The gavel has been passed. In a time-honored tradition, the Junior League of Houston, Inc., Houston’s beloved organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, recently announced its 2020-2021 executive committee.
The annual ceremony was to take place during the traditional President’s Tea. But with a pandemic in full force, a more simple ceremony recently took place, as an announcement was sent to past presidents, members, family and friends asking for best wishes and words of encouragement for the year ahead for incoming president, Rachel Regan.
The event featured a surprise video tribute, and the 2019-2020 board gifted outgoing president, Jayne Sheehy Johnston, with a silver and vermeil Buccellati cuff from Tenenbaum Jewelers engraved with “Bloom Where You are Planted” — her theme for the year. The board also gifted a traditional silver platter as a token of appreciation and support for her leadership.
Regan’s theme for the 2020-2021 year is “Imagine,” and was chosen well before the current landscape of our nation. After losing her father, Regan says she sought comfort in “imagining what his eyes now see,” according to a statement.
Thus, the theme will mean focusing on re-imagining how to serve the community in more than 30 unique agencies across the city in non-traditional, virtual ways. There will also be a focus on how to re-imagine how to provide safe, in-person options for volunteers who want to actively be present in our community, and how to support members and continue to train them without being together.
Regan adds that the League has been given the opportunity to imagine “new, meaningful and creative ways to fulfill the mission of developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.”
Each month members will focus on an initiative around “imagining” and highlight the work League members do in conjunction with that initiative. For example: Imagine Hope, Imagine Healing and Imagine Impact — and acting on each of those.
This year, Junior League volunteers can serve the community in a newly developed volunteer IMPACT program. Members serving in the IMPACT program will have the flexibility to select volunteer shifts that meet their current needs in a variety of Leagues-supported agencies across the greater Houston area. Shifts provided will include both virtual opportunities as well as in-person volunteering adhering to the appropriate safety guidelines.
“As we move forward, the mission of the Junior League has never been more vital to our city,” said Regan, in a statement. “For almost a century, The Junior League of Houston has been an organization of change makers; on the forefront of identifying problems and finding impactful solutions in collaborative and innovative ways. Through direct, hands-on training, the League strives to give members the skills needed to create solutions and to improve the Houston community and the lives of those we serve. We will re-imagine what is possible in the year ahead. We will create new opportunities to serve our community and we will continue to pioneer the possible.”
Here is the incoming executive committee:
- President: Rachel Podsednik Regan
- President-Elect: Jennifer Scheifley Roberts
- Community Vice President: Marie Teixeira Newton
- Development Vice President: Lauren Rae Brown
- Financial Vice President: Wendy Lewis Armstrong
- Membership Vice President: Helyna Betancourt Bledsoe
- Recording Secretary: Laura Silva Carter
Source: July 15, 2020, Houston CultureMap, Steven Devadanam