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Happy Spring Readers! I hope that on the day you are reading this issue the weather is beautiful and you have plans to get outside and enjoy it.
Remember all that introspection I spoke of in the last issue? I have found that the flip side of all that quiet time with myself was regret rearing its ugly head. The first thought that came to mind was a quote from a one of my favorite James Bond movies, “regret is unprofessional.” And it may be. However, I think leadership requires us to be “reflective practitioners” and look at what we are doing and make sure after a meeting, event or fundraiser to question whether or not we accomplished what we set out to do and how does it fit into the big picture. Regret carries the burden of guilt but a reflective practitioner says, “I can do better.” There are definitely things I could have done better in the past nine months but it is the promise of a new tomorrow and a fresh start that keeps me going. I get this attitude mostly from my mother who sewed many of our prom dresses and our travel clothes (horrid matching sets for her four children). As my sister was walking out to a dance in her beautifully sewn black velvet dress, she noticed navy blue thread peeking out from the shoulder seam. She proceeded to pitch a fit and my mother who tolerated no nonsense said, “Walk fast and no one will notice.” So what that taught me is to not sweat the small stuff. Rarely do people notice the little things that go wrong especially when you create a whirlwind of fun and activity around them.
There is a difference in the Junior League of who we are and what we do. We are foremost a training organization equipped to produce effective and resourceful volunteers and we do that by creating, supporting, and managing impactful community projects to build a greater New Orleans. This issue provides a snapshot of the many things we do as an organization. Whether it is a community project, event or fundraiser there are plenty of women out there living the mission of the organization. One such sterling example and an embodiment of this creed is Sustainer of the Year, Margo Phelps. I am excited for you to read her story and all of the things she has accomplished to make New Orleans a better place for all of us. She is the kind of person I want to be when my active JLNO years are over.
As a self-proclaimed “Junior League nerd,” I revel in that fact that my training will never be over and regret is just baggage that weighs down our potential to make an impact in New Orleans.
Maria Pardo Huete
Junior League of New Orleans President 2016-2017