4th Annual Virginia Leadership Summit: Through the Eyes of a New Member

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On November 2, the Junior League of Northern Virginia hosted the 4th Annual Virginia Summit, an event that brought together Junior League members from the 8th Virginia Leagues and surrounding areas for enlightening and empowering discussions surrounding leadership. This year, the theme was “Transformational Leadership: Inspire and Motivate!” and JLNVB was proud to send 6 members to represent our JLNVB at the summit.

New Member Tracey Buyrn was one of the JLNVB members who attended. Today on the blog  she shares about her experience and a few things she learned at the summit.

As new members we are excited about learning more about Junior League and all the things we can do to help make the communities we live and work in a better place. Some of us may be asking, “What have I gotten into?” We know the Junior League is an organization of women committed to professional and personal development as well as friendship. In an effort to learn more about the League, I sat out on an adventure with a few fellow Junior Leaguers and attended the 4th Annual Leadership Summit.

Here are a few things I learned at the summit!

1) We all need personal vision and mission statements.

We all have goals and we all have big dreams for our lives, but at the end of the day do you feel your vision is cut out before you? Personal Coach and fellow Junior Leaguer Tracy Prabhu challenged us to think about what we want to be known for in the future. We know it is important for organizations and companies to have vision statements and strategic plans, but what about yours? What is your personal strategic vision and mission, and how do you implement it?

Not sure what your vision and mission is? Start by asking some questions. What are your core values? What does your ideal life look like? What do you want to be remembered for? Who do you need to feel like your best self? Use those questions to determine your vision. One example of a vision statement could be: To leave a lasting impact on others by inspiring them to have the courage to develop their best selves. To create the mission and put action into it. What are you doing now to see your vision come to life? Start with where you are today, and create a vision of where you want to be. Develop your mission!



2) How to create a 30-second elevator pitch of why you are in JLNVB.

As a new member of JLNVB, I must admit, I am super excited about all of our initiatives and events and get bummed when I see there is an event I know I can’t attend. I know in my excitement to share about what our League is, I start telling others about what we are doing. My hope is maybe they will want to get involved as well!

Personally, I think JLNVB does a great job of giving prospective members a good idea of what they are getting into and understanding some of our events and requirements—but some leagues may have mistakenly mismatched a recruitment experience with what we are really all about. It is important for prospective members to know we are not a social club, a direct service organization or a sorority.

One of the best ways to get others excited about what the League is doing is developing a 30-second elevator pitch. Take a second and think about each of these statements:

The Junior League is….
I joined because……..
This year we are working on……
You might know some of the work we do in the community such as…..

Need an example of an elevator pitch? Here is mine:
JLNVB is a diverse group of women committed to leadership and service to help make their communities a better place. I joined because I believe in the volunteerism spirit while growing personally and professionally. This year, we are working on important events with the schools in our community to help make school a place where children want to be and teach children the importance of giving back to their community as well. We also help bring awareness to social issues. You might know some of our work through programs such as Elevate to Educate, Scavenger Haunt and Little Hands, Big Difference.

When we think about why we joined the League, communicate that to others and have literature, websites and use media outlets that clearly articulate the mission and uniqueness of Junior League, our membership can grow and allow us to do more work to help create a better community.


3) There are many unique and easy ways to raise money for JLNVB!

As the future of JLNVB, it is important for us to remember that the work we do cannot be done without the funds to do it. We all know that we can support the JLNVB’s fundraising efforts by buying tickets to fundraising events or making a donation to the annual fund, but did you know you can support the League’s fundraising efforts simply by shopping on Amazon? You can do this by making sure you are using Amazon Smile! AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. If you don’t have this set up yet, just go to smile.amazon.com to get started and select the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach as your charity of choice. Many of us are using Amazon anyway so this is an awesome way to support our League without even thinking about it! This is especially good to remember at this time of the year when many of us are online shopping for the holidays!


4) Junior League is a huge network of women and there are countless opportunities to get to know others!

As a New Member, attending the Virginia League Summit was a great introduction to the vast network that is the Junior League. Junior League is much more than just our league. Junior League is a huge organization of tens of thousands of women, from all different backgrounds. We can all learn something from each other, and we can all grow and create change for good in our communities when we work together. It was wonderful to meet women from all over the Virginia. I had the chance to see and hear how they run their leagues and get ideas for ours!