We were honored to represent the Junior League of Seattle (JLS) at the annual AJLI Winter Leadership Conference, held this year in New Orleans, Louisiana.
One of many conferences and training opportunities presented by AJLI throughout the year, the Winter Leadership Conference takes place every January. It is held in a different city each year and is hosted by the local Junior League. The focus is on training and preparing future Presidents and Executive Vice Presidents for their upcoming roles. President-Elect, President-Elect Nominees, Executive Vice President Nominees are invited to come together to network, brainstorm, share ideas, and work together in preparation for their roles as League leaders.
This year’s conference was jam-packed with two-and-a-half days of training and leadership development sessions where we explored best practices in leadership, governance, management, membership, and diversity and inclusion. You can expect to see many of the tools we were given in action at both the Board of Directors and Management Council levels.
In the evenings and during breaks we deepened our long-time close friendships with Leagues in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Boston, Minneapolis, Richmond, and more, engaging in deeper conversations about specific strategic or operational needs, challenges, and opportunities. We shared tools, insights, and ideas to help us plan for the 2019-20 League year and beyond.
Our fund development efforts enable JLS to send delegates to conferences such as this, enhancing our mission of training civic and community leaders.
On behalf of all of us who attended we thank you, our fellow members of JLS, for this exciting and energizing opportunity.
On Tuesday, October 30th, eight JLS members went to Food Lifeline for a service shift to sort and separate produce for local food banks. Members went through fifteen 600-lb crates of squash and grapefruit to compost bad pieces and separate into smaller, 30-lb boxes for shipment out to various food banks in the community. Our members helped package 12,090-lbs of food totaling 10,075 meals!
Who is Food Lifeline? Food Lifeline is a non-profit organization found in 1979 that supplies food to food banks across Western Washington. Their mission is to end hunger in Western Washington by mobilizing resources and engaging local communities. They are responsible for packing and delivering food from various farmers across the state to 275 different food banks. They provide 97,000 meals daily, have 13,000 volunteers each year, and sourced 42,000,000 pounds of food in 2017. For more information visit their website at https://foodlifeline.org.
Not sure what to bring to your next potluck? Look no further! Today’s featured recipe from the JLS “Simply Classic” cookbook is just what you need to get ready for fall.
Harvest Bisque (serves six)
1 pound butternut squash
5 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
¾ cup half and half
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 lime, sliced paper-thin
Peel, seed, and cut squash into 1-inch cubes. Place in a heavy, 4-quart pot with chicken stock. Cook over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer squash to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Stir stock into squash purée. Set aside
In same pot, melt butter; stir in flour and curry. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until smooth. Add pureed squash mixture to pot. Increase heat to medium-high and stir until soup thickens slightly. Reduce heat and add half and half. Do not allow soup to boil after this point. Add lime juice, salt and white pepper. Ladle soup into serving bowls, garnish with lime and serve immediately.
Happy Fall, JLS Members! We have a several exciting, seasonal events and meetings happening this October!
The week of the October 15th we have our community partner meetings. This is a great opportunity to hear from experts and learn about the inspiring ways our partners positively impact our community, and how we can help.
Want to vote during the upcoming election but still a little confused about how it all works? Luckily, the Advocacy committee has put together a training on October 18th featuring our very own Secretary of State Kim Wyman. She will go over the Washington state election process as well as give us a recap of the 2018 elections thus far. There are still some spots left so be sure to sign up!
For those of you interested in leadership, there are leadership information sessions (LIS) on the calendar for October 23 and 25. Spots are filling quickly so make sure to register.
Done in A Day (DIAD) has planned some great service shifts for us throughout the month, including Westside Baby and Youthcare. Check out the calendar for more shifts and to sign up!
Want to get ahead knock out some fundraising requirements early? Here’s your chance! Join the Junior League of Seattle for “A Night in Monte Carlo” on Saturday, November 17 from 6-10pm at Westland Distillery in SODO. This casino fundraiser provides an opportunity to support JLS’s many important community programs and initiatives, celebrate the legacy of our organization, and our impact on the community. The cocktail style event will include an opportunity to test your blackjack prowess, as well as a raffle for Alaska Airlines round-trip tickets, a Kendra Scott Jewelry Pull, a boutique silent auction and much more!
The Annual Fundraisers Committee is asking for help from our members to procure items for the Fall Annual Fundraiser. Not sure what to donate? This year there are 4 ways!
