Over the course of the last year, I’ve been able to watch, listen and learn. These months have given me perspective on where the Junior League of Gainesville – Hall County has been, where it is headed, and wrap my head around being your President. I’m asked almost weekly if I’m “ready” to hit the ground running, if I know what I want to do or accomplish, and if I am “ready.” The first and last questions are easy to answer. Hits the ground running? No, I am more of a stroller rather than a runner. Am I ready? Ha, I’m as ready to be your President as I was at becoming a parent – not very. My oldest child is 6 years old, and we have both survived this far. So I’m pretty confident that we all shall survive, and THRIVE this year.
I’ve had a harder time putting words together to answer the second question, and then during the board retreat, in the sitting room of The Tumlin House, it all came together. I had the opportunity to get to know our board on a personal level. Nine diverse women who are coming together to guide our organization that empowers and invest in woman, of all ages, to reach their fullest potential. Reflecting on the weekend, a lightbulb went off – pour into each other. We need to pour into each other. All of the good work that we do for our community is wonderful, but it is second to what we pour into each other. Junior League isn’t just about our projects, how much money we raise, or even our membership status. It is about being a part of a strong network of women who inspire each other to be better individuals and lead with compassion. When we encourage each other, get to know one another, when we cause each other to change the way we think, when we challenge the status quo, and when we align to form solutions, we have poured into each other – only then will our league thrive.
P – Passion
O – Obligation
U – Unity
R – Resilient
We are over 300 women strong, and all of us have one thing in common – our imperfection. As this year unfolds, I encourage all of us to acknowledge our own imperfections first and the imperfections of our fellow members second – if at all. Then pour what you have to offer into a fellow member; and most importantly, be ready to receive what your fellow member must pour into you. We are a powerhouse of dedicated, professional, well-educated women who have much to give to our community, and even more to give to each other. I challenge you all to recognize the power we have together. This year, I hope that no matter how different we may be as individuals, we strengthen our skills to have tolerance, acceptance and find the value in others. However big our differences may be, there is far more that unites us than divides us. That unconditional positive regard for everyone, the ability to stay at the table to listen, and respect the differences; and through those experiences, expand our own hearts. I hope that we continue to craft our league into what it needs to be.
I would like to thank all of the Sustainers who continue on this journey with us and the Active members who have recommitted for another year. Our Sustainers are our history, but we don’t want them to remain in the past! We are looking forward to re-engaging and reinvigorating our Sustainer base this year and hope to see many of you at upcoming meetings and events.
As your President for the 2018-19 League year, I am honored to serve all of you. We have an exceptional legacy to serve as our foundation, as we work to build a better League and a better Gainesville – Hall County.
The Junior League of Gainesville-Hall County