JLP Member Spotlight: Kelsey Murrietta

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How many years have you been in the league? This is my 6th active year!  I can’t even believe that.

What committee do you serve on? The best one!  Touch-A-Truck

What is your day job? I wrangle two boys (2 and 5) and do some graphic design from home.

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? Our Touch-A-Truck event is my favorite! I also love going to Coyotes games, hanging out by the pool, hosting people, and going to look at model homes (so weird, I know).

If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it? I would take a nap and maybe do some of the things I pin on Pinterest.

In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member? I love hanging out and volunteering with amazing women!  We have some incredibly talented leaders, and I want to learn from them.

Why did you join the JLP? My friend talked me into it, and I’m so glad she did.  I love the myriad of volunteer opportunities that are available to our league.

What do you want other people to know about JLP? I want people to know all of the ways the JLP has positively impacted Phoenix.  It’s truly remarkable.

Favorite JLP memory? My favorite memory is when the trucks started showing up at the very first Touch-A-Truck at PV Mall.


Learn more about the upcoming Touch-A-Truck event referenced in this spotlight here.

JLP Member Spotlight: Taylor Davis


How many years have you been in the league? This year will be my third active year.


What committee do you serve on? I’m on Rummage Committee, for the third year in a row!

What is your day job?  I’m the Chief Compliance Officer for an investment company.

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? Trying new restaurants!  We have the best restaurants in the Valley and there are fun, new places opening all the time!  I also love going to the spa!  The Montelucia is my favorite, but there are so many good spas around town.

If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it? 8 extra hours?!  I would love to just have one extra hour in the day!  With extra time, I would spend more time with my family.  My husband and I would take our son, Deacon to the aquarium or the park!  I would also get a workout in, catch up on reading and take a nap.  Rest is hard to come by as a mom of a toddler!

In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member? Being a part of the JLP community!  I have met so many amazing women that share many of my values, but come from different walks of life.  I have learned so much from other members and I have enjoyed the camaraderie that comes with working together to make our local community better!  I also love how our members help and support each other.

Why did you join the JLP? I wanted to give back to the community in a more strategic way.  I have always volunteered and donated money to worthy causes.  However, I wanted to be apart of an organization where I could work alongside like-minded people towards common goals such as helping Arizona youth and bettering our community.

What do you want other people to know about JLP?  We have such a diverse membership of intelligent, caring women, who bring their own unique perspectives towards solving problems, raising money and building our community.  The many social events and community impact shifts help strengthen the bonds between members, making JLP more than a non-profit organization, but a family.

Favorite JLP memory?  It’s hard to pick just one, so I’m going to give you two!  My provisional graduation was a great night!  I loved getting to know the other girls in my provisional group and it was fun to celebrate our accomplishment together.  My provisional group has maintained a strong bond and we still get together regularly!  Co-chairing the Rummage Pre-Sale Party for the first time in 2017 was also one of my favorite memories.  My co-chair, Marina and I were asked to chair the event six weeks before, so it was a lot of working putting it together.  It was a fun, successful event and it was awesome seeing all of our hard work come to fruition!

JLP Member Spotlight: Kristine Denholm


How many years have you been in the league?  This is my 6th year (5th active year).

What committee do you serve on?  I’m the VP of JLP’s Community Teams.

What is your day job?  I work for the Department of Justice.

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix?  I really enjoy going to Diamondbacks games, hiking, and discovering new restaurants.

If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it?  I would spend more time connecting with friends and family who I don’t get to see often enough!

In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member?  The friendships I’ve made with women who have various backgrounds and interests.

Why did you join the JLP?  After living in Phoenix for a couple of years, I wanted to start volunteering and to become more involved in my community. But no single organization I found seemed to offer everything I was seeking. Also, growing up in the South I’ve always known about the Junior League. Being somewhat familiar with the Junior League, I sought it out for the volunteer opportunities with an access to a wide variety of organizations making an impact in our community.

What do you want other people to know about JLP?  The JLP is more than just an organization of women who wear pearls and sip tea. We’re activists in our community committed to making it a better place for everyone to live.

Favorite JLP memory?  There are so many to pick from! I’ve enjoyed being exposed to a variety of community partners to include building new relationships with organizations as part of my work on JLP’s community committees. However, I also love attending the White Party! It’s always such a fun and well-organized event.