$50 gift cards to any place you can think of. Many companies will match any gift card purchased for a non-profit. You just have to ask.
Pre-assembled gift baskets, valued at $50 or more. Fill a basket with your favorite coffees, items for the perfect picnic or day at the beach, or even just your favorite wines!
$250+ gift baskets. Get together with your committee, provisional group, or League friends to create a unique basket. A few ideas are: Date Night basket; Spa Day basket; Workout passes to boutique fitness studios in Seattle & Eastside (SoulCycle, Pure Barre, Barre3, etc); Staycation baskets with a Glassybaby, Fran’s Chocolate, wine, tickets to a play, and hotel stay; Weekend getaway baskets with gift certificates for activities and an overnight stay at hotel; Exclusive experiences, such as a tour of Canlis kitchen with drinks at the bar, behind the scenes of Flameworking Studio at Chihuly Garden & Glass, cooking class and behind the scenes Pike Place Market tour.
Unique travel, sports, and dining experiences.
All items are due to the JLS Office before Thursday, October 11. There will have a table set up at the September GM collecting your donations, or you can drop them off at the League office. Please be sure to fill out the In-Kind Donation form and see the Procurement letter to assist you in all of your asks! Questions? Please contact Maria Ball (Annual Fundraisers Vice Chair) email@example.com or Chrystie Schmelter (Annual Fundraisers Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready to purchase your tickets? You can do so HERE!
This year is off to a great start already with some incredible Professional Development Workshops on the following 6 Saturdays this fall: 9/22, 10/6, 10/20, 11/3, 11/17, 12/1. Training credits offered!
The Junior League of Seattle is excited to participate in the ninth annual Madison Park Art Walk on Friday, September 14 from 6:00 – 8:30 PM. Businesses in the neighborhood will showcase work from local artists, and it’s a great opportunity to see the new exhibits on display at JLS and learn more about them with beverage in hand!
Below are a few examples of the works on display from three of the new exhibits:
Exploring Abstract Art
Animals in Art
Emotions & Memories in Art
Come out for a fun evening with friends, or have an art-infused date night, and mingle with fellow JLS ladies and the NW Art committee. The wine will be flowing, and it is sure to be a fun and informative night! You can find the event sign-up on the calendar here as an Open House reception. But don’t worry, if you forget to register – just head over to Madison Park and raise your glass to our community of local artists! Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for service shifts, as well as food and beverage shifts to help prep for the evening.
For more information about the annual Madison Park Art Walk 2018, visit their website and Facebook page.
Many of you have seen Candice’s President’s Log in the weekly e-blast about what she’s focused on for that week or something interesting that is happening in the League. I have decided on a more modest goal, a quarterly blog post about the role of President-Elect. I hope this regular post will give you some more insight into the role of President-Elect and answer the question, ‘What exactly does the President-Elect do?’
Leadership Retreat – Retreat planning begins in the Winter. The content and messages are owned by the President but the President-Elect also attends the planning meetings, collaborates on messages and content, and assists with the operational aspects of the program. This year, after hearing feedback from committees that they wanted more direction from leadership, Candice and I developed annual plans for every committee and included metrics for committees tied to our new Strategic Plan.
CityClub Luncheon – JLS members had a key role in the formation of the Seattle CityClub (link to their website). Every year, we host a table at their fundraising event including JLS Board Members, Managers, staff and key committee leaders.
Annual Campaign Donor Event – For the past several years, we’ve hosted an event for people who donate over $100 to our Annual Campaign. It’s a nice way to say thank you to those members and non-members that have supported us and a great way to connect with Active and Sustainer members.
Sustainer Cocktail Party – Our Sustainer members host an annual cocktail party. I had a great time connecting with Past Presidents and meeting Sustainers. I always learn something new about the League when I attend a Sustainer event.
I also spent time this month meeting with Managers. We were able to get to know each other better and talk about goals for the year.
Management Council – The JLS Management Council is made up of the wing managers, Treasurer-Elect, Sustainer Manager and Management Council Secretary and is responsible for overseeing day to day operations of the League. We spend time reviewing information submitted by Committee chairs/ vice chairs from the Leadership Reporting Form, addressing issues that affect individual committees or the entire League. Management Council meets year round and meetings are open for members to attend through our Pathway to Boards program. You can register to attend through the JLS website.
In July, Managers had a chance to provide feedback on a draft version of the strategic plan.
