JLP Members are an accomplished group!

Please join us in recognizing and congratulating these Junior League of Phoenix members on their exciting recent accomplishments!

Lara Lennaman., 2016 Legacy Celebration Chair, is the 2016 recipient of the Alumni Merit Award for Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. The award is bestowed upon a distinguished graduate in recognition of their outstanding achievement, dedication to their profession and commitment to the mission of Saint Louis University, such as civic leadership.
Junior League of Phoenix Members (from left to right) Amanda Lasita, Sara Mayer, Annette Tanori and Dominique Ladomato were selected for this year’s Suns 88 Class. Suns Charities 88, was created in 2012 to offer a platform for energized business professionals across the Phoenix Metroplex to network amongst their peers. This powerful group comprised of 88 professionals, work collectively to give back to our community through the philanthropic power of the Phoenix Suns Charities. The combined efforts of Suns Charities 88’s members creates a forum for networking, personal & professional development, philanthropic and fundraising opportunities that simultaneously creates a community minded, connected workforce across the Valley.
Junior League of Phoenix member Dimple Patel was selected for the newest addition to Valley Leadership’s multigenerational program offerings. Valley Leadership Advance (VLA), is designed for high potential leaders, either new to Arizona or new to civic engagement. The highly-interactive curriculum is focused on three core elements: community orientation, tactical leadership skills development, and connecting and retaining Arizona’s top talent. The program consists of six powerful, compact sessions, a retreat, community service project, and connection to Arizona’s top talent.

Please share your member updates and news with us at jlp.news@jlp.org, so we can recognize all of the amazing things things Junior League of Phoenix members do to impact the world!

Meet our members – Natalie

A dance choreographer and instructor, Natalie is a second year Active member in the JLP. She is currently the Chair of the Publications Committee. 

Where can we find you when you are not doing JLP activities?varty
Well, I love my job! So, you will find me dancing and choreographing for my competitive dance teams. When I am not dedicating my time to teaching, I am studying up on the financial world of investing! Learning about trading in the stock market and how to best invest for the future has become an interest I am instilling daily into my lifestyle. I also love the outdoors, working on my fitness, and traveling!

How would your best friend describe you?
My best friend would say I am a caring, loving, overly dedicated, honest and trusting friend; that I give more of myself to others and less of my time to myself. She would include that I am a “clean freak,” that I love organization, and lastly, that I love to make people smile!

What is your favorite “unique to Arizona” activity?
When it is not too hot out, I like hiking the “Camel” and other trails around the Valley. I love winter sports, so during the winter in AZ my friends and I will go to Sunrise to ski!

Why did you join the JLP?
I joined the Junior League to become more involved in the community and meet new friends. In college, I was in a sorority that balanced philanthropy and fun. I missed the camaraderie of volunteering with my friends and developing my own potential further as a woman. The JLP does just that and more. 

What is your favorite JLP memory or activity? Why?
My favorite activities are with the ladies I have met in my provisional group! We have fun monthly socials that are always different and leave us more bonded than the last! These girls are incredible women from all over the country and I am so blessed that I was placed with them in my provisional year! I can’t wait to also meet other JLP members and make new friends in the years to come!

Meet our members – Carolyn

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What 2016-2016 provisional group were you in? My sponsor committee was Phoenix Day and the lovely Jenn Beck was my provisional advisor.

What prompted you to join the Junior League last year? I joined the League last year because I loved the idea of being part of a strong community of woman. I knew there were lots of opportunities to give of my self through volunteering and meet people that I would of other wise not had the opportunity to meet.

How did you first hear about the Junior League? My friend Samantha joined and I attended the 2015 White Party!

What were you most excited about for the 2015-2016 year? This was an exciting year for me! I graduated from my MBA at ASU and finished out my provisional year in the League. I’m excited to celebrate those accomplishments and move on to what’s next: serving a new committee in the League and a career change.

What most interested you about the Junior League of Phoenix? That if has so many people coming together that are passionate about doing their part to make a difference.

How long have you lived in Phoenix? I’ve lived in Phoenix for the last 21 years aka most of my life.

What is your favorite Phoenix restaurant/hot spot? I try out new restaurants like it’s my job. In fact I have a spreadsheet where I keep all the restaurants I want to try. My two favorite places of the moment are Okra for yummy southern food and The Valley bar for drinks and a fun atmosphere.

What has surprised you the most about the Junior League? How welcoming everyone was.

What is one passion or hobby you enjoy outside of the League? School takes up most of my time but when I’m on break I like to check off restaurants from my spreadsheet with my boyfriend or perfecting my amateur photography skills.

