boards and committees across our community.

Joining The Junior League of Austin allowed me to establish a network of friends across various fields. I was able to learn about a variety of non-profits serving Austin and the surrounding areas that I was unaware of prior to joining. As a member I have gained more than just the simple satisfaction of giving back. I also developed and honed skills that have helped me in my personal, professional, and volunteer life. Eligible candidates for membership are between the ages of 25 to 40 (as of May 31, 2021) and reside in Travis County or surrounding counties at the time of application. An open house meeting is held in October, and admissions meetings are held in January of each year. New members to The Junior League of Austin attend both new member and general training meetings, support the League’s signature program, FIT - Food In Tummies, and learn through volunteering at our community events, such as A Christmas Affair and Coats for Kids. Provisional members performed a skit they wrote about healthy eating at a pep rally hosted for children in JLA’s FIT - Food In Tummies program in Del Valle ISD.

If you are looking for a meaningful way to help your community and make some new friends along the way, The Junior League of Austin would love to have you as a member!

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The Junior League of Austin  15

A variety of stylish and professional clothing and jewelry are displayed on the Dress for Success Austin floor. Photos courtesy of Dress for Success Austin.


Community Partners

How The Junior League is Empowering Women One Outfit at a Time The partnership between The Junior League of Austin and Dress for Success Austin seeks to break the cycle of poverty and build local women up, one client at a time.


he Junior League of Austin (JLA) has always sought to develop the potential of women in the Austin community. One agency JLA has been fortunate to partner with for several years is Dress for Success – an organization that seeks to empower women to reach their maximum potential, break the cycle of poverty and better our community.

Dress for Success is an international not-forprofit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire 16  The Junior League of Austin

By: Megan Nyitray and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Not only does Dress for Success provide women with professional clothing and job coaching skills, but it also offers them support and encouragement to reach their career goals. A unique aspect of Dress for Success is that it is open to all women from any background. A woman can self-refer as a client to the organization at any time and enjoy the benefits of a one-on-one volunteer eager to provide guidance and encouragement. In fact, Dress for Success Austin (DFSA) has helped over 12,000 women from all walks of life since its doors opened in 2003. Not only is it a valuable resource for women trying to break out of the cycle of poverty, but it has also assisted moms on tight budgets, high school students on debate teams, recent college graduates and many others. Page Sponsored by Andrew & Kendall Guinn

The Junior League has been providing funds and volunteers to Dress for Success since 2009. League members can serve in a variety of roles. Career Advocates help women with their job search, assisting with cover letters, resumes and interview prep. Donation Curators help sort through clothing that has been donated, while Image Consultants help clients put together at least two professional outfits for job interviews or new jobs, taking into consideration the type of employment the client is seeking or has obtained.

“Even though it is just a new look or new outfit, it builds your self esteem.”

JLA Active Blair Baxter has been volunteering as an Image Consultant with Dress for Success Austin since September 2018. Blair has witnessed firsthand the difference DFSA can make in women’s lives. “At Dress for Success Austin, women sometimes come in at the worst point in their lives, and we dress them up and build up their self esteem,” Blair says. “Even though it is just a new look or new outfit, it builds your self esteem, which means everything. Confidence is key, and there is nothing like seeing a woman try on a suit that fits her well for the first time.”

A Dress for Success Image Consultant helps a client pick out the perfect outfit for the first day at her new job.

the 300-plus volunteers like Blair who not only help women pick out a new outfit on the floor that could rival any up-and-coming boutique in Austin, but they also help clients work on their resumes, build a LinkedIn account, practice interviewing and above all, offer support and encouragement.

A client leaves Dress for Success Austin feeling confident with her new job-ready outfit.

At DFSA, everyone feels needed and welcome, she says. “It’s women from all stages of life supporting each other. DFSA is a safe place for all women to come and feel good about themselves.” Indeed, the success of DFSA would not be possible without

Volunteers are always needed and welcomed at DFSA. If you do not have time to volunteer, consider donating your gently used work-appropriate clothing to the organization. Shoes, professional tote bags, make-up, make-up bags and jewelry are also in high demand. Join Dress for Success Austin in providing much deserving women in your community a new start. For more information on Dress for Success Austin including volunteer opportunities and donation wish lists, visit The Junior League of Austin  17


Community Partners

Young Generation Serve volunteers help sort donations and organize the food pantry at Hope Food Pantry.


