JLP Member Spotlight : Andrea Simbro

IMG_2738How many years have you been in the league?  3 years (2nd year active)

What is your day job?  Attorney with Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek, PLC, specializing in civil litigation, construction law, real estate law, and probate litigation.
Favorite thing to do in Phoenix?  Hike if the weather is nice. Tom’s Thumb is my favorite!
If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it?  Spend it with the people I love and catch up on sleep!
In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member?  The opportunity to get to know an amazing and talented group of women leaders.
Why did you join the JLP?  To meet new people and become more involved in my community.
What do you want other people to know about JLP?  Joining JLP is a fun way to network with like-minded women while refining your leadership skills and giving back to the Phoenix community.
Favorite JLP memory?  Taking a trip to Jerome, Arizona last year with the JLP Travelers group for wine tasting and a ghost tour!

2018 JLP Community Ambassador of the Year Jayson Matthews


Our 2018 JLP Community Ambassador of the year has been an advocate for our mission of  “Building a Healthy Arizona” every day since beginning his partnership with the JLP. Since joining as a Community Ambassador, Jayson Matthews has aligned himself with the JLP to support our mission in several capacities. He has provided his knowledge of ending hunger at our GMM panel meetings. He spearheaded the new partnership between the JLP and the United Way to end hunger in the classroom by providing opportunities for our league members to support the Weekend Hunger Backpacks program where volunteers build meal kits to put in children’s backpacks so they have access to food over the weekend. He is a champion in our efforts to train league members to be advocates for children in the valley who are struggling with hunger. The JLP is grateful to have Jayson Matthews, of the Valley of the Sun United Way as a Community Ambassador and thank him for his continued support of the Junior League of Phoenix!

JLP Member Spotlight: Laura Sharp


Get to know Laura Sharp! Another Junior League of Phoenix member that makes us our league awesome in this week’s Member Spotlight.

How many years have you been in the league? This is my 2nd Active year.

What is your day job? My husband and I own a software consulting company.

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? Running/hiking – I love that the weather here allows that for most months of the year!

If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it?
Read a great book, run a few miles, and spend some time with my family.

In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member? Our community impact shifts always refocus me on our purpose. I love the ways we give back to our community!

Why did you join the JLP?  To have an outlet to give back to our community and continue to develop myself.

What do you want other people to know about JLP? League members are incredibly diverse, with many different passions, but a common goal.

Favorite JLP memory? My first Feed My Starving Children shift where I was able to share my desire to give back with my older son, and watch him see the impact a committed group of people can make to change the world.

JLP Member Spotlight: Mary Birdoes

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Get to know Mary Birdoes!  Just one of our amazing Junior League of Phoenix members in this week’s Member Spotlight.

How many years have you been in the league? I am a provisional member.

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? My favorite thing to do in Phoenix is either the thing I’ve never done or being in the epicenter of the action, preferably both!

If you had an extra 8 hours in a day what would you do with it? I would squeeze in a High Intensity Interval Training workout or lift weights for the first hour, spend time eating and laughing over a family get together for the next four hours, and spend the last three checking out a hip new place or attending a high energy event in Pheonix.

In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member? I cannot limit my answer to just one thing.  Though the friendships are my favorite part of the JLP, I also love the built in opportunities to do rewarding volunteer work and I relish the leadership and skill development training!
Why did you join the JLP? I was looking for a volunteer organization and decided to commit to the JLP because it offered so much more! Can anyone say DIP?!?

What do you want other people to know about JLP? People should know that the JLP provides a social network, and a means of contributing to the community through volunteer work and the development of female leaders. The only caveat is that you have to take hold of the opportunities in order to reap the benefits!

Favorite JLP memory? Some of my favorite memories aren’t necessarily JLP sanctioned events but rather informal events organized by members. To return to official JLP events, however, some of the standouts in my memory are the pool party, happy hour at Brother’s Tap House, Provisional Day of Service at St. Vincent De Paul’s, The Little Black Dress Initiative, JLP 360, Toastmasters meetings (especially the meetings when I gave a speech), volunteering at the holiday Homeward Bound and Free Arts shifts, the Communications and Marketing Team Committee Meeting (that may sound nerdy but I was fascinated to get an inside look at my future career), and any time there was a happy hour involved! Wow. That was a long sentence!