JLP Member Spotlight: Elizabeth Goldstein


How many years have you been in the league? I transferred to JLP January of 2016, but I feel like I’ve been in JLP much longer. I felt an instant connection.

What is your day job? I work for Gingerbread Shed, which is owned by AEG. We provide ticketing and access control for live events.

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? I’m a bit of a foodie; so, I like trying new restaurants. I also love spending time outside in the sunshine. Spring training is always fun!

If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it? Sleep! Just kidding-I would probably spend the extra time playing with my dog. She’s my best friend, and I really like to hang out with her.

In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP memberFor me, the best part of being a member of JLP, is the connections and friendships I have made. I moved to Phoenix not really knowing anyone, and I’ve met an entire network of people thanks to JLP.

Why did you join the JLP? 
I joined to make new friends.

What do you want other people to know about JLP? You get out of it what you put into it. Whatever you are looking for (volunteer opportunities, networking, leadership building, friendships, etc.) JLP can provide. You just have to be willing to put yourself out there and get involved.

Favorite JLP memory? My favorite JLP memories have been the Kick-Off Pool Parties! I love getting the girls together (actives and new provisionals) for a fun day that is informal and just involves hanging out at a pool getting to know one another.

JLP Member Spotlight : Andrea Simbro

IMG_2738How many years have you been in the league?  3 years (2nd year active)

What is your day job?  Attorney with Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek, PLC, specializing in civil litigation, construction law, real estate law, and probate litigation.
Favorite thing to do in Phoenix?  Hike if the weather is nice. Tom’s Thumb is my favorite!
If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it?  Spend it with the people I love and catch up on sleep!
In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member?  The opportunity to get to know an amazing and talented group of women leaders.
Why did you join the JLP?  To meet new people and become more involved in my community.
What do you want other people to know about JLP?  Joining JLP is a fun way to network with like-minded women while refining your leadership skills and giving back to the Phoenix community.
Favorite JLP memory?  Taking a trip to Jerome, Arizona last year with the JLP Travelers group for wine tasting and a ghost tour!

2018 JLP Community Ambassador of the Year Jayson Matthews


Our 2018 JLP Community Ambassador of the year has been an advocate for our mission of  “Building a Healthy Arizona” every day since beginning his partnership with the JLP. Since joining as a Community Ambassador, Jayson Matthews has aligned himself with the JLP to support our mission in several capacities. He has provided his knowledge of ending hunger at our GMM panel meetings. He spearheaded the new partnership between the JLP and the United Way to end hunger in the classroom by providing opportunities for our league members to support the Weekend Hunger Backpacks program where volunteers build meal kits to put in children’s backpacks so they have access to food over the weekend. He is a champion in our efforts to train league members to be advocates for children in the valley who are struggling with hunger. The JLP is grateful to have Jayson Matthews, of the Valley of the Sun United Way as a Community Ambassador and thank him for his continued support of the Junior League of Phoenix!

JLP Member Spotlight: Laura Sharp


Get to know Laura Sharp! Another Junior League of Phoenix member that makes us our league awesome in this week’s Member Spotlight.

How many years have you been in the league? This is my 2nd Active year.

What is your day job? My husband and I own a software consulting company.

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? Running/hiking – I love that the weather here allows that for most months of the year!

If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it?
Read a great book, run a few miles, and spend some time with my family.

In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member? Our community impact shifts always refocus me on our purpose. I love the ways we give back to our community!

Why did you join the JLP?  To have an outlet to give back to our community and continue to develop myself.

What do you want other people to know about JLP? League members are incredibly diverse, with many different passions, but a common goal.

Favorite JLP memory? My first Feed My Starving Children shift where I was able to share my desire to give back with my older son, and watch him see the impact a committed group of people can make to change the world.

JLP Member Spotlight: Mary Birdoes

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Get to know Mary Birdoes!  Just one of our amazing Junior League of Phoenix members in this week’s Member Spotlight.

How many years have you been in the league? I am a provisional member.

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? My favorite thing to do in Phoenix is either the thing I’ve never done or being in the epicenter of the action, preferably both!

If you had an extra 8 hours in a day what would you do with it? I would squeeze in a High Intensity Interval Training workout or lift weights for the first hour, spend time eating and laughing over a family get together for the next four hours, and spend the last three checking out a hip new place or attending a high energy event in Pheonix.