Growing a New Generation of Volunteers


by: Keri Bollman

eneration Serve engages children in volunteerism by volunteering side-by-side with a parent/ caregiver and witnessing the example of community service firsthand. Through volunteering they learn about community needs and how they can make a difference in their communities. “Generation Serve helps connect young people with the reality of the world while also connecting families and enhancing their bond. It creates real and unscripted conversations about the needs of the community and how much continuous help can make a difference,” says Cassi Clinton, who has volunteered with her three-year-old son. Founded in 2009 in Austin, Generation Serve has coordinated

18  The Junior League of Austin

over 90,000 volunteer hours for Central Texas youth and families. In 2018 alone 3,479 families volunteered 16,591 hours. The organization has grown rapidly each year for the past decade and currently has more than 7,200 youth volunteering in the community annually. Children as young three-years-old may participate, becoming more independent Page Sponsored by Tacodeli, Roberto & Debra Espinosa

meals. Recipes, ingredients and utensils are provided so that the families can prepare their own meals. Volunteers also provide family check-in and check-out, explaining the function and services of the Ronald McDonald House. “The Junior League of Austin volunteers have been invaluable to our organization,” says Allison Johnson, Marketing Director for Generation Serve. “We can always count on them to be reliable, excellent leaders for our volunteer families at our service activities.” This summer Generation Serve will be celebrating the organization’s 10th anniversary with a Volunteer-A-Thon. This summer-long event will encourage youth to volunteer for at least 10 hours between June 1 and August 31, 2019 in honor of the Generation Serve’s 10th year of inspiring community service. “We strive to develop generations of community-minded leaders and look forward to bringing the joys of volunteerism to more youth, families, and communities over the next 10 years,” Johnson explains. A family of Generation Serve volunteers prepare a meatloaf for dinner for families staying at Austin’s Ronald McDonald House.

To find out more about Generation Serve please visit

volunteers and leaders as they become older. There are volunteer opportunities with over 100 local nonprofit organizations. The non-profits are organized into categories, including animal services, children, education, environment, health and wellness, poverty, refugees and senior support. Volunteer activities may involve assembly projects, park clean-ups, gardening, preparing and serving meals, stocking food pantry shelves, making arts and crafts, staffing events and more. There is an activity for every age and interest. The Junior League of Austin has partnered with Generation Serve since 2016. League members serve as activity leads supporting 15 Austin non-profits. Active member Lauren Little is a Generation Serve volunteer. “I joined the League to become more active in the community, and it’s inspiring to work with an organization that empowers families and children to volunteer together,” Little says. “I have also enjoyed learning more about the other community organizations I have had the opportunity to volunteer with through my placement with Generation Serve.” Ronald McDonald House is a good example. JLA members do advance work preparing and setting up

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Financial Impact Report

Getting a “KIC” Out of Fund Development How the 2018-19 League year offers more giving opportunities than ever. By: Keri Bellacosa Walling, Fund Development Vice President

On a Tuesday morning in March, just before spring break when temperatures begin to warm up and kids return to their favorite activities, nearly 650 students at Guerrero Thompson Elementary School received a brand-new pair of name brand athletic shoes.

athletic shoe drive, but also provide volunteers for the distribution day. Nyle Maxwell, L.K. ELM Foundation, Edelman and TEGNA are some of the top sponsors of this program this year, to name a few, and donor interest and participation only continues to grow. Meanwhile, Austin Entertains, JLA’s culinary experience led by Austin’s top female chefs and bartenders, smashed records in its third year in both fundraising and ticket sales. Spring Events Chair Sarah Covey and her team got creative in engaging and bringing in new sponsors as well as cutting costs, making the largest impact in the event’s history. New this year, guests had the opportunity to be a ‘FIT Star’ by packing a FIT – Food In Tummies bag on site for $5 – the cost of a weekly FIT backpack that goes home with each student at Baty and Hillcrest Elementary Schools each Friday to provide nutrition throughout the weekend. The activity got event attendees involved and brought thousands of dollars to the FIT program.

Nyle Maxwell showered children with bubbles during KIC-Off Day at Guerrero-Thompson Elementary School.

Spin-off fundraisers such as Chipotle’s Cause and Effect, Antonelli’s #CharitableCheeseCause, and hosting an

Members of The Junior League of Austin (JLA) were on hand to fit the children and pass out the new shoes, but the bulk of the volunteers that day were employees from the Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships. “KIC Off Day” was made possible thanks to their sponsorship and, equally important, their manpower. KICS – Kids In Cool Shoes is the latest signature program of The Junior League of Austin. In its inaugural year, the demand for both fulfilling shoe requests and the interest from sponsors has been overwhelming—proof that this program has a bright future of impacting local kids. Corporate and individual sponsorships not only fund the 20  The Junior League of Austin

A student at Guerrero-Thompson Elementary School student proudly shows off her box of new shoes.

JLA’s KICS committee with volunteers from the Maxwell Family of Dealerships.

October General Small Group Meeting at Kendra Scott’s headquarters, brought in an additional $1,500 for our community projects. #AmplifyATX, a city-wide 24-hour giving campaign on February 28, landed the JLA’s FIT program with nearly $10,000. Of course, the JLA is already putting the great successes of the iconic A Christmas Affair and Coats for Kids events into action as new community partners and grants are determined for the 2019-20 League year.

