As we continue to emerge from a pandemic that challenged the way we live our lives and interact with each other, the Junior League of Grand Rapids has remained steadfast in its mission as the premier women’s leadership organization in our community.
I am honored to be serving as the league’s 98th president and want to take a moment to reflect on where our league is after such unprecedented times. While the past two years have challenged us to rethink the way we meet, fundraise, and serve our community, the pandemic has also given us the opportunity to innovate, evaluate, and collaborate in ways we may have never thought possible. From the rapid shifting we have had to undergo to maintain league operations, members gained new skills and learned how to solve problems drawing from the exceptional training they receive as volunteers.
The league has also undergone many changes as we prepare to celebrate our 100th anniversary in two years. Leadership consultant Vicki Clark has spoken on this and said, “It’s not your mother’s league, but one that would make her proud”. As I look back on the history of the league and continue to learn about the many achievements and community partnerships established by the league over the years, I think of how our current membership can honor the work done by league members before us. The answer lies in our ongoing commitment to develop the potential of women no matter what our focus area is. We honor those who came before us by utilizing our leadership training to be a force for improving our community no matter the space in which we are operating. We do so not as likeminded women, but as a group of diverse, dedicated, and like motivated women working together to create lasting change.
It is my goal to lead the league this year by focusing on providing our members with impactful leadership training and meaningful volunteer opportunities. I’d like them to be empowered to tell their reasons for being a member of the league with not only their words, but also their actions. I hope you will join us in our mission whether that is through supporting our work or by becoming a member. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.