The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
After last week’s reflection with our outgoing president, we’ll now hear from our new president, Jen Johnson!
What initially prompted you to join the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri?
My husband, Eric and I moved to Kansas City in 2001. Eric began working longer hours and I worked for an engineering firm where most of my co-workers were men. Gretchen Ivy (Sustainer) and I worked together and she was a newer member at the time. She talked about all of these great women she had met and how they had become some of her closest friends. Being a transplant, I hoped I would meet some great women and learn more about Kansas City. The League has certainly surpassed those goals for me.
Can you tell us a little bit about the “Kansas City is our Neighborhood” concept and graphic that you debuted at the May GMM?
I chose the theme of “Kansas City is our Neighborhood” because I think sometimes there is a perception that we all come from the same parts of town but, as the graphic shows, League Members and our partners are all over the Metro. We are also unique in that we span both sides of a state line. No matter where you live, people have the same goals and things that they want for their community – safe, quality places to live, work and play. I see all of Kansas City as our neighborhood and the Junior League has a role to play in continued progress towards these goals.
What is one goal that you would like the Board to focus on during this League year?
We began the move to spend more time talking about the big picture at the Board level last year. I want us to continue this focus on strategy this year. It is so easy with all of the programs and events we have going in the Junior League to spend a lot of time in the details. The goal of the Board this year is to talk about those items when input is needed but to give ourselves time to talk about where we want to go as a League. This goal will work nicely with our discussions about the new strategic plan that will give direction to the League’s work from 2018-2021. We have two special strategy sessions planned for the Board to give us time to spend on these topics that might be hard to get to in the normal course of a month’s Board meeting.
What are you most looking forward to in your year as President?
I am most looking forward to meeting and working with members of the League that I may not have interacted with before. I am getting kind of up there in League years and many of the women that I’ve started with have moved on to become Sustainers. This role gives me a chance to meet our upcoming leaders and work with newer members who will be the future of our League.