Leadership Development Series, Part 4: Jennie Elser

The development of women that occurs through the Junior League of Phoenix’s (JLP) training (both hands-on and classroom) is transformative. The League offers endless ways to get involved and learn at a pace dictated by the individual member. Jennie Elser, incoming 2020 – 2022 JLP President, explains more about how Junior League changed the trajectory of her life path:

“When I joined JLP in 2004, I had absolutely no idea the impact it would have on my life and never imaged that one day I would become president of the organization. I saw it as an opportunity to volunteer in the community and to have an outside interest beyond being a stay-at-home mom.
However, once I stepped into different leadership roles, I started gaining more confidence in myself and began to see myself as a leader. Eventually, I started taking on leadership roles in the community, like leading a Girl Scout troop, chairing PTA committees, fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, chairing the annual fundraising gala for The Children’s Museum of Phoenix and helping to found a nonprofit, The Joyride Society, and serving on the board.

Through my training in JLP, I have learned more about myself, gained an incredible amount of knowledge and skills and am able to use that to make an impact on the community.”

Leadership Development Series, Part 3: Wendy Brooks

The Junior League of Phoenix provides women with an unmatched opportunity to lead and develop their skills in a hands-on manner. The skills learned are valuable in a multitude of capacities, explained below by Wendy K. Brooks, President 2018-2020.

“I have been a member of the Junior League of Phoenix since 2003.  It has provided countless volunteer opportunities, as well as formal and experiential training that utilized or taught me transferable critical skills I have implemented in my professional career and other non-profit organizations I am involved with.  The scope ranges from running effective meetings, incorporating different communications styles dependent on personality traits, event planning, multi-level budgeting activities, honing strategic long term thinking and action plans and more.  At its core, the Junior League of Phoenix empowers women to enrich their own lives and our communities. It has been an honor and a privilege to lead this vibrant organization for the past two years.”

Leadership Development Series, Part 2: Annette Tanori

The Junior League of Phoenix knows that to develop great leaders, sometimes all that is needed is a safe space to learn, try, and grow.

Annette Tanori, 2018 – 2020 Executive VP explains:

“Junior League of Phoenix (JLP) has played a vital role in the development of my leadership skills over the last decade. I attribute my current service with other Phoenix Valley nonprofits to my experiences in the Junior League, which created a supportive environment for me to learn and grow. JLP gave me direct, hands-on experiences with leadership opportunities, which have been directly transferable into my work with other organizations. I am a stronger, educated, resourceful board member, non-profit founder, and fundraiser as a result of my membership in JLP.

In the last two years, I have served as the Executive Vice President (EVP) for the Junior League of Phoenix and the value of the education that I have received would have required a significant financial investment through any other organization. My role as EVP has allowed me to directly lead the day-to-day operations of a 1,000-member organization. As a result of this role, I have seen myself grow more confident in my leadership, organizational, and decision-making abilities. As my role as EVP comes to a close, I am excited to take these skills into the next phase of my life and to continue to serve the community I call home in a more effective way. “

Leadership Development Series, Part 1: Introduction

When you hear the name “Junior League of Phoenix” or “JLP,” images of women volunteering and fighting social issues may come to mind. It’s true; since the 1930s, the hundreds of projects fueled by this organization have made a significant positive impact in the Greater Phoenix area, but JLP takes it one step further. They actively train and develop women into leaders who will continue making an impact for years to come. 

With a roster of impressive names like Sandra Day O’Connor, Margaret Hance, and Betsey Bayless, it’s apparent that JLP values leadership training. Their unique approach allows members to get hands-on experience in running an organization more than 1,000 members strong. This experience nurtures the confidence and skills needed to make a difference in members’ lives and in the community.

Join us in learning more about the specific ways JLP’s training and development programs have influenced some of our members in this ongoing series!

JLP’s Ninth Annual Teacher Launch Makes an Impact

Compiled by Melinda March

JLP hosted 109 educators for our first full-day seminar (the 9th annual Teacher Launch). We could not have done this without our generous grant from the JLP Foundation, 237 DIAN items from our October GMM, JLP volunteers, committee members who secured raffle prizes and helped in planning, and of course, the CREATE team from the Arizona Science Center.

Every educator left with 5 CE hours, classroom kits to make LED circuit cards with her classes, flash drives loaded with STEM lesson plans, full bellies courtesy of Hickman’s Eggs and M Catering, and raffle prizes. We gave away 30+ sets of classroom supplies, hundreds of dollars in gift cards, 3 CREATE Bus experiences and 1 fully funded class field trip to the AZ Science Center.


CREATE notified us that this was their biggest event yet, which just proves how effective JLP is when we leverage our strengths to partner with other fantastic local non-profits! By combining JLP’s volunteer power, JLPF’s generous grant and CREATE’s professional development expertise, we all achieved a hugely successful event.


Make sure you are following JLP on Instagram to see our Stories of these events in action!

85 Years of JLP

One week ago today, on February 9th, Junior League of Phoenix (JLP) celebrated their 85th anniversary! The impact JLP has had on the Phoenix community since that date 85 years ago has been incredible.

In the past 85 years, JLP has been a revolutionary force for good in the Phoenix community. Please join us as we look back on those years of unparalleled progress and use that history to compel us to be unprecedented change agents moving forward. #85yearsofJLP.

Featured news segments:

KITK January 2020 Event

Kids in the Kitchen (KITK) kicked off 2020 with their first monthly lesson at Homeward Bound with 20 rambunctious kiddos ranging in ages from 5-12.

