Sharing Our Story… Strengthening Our Community by Jennifer Hemingway

Women have so many more ways to serve as leaders in their community than in 1912 when JLW opened its doors. I am thankful to the 15 women who answered nominatings call to serve on the JLW board of directors for the coming year.
Cameron Gilreath, President-Elect; Catherine Smith Blakely, Secretary; Brooke Horiuchi,  Treasurer; Kelly Wilson-Pisciotta, Vice Treasurer; Deidra Lemons Johnson, Communications and Public Relations Council Director; C. C. Christakos, Community Affairs Council Director; Kim Tuomey, Adult Community Placements Council Director; Biffy Cathcart, Childrens Community Placements Council Director; Genevieve Moreland, Cultural Community Placements Council Director; Amanda Walke, New Membership Development Council Director; Elizabeth Keys, Membership Development Council Director; Crystal Jezierski, Nominating Chair and Board Member;  Kristen Anderson, Strategic Planning Chair and Board Member; Jan Abraham, Sustainer Chair and Board Member; and Anne Riser, Ways and Means Council Director.

We are fortunate to be joined at the Board table by Maria Estefania, Parliamentarian; Maria Marks, Deputy Parliamentarian; and Katherine Gensler, Recording Secretary.
We are ready to continue the great leadership JLW has enjoyed for more than a century.
During this next year, we will focus on “Sharing Our Story…Strengthening Our Community.” Sharing the story of why we continue our membership will help us connect with each other and find that internal sense of community. As we begin our 102nd year, it is important that we share the story of our work to strengthen our community. Sharing our story will help ensure the financial support necessary for us to expand our reach. 
Early childhood literacy is a component of our focus on literacy that is especially important to me. Some of my first volunteer experiences in the community were at the Umatilla Public Library. I planted bushes with my dad around a restored train caboose that would serve as the childrens reading room and as a middle school student I re-purposed my Halloween costume (a witch that featured green hair) to read “Green Eggs and Ham” to elementary students. Through the Junior League of Washington, Ive developed my potential as a community leader through the refurbishment of two middle school libraries, organization of reading materials for DC Public Librarys Adaptive Services Division, and funding of young poets through a targeted grant to the DC Creative Writing Workshop. Im blessed by the many Junior League friends Ive met along the way.
As a relatively new mom, I have experienced firsthand the benefit of daily reading to my son and taken comfort in the magic of a library story hour. Our public libraries expose children to books at a young age while at the same time giving parents some well needed support and encouragement. My training in the Junior League provided me with the experience needed to serve as Treasurer of District of Columbia Library Foundation Board of Directors, sharing the gift of literacy with District children. It is my hope the League will expand on its governance training this year and develop the next generation of League leaders for service on the JLW board as well as key non-profits in our community.
Your board of directors is excited and prepared for its placement. We are mindful of the rich history of the Junior League that will guide us as we continue to develop our potential as women leaders, promote voluntarism, and improve our community. Thank you for your membership and your commitment to our mission as we begin our 102nd year.