FROM A SMALL SEED, A MIGHTY LEADER CAN GROW

CLO Fireside Chat featuring Courtney Klein

Lists, grit and crickets. The recipe for success?

On November 1, 2016, the Junior League of Phoenix (JLP) Community Leadership and Outreach (CLO) Committee hosted a small-group speaker meeting featuring co-founder and CEO of SEED SPOT, Courtney Klein. SEED SPOT is an organization committed to improving the odds of success for social entrepreneurs seeking to create solutions for today’s most pressing social challenges.

Tuesday night’s event was the second in an eight-part “Fireside Chat” series, where community leaders are invited to share their insights and experiences with JLP members that are up-and-coming community leaders as well as others interested in advancing their own leadership abilities. The CLO speaker series has been generously funded by the Junior League of Phoenix Foundation to increase available training opportunities for JLP members.

seed-spot-aThe evening began with a social hour of mingling and hors d’oeuvres during which the attendees and the guest of honor had an opportunity to interact casually before the group moved into the Fireside Chat moderated by CLO’s Liz Scott. The event took place at the SEED SPOT offices in an informal setting complete with a “digital” fireside.

Courtney began by sharing her background and path to leadership; including early work she had done growing an international organization with the mission of inspiring young people to create social change—all started with $1,000 in seed money while she was pursuing her undergraduate degree at Arizona State University. She also spoke of the significance that mentorship has had on her life and career, and shared strategies for identifying and recruiting those important individuals into one’s life.

The ladies in the audience were interested in understanding how Courtney balances a busy, successful career and happy, fulfilling family life. She shared her tactics and toolkit for juggling it all, and stressed the importance of taking time for self-care. Not only does Courtney value a strong work-life balance for herself, but she encourages her employees to find their own ideal life balance, and has created a culture at SEED SPOT where flexibility is accessible and encouraged for all team members. The result is a team of people who happily give much more than required to the organization—not because they must, but because they believe in the cause and feel supported and empowered.

Courtney also stressed the importance of setting clear expectations with people, and spoke to SEED SPOT’s key tenets; including a statement written in the company culture guide noting that a not-my-job attitude is not tolerated in the SEED SPOT space. Regardless of rank, everyone is expected to chip in at all levels when they are able.

Then the group discussed strategies for engaging others in your mission, especially people from different generations and backgrounds. Courtney is an advocate for inclusion and believes that diversity within a team (racial, educational, national, socio-economic) creates a stronger and more creative team. She also shared an exercise utilized at SEED SPOT called “design thinking,” a formal method for developing practical, creative solutions with the intention of an improved future. Design thinking identifies and investigates with known and ambiguous aspects of the current situation to discover hidden parameters and open alternative paths.

Courtney revealed she is an avid list writer and noted several poignant moments in her life when “keep/cut” lists helped her bring clarity to a situation – whether regarding friends or decisions related to various ventures. She encouraged the audience to “swim in your own lane” – which she defined as remaining focused on the tasks you are best suited for and letting others do the things that they are best suited for.

Courtney shared what she considers the biggest tool in her leadership toolkit—gratitude, in the form of handwritten thank you notes. She takes time to communicate gratitude to everyone who has impacted her each week. She makes an effort to see and respect all the people within her sphere of influence. One anecdote Courtney told was of a man named Oscar that used to work in the garage at the SEED SPOT office. Oscar was a special and valuable person, that many people would not have noticed, but in an environment where his gifts were recognized and appreciated, he was able to make a lasting impact on Courtney and the SEED SPOT organization. SEED SPOT continues to maintain Oscar’s Wall where Oscar’s contribution is memorialized, despite Oscar’s replacement by an automated system.

Courtney closed with an anecdote about her husband’s path to his current business-a cricket farm in North Carolina, where crickets are raised as a form of sustainable protein for human consumption.

