Our History

Internationally, the Junior League has almost 300 Leagues in four countries with more than 155,000 members. Eleanor Roosevelt played an important role as a member in the early years. Many other well known community leaders have been members of the Junior League over the years including former First Ladies Laura Bush and Betty Ford, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Shirley Temple-Black, and Katherine Hepburn.

The Junior League of Madison (JLM) began in the spring of 1988. Mary Pat Berry, a Junior League member from Milwaukee who had relocated to the Madison area, took the initiative to establish a Junior League in Madison. The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) had provided a list of non-resident active members from other cities who were living in the area. By August of that year, eleven women, most with former Junior League experience and all with a vision, formed the first JLM steering committee.

The new organization became known and was incorporated as the Junior Service League of Greater Madison (JSLGM). The first membership meeting was held in October 19, 1988 at the Governor’s Mansion.

Sixty new members were in attendance. The first speakers included a panel of civic leaders: Chamber of Commerce President, Robert Brennan; Dane County Executive, Rick Phelps; and David Mollenhoff, Downtown Madison, Inc. They welcomed the League into a long range partnership to work for the future of Madison.

In 1992, the JSLGM began the formal application process to become an official Junior League by completing and submitting a detailed application to AJLI.

Finally, on July 1, 1993, the Junior Service League of Greater Madison was voted into the Association of Junior Leagues International, becoming the 283rd League.

JLM Year         JLM President

1988-1989      Laurel Rice

1989-1990      Laurel Rice

1990-1991       Carmen Skilton

1991-1992       Carmen Skilton

1992-1993       Ginger Gant

1993-1994       Ginger Gant

1994-1995      Mary Pat Berry

1995-1996      Cynthia Rogerson

1996-1997      Gail Docken

1997-1998      Suzanne WIlkinson

1998-1999      Melinda Pellino

2000-2001     Laurel Rice

2001-2002     Mary Bartzen

2003-2004     Susan Stone

2005-2006     Lynn Wood

2006-2007     Sara DeTienne

2007-2008     Peggy Angevine

2009-2010     Elizabeth Kluesner

2010-2011       Vicki Ballweg

2011-2012       Alissa Oleck

2012-2013       Elizabeth Greer

2013-2014       Laura Gmeinder

2014-2015       Gretchen Lins

2015-2016       Nicole Donny

2016-2017       Cammie Sorensen

2017-2018       Dena Gullickson

2018-2019       Kirsten Reader

2019-2020       Kristy Reed

2020-2021       Jocelyn Braun

2021-2022       Jen Brydges