Provisional Retreat – I attended my first JLS Provisional Retreat and it was awesome! As a transfer, I completed my Provisional year at another League so I loved having an opportunity to see how the JLS welcomes our newest members. I presented a brief history of JLS, got a chance to meet new members and even caught a few Pokémon.
Bellevue Art Museum (BAM) Kids Fair – Completed my first service shift of the year! We’ve partnered with BAM to do our Northwest Art Program for the last several years. They are a great partner and this is a super fun art-tastic event. I enjoyed working with both Active and Provisional members.
I spent some time visiting wing meetings so that I could meet more members and address any questions or concerns that Managers and Chairs may have.
Transfer Social – Did you know that the Membership Committee assigns two Active Advisors to welcome/support members that transfer to our League? Women that transfer to the JLS bring a wealth of experience and great ideas from other Leagues. (I’m not just saying that because I’m a transfer, I swear!)
Board Meeting – The Board of Directors also meets monthly and is focused on the strategic direction of the League. As the President-Elect, I get to attend both the Management Council and Board Meeting. I got to run the August Board meeting as Candice was out of town. Like Management Council meetings, Board meetings are open for members to attend through our Pathway to Boards program. You can register to attend through the website.
Premier Event Meeting – Candice and I meet monthly with Kate Gonsalves (Premier Event Chair), Ali Gilson (Fundraising Events Manager), and Minda Brusse (Director at Large, Raise the Paddle Board Project). The Premier Event is our largest fundraiser and there are some great things already planned for the February 2017 event.
JLS 100th Anniversary Ad Hoc Committee Meeting – There has been an ad hoc committee made up of Actives and Sustainers that has been meeting during the past two years to begin planning for our 100th anniversary. This ad hoc committee is scheduled to become a regular committee in 2017-2018 (my presidential year).
WHEW!!That was a lot more than I thought I had to talk about. Maybe this should be a monthly post…I’ll think about it.
Before, I close I just want to point out a couple of things that are not in this post. I have not included details about answering JLS emails and phone calls but rest assured that those things are happening.
In fact, Candice and I have a weekly call (and usually lots of text messages) to touch base and keep each other informed.
I hope that you found something interesting in this post. I welcome your questions and comments. My email is email@example.com.
When I lived in Washington DC, sometimes I would walk into Georgetown and I would always see this beautiful 3-story brick building. There was a plaque on the building that read “Junior League of Washington” and it always intrigued me. I didn’t know what the Junior League was but, after some research, I discovered it was a women’s organization devoted to training and volunteering. I always wanted to join but unfortunately never had the opportunity.
When I moved to Seattle in 2011, I had pretty much forgotten about the Junior League; I was busy trying to find a job, trying to meet people, and trying to settle in to my new city. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that a friend mentioned the Junior League and I thought it would be a great time to join. I enjoy volunteering and I thought it would be a wonderful way to get out in the community and meet people.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I joined the League. I knew there would be volunteering, I knew there would be meetings, and I knew there would be fundraising.
But the Junior League is so much more.
It’s more than just a group of women in a room talking about their causes. It’s more than just a monthly meeting where service awards are handed out. It’s about advocating and going out into the community to support and help the population. It’s about book clubs and socials, and learning how to become effective leaders. It’s about friendships and knowing that the person sitting next to you cares about the same things that you do.
The Junior League has afforded me so many opportunities to contribute to my community. I’ve spent my Saturday morning packing bulk food at a food bank, tagged and sorted clothes at the Treehouse Wearhouse store, gotten dirty while gardening, helped set up Christmas parties at Mary’s Place and the annual Harborview Children’s Holiday Party. I’ve mingled with lawmakers and learned about causes important to the Junior League while touring the capitol during Capitol Days. I’ve watched documentaries, engaged in thought-provoking conversations, and listened to panels regarding our foster care system. I’ve gone to trainings to learn about starting a business. And that’s just in the past few years.
Additionally, I’ve met so many amazing ladies in the League. The Junior League is a wonderful assortment of countless, diverse women who all choose to make a difference. There are women from all walks of life, in all areas of professions, all giving their time to volunteer and fundraise for the same cause.
Not only am I able to build lasting friendships, but by volunteering in the community, the League allows me to connect so much more to the place where I live. I enjoy giving back to a community who has embraced me so fully and knowing that I’m able to give back to those less fortunate makes my time spent with the League that much more gratifying.
I’m proud to be a member of the Junior League of Seattle.