CLO Fireside Chat featuring Katherine Cecala, President, Junior Achievement (and JLP Sustaining Member)

On December 7, 2016, the Junior League of Phoenix Community Leadership and Outreach (CLO) Committee will be hosting a small-group, members-only speaker meeting featuring Katherine Cecala, President, Junior Achievement. This is the second event in an eight-part series of “fireside chats” where established community leaders are invited to share their wisdom and experiences with JLP members that are (or are interested in becoming) up and coming community leaders. The CLO speaker series has been generously funded by the Junior League of Phoenix Foundation to increase available training opportunities for JLP members.


About Katherine

A fourth-generation Arizonan, Katherine joined Junior Achievement of Arizona in 2015 with a diverse background in nonprofit leadership, healthcare administration, law, industrial engineering, utilities and business. A well-rounded executive who takes a pragmatic, analytical approach to leading teams and growing organizations, Katherine also has extensive knowledge of the Phoenix community and nonprofit landscape and has served on more than 35 nonprofit boards including Arizona Humane Society, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Vista College Prep, Maricopa Integrated Health System, Mountain Park Health Center and Arizona Women’s Leadership Forum.

k-cBefore being recruited as JA president, Katherine was the interim CEO/President for Friendly House, a 95-year-old social services nonprofit with a $7 million annual budget, 125 employees and a K-8 charter school, among other programs. Previously, Katherine was Chief Operating Officer for eight years at Valley of the Sun United Way, one of the largest United Way offices in the country. In metro-Phoenix, United Way is the largest investor in health and human services and is supported by more than 90,000 individual donors, 700 corporate partners and hundreds of volunteers. Previously, Katherine held executive roles at Mayo Clinic in Arizona for 12 years where she oversaw a staff of 350 in her roles as director of systems and procedures, director of patient financial services and strategic projects administrator.

For the first 11 years of her career, she was a senior management engineer at Baptist Medical System in Arkansas as well as Samaritan Health System (now Banner Health) in Phoenix. Because of her love of learning, she decided to get her law degree as a “hobby,” and practiced in the areas of commercial and real estate transactions, business and employment law. She began her career as a work management analyst at Little Rock Water Works in Arkansas.

A master’s level instructor of philanthropy and nonprofit innovation at Arizona State University, Katherine has a degree in industrial engineering, a Master’s of Business Administration and a law degree. She is married with two stepchildren, five step-grandchildren and three dogs, Isaac, Teddy and Bianca.

For more information about the CLO Fireside Chat series, please contact CLO at jlp.clo@jlp.org or (602) 234-3388 x228.

Nominating Committee Announces President Elect

Wendy Brooks slated for President in 2018-20

The Nominating Committee of The Junior League of Phoenix is pleased to announce they have selected Wendy Brooks as President Elect (PE). She is slated to follow Cathy Comer’s presidency and will begin her tenure in 2018 through 2020.

Ms. Brooks initially joined the JLP in 2003 and completed one active year here. She then transferred to the Junior League of Denver followed by the Junior League of Kansas City before returning to the JLP in December, 2007.

Ms. Brooks’ area of focus was initially membership where she attended the Organizational Development Institute (ODI) track in member retention and was Vice President of Membership, along with various other leadership roles in Provisional, Placement and Nominating. Her recent focus has been on the fundraising side where she was Valley Impact Luncheon Chair and is currently serving as Development Manager.

combo_stacked_centered_webMs. Brooks has two sons, Ethan who is a senior at ASU and Noah who is in 6th grade at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy.  She works in the mortgage industry as a licensed Mortgage Loan Originator.

 

Meaningful Impact Through Municipal Service

CLO Panel featuring Dr. Donna Reiner and Mike Sonenberg P.E.

muni2On October 25, 2016, the Community Leadership and Outreach (CLO) Committee hosted a panel featuring Dr. Donna Reiner of the City of Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission and Mike Sonenberg of the City of Tempe Aviation commission. This was the first CLO panel event, where CLO secures panelists to discuss opportunities for personal development and/or leadership in the community in response to interest from Junior League of Phoenix (JLP) members. This panel event was graciously hosted by Arizona State University and CLO panel events have been generously funded by the Junior League of Phoenix Foundation to increase the number of available training opportunities for all JLP members.