As the Capital Campaign for JLA’s new Community Impact Center comes to a close, opportunities for major gifts are still available, and employer matching is a terrific opportunity to maximize your personal giving. It’s never too late to make a contribution to the JLA, or even your favorite program within the JLA. You can do so at

Save the Date November 20-24, 2019 Palmer Events Center

Austin, Texas

The shopping and party traditions that you love, the spirit of giving and the magic of the holiday season. All close to heart and home.

The Junior League of Austin  21

Community Impact Report by: Laura Robinson, Community Vice President Each year, The Junior League of Austin (JLA) surpasses itself in making a difference within our community. The 2018-2019 year is no exception. More than 1,200 League members invested over 160,000 volunteer hours to the League’s projects and programs. In addition to the volunteer service that League members contributed, The JLA provided over $650,000 to fund programs and agencies that improve the overall well-being of our community. The League supported 36 non-profit Community Projects this year. Over 425 members served as volunteers within these Community Projects, and by the end of 2019 these members will have given a minimum of 25,000 hours of service to the Central Texas Community. Through the Done-in-a-Day Program and Spanish Immersion, League volunteers will also provide another 1,500 hours of service to the community. Feedback from our

KICS Chair-Elect Liz Neff helps pass out shoes at Guerrero-Thomson Elementary.

22  The Junior League of Austin

agency partners continues to show just how much of a difference League members are making: “What sets JLA volunteers apart from other volunteers is their consistency.”

Elementary students raced around the track during FIT Fun Fest 2019 this spring at Del Valle High School.

“Each of the JLA volunteers who served as volunteer advocates during the League year brought a dedication and passion to their work that can be attributed to their involvement with the League.” “JLA volunteers are passionate, professional, and driven to make a difference in the communities where they live and work.”

Our Signature Programs continue to grow and provide much needed support to the Central Texas community. Coats for Kids (CFK) had a record breaking year, collecting and distributing over 37,000 coats. This year, CFK distributed at three separate locations: Palmer Events Center, a mobile site that included four schools, and the Del Valle distribution location. Over 3,000 volunteers from the Central Texas community and the League gave their time to make CFK a success, making CFK one of the League’s largest community outreach events. FIT – Food In Tummies continues to provide weekend nourishment to students at Baty Elementary School and Hillcrest Elementary School within Del Valle ISD. Provisional

League members worked to deliver over 27,000 backpacks of nutritious food to every student at each school. The program also continues to expand its reach in the areas of fitness and nutritional education. Our newest signature program, KICS – Kids In Cool Shoes, had an amazing first year providing brand new shoes to almost 1,000 preschool and elementary school students. JLA partnered with Guerrero Thompson Elementary School, Cedar Bend Child Development Center, Forbes Child Development Center and Mainspring School, providing new athletic sneakers for every child at each school. The KICS program is a great asset to the other signature programs of The Junior League of Austin because of its focus on improving health and wellness for children in the Central Texas community. As the JLA’s membership continues to grow, so does our impact in our community. While we build future leaders, we are also building lifelong volunteers and stewards of Central Texas.



The Junior League of Austin (JLA) provides volunteers and funding to area non-profits for the benefit and enrichment of the Austin community and the development and education of League volunteers. Below is a summary of volunteers and funds that are allocated to each project or program that the JLA supports. To learn more about these projects and programs please visit

Community Projects





Austin Humane Society



Austin Plastic Surgery Foundation aka Austin Smiles



Austin Zoo



Ballet Austin



Elizabeth Christian

B.I.G. Love Cancer Care Services






Children's Diabetes Camp of Central Texas



President Elizabeth Christian and Associates Public Relations




Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Travis Country



Creative Action



Dress for Success Austin



Drive a Senior Network



Drive a Senior Northwest



Generation Serve



Girls Empowerment Network



Mobile Loaves & Fishes



Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin



Partnerships for Children



ROCK, Ride On Center for Kids



Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas



Settlement Home



CEO Leadership Austin

Shoal Creek Conservancy



Ron Kessler

Sustainable Food Center



Ron Kessler Group, LLC

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA)



Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired



Edna Ramon Butts

The ARC of the Capital Area



The Christi Center



The SAFE Alliance



Thinkery (Austin Children’s Museum)



Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center



Zach Scott Theatre Center



The Junior League of Austin Programs Project



Spanish Immersion



Playhouse Singers






FIT - Food in Tummies



Coats for Kids



KICS - Kids in Cool Shoes



Con Mi MADRE Scholarships


UT Strings


Total 2018-2019 Community Volunteers & Community Contributions


John-Michael Cortez Special Assistant Office of Mayor Steve Adler

Elizabeth Foster Global VP of Business Development Whole Foods Market

Nikki Graham President Bank of America Austin

Christopher Kennedy

Director of Intergovernmental Relations & Policy Oversight Austin ISD

Brad Robb Executive Director Carl C. Anderson Sr. & Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation

Karlan Witt Senior Partner Cambia Information Group, LLC


The Junior League of Austin  23

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the league’s Past and future Presidents of the Junior League of Austin, Julie Hall, Amy Hurt, Lyndsey Crawford and Kathi Haralson.