In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member? I cannot limit my answer to just one thing.  Though the friendships are my favorite part of the JLP, I also love the built in opportunities to do rewarding volunteer work and I relish the leadership and skill development training!
Why did you join the JLP? I was looking for a volunteer organization and decided to commit to the JLP because it offered so much more! Can anyone say DIP?!?

What do you want other people to know about JLP? People should know that the JLP provides a social network, and a means of contributing to the community through volunteer work and the development of female leaders. The only caveat is that you have to take hold of the opportunities in order to reap the benefits!

Favorite JLP memory? Some of my favorite memories aren’t necessarily JLP sanctioned events but rather informal events organized by members. To return to official JLP events, however, some of the standouts in my memory are the pool party, happy hour at Brother’s Tap House, Provisional Day of Service at St. Vincent De Paul’s, The Little Black Dress Initiative, JLP 360, Toastmasters meetings (especially the meetings when I gave a speech), volunteering at the holiday Homeward Bound and Free Arts shifts, the Communications and Marketing Team Committee Meeting (that may sound nerdy but I was fascinated to get an inside look at my future career), and any time there was a happy hour involved! Wow. That was a long sentence!

JLP Member Spotlight: Lauren Ill

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How many years have you been in the league? Less than 1 – provisional

What is your day job? Residential Realtor

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? Reaching the top of Squaw Peak in time for sunrise, as well as attending events around town and going on road trips to all the unique stops around the state. Most recently, I fed a giraffe and zip lined at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park.

If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it?  More hiking and more road trips.

In your opinion, what is the best thing about being a JLP member? Junior League provides a great way to expand your interests and learn more about yourself in a fun, welcoming environment. We have movie groups, a book club, Toastmasters, countless opportunities to volunteer, leadership positions, JLP 360, and so much more. The opportunities to better ourselves and expand our interests are absolutely endless. Junior League is truly unique in that any amount of participation creates a better version of you.

Why did you join the JLP? Initially, I had joined Junior League for the social aspect. But after Super Saturday I, it became clear how much more there is to the league and the many ways to tailor this experience to my own expectations. While I had always participated in community service, I’ve become much more involved since joining the league. It’s great to see the very real effect that this organization has had on the surrounding community and to know that we’re constantly making a difference.

What do you want other people to know about JLP? While JLP brings together ladies with similar interests, each individual is able to build her own unique experience within the league. If you joined for social events and to build friendships, then that’s easy to find here. If you joined to give back and get involved in the community, there’s plenty of opportunity to do so. If you want to build on professional and personal skills, then look into the wide range of in-homes and various leadership positions we can hold as members of the league. Each experience is unique and exactly what you choose to make it.

Favorite JLP memory? My favorite memories with the Junior League have been the get-togethers that my provisional group plans each month. So far, we’ve done happy hours, trivia competitions, and movie nights. They’re a great group of ladies that I admire, have built great friendships with, and am excited to see at each gathering.

Top 10 Reasons to Join the Junior League of Phoenix

“The Junior League is the foremost community leader in Greater Phoenix. The League’s long-term commitment supports the most critical areas of need. Most major community projects for the past three decades have been researched, initiated, funded and created by The Junior League of Phoenix. What an awesome group of women!” – Betsy Bayless, Director of AZ Department of Administration & Arizona Secretary of State (1997-2002); Sustainer member, The Junior League of Phoenix


Are you considering joining the Junior League of Phoenix, but want to know more about us and what we do? Well, here are many of our favorite reasons to join!

By being a member of the JLP, you can . .

1. Meet new people 

The Junior League of Phoenix is made up of over 1000 members, over 300 of which are actively involved, with the rest being Sustainers, members who continue support the League and participate in various activities. As a member of the JLP, you will have so many opportunities to meet a variety of these like-minded women, including  at General Membership Meetings, volunteering together at shifts, social events and working closely in a committee or leadership team. Whether you are new to the Phoenix area, or have lived here for years, this is an incredible opportunity get to know some of the most amazing women you will ever meet.


