Junior League of Omaha Virtual Training

The Junior League of Omaha is a training organization first and foremost. Since we can’t be together IRL, the training committee put together a list of (mostly free) digital resources. While tie-dying sweatsuits and making your own sourdough starter are worthy endeavors, we might be social distancing for a long time. Please comment and share anything you’ve learned or DIY successes during this time! 

Community

Did you know that even before the pandemic, AJLI has tons of resources on their site? To access their library of content available to Members, log in to jlomaha.org. In the top right click on AJLI. This will take you to the AJLI website as a logged-in Junior League member. Beyond COVID-19 resources, you can find past webinars, materials from past AJLI trainings and conferences, self-paced online courses, and more. They’ve also added a bunch of COVID-19 specific resources, such as webinars about serving communities from a distance and leading teams virtually. 

If you want to further your nonprofit knowledge, take a look at nonprofitready.org and join for free. They’ve curated over 500 free online courses, videos, and downloadable guides to support the most common nonprofit jobs including: Fundraising, Grant Writing, Leadership, Governance, Accounting and Finance, Operations, Marketing and Communications, Volunteer Engagement, and Program Management.

With the Nebraska primary election around the corner on May 12, and politics on the mind, She Should Run is an excellent resource to get more women elected and involved in policy. Check out their Road to Run 2020 Virtual Series.

Continued Education

Harvard is offering the opportunity to audit select digital courses and webinars. Topics range from science and math to humanities and current events. There’s a webinar on Nonprofit Accounting and Financial Statements that looks like a great intro to nonprofit finances (looking at you, incoming treasurers!). 

Coursera is a collection of digital courses offered by a huge variety of educational institutions and has almost 2,000 free online courses. Some interesting courses we saw: The Arts and Science of Relationships: Understanding Human Needs, through the University of Toronto, Stanford Introduction to Food and Health, and Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization

Udemy is another online learning platform with tons of Free Courses. Take a look at Becoming a Service Leader.

Interested in learning the basics of software development, design, business, photography, or web development? New users get a free month on Lynda.com.

Try Free Fridays at General Assembly. Topics include data, marketing, career development, coding, UX design, and business.

Buddy up and split the cost of the Buy One Share One promotion on Masterclass. Learn Creativity and Leadership with Anna Wintour, Entrepreneurship with Spanx founder, Sara Blakely, and many other courses with masters of their fields.

There are so many free resources for schools out there, but a lot of the content is helpful beyond childhood education.

Money Moves

Sophia Amoruso founded Girlboss a few years ago, and it’s an excellent resource for all things branding and professional development. Given that we’re in SUCH an uncertain time, they’ve rounded up some timely links and articles called Girlboss Guide to Pivoting Like a Pro.

By subscribing to the Ladies Get Paid Institute for Higher Earning, you’ll get an all-access pass to over 30 hours of expert content, with new courses added weekly, designed to help you advance in your career, manage your money and grow your wealth. Try a 30 Day FREE trial with code: 30DAYSFREE

New to investing? Consider joining Ellevest, which guides women through finances to level the playing field. From their site, “86% of Investment Advisors Are Men, With an Average Age of 50+. So the “gender-neutral” investment industry defaults to men’s salaries, career paths, preferences and lifespans. That’s not good enough. So, we’re changing the game.” Even if you don’t want to commit now, follow Ellevest and founder Sallie Krawcheck on Instagram for helpful money tips with women’s interests in mind.

Here are 5 podcasts for professional development and 10 career podcasts for your listening pleasure. We also love Second Life, Women at Work, and Gallup Theme Thursdays.

Arts & Entertainment

Who remembers places? While we can’t travel, we can explore online. Here are 10 Virtual Experiences in the State of Nebraska. Architecture geeks and interior design lovers can enjoy Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Visits. Joslyn Museum is offering Art From Afar. Check out this virtual tour of the British Library’s virtual exhibit of “Harry Potter: A History of Magic.” Fun fact: the first book came out 23 years ago this coming June.

Take guitar or ukulele lessons. Learn piano. Lin-Manuel Miranda announced free theater classes. Moma is offering free art courses through Coursera as well. If that’s too intense, get out your finest gel pens and enjoy some Manolo Blanik Coloring Sheets.

Mind & Body

Beachbody has a free 14-day trial right now.

Cloud 9 has a free 90-day trial of meditation resources. 

JCC in Omaha is streaming free fitness classes

Some of Todd Smith’s trainers are posting some free at home workouts.

Sanvello is an app offering free premium access during the COVID-19 crisis. You’ll find tools like meditations, mood trackers, and guided journeys to help navigate the complicated world of mental health.

We understand that time is a luxury that not everyone enjoys, and even with potential extra time, not everyone is feeling productive or ambitious right now. That’s okay! No matter what your situation is, however you’re coping, you’re doing the best you can. The training committee just wanted to provide some useful content to our fellow members.