The League’s

FUTURE is FEMALE The Junior League of Austin was founded by forward-thinking women. It has been cultivated and grown by women, and its future is undeniably female. By: Sheridan Butler Binford


n February 9, 1934, The Junior League of Austin (JLA) was founded by 50 pioneering females. These progressive women were driven to improve their community by using the energy and commitment of trained volunteers.

Though times have changed, the JLA is still pursuing the core mission of those founding members: To be an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Today, 85 years after its founding, The Junior League of Austin is over 2,500 women strong and ranks as the fifth largest Junior League in the world.

We sat down with League leaders past, present and future to get their take on the future of The Junior League of Austin.

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“In the past several decades, the world has shifted and women have had to take on more responsibilities both inside and outside of the home. For many, volunteering has been collateral damage. While there are many Leagues around the country whose membership have seen declining numbers, that has never happened in Austin. The JLA is still vibrant, growing and its members are making a true difference in our community. This is how it is now, and I feel like it will continue to be that way. Women are getting busier, but also smarter, and they will work just as hard and make just as big a difference as they ever have. I can’t imagine the League ever not being a vital part of the growth and change in Austin, and I am hopeful my daughters, who are now 22 and 19, will someday be members of The Junior League.” Kathi Haralson, JLA President, 2009-2010

“Early on in my tenure in the League, I advocated for creating volunteer opportunities that utilized women’s skills or taught them skills that could would translate into their careers. Stuffing envelopes was not career inspiring. Today, the JLA is offering training opportunities to its members for more critical and usable skills for today’s world. They can take these skills to the office or utilize them for their volunteer work in the community. In my own life, I’ve seen more personal growth in one year serving as JLA President than I’ve had in 15 working at Dell because the JLA just teaches you to see the amazing work that women do around you. I see the JLA playing an even bigger role in Austin in the future by spearheading key initiatives that improve the community and continuing to train our future leaders.” Julie Hall, JLA President, 2017-2018

26  The Junior League of Austin

“As I look around our League and see the incredible impact we are making in our community, I am so proud of our members for their dedication, passion, excitement, and love of our organization. We are making a difference in the lives of those who need it the most. The Junior League of Austin (JLA) will continue to train female leaders who can use their leadership skills to impact change in the Austin community and beyond. I will look back on my leadership opportunity and be forever grateful for what I have learned. JLA has given me a safe place to take risks and chances, enabling me to learn from my successes and failures on how to effectively lead. The Junior League of Austin continues to grow in membership and impact after 85 years of service. Future generations will continue to have the same opportunity to learn and grow. The future is bright. The future is female. The future is JLA.” Amy Hurt, JLA President, 2018-2019

“I would like to think that in 10 years the JLA will have a much larger presence in the Austin community; not just with our projects, but partnering with other non-profits to get work done. I also believe with the new Community Impact Center (CIC) that we have the ability to cross Junior League boundaries and begin to engage in more meaningful ways with the Austin community. Having access to ample physical space will allow the League to expand the training and development we provide to nonmembers. I would like to see the JLA provide opportunities for community members and organizations to come into our space where we can provide training on issues facing our community. Examples of this might include hosting non-profit board trainings, diversity and inclusion training seminars or providing support for women entrepreneurs in our community. I see our League continuing to grow and expand the diversity of our membership. I am confident that the financial impact we can make in the community will continue to grow as our membership and city grow.” Lyndsey Crawford, JLA President-Elect, 2020-2021

Page Sponsored by Araminta and Tom Sellers

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Spring Events

A Night to Remember at Austin Entertains By: Sheridan Butler Binford

Photos by CCPhotoFactory

28  The Junior League of Austin

On Thursday, February 28, The Junior League of Austin hosted its fourth annual Austin Entertains sponsored by Nyle Maxwell. Notable female chefs from all over Austin showcased their most desirable foods for VIPs and guests to taste their way through the Fair Market. There was more than just tasty treats to fill guests stomachs at Austin Entertains. Crafty bartenders also whipped up superb cocktails that left no one thirsty. A new eye-catching feature this year was the popular “wine wall” raffle featuring 100 of the best wines from around Central Texas. Musical performances by female DJ Diesel and cover band Love and Happiness kept guests on their feet dancing all night.

