Leadership Through Governance

Ever wondered what it takes to be on the board of a nonprofit? Want to gain leadership skills that allow you success on a nonprofit board? Then be sure to sign up for the NYJL’s Nonprofit Boards Clearinghouse taking place this spring.

Since 1992, over a 1,000 men and women have participated in this enriching workshop. Topics include board roles and responsibilities, monitoring financial policies, understanding legal responsibilities, developing strategic plans, and effective leadership skills. Participate in interactive and engaging case studies, lectures, group exercises, and panel discussions and have the opportunity to interact with some of the over 90 nonprofit organizations who recruit candidates for their boards from course alumni.

Interested in being a part of this enriching program? Register for either the Accelerated or Multi-Night course option available during the spring.

The New Year Brings a Newly Graduated Class of Provisionals

On Wednesday, January 10, the New York Junior League hosted the 21st Provisional Graduation, a ceremony to celebrate all the newly completed Provisionals, who had been completed their training during Fall 2017.  

NYJL President Suzanne Manning addressed the 186 women in the graduating class, who were moving from provisional to active status starting in January 2018.

There was a tremendous amount of excitement throughout the evening from Management Council down to Co-Chairs and Committee Members. Rachel Geringer-Dunn, Provisional Training Co-Chair, beamed of this year’s graduating class.  

The Fall 2017 class of Provisional volunteers is focused, hard-working, and incredibly dedicated to the mission and efforts of the New York Junior League. They have been so eager to become Active members and we are thrilled to support this next step in their Junior League volunteer careers!

As in years past, each Provisional Group elected a member from each group, who best exemplifies the ideal New York Junior League volunteer, to receive the NYJL’s Provisional On The Move award. This years’ Provisional On The Moves were:  Lana Zuaiter, Kayla Cluff, Olivia Brittingham, Nikki Tuck, Lauren Goodwin, Charlotte Walters, Kate Miguel, Amanda Peed, Callie Abernathy, Tia Davis, Rachael Crumbliss, and Sierra Leighty. In June 2018, Suzanne Manning will be treating each of these women to a special honorary dinner as congratulations for receiving this award.  

The evening was a smashing success and fun was had by all that attended the graduation ceremony. We look forward to the work and dedication each of the new active volunteers will bring to the NYJL!  

Instead in learning more about the NYJL or know someone who would be a great NYJL volunteer? Register for one of the upcoming new volunteer orientations, where attendees will learn more about the League and how you can get involved!

Volunteers Strengthen Their Communication Skills

In a time where communication skills are more important than ever, we have an opportunity to be more effective communicators.  We are able to modify our style to convey a clear message via phone, email, in person or social media. At the New York Junior League, volunteers build and maintain relationships through enhanced teamwork that trains us to become better communicators.

Left to right: VET Co-chair: Derry Wilkens; Volunteers: Kasey Hayden, Amy Carpenter, Sarah Wen; Speaker: Manendra Bhugra, Manager of Learning and Development at CCA Inc.; Volunteer: Lis Maggi; VET Co-chair: Michelle LeNoach.

During the recent Volunteer Education & Training (VET), Strengthening Communication skills, our guest speaker, Manendra Bhugra, CCA’s Manager of Leading & Development shared tips on effective communication. She emphasized the importance of active listening while interacting with others.

As active listeners, she presented on how we should consciously be aware of these filters: attitudes, experiences, and the emotional state that revolves around the speaker. The volunteers participated in a fun experiment based on active listening; in a circle, volunteers passed a paper clip from one to another from right to left every time they heard the word “right” and “left.” At the end, they realized they were not listening actively since their main focus was the words right and left and not the content of the story.

Throughout the presentation, volunteers interacted with each other in small groups and talked about how they deal with challenging conversations. Manendra advised volunteers to redirect the conversation to find a solution whenever dealing with a difficult conversation. The technique is to turn on the H.E.A.T (Hear, Empathize, Ask questions, and Take responsibility).

The presentation concluded with the importance of communicating respect, valuing individual differences and creating a feedback culture. At the New York Junior League and in the communities we work, giving and receiving feedback is what makes us better communicators.

Mark your calendars for the first VET of 2018! Taking place on January 29, volunteers will learn about the responsibilities and commitments of this leadership role and the application, timeline and process for becoming an NYJL co-chair.

Creating the Next Generation of NYJL Leaders

Over the coming year, first time committee co-chairs will participate in a series of trainings aimed at helping them become stronger leaders both in their committees and the League at large. The focus of the recent fall training was, “The Ideal NYJL Leader,” where co-chairs had the opportunity to hear from current and past NYJL leaders on how to be an effective leader.

Respect, open communication, passion, encouragement were qualities that were central to many of the sessions, as several speakers stressed the importance of collaboration and raising a hand when opportunities present themselves or when extra support is needed.

In the afternoon, volunteers participated in a training workshop led by Diana Ng, Senior Director, Global People & Organizational Development at Tapestry. During the session, co-chairs learned how to effectively delegate and how to build interpersonal relationships. In addition, volunteers identified their primary leadership style by reflecting on their own strengths and weaknesses. Following the activity, co-chairs recognized that having this self-awareness and awareness of other people’s styles is key component of having a strong team.

As Serra Eken, past Executive Vice President noted, the NYJL’s structure encourages and promotes women into leadership roles. Jennifer Wiese, Communications & Strategy Senior Council Head, also noted, every woman who joins the NYJL is a leader in the community, and having the support from the organization and fellow volunteers helps her continuously become a better leader.

Thinking of becoming a co-chair? Be sure to talk with your current co-chairs and raise your hand!

Discussing the Latest in Breast Cancer Research

(Left to right: Ophira Ginsburg, MD, MRCPC; Anna Cantor; Jessica Martineau, MS, CGC; Erika Stallings)

Taking place during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, the recent VET focused on Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness discussing the different backgrounds and methods of detecting and defeating breast cancer.

To better understand how to detect breast cancer, the panel explained the role of a “genetic counselor.” Genetic counselors whoattended the forum from NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center, gave participants a brief lesson how genes and/or mutations are passed on through generations. Certain types of populations that are higher risk for mutations include those of Eastern European, Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Further, the counselors explained BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and who should get tested based on several key risk factors, how to get tested (a blood sample) and how to interpret results and next steps.

Each panelist discussed their respective backgrounds with breast cancer. Erika Stallings, a NYJL volunteer, shared her personal experience with BRCA, why she decided to get tested and the steps she took once she found out she was positive. Over the course of the event, the questions from volunteers in attendance were thoughtful and the panelists were very professional, informative and respectful in their responses.

We are honored to be able to annually focus on this topic that continues to impact our community. A special thanks to this year’s contributors, Ophira Ginsburg, Anna Cantor, Jessica Martineau, and Erika Stallings, and those that have supported our efforts to educate NYJL Volunteers in the past too.