Welcome to the Second Edition of Get to Know JLNVB! This September, we’re featuring the Board of Directors.
Erin Rice, President
How long have you been a member of the Junior League? I joined the Junior League in August 2014. So this is my sixth active year with the JLNVB. At this point, it is somewhat hard to remember how I filled my days without the community and training opportunities offered by the Junior League.
What has been your favorite placement? My favorite placement was Community Vice President. During my time as Community VP, our League was going through the Community Impact Rollout Transformation and, I truly enjoyed guiding our membership as we selected our new initiatives (Children’s Literacy and Women’s Health) and developing impactful programming. This placement required me to work closely with my Chairs and Council members. As a result, I developed powerful bonds with these women that have become some of my closest friends.
What activities, hobbies have kept you busy since quarantine? I always loved home decorating shows and developing visions for the rooms in my house. But I never really had the time to paint or update the decor between kids, work and life in general. However, 2020 has given me that much needed time at home to get these projects done. So far, I have redesigned four rooms in my house – fresh coats of paint and updated decor. And mostly recently, I transformed our guest room into a classroom/play area for my children. They will be starting the year virtually and I wanted them to have the same excitement as they would at school with a new room. Aside from home projects, I have enjoyed getting outside to capitalize on all the beauty in Hampton Roads. Lots of beach visits, nature walks and bike rides have kept my family busy.
What is your favorite non-profit organization outside of Junior League and why? Throughout my time in the Junior League, I have worked with many wonderful non-profit organizations in our area. However, ones that serve our young people are the most rewarding for me. The Suffolk Education Foundation and the Suffolk Literacy Council are two that I give my time outside of the Junior League. A good education and the ability to read can unlock a world of possibility for our children’s future.
Erikka Massie, Executive Vice President
How long have you been a member of the Junior League? I have been a member of the Junior League Norfolk-Virginia Beach for eight years, seven years active.
What has been your favorite placement? For me it is a tie between EVP and New Member Mentor. As EVP, I feel like I’ve learned so much about our League and I’ve had an opportunity to see the League from a completely different perspective. I was a New Member Mentor for two years and I really enjoyed the placement. Working with New Members who are so excited about the league is a lot of fun.
What activities, hobbies have kept you busy since quarantine? Honestly, I’ve been busy with work the entire time, I really wish I had some downtime to pick some hobbies. The one thing, I have tried to really focus on is getting some type of daily physical activity, mostly walking. I visited the First Landing State Park for the first time during quarantine and I really enjoyed it.
What is your favorite non-profit organization outside of Junior League and why? I really like the Food Bank. Food insecurity is one of those things that so many people experience but, we don’t often think about it as an issue or realize how many people are dealing with food insecurity. I really like the backpack program that they have so many children do not get the proper nutrition they need to thrive in school and life in general.
Annamarie Pagel, Executive Vice President-Elect
How long have you been a member of the Junior League? I’ve been a member since 2015. This is my 5th year active.
What has been your favorite placement? My favorite placement was Administrative VP. I greatly enjoy organizing the internal nitty gritty details (and the fact that I could do the vast majority of the work from my couch in my pajamas!)
What activities, hobbies have kept you busy since quarantine? During quarantine, I went into a baking frenzy and taught myself how to bake croissants, donut bagels and apple turnovers. I also gained 12lbs.
(We can all relate and yum. – Courtney T.)
What is your favorite non-profit organization outside of Junior League and why? TRDance in Norfolk. They have a program called Mixed Abilities in Motion that provides dance classes to children with a spectrum of physical disabilities.
Brittany Lavalleur, Secretary
How long have you been a member of the Junior League? I joined the Junior League on Norfolk-Virginia Beach in 2016
What has been your favorite placement? My very first placement as the Assistant Administrative VP was my favorite. That’s hold I really got to understand what goes on in the League and how everything works. I also worked with some awesome ladies on the Administrative Council that year who I’m still friends with today.
What activities, hobbies have kept you busy since quarantine? Since I have children I don’t have hobbies anymore, LOL. However, we have two sets of friends with whom we get together regularly – our COVID-19 bubble, if you will so that our kids can all play and have fun even through most of the activities we used to do aren’t really open/available anymore. We go kayaking, to the beach, on hikes, bike rides, as much as we can to enjoy the outdoors and burn off some energy!
