April – President’s Perspective

In January, I referenced a meme that said: if you were born in the 80s, raised in the 90s and made it to 2020… you have lived in four different decades, two different centuries and two different millenniums… and you’re not even 40 yet. There is another meme floating around that says: I can’t believe I’ve lived in six different decades: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s, MARCH. 
April is here! These are difficult times and we are trying to meet our members where they are. I understand that some of you are feeling overwhelmed with the new expectations placed on you from a work/home perspective (which now, for most, is the same place!) and I hope you know that the League and our members are here to support you. There are members who are eager for normalcy and looking for more active ways to engage with each other and the community. I encourage you to continue to build relationships with members by checking-in virtually or through old-fashioned snail mail. I also invite you to check out our website for the various ways you can impact the community as a League member and volunteer: Community Outreach
A huge “thank you” to our Community Impact Council for gathering these community needs and to our Communications Council for organizing and communicating them with members. We are doing the best we can and making decisions day-by-day in these unprecedented times. I want to continue to encourage each of you to reach out to me and to Board and Management Team members with any questions or concerns you may have. Because the COVID-19 crisis is evolving, so is our decision-making and we appreciate your input.
Unfortunately, we do not have a set plan for the future. Like many of you, I am looking forward to learning how our summer and the new League year will look. I know President-Elect Katie Triplett, Executive Vice President-Elect Jessica Sock and incoming Executive Vice President-Elect Alysia Radicia  will continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic and make decisions in the best interest of the health of our members and the community. As soon as there is guidance from the CDC, they will be sure to communicate a plan for the summer. 
Despite being at home, and away from each other in-person, we have still all been very busy!
The newly formed Sustainer Engagement Committee, led by Lisa Buckentine, recently held their first meeting to discuss plans for 2020-2021 engagement events and ways to recognize and interact with our new and existing Sustainers. Learn more about the Sustainer Engagement Committee and the importance of Sustainers to the Junior League of Omaha in the recent blog post. If you are a Sustainer and want to get more involved right away reach out to sustainerengagement@jlomaha.org.
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee, led by Andrea Padilla-Rosas and Stephanie Kidd, is excited to announce a few upcoming events this spring. The book chosen for the spring D&I book club is White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo. The book club will be held via Zoom before the May 12 GMM. Be on the lookout for more details in the Hotsheet.
Placement, chaired by Jen Teusink, is working diligently to ensure that all returning members have a placement within the League for 2020-2021. Placements will be communicated with all members by the end of April and you will have an opportunity to begin gearing up with your new committees virtually! 
The Nominating Committee presented a fantastic slate to the general membership and it was passed in March. Congratulations to the incoming Board and Management Members! We are lucky to have such talent in our future! You can view the 2020-2021 Board, Management and Nominating Teams here!
Although we are not meeting formally for General Membership Meetings, we are distributing information in hopes to keep members informed. The May GMM will consist of a slide deck similar to April with an opportunity to “sign-in” via Google Form. 
In addition to the slides and sign-in that you will receive in your email, there will be a virtual meeting opportunity held on May 12, 2020, at 7 p.m. for Active and New Members. We will gather in the same groups as our January Neighborhood Meetings. You will receive information from your facilitator in the upcoming weeks. If you are a Sustainer, and would like to join a virtual Neighborhood Meeting, please reach out to me at president@jlomaha.org! Do not forget to check your digital inbox for the Annual Meeting Program in May to celebrate our members and our year!
Although this is not the way we all thought we would end the 2019-2020 year, this experience has reminded me of the amazing women and dedicated leaders we have within our League. The Management Team met yesterday, virtually, for a brainstorming session on how we can continue to end this year on a strong note. Be on the lookout for an email with opportunities for all members to get involved this year. 
Thank you to everyone for your patience and support during this pandemic. I know it has not been easy and I look forward to a day, hopefully soon, when we are all together again!
Sending healthy, happy and sane wishes your way!
Kerri Palmesano

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