Dear Readers,
Welcome to the 2016-2017 League Year! 
The first day of anything is always full of excitement and I am hoping we can bottle ours up and make it last all year. I couldn’t be more honored or humbled to serve as President this year.
  One of my favorite analogies when talking about working together and the impact that cooperative effort can make is a boat with rowers. (My husband, an engineer, may have some comments about the physics of my analogy, but let’s play along for now.) If every rower rows to different beats and in different directions, then the boat goes nowhere. If only one side of the boat rows, you will go in a circle. But if every rower commits to rowing in unison with the same force, the boat moves forward at a solid speed until they have achieved their goal.
As an organization we can act as catalysts for change in our community by rowing together. Sometimes this change starts with the simple question of, “what can I do about that?” Throughout our almost 93 years, we have individually and collectively asked that very question about the myriad challenges in our community. And then we DID IT. There is power in the size of our membership and in the diverse talents each of you bring to the Junior League of New Orleans. By harnessing it all, I know we can be those heroes our community needs us to be. 
We will continue to build on the successes of our projects such as Kids in the Kitchen, Rebuilding Together, Lemonade Day University, Get On Board and Diaper Bank to name a few. New to JLNO this year is a new fundraiser, new collaborations with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana and NOLA4Women, a new project in our Financial Literacy for Women program, and our Thursday Night Speaker Series.
I am asking you to join me in the boat. Grab a paddle. Let’s row all together and “Advance the Wellbeing of  Women” in our community. 

Maria Pardo Huete
Junior League of New Orleans President 2016-2017