The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) hosts Organizational Development Institute (ODI) training twice a year. AJLI’s website promotes ODIs as “a series of educational training meetings . . . [that] have demonstrated their effectiveness as informative, inspiring and innovative three-day weekend training programs.” This year’s Fall ODI was held in Cleveland, Ohio at the fabulous Renaissance Cleveland Hotel from Friday, October 19 through Sunday, October 21, 2012. In celebration of the Junior League of Cleveland’s 100 years of service, the city of Cleveland played host to the Fall ODI welcoming all with a warm reception and gifts including a nice take-home bag and red leather-like bookmark.
The Fall ODI opened with the AJLI Executive Director Susan Danish’s Change and You presentation. Susan led the ladies through several exercises to determine each one’s appetite for change. On Saturday, Susan Danish joined Vikki Clark in a moving plenary entitles “Taking Action: Moving Toward Diversity and Inclusion.” Each participant received a copy of AJLI’s Building Blocks for Diversity and Inclusion. Saturday’s keynote address celebrated voluntarism with a resounding address from Hermione Malone, the president of Cleveland’s League. Finally, Sunday’s program started with a session Accessing AJLI — All About AJLI and concluded with Communication is Key. During the weekend, AJLI posted an Idea Bank aimed at capturing various suggestions and thoughts of participants. In addition to the plenary events, ODI participants attended training tracks.
This year, the Nominating Committee of the Junior League of Washington (JLW) solicited feedback from its members on who would benefit from attending ODI and participating in its additional training opportunities. The Nominating Committee selected three delegates to be sent to the fall ODI – R. Denise Everson, Stacey Hinton Tuneski, and Courtney Cherry. The delegates participated in specialized training tracks in which they contributed to the discussion by sharing lessons learned from JLW and gained further insights into how the Leagues operate, achieving greater community impact or fund development.
- “ODI was a game changer for me. For the first time, I saw just how different JLW is compared to other leagues. I am so grateful for the opportunity and am now more invigorated to work in JLW.” – R. Denise Everson, 2012-2014 Archives Chair
- “ODI was a great experience for me in my JLW career. I came back with lots of great new ideas and a new energy to bring to the JLW. It also emphasized how the JLW has a great community outreach program through our literacy focus.” – Stacey Hinton Tuneski, 2013-2014 Adult CPC Director
- “ODI made me realize the tremendous progress that JLW has made toward tying our activities to our mission, and also appreciate how much more we could accomplish by thinking creatively about fundraising. Additionally, ODI emphasized the importance of ongoing training to building the capacity of our League. I was privileged to take part in this experience and hope that many other JLW members have the same opportunity to learn and grow from future training sessions.” Courtney Cherry Ellis, 2012-2013 Special Events Chair
Delegates enjoyed the fellowship with other leagues and informative plenary sessions lead by powerful women. In true JLW style, Courtney Cherry, a former JLW Esprit Chair, organized an impromptu happy hour for ODI participants at the Renaissance Hotel’s in-house restaurant and bar, the Lobby Court. Ladies from several leagues across the country dropped in to have a moment of fellowship with the JLW ladies. In addition, JLW delegates capitalized on the weekend to get to know one another and enjoy the sites and tastes of Cleveland.
We urge anyone interested in JLW leadership to submit an ODI form in the fall – seasoned JLW volunteers to eager first year Actives – it was an amazing training experience!
Courtney Cherry Ellis, R. Denise Everson, and Stacey Hinton Tuneski
JLW’s Fall ODI Attendees