Business

Junior League Strengthens Communities, Women

Incoming president looks forward to advancing organization’s message

The Junior League of the Great Lakes Bay Region and the women who give their time and efforts to the organization have served the area for 85 years. Through the Junior League’s efforts, members not only help build communities, they also build strong and lasting friendships.

The Junior League, formed in New York City in 1901, has evolved into one of the oldest, largest and most effective women’s volunteer organizations in the world, encompassing 140,000 women in 291 leagues in four countries.

Angela Lund, president-elect for the regional Junior League, explained the goals of the organization.

“Simply put, the Junior League is an organization of women focused on developing the potential of women through volunteering and training,” Lund said. “It was started in a time when women were searching for a voice and for a way to make an impact. We have continued with that mindset, taking on problems related to human trafficking, opioid addiction and foster care procedures, among others.”

The Junior League’s current focus is the health and wellness of women and children.

Lund dispelled long-standing myths that the Junior League is an elitist organization comprised of wealthy women without jobs.

“The only part of our membership that is exclusion is that we are all women,” Lund explained. “Career choice, financial standing, parental status, race, age, ethnicity – those have no relevance on someone’s ability to join. I think our differences are one of the reasons we’ve been a staple in the Great Lakes Bay Region for 85 years now.”

Lund will serve as president for the 2020-21 term. The Junior League of the Great Lakes Bay Region mirrors a national trend in leagues: More than 80% of members are working women, said Lund, who is a certified public accountant with the firm of Andrews Hooper Pavlik PLC.

She sees her profession as an asset to serving as the Junior League’s president.

“My background is finance-based. I see building community partnerships as a huge opportunity for us,” Lund explained. “Teaming up with local businesses that care about our community as much as we do will provide more volunteers and financial backing to keep moving forward.”

Lund added she has already put her experience in business to use in making improvements.

“My business background allowed me to tackle some tasks that have been sitting in the wings for a few years now, but others haven’t felt comfortable pursuing,” she said. “The first example that comes to mind is getting the software to accept credit card payments at our fundraisers. I called different vendors and created an analysis the board could review to pick the best one.

“It’s been three years now and has helped increase our revenue streams while offering our customers and members an alternative payment option,” Lund continued. “If I got nothing else out of my membership than knowing I made a difference to allow the league to continue doing the amazing work it’s been doing, that would have been enough.”

But that’s not all she has received. Lund said her involvement with the organization has been “life altering” because of the lifetime friendships she has made.

“I realize how cliché that sounds, but it’s true,” she said. “Further, it has opened doors to careers and connections that I never imagined. It has deepened relationships with already existing clients who are also members, and has resulted in new clients or referrals for my firm.

“For many members it gives them the opportunity to work in an area they aren’t professionally involved with,” Lund explained. “They can strengthen areas that aren’t their strongest while in a safe environment. Without realizing it, you learn so much that can then be applied to your job or other organizations you are involved with.”

To learn more about the Junior League of the Great Lakes Bay Region, visit the website at jlgreatlakesbay.org/, call (989) 790-3763 or email hq@jlgreatlakesbay.org.

Comments

comments