Leadership Day is a smashing success!

Great leaders are created, and the New York Junior League takes tremendous pride in training and developing its volunteers.

Leadership Day was created to do just that: to identify up and coming leaders and cultivate their talents. This year’s Leadership Day was attended by 57 volunteers identified by their committee chairs as rising leaders within the NYJL. Attendees spent the day learning about leadership opportunities within the League and hearing from inspirational speakers and thought leaders.

The day started with a talk called “Stepping Into Your Power” by Gail Blanke, esteemed executive coach, and creator of Lifedesigns. She drew the attendees in through an analogy by explaining that no one should be afraid to let go of one thing and reach for the next, as would a trapeze artist; the space between the trapezes is where ‘life is lived.” She also challenged each attendee to “throw away 50 things” that are just taking up useless space in their lives.

“I loved the way the group connected during Gail’s address,” said one attendee. “When we were sharing personal experiences, songs, etc., I felt that a group of women who did not necessarily know each other before were able to empathize with one another.”

After lunch, the New York Junior League Past Presidents Panel was a highlight of the day. President Suzanne Manning moderated the panel which included Past Presidents Peggy Anne Dineen (1996-1998), Lynn Quinn (1998-2000), Lisa Hathaway Stella (2010-2012) and Fiona Grant Small (2012-2014).

The Past Presidents shared stories of their first committees, the most inspiring moments of their tenures, as well as little known facts about the New York Junior League. Across the board, these women were humbled to have been elected to head an organization such a diverse, talented and dedicated group of volunteers.

The afternoon keynote, Kate Ward, Editor-In-Chief of Bustle.com, offered insights that were easily transferable to work on committees at the League. During her talk, “What I Learned As a Millennial Boss,” Kate reminded attendees that as a leader, it’s important not to be afraid to admit that you don’t know something, and to be open to advice from people more junior than you.

“Hearing Ms. Ward’s perspective on leadership was helpful – especially given the audience was comprised of millennials,” said one attendee. “It was a unique perspective on leadership style that I hadn’t heard before.”

In addition to the speakers, volunteers also learned about the role of the Annual Fund as well as the chair selection and nominating processes. The day ended with a reception and Prosecco toast led by NYJL President Suzanne Manning.

Said one attendee, “I thought Leadership Day was great. I did not know what to expect going in and was blown away by how well-planned the day was. I walked away feeling grateful to have been selected to participate.”

Strengthening the families of the greater New York area.

The New York Junior League is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion at the New York Junior League.

We welcome all women who value our mission. We are committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations, and communities.


New York Junior League
130 East 80th Street, New York, NY 10075
Phone: 212.288.6220 | Fax: 646.390.6047 | Email: info@nyjl.org

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