Monday, January 28, 2019
A major tenet of the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) mission is to develop the potential of women. With more than 100 leadership positions in the League, there are plenty of opportunities for growth as a leader within the League and our community. Charged with identifying and slating these leadership positions, from the Board of Directors on down, is JLW’s Nominating Committee.
The Committee is composed of 11 past JLW leaders elected by JLW’s active membership each spring. These leaders represent breadth, depth, and diversity of knowledge and skills, and they fulfill JLW’s mission in every aspect of what they do.
What’s it like to serve on the Nominating Committee? We talked to two members of this year’s committee, Lauren Whalen and Elizabeth Haddad, to provide perspective into what it’s like to serve the League as a Nominating Committee member, and their advice on growing into League leadership.
Lauren Whalen is a first-year member of the Nominating Committee. Her leadership service includes (most recently) serving as Community Affairs Council Assistant Council Director, as well as chairing the Literacy Lab Committee and vice chairing the Reading All-Stars Committee.
- What inspired you to serve on the Nominating Committee? I wanted to learn more about the inner workings of JLW and serve in a position that allowed me to help slate leaders who I think have the potential to strengthen our organization and further our mission.
- In your Nominating Committee service, how are you giving back to the League? Slating the right leader for each position is a critical component of furthering our mission. The Nominating Committee gives back to the JLW by selecting leaders who will not only move our mission and our day-to-day work forward, but will grow and encourage those serving beneath them. It’s the start of a #JLWLove train!
- What benefits do you feel you personally are getting out of serving on the Nominating Committee? I have learned so much about how our League operates and how our standing rules and procedures have evolved over time. I learn something new every time we meet as a committee!
- What is the time commitment for service on the Nominating Committee? The fall is an especially busy time for the Nominating Committee, as we have to all get up to speed with procedure, put together the leadership pool, and interview all current Board of Directors members. Additionally, we make ourselves available to all committees and councils to get the word out about the nominating process and to encourage members to nominate others and themselves. I would say most of us spend around 10-15 hours on Nominating Committee work each month.
- What would you say to a JLW member who wanted to self-nominate for the Nominating Committee? Read the Blue Book. If it sparks joy in you, definitely self-nominate! Kidding aside, self-nominate if you think that you want to learn more about the structure of the League and contribute to thinking objectively and strategically about how to best leverage the leadership skills of our membership to move our mission forward.
- What are the qualities of a good Nominating Committee member?Are there any experiences a JLW member should have before serving on the Nominating Committee? I would say that having a diverse JLW resume is helpful. Nominating members with experience doing a few different things in the League have a better sense of which leadership qualities and strengths might be most beneficial for the different councils and committees.
Elizabeth Haddad is one of two JLW members serving a second term on the Nominating Committee. She joined JLW in 2010, and served as the New Member Committee Chair in 2016-2017. Her League experience also includes serving on the the Literacy Evenings Planning Committee, where she managed the book-signing lines as Area Manager, and as a New Member Advisor.
- What inspired you to serve on the Nominating Committee? I strongly believe that the League has many leaders and that we need to encourage people to raise their hand for leadership. There are many who know they are great leaders while others need encouragement to take that leadership role, and on Nominating, we get to encourage League members to raise their hand and take on positions that stretch outside of their comfort zone
- In your Nominating Committee service, how are you giving back to the League? Serving on Nominating allows me to interact with many members throughout the League, whom I otherwise would not meet. I am given the opportunity to discuss where our current leaders see the League moving and encourage members to be comfortable stepping into leadership.
- What benefits do you feel you personally are getting out of serving on the Nominating Committee? Nominating allows you to hear a multitude of perspectives, and you learn that no one individual can make a decision. We are a very collaborative group of women who have had the privilege of leading major committees, so we understand what it takes to be a good leader and we really have to work to place the right individual in the right role for the time.
- What is the time commitment for service on the Nominating Committee? I spend about an hour a week working on JLW emails, and when we are selecting for leadership, we have two committee meetings at JLW Headquarters a month. I also am a liaison for the Ways and Means Council and the New Member Council, so I attend council and committee events as well. We are also encouraged to attend a Board meeting.
- What would you say to a JLW member who wanted to self-nominate for the Nominating Committee? The Nominating Committee enables you to see the governance side of the League. You really get to experience a different aspect on how JLW works as a nonprofit and what goes into determining the future direction of the League. There is a strategic aspect as you are future planning, but all in all it is a fun way to learn how leaders are placed in our League.
- What are the qualities of a good Nominating Committee member?Are there any experiences a JLW member should have before serving on the Nominating Committee? You do not have to know everyone in the League to be a successful member of the committee, you only have to have a collaborative spirit and an open mind. The members on the committee come with a diverse background, so you usually have all your knowledge areas covered.