2. Volunteer


At the heart of The Junior League of Phoenix’s mission is improving our community. We offer our members opportunities to volunteer at many different non-profits in the Valley, through ourCommunity Impact Shifts and at the JLP’s own community programs and fundraisers. Community Impact shifts are available throughout the year and members can get a close up look at the work of local non-profits by volunteering. The JLP’s current community programs include: Ending Hunger in the Classroom, Kids Cook with Heart, Kids in the Kitchen and R.O.C.K.E.T.S (Raising Our Children’s Knowledge by Educating Through Science). These shifts give members an opportunity to learn more about how the JLP is helping to improve the community, and our focus of Building a Healthy Arizona.


The JLP’s signature fundraising events include:  Touch-A-Truck, The White Party and the Rummage Sale. In fact, all active members volunteer at our annual Rummage Sale. The Rummage Sale has been a staple in the Phoenix community for over 80 years and is when the league comes together in full force to provide “Arizona’s Biggest Indoor Garage Sale” to the community and raise over $100,000 to support our mission.


3. Learn new skills

Every year, active members are placed on a new committee (unless you are in a two year position, or choose to stay on your current committee). Each new committee placement is an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, take on new challenges, thus learning new skills like fundraising, event planning, finance, working with non-profits, training, and much more. We also offer trainings on a variety of subjects throughout the year for our members as part of our mission.


4. Build your resume

All the great things you will do in the JLP  can be added to your resume, and  can really benefit you if you are ever in the job market. Check out this article about adding volunteer work to your resume!


5. Have fun! 

There are plenty of opportunities to socialize. From small happy hours, fitness classes, and sporting events to cocktail parties like the White Party, there is something for everyone. The JLP loves to get together for a good time!

6. Become a leader

Leadership may not have been a reason you thought to join the league, but being a member can bring out the best in you. We have a variety of leadership opportunities, such as chairing a committee, mentoring a Provisional group to being a member of the Management Team or Board of Directors.

“The training and leadership opportunities provided by the Junior League was the very best non-profit college education I could have asked for, without paying tuition. I am forever grateful for the JLP, which led me to and assisted me in my almost 25 year career as a non-profit leader, which has allowed me to make a difference in our community”   – Nancy Roach, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Phoenix,  Sustaining Member, The Junior League of Phoenix

flagstaff7. Find your niche

Have you ever wanted to join a book club? We have special interest Facebook groups, including book clubs, golf club, moms group, movie group and travel club. The JLP even has it’s own Toastmasters club. There is something for everyone!

8. Try something new 

Have you ever wanted to try a spin class? Want to learn about being on a non-profit board? Every November and April, the JLP offer “in-home” meetings for our members. These small intimate meetings and trainings are usually in someone’s home or business and can range from wine tastings, non-profit fundraising, fitness classes, self-defense, financial planning, photography, modern manners and much, much more.

9. Be part of a legacy

For over 85 years, our volunteers have continued to positively impact the Phoenix metropolitan area.  The JLP is invested in developing long term initiatives and programs that meet the ever-changing needs of our community. For over 80 years, our volunteers have continued to positively impact the Phoenix metropolitan area.  The JLP is invested in developing long term initiatives and programs that meet the ever-changing needs of our communityWe are responsible for creating or have been a founding partner for the following organizations: Crisis Nursery, Ryan House, The Arizona Science Center, Rosson House, Phoenix Museum of History, Orpheum Theater and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. We have been involved with over 80 community programs in our long history, take a look at the list here.


10. Make lifelong friends

Some of the best friends you ever have in your live, can come from being a member of the JLP.

Here are what some of our members have to say . .

“I love the amazing women you meet, friendships you form, and the opportunities to gain leadership skills”

“I love the JLP for all of the service opportunities in the local community! Also all the smaller interest groups like movie goers, bookclub, toastmasters, golfing etc”

“You can jump right in and participate! I love toastmasters for this. It gives you the opportunity to get involved and meet members early in the year. I have learned so much about the League from the experienced ladies in this group, and made awesome friends outside of my provisional group”

“The Junior League teaches you things you never knew you needed in a fun way”

“In my 13 years of being a member, I have formed some of the most incredible, life-changing friendships of my life with ladies that I know will be part of my life forever” 


About the Junior League of Phoenix

The Junior League of Phoenix, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization of over 1,000 women committed to the promoted voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the Valley of the Sun through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. For more than 80 years, JLP has invested almost $4.1 million in the community and contributes over 75,000 volunteer hours annually. Current League programs are structured around JLP’s focus area of “Building a Healthy Arizona.” For more information about the Junior League of Phoenix, please visit jlp.org.