What is your favorite non-profit organization outside of Junior League and why? My favorite nonprofit aside from JLNVB is the one I work for, An Achievable Dream! Since 1992, An Achievable Dream (AAD) has been realizing its vision to bring equity to education by providing opportunities for success in school and in life. Based on the belief that all children can learn and the cycle of poverty, AAD integrates a culture of high-expectations, strong partnerships and an array of research -based strategies into a coherent program that yields significant results in achievement and positive behavior. The focus of the AAD program at all grade levels is that attending college, a trade school, joining the military, or entering the workforce is a desirable and attainable goal. Through a strong partnership with the school district and out partner public schools, AAD bolsters the public school’s strong results by adding opportunities, experiences, and resources intended to level the playing field for socioeconomically disadvantaged students to ensure their success in school, college, and their career. With 821 alumni – 99% of who are currently attending or have completed college, are in the military, or are gainfully employed – AAD has proven that all children regardless of their personal circumstances, can and will succeed if the educational playing field is leveled.
Kerry Stolz, Treasurer
How long have you been a member of the Junior League? I have been a Junior League member since fall 2017 and have only been a member of JLNVB.
What has been your favorite placement? My favorite placement so far is Assistant VP, Fund Development.
What activities, hobbies have kept you busy since quarantine? During quarantine, I have done yardwork and house renovations.
What is your favorite non-profit organization outside of Junior League and why? Delta Gamma Fraternity Foundation is my favorite non-profit because of its balance between both collegiate and community needs-based programming and giving. My favorite part is that a subset of the money raised by the Foundation goes toward collegiate scholarships for fellow sorority sisters who experience difficulty making tuition payments midway through college.
Zoe Hardy, Nominating Chair
How long have you been a member of the Junior League? This is my 6th year active.
What has been your favorite placement? I think I would have to say my current placement as Nominating Chair. This is my second year serving as the Nominating Chair and it’s been an honor to serve on the board for the past two years and see the potential and growth of our organization’s leaders from the perspective of the Nominating Committee.
What activities, hobbies have kept you busy since quarantine? I’ve been baking and cooking a ton! I was already a pretty avid baker and cook but, staying home has given me the time to do some of the more time-intensive things like cookie decorating, candying making and making homemade pasta. Plus, we’ve been able to make good use of our meat smoker. In addition, I’ve been reading a lot more than I usually do.
What is your favorite non-profit organization outside of Junior League and why? In addition to serving on the board of JLNVB, I serve on the Emerging Leaders Board for WHRO, the local public media station. We’re a group of young professionals working to promote the content and mission of public media to the younger generations! I grew up on the public media so it’s always been a part of my life and it’s been so exciting to be able to share the love with others in our community.
Shanon Miller, Board Member-At-Large
How long have you been a member of the Junior League? This is my 5th year active.
What has been your favorite placement? I really enjoyed all of my time on the Community Council working on the Community Impact Rollout and implementation and getting to dive into all of the issues that affect Hampton Roads and ways the JL can help.
What activities, hobbies have kept you busy since quarantine? I have been absolutely slammed with work during the quarantine so between that and keeping my one year old alive there hasn’t been a lot of extra time for hobbies but, I did manage to get a lot of yard work done and have purged a lot of excess stuff from our house.
What is your favorite non-profit organization outside of Junior League and why? My husband and I love going to walk around Colonial Williamsburg so that is probably the non-profit that I get the most from. I also love to support my church, various animal rescues, and the Phi Mu Foundation.
Hanan Mitry, Board Member-At-Large, Sustainer
How long have you been a member of the Junior League? My provisional year was in 2007.
What has been your favorite placement? My biggest most exciting role was as President that was a great experience in leadership. It certainly had the highest highs but it also had some of the biggest challenges. I also got a lot of satisfaction as a sustaining advisor to the Leadership Initiatives Committee, which was a lot of fun.
What activities, hobbies have kept you busy since quarantine? I have head to step up my outdoor exercise game for sure. I not take a lot of walks and, I purchased a bike and have begun biking.
What is your favorite non-profit organization outside of Junior League and why? I have two that are important to me: St Mary’s Home and United Way. St Mary’s Home, I learned about via my time as an Active and have served on their Auxiliary Board for a year. They are a wonderful group that serves severely handicapped children and young adults. My favorite aspect of the United Way is how they focus on people that are living on the edge – basically those individuals who are living paycheck to paycheck or one illness away from homelessness.