Leadership Spotlight: Brooke Horiuchi

1.   How long have you been in the Junior League of Washington (JLW)?

My new member year was 2004 to 2005, so about 12 years in the League.

2.   Tell us a bit about your first JLW leadership experience. What inspired you to lead?

Margaret Barry and Erinn Gray asked me to join their Steering Committee as a staffing vice chair on Holiday Shops Committee. I did not self-nominate for this position; however, I was a very active secondary placement and had expressed my interest in leadership, so they offered me the position. As it was a co-chair position, it allowed me to take on leadership with a friend. Plus, it was on a steering committee, so it provided me an opportunity to learn what the other subcommittees do and how they all worked together for Holiday Shops. On staffing, I learned about Digital Cheetah, communication with volunteers, and working with a subcommittee.

3.   Tell us about the other positions you’ve held and what you’ve experienced through the process of developing your leadership in JLW.

After my staffing vice chair role, I self-nominated to be Holiday Shops rising co-chair with Kimberly Linson. As Holiday Shops Committee chairs, it was important for us to ensure that our committee members had the needed skills and felt that they were a valued part of the event. I also learned valuable League skills and processes such as other modules in Digital Cheetah, budgeting, and the external communications review and approval process.

I used these skills when I was asked to be Web and Tech Committee chair. Being chair of Web and Tech allowed me to learn about the breadth of the League’s activities while further working on project and time management and delegation. Then I self-nominated and was slated to be Archives chair. Pam Traxel, as Secretary that year, gave me a great piece of advice about focusing on one or two projects to drive to completion in a year.

I was Communications and PR Council Director, and then Vice Treasurer and Treasurer. These positions introduced me to board service and the focus on governance.

4.   Share an example of how your leadership skills have grown or evolved as a JLW leader.

This is a doozy and I have typed and deleted my answer multiple times. As a leader, setting clear expectations and ground rules for volunteers makes having difficult conversations easier. As we are a volunteer organization, understanding that life gets in the way of things and being flexible in ways to fulfill requirements is also key.

5.   What is the number one piece of advice you would give a JLW woman who is considering a leadership role for the 2017-2018 year? 

Please self-nominate and provide your experience, skill sets, and core competencies to help Nominating Committee in slating positions. Definitely feel free to reach out to the Nominating Committee, if you have any questions or to express interest.

Are you or someone you know interested in JLW leadership? Nominations for assistant council director and committee chair and rising chair positions and willing-to-serve forms are now being accepted (link to nominating form). Be sure to nominate or self-nominate by February 1, 2017! If you have any questions about the nominating process, contact Brooke Horiuchi. Here are links that provide the 2017-2018 Chair descriptions and  ACD descriptions. Find the Nominating form here.