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By: Grace Young Photos by: CCPhotoFactory

How The Junior League of Austin has renewed its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

30  The Junior League of Austin


iversity defines The Junior League of Austin (JLA). That may be hard to believe considering that The Junior League started as an exclusive group of 10 women. Today, more than 2,500 women are members of the organization in Austin alone. The League’s members are native Austinites and recent transplants, women who work full time and stay at home moms. The Austin chapter boasts women with different ages, stories, races, religions, education levels and backgrounds. Together the JLA represents a unique group of women who are different in many ways, but united in purpose to strengthen and serve the Austin community. The League believes that its diversity makes it stronger; the more diverse it is, the better it will be able to serve its unique and ever changing community. In 2018, the JLA formalized its commitment to being a diverse and inclusive organization by creating a committee focused on diversity and inclusion. The creation of this committee was championed by the 2018-2019 leadership team, led by the 2018-2019 Board of Directors. The committee has worked to open the conversation amongst its members about diversity and inclusion as well as celebrate its unique and diverse membership, while ensuring that the League’s future efforts reflect its firm commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“The survey allowed us to gather some robust data about our members and helped to shape the path that we took as a committee this year,” says Creekmur. Based on the results of the survey, the committee put a focus for its first year in three key areas: communications, internal events and recruitment.

Crafting an Inclusive Communications Strategy One major takeaway from the survey was that the League could be more strategic about it’s messaging of diversity and inclusion in its communications approach. To kick this off, all Diversity and Inclusion Committee members, including the League’s President and PresidentElect attended an intensive two-day training course called “Beyond Diversity™: Courageous Conversations about Race.” This powerful training opportunity was sponsored by Leadership Austin and in support of the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism & Systemic Inequities. The lessons members took away from these trainings were shared with the League’s Communication Council members who lead social media and other external communications from within the League.

The League believes that its diversity makes it stronger; the more diverse it is, the better it will be able to serve its unique and ever changing community.

“As a woman of color, it’s important the League doesn’t just diversify to check a box or make someone feel like a token minority, but really strive for inclusion,” says Shannon Creekmur who serves as Community Liaison for the JLA’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee.

Mia Love Ledkins, the Social Media Chair, helped craft a more inclusive strategy for the League’s social channels.

“We provided intentional coverage of additional holidays, focusing on all cultures and placing an emphasis on women’s empowerment,” explained Ledkins. “We also got great feedback from sharing book recommendations from the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.”

Shannon also shared a bit about what the committee has been working on.

Some examples of the book themes so far have been Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

The D&I committee met with the League’s Membership Council to discuss possible strategies for outreach to women who may have not considered joining the League, such as women of color. The committee also conducted a survey to understand what members would be interested in in terms of D&I activities, their perceptions of diversity in the League and how they perceive themselves as diverse.

And the League isn’t wavering in its pledge to bring more inclusion into its communications. Dionne Barner, Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee this year will serve as Communications Vice President in 2019-2020, bringing her training and experience on the committee to a new realm. So you can bet the League’s commitment to inclusion in its communications will remain firm.

Page Sponsored by Amy Hurt

The Junior League of Austin  31

how the strength of women can change a community. By crafting events that open the conversation to members about diversity and inclusion, the League hopes to continue to fight stigmas and break down barriers.

Enhancing Recruiting by Breaking Down Membership Barriers In recent years, JLA has taken steps to remove any barriers that would deter someone passionate about volunteerism from joining the organization. In doing this the League has been successful in drawing new members that might not have joined otherwise.

Education and Awareness via Internal Events Another actionable insight gleaned from the survey was that membership was craving more educational events to open the conversation about Diversity and Inclusion in the JLA. In response, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee put together a panel of Active and Sustaining members to talk about the history of these efforts in The Junior League of Austin and its plans for the future. The panel was open to all members and was hosted at JLA Headquarters on January 29, 2019. The speakers included Toya Circa Bell (Diversity and Inclusion Committee Sustaining Advisor), Mariben Ramsey (Sustainer), Sandy Alcalá (Admissions Committee Sustaining Advisor) and Amy Hurt (President). Each of these women have done and are doing great things to impact the League and their communities. Each panelist shared their unique stories about what they have seen the League doing well and what it could do to improve. In addition to the panel, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee worked closely with JLA President Amy Hurt throughout the year to bring speakers that illustrated many different types of diversity to the League’s general meetings. In September, Kazique Prince from the Mayor’s office spoke about the importance of Diversity in Austin. At the January General Meeting Suzanne Plihcik, Co-Director of the Racial Equity Institute, spoke on How Racism Impacts Communities. In March, Tiffany Anschutz of Sage Recovery spoke on The Importance of Mental Health and Self Care in the Modern Female World. On April 25, the Diversity and Inclusion committee hosted a movie night screening the Academy Award-winning documentary short film “Period. End of Sentence”. After the movie committee members hosted facilitated table talks that explored ideas of diversity and privilege and