JLP Member Spotlight: Lauren Ill

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How many years have you been in the league? Less than 1 – provisional

What is your day job? Residential Realtor

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? Reaching the top of Squaw Peak in time for sunrise, as well as attending events around town and going on road trips to all the unique stops around the state. Most recently, I fed a giraffe and zip lined at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park.

If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it?  More hiking and more road trips.

In your opinion, what is the best thing about being a JLP member? Junior League provides a great way to expand your interests and learn more about yourself in a fun, welcoming environment. We have movie groups, a book club, Toastmasters, countless opportunities to volunteer, leadership positions, JLP 360, and so much more. The opportunities to better ourselves and expand our interests are absolutely endless. Junior League is truly unique in that any amount of participation creates a better version of you.

Why did you join the JLP? Initially, I had joined Junior League for the social aspect. But after Super Saturday I, it became clear how much more there is to the league and the many ways to tailor this experience to my own expectations. While I had always participated in community service, I’ve become much more involved since joining the league. It’s great to see the very real effect that this organization has had on the surrounding community and to know that we’re constantly making a difference.

What do you want other people to know about JLP? While JLP brings together ladies with similar interests, each individual is able to build her own unique experience within the league. If you joined for social events and to build friendships, then that’s easy to find here. If you joined to give back and get involved in the community, there’s plenty of opportunity to do so. If you want to build on professional and personal skills, then look into the wide range of in-homes and various leadership positions we can hold as members of the league. Each experience is unique and exactly what you choose to make it.

Favorite JLP memory? My favorite memories with the Junior League have been the get-togethers that my provisional group plans each month. So far, we’ve done happy hours, trivia competitions, and movie nights. They’re a great group of ladies that I admire, have built great friendships with, and am excited to see at each gathering.

Top 10 Reasons to Join the Junior League of Phoenix

“The Junior League is the foremost community leader in Greater Phoenix. The League’s long-term commitment supports the most critical areas of need. Most major community projects for the past three decades have been researched, initiated, funded and created by The Junior League of Phoenix. What an awesome group of women!” – Betsy Bayless, Director of AZ Department of Administration & Arizona Secretary of State (1997-2002); Sustainer member, The Junior League of Phoenix


Are you considering joining the Junior League of Phoenix, but want to know more about us and what we do? Well, here are many of our favorite reasons to join!

By being a member of the JLP, you can . .

1. Meet new people 

The Junior League of Phoenix is made up of over 1000 members, over 300 of which are actively involved, with the rest being Sustainers, members who continue support the League and participate in various activities. As a member of the JLP, you will have so many opportunities to meet a variety of these like-minded women, including  at General Membership Meetings, volunteering together at shifts, social events and working closely in a committee or leadership team. Whether you are new to the Phoenix area, or have lived here for years, this is an incredible opportunity get to know some of the most amazing women you will ever meet.


2. Volunteer


At the heart of The Junior League of Phoenix’s mission is improving our community. We offer our members opportunities to volunteer at many different non-profits in the Valley, through ourCommunity Impact Shifts and at the JLP’s own community programs and fundraisers. Community Impact shifts are available throughout the year and members can get a close up look at the work of local non-profits by volunteering. The JLP’s current community programs include: Ending Hunger in the Classroom, Kids Cook with Heart, Kids in the Kitchen and R.O.C.K.E.T.S (Raising Our Children’s Knowledge by Educating Through Science). These shifts give members an opportunity to learn more about how the JLP is helping to improve the community, and our focus of Building a Healthy Arizona.


The JLP’s signature fundraising events include:  Touch-A-Truck, The White Party and the Rummage Sale. In fact, all active members volunteer at our annual Rummage Sale. The Rummage Sale has been a staple in the Phoenix community for over 80 years and is when the league comes together in full force to provide “Arizona’s Biggest Indoor Garage Sale” to the community and raise over $100,000 to support our mission.