What is your biggest superpower? I think my superpower is to see the sliver lining in difficult situations.

Meet our members – Jenna

How long have you been in the League? My provisional year was in 2013.


What prompted you to join the Junior League of Phoenix? The ability to make the community a better place while getting to know like-minded women.

How did you first hear of the Junior League? Everyone knows about the Junior League, don’t they? : )


What is your current committee or team placement? I am currently placed on member training, it’s such a great committee!  Shoutout to Paula Walker for being an awesome chair!
Are you a Phoenix native? I was not born here, but I was definitely raised here! I went to high school in Gilbert, and went to college at the University of Arizona! Bear Down!


What is your favorite Phoenix restaurant/hot spot? Oh I love food so much, but I can’t cook, so I’m really good at exploring new restaurants (hint-hint, if anyone is ever hungry).   My top three right now are: The Mission, Tarbell’s and Bink’s.
What is your favorite healthy thing to do in AZ? Hiking! We are so lucky to have awesome trails all around they valley, and such great weather!


What is one passion or hobby you enjoy outside of the League? There are just so many! I love volunteering at The Phoenix Children’s Hospital, being a financial guru and helping people solve their financial problems (or just making them more money) and living an active lifestyle snowboarding, biking, wake-boarding, doing yoga etc.
jenna 3jenna 1jenna 2jenna5

Meet Our Members – Holly

What provisional group are you in? I’m in Jess Kirkland’s provisional group.

What prompted you to join the Junior League this year? I wanted to get more involved with my community and meet like-minded women. 

How did you first hear about the Junior League? A friend of mine from college joined the Junior League in Los Angeles and really enjoyed it. She recommended it me.

What are you most excited about for the 2015-2016 year? I’m excited to get to know the women in my provisional group and learn more about the different organizations the Junior League is involved with.

Are you a Phoenix native? I am! I grew up in Tempe.

What is your favorite Phoenix restaurant/hot spot? I feel like there are so many good spots to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with The Tuck Shop!

What is your favorite healthy thing to do in Phoenix? I love to go hiking Piestewa Peak and exploring new places in my neighborhood on my beach cruiser.

What is one passion or hobby you enjoy outside of the League? I would say music is my passion. I sing and write songs in my free time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Announcing JLP member Brandi Smith as a slated member to the AJLI Governance Committee

BrandiThe AJLI Governance Committee of The Junior League has completed their nominating process and we are proud and excited to share that Brandi Smith, a past president and long-serving Board member of the Junior League of Phoenix and former member of Junior League of Albuquerque, is officially slated for At-Large Member 2016-2018 for The Association of Junior Leagues International , Inc. (AJLI).

Brandi brings a broad experience of leadership in non-profits and in business. She is an exceptional leader and inspiring non-profit advocate. Her knowledge of AJLI and individual league needs enables her to be able to view both high and ground level perspectives.

On behalf of the Junior League of Phoenix and the JLP Board, we congratulate Brandi on her nomination to the Governance Committee in the AJLI. Election results will be announced at the Opening Session of Annual Conference Thursday, May 12, 2016.


Meet Our Members – Min

What provisional group are you in?

I am in Jessica Kirkland’s provisional group.

What prompted you to join the Junior League this year?  

I decided to join because volunteering is something very near and dear to me and also because I wanted to meet new people and grow a network here in Phoenix, as I’m originally from Michigan.

How did you first hear about the Junior League?

I have a cousin who was a member in California and one of my best friend’s mother’s was a member in Michigan. They suggested I join Junior League in order to network with and meet some really great women.

What are you most excited about for the 2015-2016 year?

I’m most excited to take part in a variety of impact shifts and meet/make new friends.

What areas of the League are you most interested in volunteering for?

I’ve always had a passion for communication as well as being a part of something that helps to better a community or group of people – I hope to do as many impact shifts that I can and learn more about JLP marketing and social media.

Are you a Phoenix native?

Nope, originally from Michigan. I’ve been in Arizona for almost 4 years.

What is your favorite Phoenix restaurant/hot spot?

This is a tough question! If I could name a few favorites they would include: The pizza at Cibo, the pasta at Casa Mia, the fried green tomatoes at the Southern Rail and The Beeting drink at The Little Woody.

What is your favorite healthy thing to do in Phoenix?

This is going to sound cliche but I honestly love all of the hiking here! The Midwest doesn’t really offer much in the way of hiking and I’ve come to love it after moving here.

What is one passion or hobby you enjoy outside of the League?

I love to sing! I’ve been singing since I was about 6 years old and have been trained classically, singing both opera and musical theater. I found a wonderful voice teacher here in the valley and have been going to her for about two years now.