The kids were taught about fruits, veggies, grains, dairies, and fats while they participated in a fun exercise to help them learn how to be healthy and promote an active lifestyle. They also get a tasty snack along with a quick instruction of the food plate and how much food one should eat from each category in relation to their plates.

At the end of the lesson, the kids are given activity packets and recipes to continue their learning at home!

A Red Carpet Affair

This year, the Junior League of Phoenix is rolling out the red carpet for the 7th Annual White (Red) Party in honor of the League’s 85th Anniversary!

The soiree will be hosted at the Phoenix Children’s Museum on March 27th from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. and will include special guest Jennifer Ruddle, the current United States of America’s Mrs. Arizona 2020!

Upon arrival, guests can expect a photo opportunity with paparazzi and will be greeted by Showstopper’s Champagne Diva! Inside, guests can enjoy “A Taste of Phoenix” that will feature bites from local restaurants including Yard House, Raising Cane’s, Portillo’s, Jewel’s Bakery and Café + much more! For drink options, we’ll have a full service bar, as Tito’s is our official vodka supplier, with supplemental non-alcoholic beverages provided by Tea of a Kind and Bang. Guests can also enjoy a tequila tasting with 3 Amigos Tequila!

For entertainment, the Red Party is featuring a photo booth, DJ, access to the Children’s Museum’s amazing climbing structure, a wine pull, fun games, 50/50 raffle and a silent auction! Some auction items include a dinner for two with Cloth and Flame, Diamondbacks tickets, dinner for 4 from Hula’s, art from local artists and more! And, don’t forget that there are 10% off Lyft rides to and from the event as well!

Early bird tickets are on sale now through January 31st for $65 per person/$120 per couple and starting February 1st for $75 per person/$140 per couple. Click here to purchase: https://www.jlp.org/?nd=ticket_list&fundraiser_id=73.

We encourage all guests to celebrate our 85th Anniversary with us by dressing to impress in your favorite red attire! Proceeds support the mission of the Junior League of Phoenix that including training and community programs.

R.O.C.K.E.T.S Teacher Launch

The Junior League of Phoenix is partnering with CREATE at the Arizona Science Center for the 9th Annual R.O.C.K.E.T.S Teacher Launch Educate to Innovate Conference. The conference will be held at CREATE at the Arizona Center on Friday, February 28, 2020.

“I am proud of the work of the ROCKETS Teacher Launch Committee. We have formalized our partnership with the AZ Science Center’s CREATE team to leverage their state of the art facilities and professional development expertise to build a full-day seminar for teachers. Additionally, JLP’s Teacher Launch Committee has worked with the CREATE team to pilot an administrator coach track. Combined, these two pieces will more fully support teachers in the classroom and increase access to more than 3,000 students who wouldn’t get the opportunity to be inspired by  STEM programming otherwise.” – Cathy Brown, Junior League of Phoenix Foundation President.

The all-day STEM-focused professional seminar (8:30am-4pm) is open to PreK through 12th-grade teachers. For the first time, the R.O.C.K.E.T.S. Teacher Launch will also offer an administrator and instructional coach track. This year’s theme is LEAP INTO STEM. Arizona Educators can look forward to sessions from STEM thought leaders across the valley:

Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent – focus on connecting STEM challenges to the community

Materials Matter – focus on the exploration of common materials and chemistry principles

Arizona Game and Fish – engineering solutions to impacts on wildlife populations

Arizona Department of Education – updates on the new science standards

Phoenix Art Museum – cultivating observation skills

Girls that Code – addressing the gender gap in technology fields

Educators will earn 5 continuing education credits and walk away with valuable new ideas to bring to their students including classroom science materials. “I’ve attended this Science JLP ROCKETS Teacher Launch Seminar for 3 years now and look forward to it! The content is meaningful and I can use what I’ve learned in my classroom! Thank you for putting this on for teachers!” – Past Participant.

This event would not be possible without the support and funding from the Junior League of Phoenix Foundation. Arizona educators can register now at www.azsciencecenter.org/educate-to-innovate-conference-feb-2020/. The $20 entry includes breakfast, lunch, and parking. The R.O.C.K.E.T.S. Teacher Launch team is currently seeking hospitality partners and sponsors for beverages and lunch. Please contact Sarah Gieszl (sarah.gieszl5@gmail.com)  or Melinda March melindamarch11@gmail.com)

2019-2020 Provisional Class Makes an Impact

We are halfway through 2019-2020 Provisional year and we may be biased, but we love our Provisionals!

We hit the ground running in August with our first Super Saturday Community Partners bus tour that allowed our Provisionals to see first-hand the impact JLP has had in the community, both past & present. This experience is always such a fun and exciting time for our new members, as they are able to see firsthand the impact Junior League of Phoenix has had and continues to have throughout the community. Our Provisionals visited Ronald McDonald House, AZ Science Center, Ryan House, Emily Center, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, and JLP Headquarters.

In addition to our Community Partner bus tour, our Provisionals dedicated a Saturday to giving back as a group at SVDP, have gone hiking, visited pumpkin patches, and volunteered at many JLP community impact shifts together.

We have a full second half of the year planned for our Provisionals, but not without celebrating the Holidays together with a fun Holiday party with a “my favorite things” gift exchange. In January, our Provisionals will finish up with our last Super Saturday and learn all about JLP largest & longest-running fundraiser, Rummage! Provisional graduation in May will be here before we know it and we will add an additional 150+ wonderful women to our League!