Closing out our 2016 member spotlight series is new member Kate Ziegler. The real estate and design professional and Show House Committee member chatted with us about why she joined JL Boston, being a mentor and more!
Hometown: Kutztown, PA
Current City: Boston, MA
JL Boston Committee/Title: Show House Committee Member
How did you first get involved with the Junior League?
I’ve lived in Boston since 2004, but over time my network began moving further afield while I doubled down on rooting myself here. JL Boston first came on my radar through a coworker a few years ago, when she invited me to a meet and greet event; the women I met were fantastic, driven, and outgoing, and I was so impressed. At the time, in the midst of buying and renovating my first house in Jamaica Plain, committing to the League was not in the cards. I was excited to get involved in another aspect of my community, and eager to meet more new people outside my industry, so I stayed on the email list. This year, I finally felt I was in a place to give a New Member year my all, and so far JL Boston has provided everything I was looking forward to and more!
How does your experience in real estate and design compare/relate to your experience as a JL Boston member serving her community? In so many obvious ways, real estate and property management, web and print design, and community service seem like very disparate occupations. Personally, I prefer this “hustle” lifestyle because each vocation presents a balance to other work (an active recovery, to borrow from athletics)- Union Jack Creative (my design firm) is a creative outlet alongside the rapid pace and challenging market that is Boston real estate currently, and each is fulfilling in different ways. But there are similarities: I have used design work to engage with advocacy and my communities for years, designing brands, sites, flyers, and social media for organizations and causes I support, and real estate is also very strongly rooted in knowledge of my own immediate community and issues, challenges, and changes in the broader Boston area as a whole. For me, the JL Boston experience has both been related to my professional life – Show House handily touches on both real estate and design – but also has been a wonderful way to engage with philanthropic work happening in Boston on a new level and on its own merits, while serving as another balance point for my hustle. I am so looking forward to trying a community placement in the future!
Do you have a mentor and/or have you ever been a mentor? I have a handful of mentor figures in a few industries, and I’m so grateful for the wisdom they’ve shared with me over the years; I also serve as a mentor through Northeastern’s Honors Alumni mentoring program, and I learn so much from staying involved with students. Mentoring is truly a partnership – there is much to be gained on both sides of the table, and if you really engage it’s not just a charitable use of time. Mentor relationships can be formal, structured endeavors, but they don’t have to be! Sometimes you just need someone you can text for a quick bit of strategy help.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining the League? I’d tell them to give it a try! I did not grow up with a League nearby, so I didn’t know what to expect myself, but I found some coworkers who were JL Boston members, took them out for coffee to hear their experiences, and tagged along to an event that left me impressed and energized. You can explore the League without even joining, and if you have questions it’s an easy place to start a conversation.
Favorite cold weather activity? Despite having always lived in the northeast/New England, I’m still striving to embrace cold weather every year. I love to ski when I can make time for it but, for me, most of the good to come out of February is the chance to host friends at home, to relax and reconnect while the city is hunkering down to keep warm.
What is your favorite Boston brunch spot? I don’t often venture far for brunch (I make a mean hash brown myself), but if you’re going all out, you have to go to Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen.
What book are you currently reading? I have a habit of starting too many books at once and never quite finishing them, but right now I’m finding B.J. Novak’s One More Thing: Stories & Other Stories to be a relaxing read to take my mind off the day before bed.
This member spotlight was written by the Communications Council Quality Control Manager, Liz DiVito.