Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cameron Gilreath: Why I serve…

There are many reasons I serve! My volunteer work through the JLW has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in the decade-plus that I’ve lived in DC. I have had a lifelong love affair with books and I love our League’s focus on literacy. My grandmother volunteered at her local library in Jefferson, GA for many years, and my parents started reading to, and then with, me very early. I was an avid reader from day one and if they wanted my attention, my parents usually had to tear me away from whatever book I was reading.

I think most of us can’t imagine a world without books, or the lost opportunities that result from not being able to read. The JLW’s work to improve literacy in Washington, DC is absolutely vital to our community.

So first and foremost, I serve this year as Nominating Chair because I feel one of the most important parts of ensuring our organization remains stable, healthy and focused on fulfilling our mission is to cultivate strong leaders who will continue to guide the group forward. People often wonder what Nominating really does because all of our deliberations are confidential. It’s actually quite simple – our committee works very hard year-round to make sure the JLW has in place the strongest possible leadership team for the following year so that we can continue to serve our community for another 100 years. As you can imagine, it can be a challenge to match the right leaders with the right positions – but with the diverse and extremely talented group of women that make up our League, it is really quite exciting to put together next year’s leadership team. I have really enjoyed getting a birds-eye view of all of the pieces and people that form our League and I love it when we discover new leaders!!

And more broadly than the position I hold this year - aside from the great work we do for our community, I have personally gotten so much out of serving in various JLW leadership positions over the years. I’ve made some of my closest friends through the Junior League. And I think most of our leaders will say they have developed leadership skills that they have put to use at work and in volunteering with other organizations. If I can put in a plug for anyone thinking about nominating themselves or a friend for a leadership spot – just do it!!

Cameron Gilreath
Nominating Council Director, 2012-2013

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