Tour of Kitchens: Bringing Atlanta’s Foodie Community Together for 20 Years

Kristin Bernhard

Kristin Bernhard

By Kristin Bernhard

For 20 years, the Junior League of Atlanta’s Tour of Kitchens has allowed foodies across the region to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into some of the most thoughtfully and artistically designed kitchens located in private homes in some of Atlanta’s most notable neighborhoods.  Sponsored by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine, the two day self-guided tour is not only a hot event for food lovers, but also the perfect resource for anyone looking to renovate, rejuvenate or simply dream about having a fabulous designer kitchen. Continue reading

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An Affinity for Success: How Women Are Using Corporate Affinity Groups to Win at Work Life Balance

By Candace Bazemore, Technology Training Chair and Marketing Liaison for the Junior League of Atlanta

Candace Bazemore, Technology Training Chair and Marketing Liaison for the Junior League of Atlanta

Candace Bazemore, Technology Training Chair and Marketing Liaison for the Junior League of Atlanta

Women in the workplace are finding more opportunities for professional development, relationship building and volunteerism through networking groups at their companies called employee resource groups (ERGs) or affinity groups. Catalyst describes ERGs or Affinity Groups as “voluntary, employee-led groups that serve as a resource for members and organizations.” Although not every company has affinity groups in place, those that do tend to have at least one women’s affinity group. These groups help their female employees focus on personal and professional development with other women in their organization  are an essential part of the workplace culture and strategy for providing work life balance for employees.  These affinity groups allow women across departments to interact with other women that have similar career goals and interests, as well as, give them the ability to pool their talents and recourse to give back to the community. Continue reading

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Envision Making An Impact: Program To Bridge Gap For Trafficking Survivors

By Sheila Ryan, CEO, The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy

For 30 years, the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy (GCCA) has worked with children who have experienced the ills of society from sexual and physical abuse to witnessing violence. GCCA bridges the gap between these societal ills and the good of the world for over 15,000 children in Fulton and DeKalb counties. Continue reading

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Why volunteerism is good for business

Cara T. Snow

Cara T. Snow, VP-Elect Training & Development, Junior League of Atlanta

The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc. (JLA) has spent a century developing the potential of women and improving the community through leadership of trained volunteers. The impact of that training is readily apparent in non-profit organizations across the city. From Terri Badour Duckett, CEO of the American Red Cross of Georgia and Metropolitan Atlanta, to Alicia Phillip, President of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, and Sarah Batts, Executive Director of the Shepherd Center Foundation, women with JLA experience are running large, influential not-for-profit companies.

And while not as obvious, Atlanta for-profit corporations benefit immensely from the leadership skills women gain through the JLA.  I can attest to these transferable business skills firsthand as my career success is interwoven with my JLA leadership experience. My first foray into professional sales management came after a year leading a JLA committee that had revenue and profit margin goals. My promotion to director of a regional consulting firm came after several years of JLA service that expanded my skills in volunteer management, operational planning and strategic plan development. Every time an expanded role at work came available, part of the required experience was demonstrable because of something I had learned at the JLA.

While these transferable skills are being taken back to the workforce, the benefit to companies does not stop with trained employees. Volunteering is shown to reduce stress and depression, provide mental stimulation and create a sense of purpose, which combine to increase a person’s happiness. Effective professional development and fulfilled, engaged employees aside, corporate citizenship is becoming a critical business essential. The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship found that companies that integrate corporate citizenship into business strategy are more likely to achieve business goals. In fact, the longer a company invests in a corporate citizenship program, the higher the success of realizing business objectives.

Volunteerism at work can take a variety of forms. Large corporations can support volunteer programs and teams who regularly participate in direct service initiatives like building a home with Habitat for Humanity. Smaller organizations may offer a day of direct service to encourage volunteerism and teamwork perhaps taking a shift at the Atlanta Community Food Bank to sort food. Regardless of size, many companies offer employees a paid day to volunteer in the community. There are often company ‘matches’ for cash donations that correlate to the number of volunteered hours and opportunities to be recognized as the volunteer of the year at work!

The reality for many businesses, though, is that volunteerism as a nice perk or benefit may no longer be optional. Promoting and providing employees with meaningful volunteer opportunities helps to attract top talent. Volunteer experience allows corporations to engage, develop, and retain employees. Corporate citizenship provides a boost to public image. All of these activities are shown to improve the bottom line.

So get out and volunteer with your co-workers, employees and boss. Not sure where or how to start? Find the woman in your network that is a member of the JLA. I guarantee you she can point you in the right direction. It’s what she has been trained – for generations – to do.

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Making a difference in the lives of trafficking victims

By Sara Haj-Hussein

Over the course of the past month, statistics and demographics have been shared to raise awareness about human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Atlanta. Sadly, when the calendar flips to February the articles advocating change and the human interest stories are no longer prominently featured- but that doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. Let’s face it, the topic is a hard one to digest, let alone discuss, but that is all the more reason why it is important to get involved in the fight. Continue reading

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Hope for Victims of Human Trafficking

By Sarah Anne Smith and Genevieve Holmes, Junior League of Atlanta

This month, the U.S. recognizes the 7th annual National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. First acknowledged in 2010 by Presidential proclamation, the month of awareness events is designed to culminate in our nation’s annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1st. Continue reading

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The Junior League of Atlanta Continues its Fight to End Human Trafficking and Generational Poverty in Atlanta

By Kristy Offitt, PR Coordinator, Junior League of Atlanta

Kristy Offitt, PR Coordinator, Junior League of Atlanta

Kristy Offitt, PR Coordinator, Junior League of Atlanta

In addition to being a time for resolutions and renewed diets – no matter how briefly maintained – January is both human trafficking awareness and national poverty awareness month. More accurately, it is “Poverty in America Awareness” and” National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness” month. While human trafficking and poverty are separate and distinct issues, they are similar in at least one very important respect: they both impact some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. Victims of commercial sex exploitation and human trafficking come from all racial, religious, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Continue reading

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GAIN Offers Safety Net to Immigrant Trafficking Victims

Cara Hergenroether, 2015-16 Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Cara Hergenroether, JLA Issue-based Community Impact Coordinator

By Cara Hergenroether

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of what the Department of Homeland Security calls modern day slavery, both around the world and in the city of Atlanta. In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we’re recognizing Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN), one of the Junior League of Atlanta’s community partners that is on a mission to ensure that trafficking victims get a fresh start in the United States. Continue reading

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A Gap in Resources Difficult to See

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-10-37-14-amBy Kyle Waide, President and CEO, Atlanta Community Food Bank

It is the time of year for feeling overwhelmed. It always happens, right? We are, all of us, bustling around making preparations to close out our year, getting ready for holiday and travel plans, trying to remember everybody and worried about who we might forget. Continue reading

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JLA: Celebrating a Century of Transformational Change

On Monday, the Junior League of Atlanta celebrated International Volunteer Day and the mid-point of our Centennial Year. The women of the JLA, with whom I am proud to serve, dedicate their time and talents each day to make a difference in our community. Today’s JLA leaders continue to build a Legacy of Proven Leadership, 100 years in the making. Continue reading

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