The Triad Business Journal recently recognized 40 local professionals under the age of 40 who have made an impact in their professional career as well as in their communities. We are proud of Junior League member Susanne Hall, who was one of the outstanding leaders recognized in the 2018 class.
In her nine years with the Junior League of Greensboro (JLG), Susanne has had roles with Hands on Help, ArtQuest, Leadership Development Assistance Chair, Leadership Development Chair, Recording Secretary on the Executive Board, Membership Advisor, and Donor Development. Here are some of Susanne’s insights, as she reflects on her recent recognition as well as her time in the JLG.
Congratulations on your award! Can you tell us more about it?
The Triad Business Journal gives a nice description of what the award truly means:
“The 40 honorees are accomplished leaders over age 21 and under 40 who are leaving an indelible mark not just in their workplaces but across the region. In addition to their professional achievements, they are active in many local nonprofits and civic causes, addressing issues ranging from education to poverty to social injustice to bolstering the quality of life in the Triad.”
What was your career path like? How did you achieve your current role?
When I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill, I was on the path to work in advertising and/or marketing. I had completed three internships in the industry and soon after graduation took a job with Carolina Ballet in marketing. A couple years into the job, I knew I wanted a change. At that time, my dad was planning for retirement and working on succession planning for my family’s manufacturing business, Wysong. That’s when my cousin and I were brought on board.
That seems like a big change. What was that transition like?
The business could not have been more different: I had gone from selling ballet tickets to selling capital manufacturing equipment, but the opportunity turned out to be one of the best I could ask for. I learned all the ins and outs of the company’s operations, financials, strategic planning, HR, IT, and many other areas. This led me to pursue my MBA at the Bryan School of Business in the evenings. My undergraduate education was in psychology and communications, so I needed a better business education base, and it certainly made a huge difference. Today, I am representing the fourth generation of leadership at Wysong, serving as Executive Vice President, and enjoying leading the company in new directions.
What advice do you have for young professionals looking to make a big impact at an early stage in their career?
I have two primary pieces of advice: Never underestimate the importance of hard work and don’t let fear get in the way of your career or what you want. It is very easy to try to take shortcuts in your career, but hard work allows you to learn the lessons that will take you further in the long run. In addition, if you let fear stop you from taking steps to further your career you will only hold yourself back and regret it later.
Has your involvement with the JLG helped you develop as a leader?
I have grown a great deal thanks to my experience in the JLG. I think the biggest impact that being in the organization has had on my career came from chairing Leadership Development and organizing the 2014 Women’s Leadership Summit. Putting on an event of that size was very eye opening and improved a number of my skills that are relevant in my career, including strategic planning, public speaking, and financial management, to name a few. One of my favorite JLG memories is hearing Jenna Bush Hager speak at the 2014 Women’s Leadership Summit. It was the culmination of all the hard work that had gone into that amazing event. My work with the JLG has also helped me serve on the Greensboro History Museum Inc.’s Board of Trustees. I have used what I’ve learned from working on the JLG Board to help this organization and give back to my community.
Congratulations, Susanne! This is a huge honor and we know you have worked very hard to earn it!
The Junior League of Greensboro is happy to announce that Greensboro Day School is sponsoring our General Membership Meeting on Monday, April 16.
Founded in 1970, Greensboro Day School (GDS) provides unsurpassed Pre-K through grade 12 education and develops the intellectual, ethical, and interpersonal foundations students need to become constructive contributors to the world. The 792 students enrolled at GDS are committed to the school’s core values of wisdom, community, and respect. Here, students are taught how to think, not what to think. We look forward to GDS hosting our April General Membership Meeting (GMM) on their 65-acre campus.
Additionally, we’re excited to open our April GMM to the public. Junior League members and provisionals are encouraged to invite friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and other networks as we open our doors to any local women who may be interested in joining the Junior League or learning more about us.
If this weren’t exciting enough, the Annual Fund will be giving away a trip to Antigua! Donate $25 to the Junior League of Greensboro Annual Fund to be entered in the giveaway. Donations will be accepted at GMM and the winner will be drawn at the conclusion of the meeting.