Guest Blogger & 2015-2016 Provisional: Sarah Ledbetter
Women join Junior League for many reasons – networking, training, and leadership, to name just a few. For me, one of the main drivers was the opportunity to give back to the community. As part of the Junior League of Seattle (JLS), where part of the mission is to promote voluntarism, I knew that I’d have a chance to incorporate service back into my life. And so far, it’s been great – shifts organized by our Done in a Day committee allow our members to participate in a variety of activities, and through our work, the League is able to make a huge impact!
Provisional members of the JLS have a requirement of four service shifts during their first year, and I’ve had the opportunity to participate in three. The first was through Treehouse Seattle, which provides support to foster children in the area. A group of ten of us spent an evening after work sorting, tagging, and stocking clothing items that would become available to the foster children who shop in their store, which usually sees 2,000 visitors annually. I’m sure that you could imagine how proud we were when the Treehouse representative working with us said that Junior League groups were her favorite to work with! It was such a fun evening getting to know other JLS members while supporting youth in foster care.
My second service shift was quite different: it was arts and crafts at Harborview’s annual Holiday Party, whose attendees were underprivileged youth who had once been patients there. It was Harborview’s 30th year organizing the event, and it showed: the festivities were incredibly well-run and enjoyed by nearly 600 children. Many of those kids wouldn’t have another holiday party throughout the season, but this was a great one to attend – the kids got to meet their favorite characters, such as Batman, Winnie the Pooh, and Snow White! The Sea Gals were also in attendance with the Mariners mascot, Moose. Kids got to play games, do arts and crafts with us, and even received gifts at the end of the day. What a fulfilling day and incredible feeling to take part in such a special event.
Most recently, I spent a morning over in Issaquah at Eastside Baby Corner with 13 members helping to sort and stock donated items, such as diapers, clothing, and toys. EBC provides these items to 500 families in need – per week! – through local social service agencies. I absolutely loved spending my time in this way while getting to know other Junior Leaguers, one of whom had even brought her husband to participate with us. It was clear that the work we were doing made a big difference.
There’s a lot of power in numbers, and I think that’s one of the strengths of the Junior League. Together, we can accomplish a great amount, and I can already tell that our community partners – who are changing lives across the community – are so appreciative. For me, the difference we’re making together is the most rewarding part of being in this organization.
A gift to the Annual Campaign is a financial affirmation of the JLS mission of promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and impacting the community. A gift demonstrates a belief in the ability of the League to use the money as necessary to meet our goals as specified by the current strategic plan.
The Annual Campaign is a vital component of the financial health of the JLS. Unlike other funds, a donation to the Annual Campaign (unless directed otherwise) is used, as the organization deems necessary towards the overall stability of the League. Some years, funding may be put towards starting a new committee; other years, money may be used to cover general operating costs or facility rental to secure locations large enough to accommodate our growing membership.
JLS is first and foremost a leadership training organization. This year, we are going back to our mission and focusing on training our members to be not only be capable volunteers, but also how to be a Leader in the League, in their professional life and in the community.
One of the training programs JLS offers is the Pathway to Boards.
The Pathway to Boards Certificate gives our members the tools, skills and resources needed to become effective board members in our community. Members who have completed the certificate will discover not only the basics, such as Robert’s Rules of Order and how to interpret financial statements, but also the differences between nonprofit and public boards, roles and responsibilities of board members (including fundraising), the structure and evolution of nonprofits, and how to find a good fit.
Corey Orvold is following this training path. Corey said, “When I heard about the Pathway to the Board Certificate, I knew it was a great opportunity to take my volunteering to the next level. So far the training sessions offered and the opportunity to sit in on various board meetings has really helped me understand how to efficiently participate in board meetings. I look forward to obtaining the certificate and being able to join a non-profit board in the near future.”
Dani Carson is half way through her requirements for this certification. Dani told us she chose this training for “the opportunity to learn more about different types of boards, and what is involved in being a board member of a nonprofit: the roles and responsibilities, fundraising expectations, participation, etc. and knowing which questions to ask, if you are interviewed for a position. It can be discouraging trying to get onto a board if you don’t have a specific skill needed, like an attorney or accountant. I wanted to know what other types of members boards look for, and how I can match my personality and personal mission to find the right fit for me.”
By donating to the Annual Campaign, you allow us to offer our members powerful training opportunities that not only help them grow as a person, but help the community as well!