We are in this together.

Sara Huse, Training Coordinator

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
President 
2019-2020

Sustainer Engagement

Did you know that Sustaining Members make up almost 60% of The Junior League of Omaha’s total membership of 682 members? Sustainers are the true backbone of our organization, providing support in a variety of ways. Whether it is offering advice and guidance to the Board, financially supporting a fundraiser, or training a group of members on a professional or personal skill, Sustainer support is an integral piece of JLO’s ongoing success.

Data from 2019-2020 League Membership

One of the strategic priorities going into the 2020-2021 League year is to provide additional quality opportunities for Sustaining members to connect with the organization and with each other. We know this membership group is looking for unique and varying ways to engage, including through mentoring, community service, socials, providing guidance and advice, and training.

Sustainers spoke… and we listened! The Junior League of Omaha has formed a NEW group to prioritize these efforts. The Sustainer Engagement Committee (SEC) will sit on the Management Team and be responsible for planning and implementing engagement opportunities. The committee leaders will collaborate closely with the president and Management Team to bridge the gap between New and Active Members and Sustainers. Current Board Member-at-Large Lisa Buckentine was selected this month to serve as chair for 2020-2021. Lisa is excited for next year and says, “We have so many wonderful Sustainers looking to engage more with our Active and New Members. I believe that this committee can provide opportunities for more Sustainers to share their thoughts, talents and time with the League!”

Stay tuned for more exciting news about Sustainer engagement!

Member-at-Large Lisa Buckentine

Member Spotlight – Ashley Rich

Learn more about Ashley Rich, Corresponding Secretary  

Ashley is originally from Milwaukee, WI, and moved to Omaha 12 years ago. She joined the League a few years after moving here, because she has always had an interest in volunteering and was looking for a way to meet new friends. 

Rich’s and her husband Brandon have been married for six years and together for 14. Growing up, Ashley competed in pageants and met Brandon 16 years ago because of it. They became friends as they both worked for the pageant and dated long distance while they finished college before Ashley moved to Omaha. 

Being active is one of Ashley’s passions. She teaches Pure Barre classes and also loves indoor cycling and running. She has run seven half marathons and one full marathon. 

Traveling is one of Ashley and her husband’s favorite things to do. Their favorite place to travel to is St. Maarten, but some of their favorite things that they have done on vacation were attending the French Open in Paris and hiking in Cinque Terre. 

Besides Ashley and her husband, they have a three year-old son named Preston who loves swimming, reading and playing with trains. Back in November they welcomed their second baby boy, Fordham Haskell. On the weekends you can find they playing at the park or museum. They also have two maltipoos, Giavanna and Madison. 

President’s Perspective – February 2020

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
February was busy,
And lots of fun, too! 
 
As I mentioned last month, the League has many resolutions and goals for 2020. The Strategic Task Force, led by President-Elect Katie Triplett, met in February to finalize the draft of the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. We are very excited about the new things coming for our League! Once the plan is approved, we will be sure to share it with all of our members. 
 
Restructuring took place in February, thanks to the help of Placement Chair Jen Teusink. We have many exciting placements for Active Members next year! We are also excited to announce the approval of the Sustainer Engagement Committee, which will gear up this spring and provide opportunities for Sustainers all year long. This committee will sit on the Management Team and will be chaired by current Member-at-Large Lisa Buckentine.  
 
A huge thank you goes to Corresponding Secretary Ashley Rich for the support during this busy time of year as we begin to wrap up 2019-2020 and prepare for 2020-2021. If you have not yet paid your dues, or want to learn more about your membership options, please reach out directly to Ashley at secretary@jlomaha.org. She can also assist you with payment options and payment plans as well. 

Speaking of membership options, New Member recruitment is up and running! We hope you will consider spreading the word to any potential New Members! Informational sessions will take place this spring. New Member Committee Vice Chair Courtney Kastalic is eager to welcome another group of amazing leaders to our community. If you have someone you would like us to connect with, please send her name to join@jlomaha.org!

In hopes to communicate with our growing membership, President-Elect Katie Triplett  and I will be hosting informal conversations this spring as well. Please join us at one of the following “Convo’s with Katie and Kerri” to provide feedback, bring suggestions and ask questions. RSVP on Digital Cheetah: Thursday, March 26 – 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., HQ and Tuesday, April 14 – post GMM, Field Club of Omaha. As we move out of the cold month of February and into the (hopefully) warmer spring weather, don’t forget to set aside your donations for Bargain Bash from spring cleaning! The committee would greatly appreciate marking the bags/boxes of items as specifically as possible.

