Today we are showcasing our President-Elect, Michelle Lentz. Originally from San Antonio, Michelle tells us about her history with the Junior League, her most impactful experiences in the League so far, and her plans for her two-year term as President from 2018-2020.
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Role in JL Boston: President-Elect
How did you first get involved with the Junior League? I’m actually a third-generation Junior Leaguer. My mother is still a Sustainer in San Antonio, and my grandmother was President of the Junior League of San Antonio in 1942. So I grew up surrounded by all the great work and the impact that the women of the League had on the San Antonio community. I guess you could say the Junior League is in my blood!
What is the most impactful event/experience you’ve had through the League? Two experiences immediately come to mind. The first was when I was a member in Dallas. My placement for was Musical Therapy. We’d sing at retirement communities in the evenings, mostly show tunes and classics to cheer up the residents and provide companionship for a couple of hours. I remember one cold night I was exhausted from work and not excited about driving in traffic to the suburb where we were singing that night. But I did it, and was quickly reminded why the Junior League does what it does, and what an impact it makes to those we’re serving as well as to ourselves. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the residents and having the sense of cheer and community truly warmed my heart.
Here in Boston, through some of the Board roles I’ve had – most recently as Director of Fund Development and President-Elect – I’ve really stretched outside of my comfort zone and developed new professional skills through exposure to such fields as legal, insurance, etc. I’m in marketing and things like finance, law, and insurance are not exactly something I’m trained in, but through these roles, I’ve really developed my understanding and ability to manage in these topics. “Developing the potential of women” really rings true!
What goals do you have as President for next year? Through thoughtful research and strategic planning, I want to begin building a roadmap to answer the question, “What is the Junior League of Boston of tomorrow?” I want us to continue on the journey that we have already begun – and will continue for many years – to evolve who and what JL Boston is in order to meet the demands of our changing society.
Just a few examples that the Board will be exploring and developing strategic plans for include:
- Working to have our voice heard and have a seat at the table through a focus on advocacy.
- Building a strong member-centric community, inclusive of instilling an environment of diversity and inclusion.
- Forming strong strategic alliances and partnerships, to extend our reach and impact as well as build brand awareness.
What was the last book you read? The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
What is your favorite Boston activity? Exploring! Over the past 7 years that I have lived in Boston, I have explored so much of New England through day trips, weekends, etc. Here in New England, I particularly love lighthouses, oysters, lobsters and the ocean! Some of my favorite places are Chatham, Wellfleet, Mystic CT and pretty much anywhere along the Maine coastline! It’s so fun and such a great privilege to get to explore this area of the country.