32  The Junior League of Austin

A huge step in the direction towards inclusion was to remove the requirement for three members to sponsor someone who wanted to become a member. This was a challenge for many women who were new to the Austin area or who didn’t know anyone in the League. Now, the only requirements are for members to be between the ages of 25 and 40 and to reside in Travis County or surrounding counties at the time of application. This change opened the doors for many more women to join the League and stays true to its mission of promoting volunteerism. In response to breaking down financial barriers, the League has taken steps to help members who might not be able to afford membership. The JLA now offers payment plans for its dues. This process is as simple as emailing The Junior League of Austin Treasurer and setting up a plan that works for you. In less than one year the Diversity and Inclusion Committee has made significant progress in spreading awareness, improving communications and opening the door for conversations amongst members. The committee has been renewed for another year, meaning a new set of volunteers will be able to bring fresh ideas and energy to helping make diversity and inclusion defining characteristics of The Junior League of Austin.

Profiles in Diversity The Junior League is a diverse organization of women, spanning from their twenties to eighties and representing a wide array of races, religions and backgrounds. Our three cover models, Debra Doliner, Cymphoni Campbell and Rekha Roarty are a snapshot of the diversity present in the JLA’s membership. Here’s what they believe makes them diverse.

DEBRA DOLINER “I grew up in El Paso, so the Hispanic culture is also strong part of my heritage. I speak Spanish, which is more rare in the League than I thought it might be. Also, I am Jewish, and many of the League’s General Meetings have been held in our synagogue, Agudas Achim. Those meetings have been some of my favorite, because I’ve had the chance to see two important aspects of my life come together. ”

CYMPHONI CAMPBELL “I am an African American woman who has felt incongruous in my own skin; searching for relatability and representation in areas in which cultural diversity has not always been a priority. After moving to Austin, I hoped to connect with a group of individuals that not only allowed but promoted individualism while working towards common goals. I am optimistic about working with the Junior League to provide various perspectives so that we may continue to strive to be an organization where all women feel they belong.”

REKHA ROARTY “As an Indian woman, I try to encourage other Asian women to join the League so that they can share in the giving experience. Austin has such a diverse population and I would love for the League’s membership to reflect that diversity.”

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Sponsors & Donors

Junior League of Austin Sponsors & Donors The Junior League of Austin thanks the following sponsors for their support of our charitable work in the community. With every dollar raised for community programs, the League triples its impact when combined with the commitment of our trained volunteers. Thank you again to all of our donors and sponsors! BENEFACTOR IBC Bank The Maxwell Family & The Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships Randalls Spirit Radio 105.9**

Bloody Revolution** Fast Signs** HEB Kendra Scott** Marquee Event Rental** Tribeza**



AT&T iHeartMedia**

GRAND Austin Woman Magazine** Brandywine Realty Trust CenterPoint Energy Chaparral Foundation Emmis Radio** St. David’s HealthCare Whole Foods Market

PATRON Austin Subaru Capitol Chevrolet Electric Transmission Texas, LLC (ETT) Lyft Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP** Perfect Cuts of Austin, LLC Strong Events** Tide Dry Cleaners

TRIBUTE Austin Family Magazine** Beau Theriot - Oasis** 34  The Junior League of Austin

Amanda Beck Foster Antler Mini Storage Austin Kids Directory** Austin Monthly** Beth and Bryan Plater Cynthia Kozmetsky Dana Fisher Dell Technologies** Diane Finch Grant Gayle and Laney Vickers Jack Hates Coffee** Leslie and Jonathan Moore Lisa Kennedy Nancy and Jim Edsel Overture Austin The Sherrill Family Foundation Tina McCutchin, Patsy Sharbutt & Amanda Spearman Ultimate Outdoor Movies and Entertainments Upstream Investment Partners UT Football Wives

SUPPORTER Andrea Jacobs Design** Borgil Enterprises Capitol Wright Distributing** Cathy and Ed McHorse Cowgirls and Lace** Dan and Paula Herd Gavin and Holly Mace Massingill Harriet Rutland Holly and Kevin Priestner Kelly and John Breeden Make It Sweet** Purdy Special** Sheri Shelby Krause Tina and Brent McCutchin

FRIEND Ann Dodge Austex Moving** Carolyn Waddle-Ford Chick-fil-A** Corner Bakery** Helen Covert Helen Dale Simons Jonathan and Holly Decherd Kim and Mark Nearburg Melissa Jackson McGuire Moorman Hospitality** Nothing Bundt Cakes** Reddy Ice, Inc.** Sally Sheppard-Mandell Tacodeli**

GRANTS Carl C. Anderson Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation Harry E. and Eda L. Montandon Charitable Trust The Lowe Foundation The Texas Stars Foundation Donald D. Hammill Foundation The Topfer Family Foundation PPD Development TEGNA Foundation