The panelists started by introducing themselves to the audience of twenty JLP members. After general introductions, the panelists started discussing their experience on municipal boards and commissions and why they decided that this particular form of community service and leadership was the right form for them. Both panelists agreed that the reason they found service on a municipal board or commission so rewarding is being able influence entire communities of people through advocacy for increased community involvement. Dr. Reiner discussed a building she was involved in protecting when she was on the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission. By being a part of the process, she was able to alert people that would have an interest in protecting the structure that the building was at risk, and was then able to advocate on their behalf to find a way to preserve the structure without limiting the ability of the building to be utilized. Whenever Dr. Reiner drives by the building she is reminded of the impact that preserving that building had on the community.

Mike then discussed how many openings there are at both the state and municipal levels for people of varying skill types and levels. While certain positions do require a specific skill set or background, many municipal and state level boards and commissions have openings set aside for community members that lack a specific skill set or background but that are interested in the subject area and able to represent the interests of the community-at-large.

muni1Both panelists encouraged members interested in serving on a board or commission to attend a meeting before applying to a specific board or commission. Both panelists emphasized that each board or commission is different and some have shorter meetings, while others have meetings that can last for hours, and the time commitment for each committee will vary, so it is important to engage with the board or commission before expressing interest to assess if it is a good fit both practically and in terms of personality.

In the end, the CLO Panel on Municipal Boards and Commission provided interested JLP members with an opportunity to interact and learn from members of the community that are currently engaged on local commissions, and to explore their interest and commitment to engaging with the Greater Phoenix community to better the community for the benefit of all.

For more information about the CLO Panel events, please contact CLO at jlp.clo@jlp.org or (602) 234-3388 x228.

CLO Community Leadership Spotlight: Melinda March

Community Leadership and Outreach (CLO) sat down with Melinda March to discuss how being a member of the Junior League of Phoenix (JLP) led to her selection as a member of the Banner Health Foundation’s (BHF) The Pulse of the City Soiree Committee and how her work with BHF’s Pulse Soiree benefits the JLP.


Melinda.jpgHow long have you been involved with BHF?

I got involved with the Pulse Soiree/BHF in April 2016 after seeing a Community Leadership and Outreach post on the JLP Member’s Facebook page.

Why have you chosen BHF as one of your personal passion projects?

I was moving back to Phoenix after completing my Post-Bac at NAU in Flagstaff and wanted to get more actively involved with the community.  I recently made a career change from the wedding & event planning industry to dental & healthcare.  I still missed some of the excitement involved with event planning and wanted to use my experience to help a local cause.  This opportunity appeared at the perfect time.

Why do you think BHF selected you to be a member of the Pulse of the City Gala Committee?

They needed help soliciting donations, auction items and helping with some event logistics and my prior experience in both fundraising and event management made me an ideal fit.

Being on a gala committee is a lot of work. Why did you say yes?

One reason this was a great way to integrate back into the Valley is that it had a lot of flexibility.  We have one meeting each month and mostly communicate via email.  Each committee member used her network to procure auction items, sell tables and promote the event.  We would touch base at each meeting to ensure contacts were not being bombarded with multiple requests.  The workload was quite manageable since I could mostly work around my own schedule.

How do you feel being a JLP member has contributed to your success at BHF?

I had more confidence entering the Pulse Soiree committee than I would have prior to my time in JLP.  I had the opportunity to interact with and meet so many women who are passionate about philanthropy.  I knew that whatever I could bring to the event would be beneficial and that my work mattered.  I know that I would have doubted myself more before I joined JLP.

How do you feel that service in outside organizations has contributed to your success in the JLP?

It has been great to have an ongoing volunteer commitment with a different organization.  I have been able to build new relationships and become more informed on the needs of a nonprofit organization I may not have understood otherwise.

melinda-2What do you think that JLP members bring to the community table that is special and unique?

JLP members are passionate and proactive.  We also have an extensive network of support behind us.  I knew that even if I didn’t have answers or ideas, I would be able to get in touch with someone who did.  Our network of women is truly remarkable.