What do you love to do for fun?

Photography – the sunsets, sunrises, storms, and overall landscape in this state can be unreal sometimes!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jennifer Carusetta Named Director of the Newly Created Health System Alliance of Arizona

Jennifer Carusetta, Membership Team Leader has been tapped to serve as HSAA’s executive director. She has held high-level positions in Arizona state government, most recently as the lead legislative liaison at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s version of Medicaid based on a managed care model.

Congratulations, Jennifer!  The Junior League of Phoenix wishes you the best as you transition into this new role! Read more on Jennifer’s journey in the Phoenix Business Journal.

Meet Our Members – Deb

What provisional group are you in?

I am in Jess Kirkland’s Provisional Group (she’s awesome and so are my fellow provisionals!) – most of us live in either Arcadia or Central Phoenix.

What prompted you to join the Junior League this year?  

I have been interested in joining the Junior League for awhile, as I’ve heard many great things about the members and admirable work the league does in our community. This year the timing seemed to work out well, as I recently got married in April(!) so now that the wedding planning is behind us, I have more free time and the Junior League seemed like a great fit.

What are you most excited about for the 2015-2016 year?

I’m most excited to meet new people in the league that I can connect with professionally and personally, in hopes to build some meaningful relationships that will stay with me for years to come.

What most interests you about the Junior League of Phoenix?

There are many things about the Junior League of Phoenix interest me – connecting with other like-minded individuals is one area that stands-out. I am also interested in learning more about the community programs, fundraising events and professional development and leadership opportunities. I am already so impressed with the level of professionalism and detail that comes with running such a large group of volunteers.

How long have you lived in Phoenix?

I am an Arizona native, born and raised in Tucson. I came to Phoenix to go to Arizona State University (Go Devils!), and have been here ever since, going on 13 years now. I love it here and have found that Phoenix is really “home”.

What is your favorite Phoenix restaurant/hot spot?

Too many to count! Living in Arcadia, my husband and I often frequent the restaurants in our area – especially the ones we can walk to. Some current favorites: the VIG (especially on Sundays with live music!), LGO, Postino, Windsor, Federal Pizza and Chelsea’s Kitchen.

What is your favorite touristy thing to do in Arizona?

We love walking to the Vincent’s Farmers Market on Saturdays – delicious food (pasta with fresh veggies made on the spot!), champagne, people watching, fun shopping and just a perfect way to kick off the weekend.

What is one passion or hobby you enjoy outside of the League?

Traveling! Nothing I love more in the world than visiting new places and experiencing adventures while traveling. Some favorites – a 2-day trek and elephant ride through the Thailand jungle, visiting inner city schools in Jamaica, cave snorkeling in Tulum, night swimming with Manta Rays in Hawaii, zip-lining in Costa Rica, and waterfall-repelling in Puerto Vallarta. Incredible memories!

What is your biggest superpower?

My biggest superpower is what I do every day – making a difference in the lives of patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I do fundraising for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and work with our  corporate partners to raise funds for us through sponsorships and cause-marketing campaigns. I love what I do – not only working with our great sponsors but being able to raise funds for such a worthy cause is truly rewarding. Our patients have the real superpowers –  they are full of so much hope and gratitude despite what they are going through. But to know that I can help in even a small way is the biggest superpower I could ask for. J

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Meet Our Members – Ryan

How long you’ve been an active member in the League and what committee are you on? 

This is my 2nd year active, both of which I’ve spent on ROCKETS. 

What made you want to become a member of the Junior League of Phoenix? 

I had some friends tell me about it after I had asked if they knew any local charities I could get involved in. I knew it would be a great way to meet other women that shared my passion for charity and to give back to the community.

What is your favorite League event/activity and why? 

My favorite league activity is working First Friday’s with my ROCKETS committee. I love the feeling of teaching kids something new and valuable every First Friday, while having fun at the same time. I love getting great feedback from the parents on how much their children enjoy JLP’s First Friday’s at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. IMG_0768

Outside of the League, how do you pass your time? 

I work full time, enjoy traveling and spending time with my fiance, Jay and pup, Bo.

How long have you lived in the Valley and what do you love best about it? 

I’m a native – I was born in Phoenix. I love that 8-9 months out of the year, the weather is perfect and I always have an unlimited amount of options of things to do.

What are your future goals, League and otherwise?

My future goals include becoming a JLP sustainer in years to come, marrying my best friend next year and growing a family in the valley I grew up in. I hope to make an impact on the community and spread the importance of giving back.

by, Tammy Griffin