As we begin a new League year full of “new normals” and uncertainty, I am honored that I have the opportunity to lead the Junior League of the Emerald Coast (JLEC) during such an unparalleled time. During my time as President of the JLEC, I hope to guide our members to embrace the change around us and view this year as a predestined moment in history where we have the responsibility to make a true difference. Positive change for our community, in our organization, and in the lives of each one of our members will be at the forefront every action.
The communities along our Emerald Coast have been near and dear to my heart for as long as I can remember. I grew up enjoying our beautiful beaches and swimming in our emerald green waters. I went to our area’s public schools and have seen many things grow and change over the years. Now I have a daughter who will get to make her own cherished memories in our beloved community, and I pray that our generation will preserve the best parts about our towns and improve upon those things that need improving.
My desire is to continue to work with our community partners including other nonprofits and community leaders in order to facilitate change that reinforces our Mission. We must continue to serve the women and children who face major economic disparities as compared with those who typically live in the southern parts of Okaloosa and Walton counties. I hope that we can all work together to continue to shed light on this disparity in a respectful yet productive way.
I pledge to respect what our founding and sustaining members hoped to achieve when they formed this League so many years ago. While many of us see areas for necessary and inevitable improvement, we are committed to preserving the quality of our trained volunteers and to empowering women. And, while we are no longer your “mother’s League”, I hope that our commitment to training and diversity will allow us to work towards our Mission in an even stronger way than ever before.
I commit to our current membership an atmosphere of inclusion. We are a League of diverse women from all backgrounds. We have different strengths and work in different fields. Coming together is not always logistically easy, but I’m certain that our League will achieve the seemingly unattainable based solely on the fact that each one of our members is truly remarkable. Our members inspire me and keep me going when times are tough, and I’m thoroughly devoted to knowing each member more deeply and to being supportive through fellowship, volunteerism and in training.
I hope to encourage and attract a group of new members who share our goals and are driven to thrive with a visionary spirit– New leaders who are just as enthusiastic about their commitment to our purpose.
As your President, I echo the sentiment of Ralph Waldo Emerson when he wrote “To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded”. I look forward to working with everyone and leading us to this kind of success.
Thanks to all of you who continue to be so supportive of me — I am dedicated to you!
Ann Grelling Foster
JLEC President 2020-2021