Would you be interested in being joined as a member of the Pulse of the City Committee by other JLP members?

Absolutely!

If people are interested in supporting you and/or your work in the community, where can they find more information and who should they contact?

People can purchase tickets to attend the event, which is on November 5th at the Westin Kierland, or make donations to the Banner Health Foundation.  The event is an annual event, so I am sure members could join the committee for next year or provide auction items. If anyone is interested in becoming involved, they can contact Melinda March at melindaemarch@gmail.com or 602-486-9952.


The CLO Community Leadership Spotlight features JLP members engaging in volunteer leadership roles in the community. If you are a JLP member or know a JLP member engaging in a volunteer leadership role in the community, please reach out to the Community Leadership and Outreach Committee Chair at jlp.clo at jlp.org or at (602) 234-3388 x228.

Junior League of Phoenix Membership Awards

By: Cassie Cooper, Membership Team Leader

Members of The Junior League of Phoenix were recognized for outstanding service and dedication to the organization at the monthly General Membership Meeting in September and October.

These awards demonstrate that Junior League of Phoenix members are doing more in their roles that just signing up for volunteer shift; they’re making meaningful contributions to the success of the organization and it’s being noticed.

The awards listed below are selections based on members and leaders doing an outstanding job and/or going above and beyond to help The Junior League of Phoenix.

Help us recognize superstar members by submitting their names for either the Chair Extraordinaire or Cause for Applause (any member) categories. Please nominate here!

Congratulations to the September and October membership winners. Thank you to everyone who made a submission.


Cause for Applause Award

September: Ashley Law

Ashley Law has been a beam of sunshine, optimism, and hard work in the League and specifically, the Member Trainings Committee.  She is 100% supportive of every initiative and event in our committee. Ashley has been the driving force behind the creation and implementation of the first ever JLP Chapter of Toastmasters who has created a huge following and interest among our Junior League members.  I am honored to serve alongside Ashley in the League, she is fabulously amazing!!

Submitted by:

Paula A. Sumner-Walker

JLP Member Trainings Committee Chair

 

September: Sabrina Showers

Despite being busy with sending her daughter off to her first year of college, Sabrina has taken on a leadership role within the CLO committee and been a model team member. In addition to all that Sabrina took it upon herself to join Toastmasters so that she would be able to improve her presentation skills for when we record the CLO training library and has gone out of her way to solicit feedback on ways to improve. Her willingness to ask for help, accept constructive criticism, and be a model team member contribute to her nomination.

Submitted by:

Maura Goldsberry

CLO Committee Chair

 

October: Darcy Darin

Darcy is in her 2nd year on the Touch A Truck Committee and has done an excellent job getting the “Day Of” details organized. We thank Darcy for her attention to detail and we know that the event would not the success that it is without her!

Submitted by:

Jill Kipnes, Touch-A-Truck Committee


Chair Extraordinaire Award

September: Maura Goldsberry

Have you seen her Facebook and blog posts about CLO?! She is inspiring, caring, and challenging in her leadership and generous with her time.  With Maura as our leader CLO is bound to make a huge impact this year.

Submitted by:

Megan Schwallie

CLO Committee

 

October: Liz Goldstein

  • Three time nominee in the month of September!
  • Wow! Liz came in with a bang! She transferred to the JLP and really shook things up!
  • She took member retention seriously and has really created a community within the league that we have never seen.
  • Liz has taken the league by storm! She saw a need to connect people and she started a book club, this has become wildly popular!
  • Retention is vital to our success and Liz is going to connect people to each other and in turn the League.

Submitted by:

Cassie Cooper, Membership Team Leader

Sara Mayer, BOD Secretary

Shannon Larsen, Nominating Committee

 

October: Brooke Lesser

  • Brooke stepped into the role of Logistics Chair just three weeks prior to our first GMM.
  • Planned our first GMM of the year without any prior knowledge from start to finish.
  • She is already exploring ways to improve our GMMs and the member experience!
  • With the support of her amazing Logistics Committee, we all owe Brooke a huge thank you for her dedication to the League and her willingness to step into an unfamiliar role, and making our first GMM of the year a success.

