The League Life Blog is about sharing the impact that Junior League of Champaign-Urbana has on the community, the people it serves, and its members. It is important to look back at past members or participants in JLCU’s programs to reflect on JLCU’s mission and what lasting changes have been made.
***When we first tracked down Danielle for this interview, we wanted to share her story of her years with JLCU, her presidency and what she was up to since she went sustaining. During this process, however, she re-activated her membership, has been very active with the Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee and is now slated to the 2015 – 16 Management Team as Executive Vice President. So, our “Where is She Now” story is instead a feature on a strong and influential member of JLCU and we are excited to share her contributions on our blog. ***
Our first interview is with past president Danielle Wilberg. JLCU is grateful to women like Danielle and all those take on roles in the JLCU Governance Board and Management Team. This is a full time responsibility that they choose to take on, in addition to all of their other daily activities. These women are what make Junior League an amazing place to volunteer and to give back to our community.
Danielle was president of Junior League Champaign-Urbana in 2011-2012. Prior to being president Danielle had served on many committees with in JLCU, including FOT (2005 Chair), Membership Development, and Nominating & Placement (Chair 2008). She is currently working on the Public Affairs Committee as our League’s SPAC A Representative (State Public Affairs Committee) and is on the Governance Committee for AJLI (The Association of Junior Leagues International).
After her presidency, she chose to go sustaining, but then re-activated her membership this year. Her decision to go active was to continue to help JLCU in new ways and through new opportunities from what she learned serving at the international level.
Here is a little background information on Danielle. She was born, raised, and is raising her family in Champaign. She got her B.A. at the University of Illinois and is working at Activate Alumni as Chief Strategy Officer. She is married with 2 kids, 11-year-old Ricky with is in 6th grade and Murphy is 8 and she is in 3rd grade.
Danielle may not be a JLCU legacy, but with her mother and mother-in-law being members of Junior Women’s Club (an organization for women to volunteer in their local community) it’s no wonder that she has made volunteering a big part of her life. Besides being active in Junior League of Champaign-Urbana, Danielle volunteers for multiple organizations like: Association of Junior Leagues International Governance Committee, United Way Power of the Purse Chair, and Volunteer Coordinator for the 6th Grade Basketball Team. What little time Danielle does get to relax, she enjoys watching Bravo and having a glass of red wine. This just shows you how amazing our JLCU leaders are and how they continually want to give back to their community.
Danielle says, “I owe more to JLCU than I ever thought possible.” She was able to do work that she loved while helping out the community, she learned skills to help both her professional and volunteer experiences, she learned about leadership, how to take risks, how to run a non-profit, how to deal with conflict, how to raise money, how to better a community as a collective voice and finally the friendships that she made. These are all amazing skills, traits and experiences that other women can have when they join JLCU.
We asked Danielle for some information on AJLI, since not many local people are aware of what AJLI is and how they can become part of AJLI. She got started with AJLI as part of their dues task force committee. “I believe in the Junior League movement and I believe in where AJLI is going in the future.” With her position on the governance committee, she has to understand where the association is heading, as they are responsible for recruiting a board that will be able to understand both sides of the future vision. AJLI is expanding their ways of recruiting new leadership and are offering several opportunities for Junior League members to get involved internationally. If anyone is interested in AJLI, Danielle encourages you apply to attend ODI, watch the AJLI emails for special task force announcements and don’t be afraid to apply for a governance position. She also wants to make it known that you do not need to have been president, to serve with AJLI.
Finally, Danielle’s advice to current JLCU members and those interested in becoming a member, “Keep doing the spectacular work that you’re doing. I think of all the projects that JLCU has started that have made CU a better community and I can’t wait to see what’s next. I also want to say thank you for the commitment you’re putting in – that commitment will pay off threefold if you stick with it – I promise!”