President’s Message

On behalf of the Junior League of Cleveland, I welcome you to our homepage.

Stephanie Dorsey


“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
~Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Junior League of New York

Last year, I started in my role as President and shared with you my excitement and vision for the Junior League of Cleveland’s (JLC) future. Today, I continue my term as President with a sense of pride for what we have accomplished over the past year, confident in where we are today, and optimistically determined in where we are going in our future as a League.

Over the past 104 years, The Junior League has an extraordinary history of developing the potential of women to improve our community through the effective action and leadership of our trained volunteers. Looking forward, our future continues to be very bright. Our vision of Women Building Better Communities is a perfect complement to the renaissance that is happening in Cleveland. Our JLC members have the power to positively impact our community whether through our education and training of our members as civic leaders, our direct community volunteerism, our scholarship program for non-traditional women students, our powerful collective voice in advocating on social issues, or our networking and establishment of life-long friendships. Unlike the other 382 local, non-profit organizations in Cleveland, the JLC’s best resource is our members. Our capable, competent, trained and dedicated civic-minded leaders are determined to make a meaningful mark on the community. This is our time to be a part of it all, in the heart of it all. As we all know, volunteers do not have the time, but we all have the heart.

We have been on a transitional journey. In 2015-2016, our accomplishments included:
• Developing a newly defined 5-year strategic plan that focuses on all elements of our League: membership, training, fund development, finance, community, and operations
• Recruiting and welcoming 63 new members into our Fall and Spring classes
• Partnering with community and corporate leaders to provide personal and professional development and education at each of our monthly general membership meetings
• Launching the JLC Institute as a pilot training program for members interested in further developing their civic leadership skills and capabilities
• Exceeding our fundraising goals by approximately 40% for three of four of our fund-raising events
• Strengthening our community partnerships and expanding our community programs including Cooking with Cuyahoga Kids, Girl League and our Scholarship program. We established a new partnership with University Hospital’s Women’s Health Institute for participation in Girl League and increased participation at Girl League by 41%.
• Building new relationships with community partners such as Sisters of Charity, Cuyahoga Community College, and the National Council of Jewish Women to advance our role in efforts related to improving outcomes for youth aging out of foster care
• Advancing our commitment to diversity and inclusion through our ongoing series of diversity dialogues led by our Diversity and Equity Director and establishing a new partnership with the Cleveland Leadership Center to co-host a diversity and equity series for the community
• For the first time ever, receiving a $30,000 appropriation from the State of Ohio to be used for necessary upgrades at the League house
• For the first time in decades, receiving $15,000 from The Cleveland Foundation to conduct a feasibility study for the strategic direction of the League House

Using our Strategic Plan as our guide, we will continue on our journey to:
• Establish the Junior League of Cleveland as the premier source of civic leadership development for women in Cleveland by 2020
• Enrich the quality of life for youth in our community through advocacy, life skills education and programming
• Serve as a proven, credible and capable community resource to support and promote healthy communities within Northeast Ohio
• Empower our members by offering high-quality leadership development opportunities; Engage our members by utilizing each woman’s unique talents and skills; Connect our members by offering a global network of civic-minded women
• Secure our financial future through the growth of member contributions, investments, endowments and sustainable fund development by 2020

I look forward to being on this journey with all of you and I am proud to be part of the JLC team of women, ready to serve and make our impact as women building Cleveland as our better community! Congratulations and thank you to our incoming Board of Directors and Management Council, thank you to our corporate sponsors especially Key Foundation and Forest City, thank you to our community partners, and thank you to each of you for your support and ongoing commitment to the JLC. I am proud of our past, determined in our present, and excited about our future. Thank you for your ongoing support.

We will partner with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association to host our monthly General Membership Meetings with each meeting designed to include networking and a tailored theme that combines professional or personal development related to our mission.

Please join us to kick-off the League year on Monday, September 26, 2016, at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association at 6:00 PM for our “All In! Leadership with a Focus on Women” meeting. Here’s to an exceptional League year!

All my best,

Stephanie Dorsey

2015-2017 President