Submitted by:

Ashley Bolduc, Administrative Team Leader

 

CLO Fireside Chat featuring Courtney Klein

On November 1, 2016, the Junior League of Phoenix Community Leadership and Outreach (CLO) Committee will be hosting a small-group, members-only speaker meeting featuring Courtney Klein, Co-Founder & CEO, SEED SPOT. This is the second event in an eight-part series of “fireside chats” where established community leaders are invited to share their wisdom and experiences with JLP members that are (or are interested in becoming) up and coming community leaders. The CLO speaker series has been generously funded by the Junior League of Phoenix Foundation to increase available training opportunities for JLP members.

About Courtney

courtney
Courtney Klein, Co-Founder & CEO, SEED SPOT

Courtney Klein is the Co-Founder and CEO of SEED SPOT, an incubator for social entrepreneurs ranked as one of the “Top 20 Accelerators in the World” by Gust and “Top 3 social impact incubators in the United States” by UBI Global and Cisco. Forbes, USA Today, Huffington Post and others have profiled Courtney for her work and over 400 media stories have been written about SEED SPOT to-date.

SEED SPOT is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. Its mission is to educate, accelerate, and invest in entrepreneurs who are creating solutions to social problems. They work exclusively with social entrepreneurs; those that have built a solution to solve a pressing societal need. Since inception, SEED SPOT alumni have impacted over 650,000 lives. 97% of companies are headquartered in Arizona, and one-third of ventures include female founders/co-founders.

Prior to SEED SPOT, Courtney served as the Co-Founder & CEO of New Global Citizens, a journey that started with a $1,000 seed grant and a dream when she was a senior in college that grew into a national-class organization that served over 10,000 youth and partnered with organizations in 33 countries.

Courtney is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College, where she received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in nonprofit management. She also completed work through the DSIL United Nations Executive Education Program in Thailand & Cambodia focused on Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Courtney resides mostly on airplanes, is married to an entrepreneur and has a 1-year old daughter. She is an avid yogi and Ironman finisher.

For more information about the CLO Fireside Chat series, please contact CLO at jlp.clo@jlp.org or (602) 234-3388 x228.

Do you know about Erin’s Law?

Erins law.jpgSometimes a good thing can come out of a very bad thing. That is, in many ways, the story behind Erin’s Law.

The bad thing is sexual abuse of a child – first by a neighbor and then by a cousin. The good thing is the fact that the victim – Erin Merryn, now 31 and a mother – not only spoke up, but became the driving force behind a law that has now been passed in 28 states, including Delaware, where Junior League members had a lot to do with its passage there.

erin-merrynErin Merryn is the force behind Erin’s Law. Beginning in 2010, she launched a forceful campaign to pass a sexual abuse curriculum in all 50 states. (The first Erin’s Law was passed in her home state of Illinois.) The law brings changes that are both simple and profound. Simple because it requires that all public schools in each state implement a prevention-oriented, age- appropriate abuse prevention program from pre-K to 12th grade. Profound because no formal school-based, state-wide program existed before the first Erin’s Law passed.

Delaware came to be the 28th state to pass Erin’s Law because Junior League of Wilmington members got behind it…and took their commitment to the State House.

JLW, which has been focusing its community impact efforts on improving the health and well-being of children for more than five years, became involved in the campaign after member Susan Coulby saw Merryn on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and learned that Delaware had not yet adopted Erin’s Law.

On behalf of JLW, member Dionna Sargent coordinated the 10-member Erin’s Law Task Force, a legal process that preceded the introduction of the bill.

State Senator Margaret Rose Henry – a JLW sustaining member – introduced the legislation after the Task Force brought the measure to her attention. The Task Force then continued to advocate for the bill by providing research, raising awareness among community members and child welfare organizations and agencies, including the Beau Biden Foundation; delivering testimony to the Senate Education Committee, to the House Administration Committee and on the Senate floor; and reaching out to individual legislators to request that they vote “yes.” (JLW notes that the passage of Erin’s Law inspired a return to legislative advocacy for the League, which took the lead in the adoption of Delaware’s Foster Care Review Act more than 35 years ago.)

