WLC is proud of the following accomplishments over the past few months, thanks to our members. Together, we continue to make a positive impact of the lives of women and girls in Lake County.
Volunteering in the Community
Amber Thomas, Chair of Women’s Leadership Council; Michele Johnson, First Vice Chair; and Michelle Walker, Second Vice Chair, presented information on self-esteem, making good choices and healthy living to participants of the New Voices Program in May. New Voices was launched by the Honorable Judge Karen Lawson in 2010 to assist female teenage clients in developing or re-establishing a strong sense of self as they discover their inner strengths and build connections to the world around them.
Grants Review Process
Members of the Grants Review Committee, chaired by Phyllis Wilcox, completed the 3-month review process in May. The selection process included a general budget review, site visits and committee discussion.
The committee recommendation was to fund a total of $28,043.03 to 12 programs. The recommendation was then voted on and approved by the general membership and by the United Way Board of Directors. The 12 agencies were awarded the funding at a check presentation ceremony held in June. Over the past 4 years, the Women’s Leadership Council has distributed more than $85,000 to programs that serve local women and girls.
Women’s Leadership Council featured a panel of experts to address Appropriate Workplace Behavior in the Age of the #MeToo Movement in July. This was our biggest turn-out to date with 125 guests and a profit of $1,300, which will be directed toward programs serving women and girls.bWe greatly appreciate our sponsors Lake Health, The Lubrizol Corporation and Advancing Women in the Workforce. Thank you to everyone who attended and to our panelists listed below:
Pat Perry, Chair and Past President, ERC
Kristen Kraus, Partner, Dworken & Bernstein
Kristin Marquardt, Director of Ethics and Compliance, The Lubrizol Corporation
Guests donated approximately $500 in school supplies for the Salvation Army Back to School Bash.
This issue--Amber Thomas, WLC Chair
Amber is the Chief Clinical Officer at Crossroads She has worked in community mental health settings for 24 years as a volunteer, direct service provider, clinical supervisor, consultant and administrator. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents and families with a variety of mental health issues. She has been a member of the Women’s Leadership Council since 2016, and has been actively involved in the Grant, Volunteer and Speaker Series committees, as well as the executive board. Recently, we sat down with Amber to learn more about her:
Amber, why did you get involved with the WLC, and why do you stay involved?
I attended my first speaker series event in 2016 and was so excited to find out that there was an organization in Lake County exploring topics important to women and girls. I was fortunate to be raised by parents who made sure I knew I could do anything I put my mind to, and encouraged me to be who I wanted to be. As a result, I have always had a strong interest in supporting other women and love that the Women’s Leadership Council focuses on empowerment.Through my involvement in so many great initiatives focused on women and girls in Lake County—including the speaker series, mentoring opportunities, fundraising and awarding grants to local non-profits—I have met wonderful women who are supportive, uplifting, mind-blowingly intelligent and extremely fun.
Tell us about your family....
I have been with my best friend and husband since we “re-met” in 2000 at a Cinco de Mayo dinner party. We first met when we were 12, and unfortunately his first memories of me are at the start of my angsty teen years. We’ve been married for 9 years, and every day he makes me laugh! I am also very fortunate to have a loving and supportive family and am very close to my parents, sister, niece and nephew. Though I have no children or pets (or anything that depends on me for life except for a struggling plant in my office at work), we have many “adopted animals” that live outside our house. This just means that I have a propensity for naming the animals that live around us.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Most of my spare time is spent with my husband, family and friends, and volunteering. Even though I hate it, I exercise daily to keep myself healthy. My trick is sleeping in my workout clothes so that my brain thinks I have no excuse to skip a workout in the morning. I also have a mother who was a makeup artist. As a result, the love of makeup and fashion was imprinted on me from an early age. I’m not sure shopping at Ulta or Sephora is a “hobby,” but my husband would say it is.
What don’t people know about you?
I was a “child actor” – I was in commercials and plays when I was younger. I was one belt away from a black belt in Taekwondo. Unfortunately, I moved far away from the studio, started graduate school and never completed it. I choose to believe I’ve still got Taekwondo “skills” though.
Calendar of Events
Leadership Development Series
Tuesday, September 4
Location to be Determined - 5:30 pm
Female Empowerment through Merging Minds (FEMM)
Lakeland mentoring program
Fridays, September 7, September 28, October 19, and November 9
All members are invited to our third quarter General Membership Meeting, the last one before WinterFest. This is your opportunity to hear updates, share your ideas, and voice your opinions. Please bring a bottle of wine (value $10 or more) for the wine pull at WinterFest.
Speaker Series: Women in Politics
Thursday, October 11
American-Croatian Lodge, Eastlake - 7:30 am
Featured Guest Panel: Lake County Treasurer Lorraine Fende, Judge Karen Lawson and Alison Battaglia, PhD
More women are running for public office in 2018 than ever before. With the 2018 election nearing let's discuss the role of women in politics. Come and hear Lake County women politicians discuss their unique careers. Hear about the research on women as leaders in political office. Learn about the unique challenges of women running for office and why we need to encourage girls and women to consider a political career.
Please bring a bottle of wine (value $10 or more) for the wine pull at Women’s Winterfest.
Thursday, November 29
American-Croatian Lodge, Eastlake - time TBD
Don’t be disappointed--register early for WinterFest 2018! This signature event sells out every year. Sample small plates from dozens of your favorite, local restaurants, be pampered with chair massages and manis. See old friends and make new ones. If you’re lucky, you’ll bring home a prized designer purse in the Chinese auction or a great bottle of wine in the wine pull.
Oak House Gift Wrap and Visit
Saturday, December 15; Time TBD
Wrap gifts at United Way offices, then proceed to Oak House to visit with residents and offer holiday cheer.
Good Readssubmitted by Julie Ramos
Top Recommendation:Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Below are excerpts/summaries from a March 4, 2013 Forbes article titled: “10 Things Sheryl Sandberg Gets Exactly Right In Lean In.”
Lean In is not so much about the balancing act of parenting versus working as it is about the challenges women face in trying to get ahead. Sandberg devotes only three of the book¹s 11 chapters to work/family balance. The rest are about how women can take charge of their own careers and push
forward at a time when gender bias is more alive and well than most of us may want to admit. Though she has been criticized for putting the onus on women to forge ahead on their own, her book is full of careful research about how much sexism still pervades the workplace. Another strength of the book is her willingness to admit her own failings and self-doubt.
Sandberg makes a strong contrarian point about mentors. “Don’t Ask Anyone to be Your Mentor,” is the title of one of Sandberg’s chapters. Instead, she advocates asking people both senior and junior to you for specific advice to solve a problem. This will engender much more productive relationships than a simplistic, general plea for mentoring.
Two More Books About Women in Leadership:
How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life by Joanna Barsh, Geoffrey Lewis, Susie Cranston
Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders by Alice H. Eagly & Linda L. Carli
Odds & Ends
2018 Campaign Kickoff Event
Wednesday, September 12 from 4:30 pm-8:30 pm
Classic Park (Home of the Lake County Captains)
You and your family will enjoy Fireworks, a 50/50 raffle, an Agency Fair and a fantastic High School Drumline Battle Competition featuring Lake Catholic's Cougar Pride, the Wickliffe Swing Band, the Riverside Regiment, the Madison Blue Streaks, the Harvey Red Raiders and the Fairport Harding Skippers! Join us and donate to vote for your favorite school's drumline.The school whose drumline raises the most event donations will be crowned "Community Impact Champion!" Proceeds to benefit Lake County's most vulnerable residents. Food and refreshments will be available. Click here now to RSVP.