President Kerri Palmesano

Junior League of Omaha announces new focus area

The Junior League of Omaha wrapped up the year and the decade with the announcement of an exciting new focus area: hunger and access to healthy foods. On December 2, the Board of Directors decided on this focus area after assessing criteria including membership interest, opportunity in the community to make an impact, sustainability, variety of volunteer opportunities and potential barriers. 

The decision comes as a result of a tireless process led by the Community Research and Development (CRaD) committee. They assessed needs in the Omaha metro in three different areas: hunger and access to healthy foods, abuse of women and children and opportunity youth.

The CRaD committee worked to set up and host around 30 service learning opportunities in these three areas between June and November. Members completed the service learning opportunities and provided valuable feedback which was compiled by the committee. This feedback was critical in making a decision on a new focus area.

“The CRaD team has been working diligently all year to ensure that education and volunteer opportunities were available for members to learn and participate in with the three focus areas. The focus area and research teams have collaborated with local organizations to envision future strategic goals and programming for years to come. We are grateful to have such passionate women involved in this process and for the participation and feedback from all of our membership,” said Emily Barr,| Junior League of Omaha Community Research and Development Chair. 

Building on the impact made over the last 100 years, the Junior League of Omaha is entering this new decade with an exciting area of focus and renewed commitment to voluntarism. 

November President’s Perspective

Happy November! 

I have decided to change up the formatting of the letter this month. Ultimately, my message is that I am extremely thankful for the Junior League and each and every one of our members. Being a member of Omaha’s chapter has brought me wonderful experiences in the community and within our League. It has also introduced me to so many wonderful volunteers, leaders and friends, like you! Thank you for all you do for the League and our community. We are extremely lucky to have you as a member. 

I am . . .

THE 100 YEARS of HISTORY – The Junior League of Omaha has a rich history and continues to evolve as we learn more and grow. Dominique Morgan engaged 18 participants on November 9, in identifying their “why” for being involved in Diversity and Inclusion work, experiencing a deeper understanding of intersectionality, and assessing their power, influence and access.

HEADQUARTERS – Our newly renovated space is almost one year old and I can’t imagine our growing League without it! It is a central zone for members, a gathering space for productivity and learning and a place where so many positive relationships have developed. The renovation that took place last year was able to provide us with two meeting spaces that are often both being used. Thank you for helping keep our “HQ” such a professional and welcoming place to be.

AWESOME SUSTAINERS – Including our November GMM guest speaker, Wendy Moore. Wendy discussed her experiences with CASA as well as her experience as a foster parent, raising nieces and a nephew. Sustiners, we hope you join us for the holiday social in December! It will take place December 10  at Champions, from 6-8:00 p.m. You can RSVP at hospitality@jlomaha.org

Wendy Moore and Family

NEW MEMBERS – Our growing population of New Members is exciting to see each year. The New Members had planned to join Board and Management for Friendsgiving this month; however, the Omaha weather got in our way! We look forward to seeing as many New Members as possible at the holiday social in December! 

KNOWLEDGE – I am blown away by the amount of knowledge in our League members. We are lucky to have such an intelligent, hard-working, dedicated and enthusiastic members. Not to mention kindness! Thank you for taking the theme this year and throwing kindness like confetti. Continue to show appreciation to those around you as we move into the busy holiday season! 

FOUNDATION – We are so grateful for the Foundation. President Cathi Arnold attended our October GMM and presented us with a check for $14,000…their largest donation to date! Thank you to all of the members of the Foundation and all those that contribute to the Foundation. 

UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITY – I am always fascinated by the various opportunities the League has to offer! A plethora of training and social events are on the calendar in addition to book clubs and affinity groups. As we move into the second semester of our League year, I encourage all members to look at how you might get involved with the League!

LEAGUE FOCUS & IMPACT – The Community Research and Development Committee has spent the last year researching our three focus areas. The Board of Directors will determine the next focus area with the help of all the data collected throughout this League year and communicate that to everyone in December. The three focus areas have all been identified as needs in Omaha and I am certain the Junior League of Omaha will have great impact regardless of what focus area we start with. 

Kerri Palmesano, President

Junior League of Omaha Celebrates 100 Years

The 100th anniversary of the Junior League of Omaha is upon us, and the League has planned two events to mark this special occasion. The 100th Anniversary Celebratory Luncheon was held on March 15, at the Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District, and the 100th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Cocktail Reception will be on May 3, at the Joslyn Art Museum. These two events are truly “A Celebration of the Junior League of Omaha’s Past, Present and Future.”

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Bethany Banister and Patricia Stillmock are the co-chairs of the 100th Anniversary committee, and they have been creating and executing the plans that surround the festivities for nearly three years. When asked how the history of the League influenced their preparations, they responded, “The team of historians and our committee did an amazing job looking into the history of the League, and it inspired all aspects of our planning.” The Joslyn Art Museum, for example, not only has historical connections to the Junior League, but the architecture of the building dates back to around the same time as the Junior League of Omaha’s establishment.

