What an amazing year we have had! A heartfelt “THANKS!” to each and everyone one of you… your contributions this year have been very much appreciated and we could not have accomplished all that we have without you!
At AJLI’s Annual Conference last week, I sat in a session led by one of our favorite trainers, Vicki Clark. She asked us, “How do you measure whether or not you have had a successful year? Is it by how much money you made from your fundraisers?” We certainly were successful with those! “Is it by how many new members you invited to join?” Our provisional class was one of the largest we have ever graduated! “Is it by how many community/volunteer hours your members served?” Our work for the TAY community and Kids in the Kitchen has been exemplary!
As I was starting to feel pretty confident that JLSD was one of the more “successful” Leagues in the room, she went on to say that while all of these things are important they alone are not what determines whether or not a Junior League has had a successful year. The question she challenged was, “Did you, as a member, develop and did you grow? And further, did you help other women to develop and grow? If the answer is YES, then you had a successful year.”
As I look back over the past two and half years of this journey to JLSD President, I am reminded how much I have grown and truly developed as a leader, as a mentor, as a friend, and as a community partner. The women I have met in the League and in the community have helped open my eyes to the great work we do and the importance that we keep doing what we are doing; training women to be leaders at the table with voices advocating for change. I hope this year has given each of you the opportunity to personally grow and develop more into the leaders you set out to be.
I hope through a culture of kindness, you were able to connect and work with members not only on your committees but also with other councils to best achieve our common goals for the year. I hope you have developed a passion for our mission, one that allows you to make our mission your own. I hope that passion grows and develops throughout your membership… maybe now your passion is to “improve the community,” maybe next it will be for “developing the potential of women” and then focus on “training leaders.” Wherever your passion takes you, I hope that it never fades.
It has been an honor and a joy to serve as your president. I hope over the year I have been able to help support you grow and develop so that you too feel like this year has been a success. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity. It has been an experience that I will treasure for always.
-Alison Bushan, JLSD President 2013-2014