“Volunteering is my passion.”

 CLO Fireside Chat featuring Katherine Cecala

“Katherine is a woman who makes her community better, she is JLP.” – Eileen Sullivan, Junior League of Phoenix Sustainer

If one is looking for inspiration this new year, President of Junior Achievement of Arizona and Junior League of Phoenix sustaining member, Katherine Cecala, is a captivating choice for a role model. On December 7, 2016, a small group of current Junior League active members were privy to Katherine’s vast wisdom and experience via the inaugural Fireside Chat series hosted by the Community Leadership and Outreach (CLO) Committee.

Katherine provided an overview of her community leadership experience and how her JLP life has intersected with and contributed to her community work. In addition to a career in NPO leadership, she has served on over 35 boards as a volunteer and has developed a reputation as a “fixer” due to her ability to take on touchy situations and turn them into positive experiences for everyone through communication and compassion.  Katherine is bold and assertive but also incredibly patient. She shared advice with members about how to come alongside people to create change within organization. The techniques Katherine shared ranged from bringing up important points three times (as it research has shown it takes people that many times to take in certain messages) to implementing employee benefits that other organizations might consider excessive to create win-win scenarios that motivated people to prioritize the organization’s long term needs over personal interests.

Perhaps most meaningful about Katherine’s story was her honesty and humility in telling it. She talked pointedly about how failures and missteps and personal struggles have intersected with and helped form her professional and community pursuits.

The small group format allowed the attendees to ask questions throughout the “Fireside Chat” and engage with Katherine personally during the mingling time before and after the “Fireside Chat”.  Individuals asked questions about fundraising strategies, people management, and work/life balance.  Additionally, attendees had a chance to mingle with each other and to further develop their network within the JLP.

In the end, the CLO “Fireside Chat” with Katherine provided interested JLP members with an opportunity to learn from and interact meaningfully with an established community leader and to explore their interest and commitment to engaging with the Greater Phoenix community to generate meaningful and positive change for the benefit of all.

The CLO “Fireside Chat” speaker series has been generously funded by the Junior League of Phoenix Foundation to increase available training opportunities for JLP members.

For more information about the CLO Fireside Chat series, please contact CLO at jlp.clo@jlp.org or (602) 234-3388 x228.