3. Learn new skills

Every year, active members are placed on a new committee (unless you are in a two year position, or choose to stay on your current committee). Each new committee placement is an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, take on new challenges, thus learning new skills like fundraising, event planning, finance, working with non-profits, training, and much more. We also offer trainings on a variety of subjects throughout the year for our members as part of our mission.


4. Build your resume

All the great things you will do in the JLP  can be added to your resume, and  can really benefit you if you are ever in the job market. Check out this article about adding volunteer work to your resume!


5. Have fun! 

There are plenty of opportunities to socialize. From small happy hours, fitness classes, and sporting events to cocktail parties like the White Party, there is something for everyone. The JLP loves to get together for a good time!

6. Become a leader

Leadership may not have been a reason you thought to join the league, but being a member can bring out the best in you. We have a variety of leadership opportunities, such as chairing a committee, mentoring a Provisional group to being a member of the Management Team or Board of Directors.

“The training and leadership opportunities provided by the Junior League was the very best non-profit college education I could have asked for, without paying tuition. I am forever grateful for the JLP, which led me to and assisted me in my almost 25 year career as a non-profit leader, which has allowed me to make a difference in our community”   – Nancy Roach, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Phoenix,  Sustaining Member, The Junior League of Phoenix

flagstaff7. Find your niche

Have you ever wanted to join a book club? We have special interest Facebook groups, including book clubs, golf club, moms group, movie group and travel club. The JLP even has it’s own Toastmasters club. There is something for everyone!

8. Try something new 

Have you ever wanted to try a spin class? Want to learn about being on a non-profit board? Every November and April, the JLP offer “in-home” meetings for our members. These small intimate meetings and trainings are usually in someone’s home or business and can range from wine tastings, non-profit fundraising, fitness classes, self-defense, financial planning, photography, modern manners and much, much more.

9. Be part of a legacy

For over 85 years, our volunteers have continued to positively impact the Phoenix metropolitan area.  The JLP is invested in developing long term initiatives and programs that meet the ever-changing needs of our community. For over 80 years, our volunteers have continued to positively impact the Phoenix metropolitan area.  The JLP is invested in developing long term initiatives and programs that meet the ever-changing needs of our communityWe are responsible for creating or have been a founding partner for the following organizations: Crisis Nursery, Ryan House, The Arizona Science Center, Rosson House, Phoenix Museum of History, Orpheum Theater and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. We have been involved with over 80 community programs in our long history, take a look at the list here.


10. Make lifelong friends

Some of the best friends you ever have in your live, can come from being a member of the JLP.

Here are what some of our members have to say . .

“I love the amazing women you meet, friendships you form, and the opportunities to gain leadership skills”

“I love the JLP for all of the service opportunities in the local community! Also all the smaller interest groups like movie goers, bookclub, toastmasters, golfing etc”

“You can jump right in and participate! I love toastmasters for this. It gives you the opportunity to get involved and meet members early in the year. I have learned so much about the League from the experienced ladies in this group, and made awesome friends outside of my provisional group”

“The Junior League teaches you things you never knew you needed in a fun way”

“In my 13 years of being a member, I have formed some of the most incredible, life-changing friendships of my life with ladies that I know will be part of my life forever” 


About the Junior League of Phoenix

The Junior League of Phoenix, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization of over 1,000 women committed to the promoted voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the Valley of the Sun through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. For more than 80 years, JLP has invested almost $4.1 million in the community and contributes over 75,000 volunteer hours annually. Current League programs are structured around JLP’s focus area of “Building a Healthy Arizona.” For more information about the Junior League of Phoenix, please visit jlp.org.


JLP Member Spotlight: Jenn Sarter

Jenn SarterGet to know Jenn Sarter! Just one of our amazing Junior League of Phoenix members in this week’s Member Spotlight.

How many years have you been in the league? I’ve been in the league for two years (this is my first active year).

What is your day job? Senior Marketing Manager for Cotton Council International and Owner, Jenn Sarter Marketing LLC

Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? Hike Camelback Mountain and then go to brunch.

If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it? I would go on a spur-of-the-moment road trip with my husband, 2-year-old son and two dogs.

