Meet the 2018-2019 JLCU President – Jenn Schmidt

Junior League of Champaign-Urbana

General Meeting held Tuesday, Sept 18th at the Wesley Food Pantry

Our President for 2018-2019 Jenn Schmidt started our year with a proclamation. Here are some excerpts:

“I want you each to know what an honor and a privilege it is to be standing up there as your president tonight. But, for those of you who know me, you know you that standing up here in front of you scares me to death. When I joined JL I had every intention of making new friends and having a positive impact in our community by doing my volunteer hours and serving as an outstanding committee member.

I NEVER saw myself as a leader.

So often our fear keeps us from trying something new. Our minds exaggerate the consequences and worst-case scenarios that we allow that negative perspective to hold us back. I have been so lucky that through my time in Junior League I have been inspired by women unafraid to be vulnerable, who lead by the example, extend words of encouragement and exude a collaborative spirit which has empowered me to try things I never thought possible.

So, thank you for trusting me to lead you this year in spite of all my fears and flaws.

My challenge to each of you this year is to let Junior League be a place where you try something new. This is a safe place to do something that scares you a little. You are part of a strong organization that has been serving this community for 86 years and it not will fail if you make a mistake. You are surrounded by women who have a multitude of resources and are here to support you and help you persevere.

By embracing this challenge, we will continue to build our organization and accomplish this year’s goals which include:

  1. Looking honestly at Diversity and Inclusion
  2. Redefining our membership experience by implementing the Membership Transformation Rollout
  1. Take a deep dive into our long-term finance Campaign Planning

Remember that your personal growth comes when you push yourself out of your comfort zone, learn from your failures and overcome your fears. I am so excited to share this journey with you.”

Getting to know a little more about Jenn –

Why you joined JLCU? 

I had recently moved back to town from TX and my best friend from HS was joining and I wanted to hang out with her and to meet some new people. My mom had been in JL and I remember going with her volunteer around the community planting flowers, painting, delivering supplies to non-profits.

What has been your best experience in JL? 

I loved serving on the Project Development committee. I was able to learn so much about our JL projects and our community partners. I learned the importance of our annual plans and partnership agreements in documenting the work being done in the community. I also learned that it was okay to think outside the box and try new things.

What do I do in my off time? 

I am currently in the PMBA program. Between work, school and JL I don’t really have much free time these days. When I do have free time, I love to travel and read fiction and spend time with my friends.

My favorite place in CU… There are so many! I love U of I sporting events, attending shows at Krannert and the State Farm Center and having cocktails at the Tumble Inn or just around my friend’s kitchen tables.

Alma Mater & degree – B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois. Currently enrolled in the MBA at the Univesrity of Illinois Gies College of business Spring 2020 cohort.

I have a 2 year old dog names Olive. She is half Havanese and half Podengo Pequino, so basically a mutt. She is small and sassy.

Favorite Quote:

How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live ’em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give ’em.
– A Light In The Attic

Here’s to our new President, Jenn Schmidt. We look forward to a year of trying something new that scares us, just a little!

~ Amy Riha

Marketing and Communications, Chair 2018-2019


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