President’s Message


The 2023-2024 League year is well underway. The Junior League of Roanoke Valley (JLRV) is entering its 96th year, just four away from our Centennial.  While celebrating our rich history, we also look forward to the future as an organization devoted to meaningful community impact and advancing women’s leadership.  I am so excited for what the JLRV continues to offer our members and community. 

The themes of this year are providing value and fostering engagement. The JLRV will strive to provide value through purposeful opportunities to enrich our community and facilitate the growth of our women leaders, and this is not limited to our League members. We encourage everyone to “opt in” by making a conscious choice to invest time and energy in yourselves and each other within the Star City and beyond.  Last year, the JLRV did just that by investing over $60,000 in grants, scholarships, and donations and contributing nearly 9,000 volunteer hours through League and community events.  All of this was accomplished by a group of approximately 360 members (20 New, 90 Active and 250 Sustaining).

This November marks the 35th Stocked Market.  This is the “money behind the mission,” and the JLRV would not be able to serve as a catalyst for lasting community change without it. This event was recognized by the Roanoker’s Best of Roanoke 2022 with the Silver Award for the Best Local Charity Event.  Mark your calendars and get ready to support this phenomenal fundraising event. 

In order to be faithful to its mission, the JLRV will be offering numerous trainings in the coming months.  A number of these trainings will be open to the community and include topics such as strategic planning and fiduciary governance.  We also look forward to hosting the second annual Women’s Leadership Development Workshop in March 2024.  This highly-anticipated event drew a crowd of over 100 women in 2023 with 100% of those surveyed indicating a desire to attend again.  

As a member of the JLRV, women have access to opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else, including on-the-job training through leadership roles.  This year, one in three Active and New Members will take on leadership roles in some capacity.  Through their involvement, members learn how to run a board, establish an annual plan, host a six-figure event, analyze policy, negotiate contracts, manage social media campaigns…and the list goes on.  The JLRV offers a safe place to try something new, providing members with the support needed to achieve and thrive.  I have lost track of how many women have anecdotally credited the JLRV for adding tools to their skillset which set them up for success on their way to future endeavors and careers. 

To be a part of this organization is to be a part of something bigger than yourself. We are a group of strong women leaders.  Engage with your fellow members and community, seek value and opportunities, and help pave the path for those following in your footsteps. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!



Franny Apel

President 2023 – 2024