SPRING EVENTS Cobb Mechanical St. David’s Children’s Hospital C3 Presents Elliott Stratmann, LLC Corridor Title Pura Vida Spa Lead Commercial Sandoval Family Law Keri and Greg Walling 2018-19 JLA Board of Directors 2019-20 A Christmas Affair Committee

Party at the Moontower* Fair Market* Texas Olive Ranch* Premiere Events* Festoon* Epic Event Design* Deep Eddy Vodka* Dulce Vida Tequila* Nine Banded Whiskey* Sourced* Austin Opera* Moontower Entertainment* Austin Wine Merchant* Eberly* ATX Cocina* Juniper* Four Season* Holy Roller* Dai Due* Uchiko* Hillside Farmacy* Foreign & Domestic* Alamo Drafthouse* Quality Seafood* Central Standard*

Jack Allen’s Kitchen* Tiny Pies* Salt Traders Coastal Cooking* Olamaie* Irene’s* Eden’s East* Copper Restaurant and Dessert Lounge* Desert Door Sotol* Wedding Oak Winery* Vista Brewing* Celis Brewing* Richard’s Rainwater* Lip Service* Groove Labs* Eastside Magazine* ** In-Kind Sponsor

Thank you to all of our sponsors and donors for your continued support!

CAPITALINES Advertise in our Fall Issue! The official magazine of The Junior League of Austin, Capitalines presents a unique opportunity to get your business in front of Austin’s movers and shakers. To learn more and get ad rates, download our media kit at capitalines. For more information or to advertise, please email

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The Junior League of Austin (JLA) continues to grow stronger each year due to its strategic, dedicated and dynamic membership. Every day Provisional, Active and Sustaining members mentor, teach, train and lift each other up to address some of the most complex and challenging issues in our community. It is truly inspiring to serve on the JLA Board of Directors and witness the next generation of women leaders working together to solve problems and plan for the next 85 years of our organization. It has been an exciting year with new and continuing opportunities for all members. The Community Impact Center, which will also serve as the new League headquarters, is under construction with a move-in date before the end of 2019. Coats for Kids, FIT – Food In Tummies, KICS – Kids In Cool Shoes, In-League and community placements continue to give members meaningful volunteer opportunities that serve the community.

I feel an immense sense of gratitude for the women who have come before us.

I feel an immense sense of gratitude for the women who have come before us with the vision, strength and fortitude to create an organization that nurtures women’s leadership development at the same time that it improves the world around us. It has been an honor to serve as the Sustaining President for The Junior League of Austin and have the opportunity to work with each of you. Thank you!

Melissa Morrow Sustaining President, 2018-2019 The Junior League of Austin

36  The Junior League of Austin



Past Presidents The Junior League of Austin

Gladys Greenlee Bowman+ Ruth McCelvey Bremond+ Mamie Ray Earnest+ Julian Devereux Weeks+ Margaret Ann Caldwell Scarbrough+ Ina Williams Walker+ Hilda Rudd McElhenney+ Frances Coopwood Morgan+ Mary Tucker Muse+ Julia Matthews Perry Robinson+ Virginia Nalle Page+ Elizabeth Schneider Rogers+ Mary Helen George Ammann+ L. Ellen Steck Ross Carter+ Eleanor Niggli Tyler+ Frankie Gist Peterson+ Eleanor Stayton Gammon+ Mary Ireland Graves Dougherty+ Mary Lee Wilson Crusemann+ Hallie Groos Slaughter * Elora Watt Smith Sue Kone Drake Beverly Nash Bell+* Mary Lucile Wicker O’Brien+ Elinor Willis Pittman+ Marjorie Dodge Granger+ Irene Hopkins Harwood+ Alice Kleberg Reynolds Meyer+ Nancy Price Bowman+ Barbara Louise Davis Neff+ Eugenia Betts Miller Shelby Reed Hearon Diane Hierholzer Finch Grant* Marian Marley McCrummen Alison Gray Kimberlin* Josephine Klotz Roche Josephine Drake McRee+ Barbara Leonard Smith* Margaret Craig Cowden Susan Dean Stayton* Susan Page Driver Carolyn Kellam Curtis Marilla Black King Nancy Chapman Collins Ann Johnston Dolce Clare Ritchie Hudspeth Regan Kimberlin Gammon Mary Gideon Herman* Elizabeth Snyder Malone

1933-1934 1934-1935 1935-1936 1936-1938 1938-1940 1940-1942 1942-1944 1944-1946 1946-1947 1947-1948 1948-1949 1949-1950 1950-1951 1951-1952 1952-1953 1953-1954 1954-1955 1955-1956 1956-1957 1957-1958 1958-1959 1959-1960 1960-1961 1961-1962 1962-1963 1963-1964 1964-1965 1965-1966 1966-1967 1967-1968 1968-1969 1969-1970 1970-1971 1971-1972 1972-1973 1973-1974 1974-1975 1975-1976 1976-1977 1977-1978 1978-1979 1979-1980 1980-1981 1981-1982 1982-1983 1983-1984 1984-1985 1985-1986 1986-1987

