Chair's Corner

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2021! We hope that you are in good health and have found strategies to cope with our limited access to friends and family. During the holiday break, our committees have been busy making sure that we live up to our mission: to provide a network for staff alumni ​and to further the mission of JA USA. We have exciting news on both fronts.

  • In addition to our Facebook group and newsletter, we will have a Zoom gathering in February where we can see you in person (or what passes for in-person these days). I hope to see you there!
  • To further the mission of JA USA, we have embarked on our most ambitious campaign to fund scholarships for JA Field Staff to attend NLC. I know you will want to be a part of it.
  • Inquiring minds want to know: who developed the first JA Personnel Department, who won the Hook award twice, how long was the first JA Company Program, did the JA Board ever have a general? To honor and retain JA history, we have posted the first group of oral histories on our website. You will find the stories of our leaders and mentors inspiring and enlightening. We have transcripts from many other leaders recorded in the early 2000s and we need your help to edit these so that we can post them as well. Please join the team to preserve our history. It is a task that does not take a lot of time and you will learn things about JA that you didn’t know before. In the words of some of our editors, “that was fun!” and “I had no idea about this part of our history”. Contact Elaine Saunders ( if you are willing to help.

We are planning a great year of connection and commitment.

It's a New Year - What Have You Been Up To?
It’s 2021 – and we have all waved goodbye to 2020 (hooray!) It feels like we’ve been locked down for months – we haven’t traveled, we haven’t seen our kids or our grandkids in person, and we haven’t been able to catch up with our JA friends. Mark your calendar for February 11, 2021 – 4:00 pm PT, 5:00 pm MT, 6:00 pm CT, and 7:00 pm ET. We’re going to have a party! Zoom is the location – and more details will come your way early in February via an Evite. Can’t wait to hear what you all have been up to!
Support Our Successors - Donate Now
As we all know, working for JA can provide the greatest satisfaction of any job you’ll ever have. However, it can also be a lonely one. So many of us worked in small offices – and no one really understood many of our challenges – except our JA peers.

In 2019 Jason Lee, then the new President of JA of Southeastern Michigan (Detroit) was selected as one of the ten recipients of a JASAN scholarship to attend the National Leadership Conference.  Here’s what he had to say about his experience: 
I was literally a few weeks into my position as President & CEO of Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan when the Vice President who shepherded my territory informed me about the National Leadership Conference and encouraged me to go. She continued to inform me about the JA Staff Alumni Network and the Support Our Successors scholarship that deferred costs for participation in the NLC. I was ecstatic when I received the scholarship! The funding secured my participation in the conference and provided me an opportunity to meet many of the historic figures associated with JA.
Welcome to Our Newest Member!
Katherine Blanchette, former VP of Education Junior Achievement Northern California
Kathie Blanchette joined the JA staff Network in October. Learn more about Kathie here. If you know someone who is eligible for the JA Staff Alumni Network (worked for JA for five years and is over the age of 40), please contact Membership Chair, Ken Wasoba ( Our primary goal is to facilitate connections – and only you can help us find more connections!
You can also invite them to join our Facebook group.
What's Happening at JA USA?
Did you know that CNBC and Junior Achievement have partnered to bring teens from across the United States together with a panel of experts for a virtual forum to discuss economic disparity in America? The focus will include barriers facing Americans, including those based on race, ethnicity, and gender, and how education, financial literacy, work and career readiness, and entrepreneurship can help break down obstacles and increase opportunities for the next generation. Click HERE to watch the recording!

Did you know that JA USA commissioned a report in August 2020 looking at the difference a JA experience made in someone’s life? Click HERE for the entire report.

Did you know you could volunteer in a JA classroom right from home? Check it out ... Click HERE.

The mission of the JA Staff Alumni Network is to provide a network for staff alumni ​and to further the mission of JA USA.