Finally, in August, Delaware Governor Jack Markell joined Senator Henry and other League members for a special signing ceremony at JLW headquarters.

As JLW President Stephanie Graev said, “Passage of Erin’s Law in Delaware shows what the hard work, persistence, determination and teamwork of a group of dedicated women can accomplish.”

We agree.


*This article was originally published in connected, an official publication of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., and has been reprinted with permission.

CLO Panelists Announced, continued!

CLO Panel: Community Leadership and Municipal Boards and Commissions

On October 25, 2016, the Community Leadership and Outreach (CLO) Committee will be hosting a panel of community leaders that are currently serving on or have recently served on a municipal board or commission. The purpose of this panel is to demystify this type of civic engagement and to encourage Junior League of Phoenix members to pursue community service and leadership in the form that best suits them.

CLO has invited people serving in the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe, from a variety of differently focused boards/commissions, and from a variety of age groups to participate in the panel so that Junior League of Phoenix members will be able to get a broad perspective on this form of service and identify if it is something they would like to pursue in their communities.

Panelist #2: Mike Sonenberg

Mike Sonenberg, P.E. is an environmental engineer at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and has served on several boards, including the Tempe Aviation Commission, the Air and Waste Management Association – Grand Canyon Section, and his HOA Board. Mike grew up in Tucson, and graduated from the University of Arizona in 2006 with a degree in Engineering Management and minor in Chemical Engineering.

Mike moved from Tucson for a job opportunity after graduating and has made his home in Tempe ever since.  Although, like most engineers, he was not interested in serving on a board in his younger years, he became interested in the Tempe Aviation Commission a few years ago while looking for a way become more involved in the community in his adopted home while making a meaningful contribution of the knowledge gained in his career. Mike has served on the commission for a year and is seeking reappointment in December 2016.

For more information about the CLO Municipal Boards and Commissions Panel, please contact CLO at jlp.clo@jlp.org or (602) 234-3388 x228. JLP members may sign up to attend through Digital Cheetah.

CLO Panel: Community Leadership and Municipal Boards and Commissions

On October 25, 2016, the Community Leadership and Outreach (CLO) Committee will be hosting a panel of community leaders that are currently serving on or have recently served on a municipal board or commission. The purpose of this panel is to demystify this type of civic engagement and to encourage Junior League of Phoenix members to pursue community service and leadership in the form that best suits them.

CLO has invited people serving in the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe, from a variety of differently focused boards/commissions, and from a variety of age groups to participate in the panel so that Junior League of Phoenix members will be able to get a broad perspective on this form of service and identify if it is something they would like to pursue in their communities.

Panelist #1: Donna Reiner

DR.jpgDonna’s love for the arts and history has led her to obtain degrees in music history, cultural humanities, historic preservation, and adult education. Since arriving in Arizona over 30 years ago, Donna has worked for Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scout Council planning program for cadettes and seniors; taught English, humanities, and music appreciation at the college level in prison and out for Rio Salado Community College, Glendale Community College, Central Arizona College, and Northern Arizona University; served as the Director of Education at the former Phoenix Museum of History; and was the interim Executive Director of the Heritage Square Foundation (Rosson House). Now Donna is her own boss and spends her time writing and volunteering.

Grounded in the political and community service process in high school through Junior Statesman of America, Donna has put that experience to good use by serving on the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission from 2002-2009, and the City of Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission from 2010-2016, the board of directors for the Coronado Neighborhood Association, two local history museums, the Heritage Square Foundation, and currently serves on the boards of the Arizona Preservation Foundation, the Friends of the Orpheum Theatre, the Grand Avenue Rail Project (GARP) and the Maricopa Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

For more information about the CLO Municipal Boards and Commissions Panel, please contact CLO at jlp.clo@jlp.org or (602) 234-3388 x228. JLP members may sign up to attend through Digital Cheetah.

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