The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
It’s my pleasure today to bring you another Sustainer Spotlight! In case you missed the first one on Jan Rowe, the Sustainer Spotlight provides an opportunity for a JL360 participant to complete an “Experiential Activity” while learning more about the League’s rich history. We all benefit from these stories, and you are going to love learning more about Lisa Nickel today! I first met Lisa as a Leadership Institute participant, and she is a tremendous example of a League member going above and beyond in everything she does. A big thanks to Courtney Karr for profiling Lisa and sharing it with us on The League Pulse.
Meeting with Lisa Nickel recently at Panera, it was quickly evident why Lisa has been described by others as the “League’s Biggest Cheerleader”. From the moment you meet her, you can tell she is a big believer in the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri. As a self-described “happy promoter” there is no doubt that she will be great in her next role as the Director of Sustainers!
So, what brought Lisa to the League? After graduating college, most of her friends moved away, and she needed a way to connect with smart women. Luckily, her mother was a former League member and advised her to look into the JLKCMO when she was ready to be “all in”. Good advice considering Lisa doesn’t do anything halfway. She joined the League in 1994 and has never slowed down!
Her League career started before she had kids and now she is almost an empty nester! Why is she still sticking around? Lisa says she still gets a lot out of the League and loves that it’s a safe place to try new things. She is proud to be affiliated with the organization and the good work it does. She believes it is important to sustain the work of the League.
She didn’t exactly plan her volunteer career path. Two pieces of advice her mom gave her were to:
So while she didn’t map it out, she followed smart women and went where there was a need to be filled.
Lisa served on a two-year Membership Development Special Committee. This means we have her to thank for our PDI acronym in the mission! (Bonus points if you listed out the three prongs of our mission in your head just now!) She considers this to be one of her most significant accomplishments in the League.
When asked who has had the most significant influence on her League career she named her husband without even blinking. “He was always supportive of the League because of how happy it made me!” Lisa says it’s important to have a strong support system when juggling the responsibilities of the League and family.
The League has had a wonderful impact on her life. From personal development, to making new friends, to granting her a place to lead, to providing an opportunity to give, to keeping her sane when she stayed at home with her kids – the League has been everything to her! She is grateful for the role she is able to play and appreciates that the League allows women to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Advice for Active members? Even though she said it sounds cliché, the more you put into it the more you will get out of it! She wants Active members to take everything the League has to offer. Lisa has served as a mentor for many younger members and is always willing help where she can. She is full of insight when it comes to the League and is a delight to be around! It was truly my pleasure to interview her.
Bonus Feature from Lisa: Read a blog post from Lisa about the Civic Leadership program from February 2014.