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A great deal of time has been spent on making the 100th anniversary celebrations special, and this includes research into the past, as well as interviews with Sustainers and past members of the League. In addition to studying the records at Junior League of Omaha headquarters, the committee has worked with the Omaha World-Herald, the Durham Museum, and the Douglas County Historical Society to locate anecdotes, photos, and stories from the past. Sustainers have been generous with sharing their archives, and Banister and Stillmock agreed that these interactions have been “the most fun and rewarding part of this journey.”

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Highlights from the luncheon include guest speaker, Yesterday’s Lady, Sue McLain, who shared the history of the little black dress. A ten thousand dollar gift was made to The Rose Theater, an organization with whom the Junior League of Omaha has a strong history. And lastly, the anniversary video debuted an interview with the oldest living Junior League of Omaha Past President, who also attended the event!

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As we enjoy these special events, we remember the theme: A Celebration of the Junior League of Omaha’s Past, Present and Future. Bethany and Patricia hope that the “League continues to be a strong organization that teaches women how to be great volunteers while making great friendships.”  

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New Learning and Networking through Junior League Training Opportunities

The Junior League Training Committee is halfway through their 2018/2019 event calendar, but far from finished with offering exciting trainings. I recently sat down with Training Chair, Mary Burnett, to recap the events held in the fall and see what exciting events they have coming this spring.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the Training Committee and the committee’s role in the Junior League?

A: I always go back to the fact that the Junior League is first and foremost a training organization. We like to offer a combination of events that are focused on training women to be leaders in professional and volunteering roles, as well as trainings that offer a chance for League members to learn a fun new skill and network with other League women. This year we’ve already held trainings on financial acumen, parliamentary procedure, Google Drive, CPR/First Aid, cooking classes, mending clothes, and decorating ornaments with kids!

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Parliamentary Procedure training prepared these leaders for future meetings.

Q: How do you and your committee members come up with the types of training events offered? How many do you try to schedule in a year?

A: We use recommendations from multiple sources. We look at annual survey results, talk with League membership, and at the January General Membership Meeting we actually did live polling to help pick some events to plan for the spring. Since our committee has grown, we try to have each coordinator plan one or two events. This year we will have completed twelve trainings by May!

knife skills
League members sharpen skills.

Q: What events do you have coming up this spring that you’d like our membership to be aware of?

A: We are super excited about the events this spring. Our big finale is going to be our “Margaritas and Mulligans” event on May 19. This will include a mini golf training and then a sign-up for a Nine-Hole Scramble. We are opening up this training to Sustainers as well. Also based on the live polling from the January General Membership Meeting, we are going to do a training on wine (that was by far the most popular choice) and meditation. “Meditation and Mimosas” will be held on March 8 and March 23. Mark your calendars! We also have one more event that we will plan for April that is TBD! So keep your eyes posted on the Hot Sheet and Facebook for updates.

women's finance
Growing financially savvy through Women’s Finance Training.

Recruitment for next year’s New Member group begins in February. For more information about joining the Junior League of Omaha, visit https://www.jlomaha.org/join-us/.  

Big Red Block Party Celebrates Husker Spirit

This year, the Junior League of Omaha’s Big Red Block Party fundraiser hosted 108 people at the Scott Conference Center. The silent auction was a favorite among attendees with 62 fun, unique packages with a wide range of starting bids, appropriate for all spend levels! Attendees also enjoyed a delicious buffet with rotating, heavy appetizers, two bars, and yard games.

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This was the final year for this special event, and Lauren Anderson, the Big Red Block Party Co-Chair, stated, “The most meaningful moment during the event was honoring the previous Chairs and talking about the fundraiser. This event has raised $176,000 for the League over the last nine years, and that deserves to be celebrated.”

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Collaboration and communication were two key elements that contributed to Big Red Block Party’s success. As Lauren Anderson, Big Red Block Party Co-Chair, described, “Our committee worked really well together…between our (almost) weekly committee hot sheets and our committee meetings, we were able to efficiently plan our event.” Anderson also credited working with Jen Bartlet, their JLO Sustainer Advisor, and a past Big Red Block Party Chair, as a vital resource who gave both Co-Chair Hunter Taylor and herself additional insight into making the event a success.

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When asked if she had any advice for future Junior League of Omaha fundraisers, Anderson responded, “Yes! Create a timeline and stick with it. Check in with your committee, but don’t bombard them with emails. Say thank you. And most importantly, seriously evaluate your event every year to make sure it’s still relevant.”

For more information about upcoming Junior League of Omaha events or to become a member, visit our website at http://www.jlomaha.org.