April GMM details:
Monday, April 16
Greensboro Day School
6 p.m. social hour | 7–8 p.m. business meeting
Are you still on the fence about attending? Here are seven reasons why should you join us for this year’s summit.
The Junior League of Greensboro is excited to announce that Fleet Feet Sports Greensboro and High Point is our title sponsor for the March 12th General Membership Meeting (GMM) at Union Square Campus.
As the title sponsor, Fleet Feet will host our social from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. and offer Junior League members the unique opportunity to try out running or walking shoes and accessories and enjoy custom shoe fittings from Fleet Feet specialists. Fleet Feet will also be selling gear at a 15% discount, including socks, inserts, Oofos sandals, Nathan hipster and zipster running belts, and Momentum bracelets.
Interested in sponsoring a GMM?
GMM sponsorships are $1,500 and include up to 15 minutes of presentation (which can include a video, a speaker, etc.). Sponsors are announced in the Junior League weekly email during the month of their sponsorship for the 700+ email subscribers. Sponsors are featured on our website and social media accounts. For more information on GMM sponsorships, please contact President Kelly McKee (firstname.lastname@example.org) or President-Elect Christon Halkiotis (email@example.com).
A member of the Junior League of Greensboro since 2009, you may know Paulette J. Evans as our current Headquarters Manager and member of the Bargain Box Task Force. You may also remember Paulette from her previous roles, including Monday Minute Editor, Treasurer, Finance Vice President, and Membership Engagement Task Force Chair. Recently, Paulette was elected Member At Large for the Governance Committee of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI). Learn more about Paulette and this great honor.
Congratulations on your appointment! Can you tell us more about the committee?
The Governance Committee is responsible for strategic recruitment of applicants and presenting qualified candidates for election to AJLI governance positions.
What will your role entail?
My two-year term begins June 1, 2018. I will attend the annual AJLI conference in the spring and meet with my team each November to create the slate for any available positions. Outside of those in-person meetings, my team meets every week via teleconference.
In this role, I will help accomplish accountability by determining annually, with the AJLI board, the specific competencies and experience needed in each position to complete the Association’s work effectively. I’ll ensure a broad range of members are informed about the availability of AJLI governance positions, as well as competencies required to serve in these elected positions. In addition, I will help identify and strategically recruit individuals who meet the requirements and understand the responsibility of serving in a governance position, and I will assess the individuals who apply for these positions. Together, I will work with my committee to decide which applicants best meet the position requirements and continually improve our nominating process.
Did you apply for the position?
Yes. The application packet included four parts: a cover letter and Junior League leadership resume; two essays demonstrating proficiency in two of the nine AJLI competencies; a demographic questionnaire; and a social media disclosure. Once I made it through the application packet screening process, I was selected to participate in the interview phase, which also included multiple reference checks. After reviewing all of my information, the current Governance Committee determined that I would be a great fit for one of the upcoming at-large member positions.
What was the process like?
The process was extremely intense, yet very gratifying. I definitely appreciated the rigor around the process and how intentional the leadership team was about finding the right people and skill sets, based on current needs and future goals of AJLI. All decisions were objective; unlike nominating committees across countless organizations, it did not matter who you knew or what your last name was. Most of all, it was not a popularity contest — no one gets slated unless they truly deserve it!
What are you most looking forward to in your role with AJLI?
I am most excited about working for the Junior League in a global capacity. I have enjoyed all of the opportunities I have had as a JLG member; however, I am ready to volunteer at the next level. I am looking forward to learning as many best practices as possible from the other women I will be serving with and from the phenomenal staff at AJLI. And it goes without saying that I will share everything I learn with my home League!
What advice would you give other JLG members who may be interested in AJLI positions?
If anyone is interested in serving in AJLI leadership, they should aim to understand all aspects of their local league while serving in leadership positions. They also need to serve in other capacities within the community and in their professional lives; a well-rounded leader is the truest benefit to AJLI. Also, all of the information regarding the AJLI governance process can be found on the website (http://www.ajli.org).
Congratulations, Paulette, and best of luck as you begin your new role with the AJLI!