Pamela Pitzer Willeford Cynthia Hendrick Kozmetsky Christina Kazen Attal Judith Allen Shelton Elizabeth Walters Atherton^ Melissa Owens Jackson Paula Thompson Herd Kristen Jones Holland Cookie Gregory Ruiz Hallie Powell Cardwell Emily Heebner Baker Nancy Cummins Prideaux Nancy Schoenvogel Edsel MariBen Ramsey*^ Joan Granger Talley Amy Johnson Dunham Suzy Balagia Diane Catalani Falkenberg Laura Wolf Beth Nance Smith KaLyn Laney Melissa Greenwood Morrow Kathi Livingston Haralson Sandy Segura Alcalá Morgen Cesarano Hardin Cathy Knapp McHorse Kelly Breeden Gregory Noack Casie Kaluza Wenmohs Sarah Moore Valenzuela Julie Hall

1987-1988 1988-1989 1989-1990 1990-1991 1991-1992 1992-1993 1993-1994 1994-1995 1995-1996 1996-1997 1997-1998 1998-1999 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018

* Denotes additional service at the regional level ^ Denotes service on the AJLI Board of Directors + Deceased

“Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.” Barbara Bush, Junior League of Houston

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Coats for Kids Partners VERYthank SPECIAL THANKS TO AA special you to our partners:


98.1 KVET


Established in 1935, Jack Brown Cleaners is dedicated to providing convenient, quality products and service to its customers. Jack Brown Cleaners is the original partner of Coats for Kids, providing the collection, counting and free cleaning of each donated warm winter coat. Through Coats for Kids, Jack Brown Cleaners is committed to making a difference in Central Texas.

Austin country music radio station 98.1 KVET has a commitment to community service that is unwavering. By partnering with 98.1 KVET, Coats for Kids is able to reach children all over Central Texas to distribute 30,000 warm winter coats each year.

Since signing on in 1971, community service has remained a cornerstone at KVUE. For 30 years, KVUE’s partnership with Coats for Kids has helped in the collection and distribution of warm winter coats to children in Central Texas each year.

To volunteer or donate, please visit

38  The Junior League of Austin


Excellence in Volunteerism

JLA Honors Laura Wolf with Prestigous Volunteer Extraordinaire Award


By: Hadley Hempel

aura Wolf personifies the definition of a Volunteer Extraordinaire, having made an impact on the Austin community as both an Active and Sustaining member of The Junior League of Austin (JLA).

In the words of one of her nominators, “Laura has used her JLA experience to do so much throughout Austin. She recently was recognized as a Women of the Year by the Girls Scouts and is always available to help the JLA. She goes above and beyond with her support of The League and the overall community and is very deserving of this honor.” Laura has been a dedicated League member for over 20 years, serving in numerous leadership roles and six terms on the JLA Board of Directors. Laura served as JLA President in 2005-2006 and Sustaining President in 2012-2013. As JLA Treasurer, Laura developed a plan so the League’s Hispanic Mother-Daughter program, Con Mi MADRE, could be an independent, sustainable and successful non-profit. She also led the charge to develop a three-year strategic plan that was incredibly detailed and beneficial to the financial growth of the JLA. As a Sustaining member, Laura has continued her involvement with the League, serving as a Sustaining advisor to a number of committees, including Nominating, A Christmas Affair, Finance, Capitalines and KICS - Kids In Cool Shoes. Laura has also been a leader in a variety of Austin non-profits, both in her professional career and as a volunteer. She has served on the

boards of the Center for Child Protection, Con mi MADRE and One Voice Central Texas. “When Laura serves on any board, she plays an active role using her volunteer experience and her legal experience to better serve the community and the organization,” notes a close friend of Laura’s. Based on her extensive expertise and talent in the area of children’s services, Laura was appointed by the county commission to serve on the board of the Travis County Child Protective Services and is an elected member of the statewide task force, Children’s Justice Act Task Force. Laura also played a key role in the merger of the Austin Rape Crisis Center and the Center for Battered Women. As a board member and board president of Austin Rape Crisis Center, Laura used her legal knowledge and talents to initiate, analyze and execute the integration of these two high profile nonprofits into one organization (which we now know as SafePlace), positioned to better serve the Austin community. One of Laura’s friends sums it up well – “Laura has the drive, the intellect, the passion and the love to make a difference in our community and more importantly, in the lives of people she has never met.” Congratulations, Laura, on being selected as the JLA’s 2019 Volunteer Extraordinaire!

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