The Association of Junior Leagues International Names Melanie Schild as Chief Executive Officer
NEW YORK, Dec. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Board of Directors of The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) today announced the appointment of Melanie Schild as Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Schild will be responsible for leading the membership association that serves and supports 295 independent Junior League organizations in four countries representing more than 125,000 women civic leaders. She will assume the CEO role on January 3, 2023.
Before joining AJLI as CEO, Schild served as CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of the South where she initiated and built a strong national affiliation within the organization. In this role, she elevated the organization’s relevance by transforming its culture to one of innovation. As a visionary leader, Schild was responsible for launching leadership programs through Girl Scouts including the Kaleidoscope National Leadership Conference to help young women change the view of leadership through inclusion, equity, and excellence, and WE Lead – Women Elevated to promote all women through inclusive leadership. In addition, Schild spearheaded the Stand Beside Her movement, a national call-to-action initiative to mentor, support, and develop women and girls who collaborate rather than compete. Locally, she extended this initiative by encouraging women and girl-serving nonprofits in the Mid-South to form a collaborative coalition, Stand Beside Her Memphis. Prior to her time at Girl Scouts, Schild served as the Executive Director of Kappa Delta Sorority and Kappa Delta Foundation, