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Letter from the 2018-19 President
Photo by: Jessica Bachmann
I am honored to take over the placement of JLNO president from Kristen Koppel for this, our 95th year. Along with the Board of Directors, our job is to be stewards of this venerable organization through this milestone year. With our more than 100 provisional members, 630 active members and nearly 1,400 sustainers, our job is to maintain and strengthen this network of women community and civic leaders in creating community impact. Throughout the Junior League’s history, that core mission has not changed.
From the day in 1901 when Mary Harrimon gathered her friends in New York to organize support for the settlement movement, to the ten women who founded the Junior League of New Orleans in 1924, through the now dozens of projects incubated through JLNO and the countless women who have gone on to lead – and found – organizations, businesses and projects in our community and beyond, that mission has not changed.
The value of having highly competent, knowledgeable, women leaders in the community, at the table, on the board… or maybe in the corner office… has not changed. It may look different than it did in 1924, or 1974, but at our core, this is what the Junior League does.
Training women leaders. There has never been a time in history when training women leaders was not critical, and there has never been a point in time when training women leaders was more relevant than it is today.
As I see it, our job this year is three-fold:
1. To communicate the Junior League value proposition to the best and brightest women in our community so that they may benefit from our training by joining.
2. To provide the best training possible for present and future women leaders, maximizing our community impact during our time as active members in the Junior League, and being deliberate in communicating that training and its value as its happening.
3. To elevate the Junior League network of trained women leaders so that our impact – individually and collectively can be magnified throughout the New Orleans community and beyond.
The training that JLNO provides must be relevant, impactful and delivered in a way that our members can utilize. This means that JLNO, our structure and programs, must evolve with members needs and interests. For example, with more than 90% of our active members working outside the home, our volunteer structure of three hour shifts is no longer the best way to provide these opportunities. Likewise, volunteering at our Bloomin’ Deals Thrift Store during regular business hours is very challenging for most members. As we work to evolve our structure to maximize impact and better accommodate our members, we will work hard to ensure that the history of JLNO is honored and our most treasured traditions are upheld.
I believe strongly that JLNO has exciting opportunities on the horizon, largely because of Kristen Koppel and the 2017-2018 board of director’s leadership, and that of the many, many leaders who came before. Training future women leaders is only possible because of the foundation that has been laid.
My deepest thanks to each of you for allowing me to serve you this year. I will work hard to be responsive and supportive as we work together to be innovative, member-centered, impact-driven and mission focused. I welcome and encourage your feedback and insights, and I respectfully request your support, whether time, talent or treasure. Thank you!
Alice Franz Glenn