Leadership Spotlight: Courtney Mesmer

1.   How long have you been in the League?

10 years

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

My first leadership role was actually my first active year. My mini placement during my new member year was on Tossed & Found and I loved it. I spoke with the rising chairs at the sale that year, as well as my advisor and told them both that I would love to have a larger role in the sale next year – not really knowing what that meant at the time. The next thing I knew, I was asked to be part of the Tossed & Found steering committee for the following year, serving as a [subcommittee] co-chair.

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

I actually stayed with Tossed & Found for two more years following my year as admin co-chair. The following year, I was asked to be rising chair and then chaired the sale in 2010-2011. After the sale, I stayed on the Ways and Means Council but moved over to Special Events (now the Marketplace Committee), where I was on their steering committee for two years. From there, I went to Nominating and then over to the Membership Development Council, where I’ve been for the past three years; my first year on the council, I was assistant council director and have served as Council Director for the past two years.  

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

There has been many! One piece of advice that was given to me when I was starting out in JLW leadership that has really stuck with me over the years was, “the wedding is only as fun as the bride.” So whether you are in a chair, rising chair, steering member, or leading special project within a committee remember your attitude and energy reflects onto others. As a leader, you should be enthusiastic and positive about your role and be committed to delivering your best. This enthusiasm and commitment will rub off on others.

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?
If you are interested in taking on a leadership role next year, determine what roles you might be interested in and reach out to either the woman currently in the position or the assistant council director or council director of the position. Get their perspective on the position and what skills are needed to be a successful leader in the role. Then either self-nominate or get a friend to nominate you for the position. 

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.