In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member? Getting to know all of the amazing women in the league! I am constantly in awe of the inspirational, accomplished women in the JLP.

Why did you join the JLP? I joined the Junior League to take advantage of the great community volunteer opportunities and to make new friends!

What do you want other people to know about JLP? Joining the Junior League is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I encourage anyone considering becoming a member to go for it! JLP has allowed me to develop myself personally and professionally, expand my social circle, and give back to the community through a wide variety of volunteer opportunities.

Favorite JLP memory? It’s hard to pick just one, as I have made so many wonderful memories through JLP! I have worn a little black dress for a week during an initiative to bring attention to poverty’s effects on women, volunteered in my community, gained confidence as a leader, improved my public speaking skills, learned how to manage my time more effectively, traveled with the group, joined a book club, participated in a fantasy football league, planned fun social events, and made so many kind, smart, inspiring friends.

 To learn more about the Junior League of Phoenix visit JLP.ORG.

JLP Member Spotlight: Amy Levine


Get to know Amy Lavine! Just one of our amazing Junior League of Phoenix members in this week’s Member Spotlight.

  • How many years have you been in the league? This is my first year as an active.
  • What is your day job? I am a litigation attorney.
  • Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? Check out art and food festivals throughout the valley. There are always so many things going on!
  • If you had an extra 8 hours in a day what would you do with it? Sleep for a lot of it and use the rest to play golf.
  • In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member? I love the sense of community and empowerment of women.  Getting connected to so many local charitable organizations that I was unaware of before joining JLP also makes the experience fulfilling and unique.
  • Why did you join the JLP? I moved here from Los Angeles, so I wanted to join JLP to meet new people and get involved in the community.  I have met so many incredible women so far who have become close friends now, so I am extremely grateful.
  • What do you want other people to know about JLP?  There is a place and experience for everyone.  The range of volunteer opportunities is so vast that you can find almost anything to meet your interests.  The women I have come across are not only leaders in the community but also extremely successful in their personal lives.  It is inspiring to surround yourself with so many positive influences.
  • Favorite JLP memory?  Going around during Super Saturday in my provisional year to all the different partners and organizations supported and/or created by JLP.   I had no idea JLP had such a wide influence and that it supported so many fantastic organizations over the year, serving different needs in the community.  It was fun to meet other provisionals during that time and compete in mini trivia competitions while also learning about the JLP.  Just an overall really fun day.

To learn more about the Junior League of Phoenix visit JLP.ORG.

JLP Member Spotlight: Tameka Fox

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Get to know Tameka Fox! Just one of our amazing Junior League of Phoenix members in this week’s Member Spotlight.

  • How many years have you been in the league? 3 years. Currently, I am a 2nd year active!
  • What is your day job? I am the Executive Consultant of Legal Affairs for the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Office of Administrative Review. In a nutshell I am a Disability Lawyer.
  • Favorite thing to do in Phoenix? Golf!
  • If you had an extra 8 hours in your day what would you do with it? I would divide the hours up and spend more time doing a healthy activity i.e. exercise, reading, volunteering, sleeping, being quiet and introspective and spending time with my family
  • In your opinion what is the best thing about being a JLP member? Leadership development opportunities with like-minded women.
  • Why did you join the JLP? I was looking for a group that would compliment my skills and at the same time allow me to develop more as a woman. The JLP has exceeded my expectations!
  • What do you want other people to know about JLP? We are more than a volunteer organization. I want people to know that we are a network of women, who are powerful, inspiring and who are game changers in the Phoenix Community.
  • Favorite JLP memory? Attending the GMM where Vicki Clark was the guest speaker. She focused on Servant Leadership. She told us how servant leaders, like those in the Junior League, are mission-driven and member focused. Vicki summed up the servant leader philosophy with one statement “If serving is below you, then leadership is beyond you.” I truly was inspired in all aspects of my life. She challenged me to find the best in others, thus bringing out the best in myself.

To learn more about the Junior League of Phoenix, visit JLP.ORG

Junior League of Phoenix gears up for 2nd Annual HealthFest on Saturday, March 10


The Junior League of Phoenix is excited to host our second annual HealthFest event from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday March 10 at Gateway Community College, located at 108 N. 40th St., Phoenix, AZ 85034. This location is conveniently located near a Light Right stop.


HealthFest is a FREE family-friendly Health & Wellness event that features local health resources, FREE health screenings, FREE children’s immunizations, education, children’s activities and fitness demonstrations. The event is focused on connecting the community to local healthcare resources and providing education to empower families to make healthy lifestyle choices.



HealthFest brings together local leaders in health and wellness, including nutrition, fitness, healthcare providers and local programs. It will include access to free health screenings including prenatal ultrasounds, lung and pancreatic screenings, free children’s immunizations, and free dental screenings and fluoride treatments. In its second year, HealthFest has added the opportunity to learn about the HUG clinic at GateWay Community College and schedule free physical therapy, respiratory therapy or ultrasounds. HealthFest is funded by a grant from The Junior League of Phoenix Foundation.

“The Junior League is committed to expanding access to health services in the community, as well as providing education on healthy living” said Raychel DeFranco, HealthFest Chair for the Junior League. “Phoenix Families want to know what they can do to improve the health of their family. JLP’s HealthFest is a fun way to spend a day with your family learning about local health resources and healthy lifestyle choices.”


HealthFest will feature live interactive demonstrations for the entire family, including fitness and cooking. The event will feature fitness demonstrations including kids yoga, boxing, cardio and resistance training, and more!

Entertainment Schedule:

 Welcome: 10:00 AM

Kids Yoga: 10:15 AM

Mashup (Strength & Agility, HIIT, and Mind Body) : 10:30 AM

RAFFLE: 11:00 AM

Gorilla Arrival: 11:00 AM

Zumba with Jaylyn: 11:10 AM

RAFFLE: 11:25 AM

Boxing: 11:35 AM

RAFFLE: 11:45 AM

Avidity Sister Nutrition Talk: 12:00 PM

Pound: 12:20 PM

RAFFLE: 12:35 PM

Dance Party: 12:40 PM

Family Yoga: 1:00 PM

Cooking Demo: 1:30 PM




The screenings below are FREE to all attendees:

–       Children’s Immunizations

–       Prenatal ultrasounds, lung/respiratory and pancreatic screenings, physical therapy thanks to the HUG Clinic at Gateway Community College

–       Dental screenings and fluoride treatments to children 0-18

–       Dental screenings for adults

–       Smoke Cessation Assistance

–       Blood pressure, BMI, and Glucose tests

–       Stress Reduction

–       Biometric Measurements, skin, nails, tounge, and taste exams, GI Health, & Hormone Symptoms testing


Somos Dental – FREE Adult Dental Screenings
AZ Department of Health Services SunWise Program – Learn how to protect you and your family from the sun!
Midwestern Univ Dental Clinic – FREE Adult Dental Screenings
Mindful Wellness of Arizona – Stress Reduction demonstations
Maricopa Integrated Health System – FREE Blood Pressure, Glucose, BMI, and more
Integrative Medicine Clinic of AZ – Biometric Measurements, Integrative exams – skin, nails, tounge, taste, GI Health, Hormone Symptoms
HUG Clinic at Gateway Community College – FREE prenatal ultrasounds, physical therapy, Pulmonary Rehabilitation sessions, smoking sensation tests, and more!
Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona – Learn about epilepsy and seizure facts vs. myths
Baby Shots for Kids – Phoenix Fire – Free children immunizations
CVS Caremark
Native Health – Free Pediatric dental screenings and flouride varnish
Avidity Sisters – Learn how to shop for cheap and healthy on the go snacks! The Avidity Sisters will be at HealthFest at 12 to present.
Blood Drive Mobile – Save a life, donate blood!
Arizona Coyotes – Learn how to play hockey like the pros!
Kids Yoga with Talia

Plus more!

And hopefully YOU!

After spending the day with an amazing array of physicians, chefs, nutritionists, fitness experts, and trainers attendees will come away with the tools and ideas need to help lead a healthier, more active, and more fulfilling life.

We hope to see  you and your family there!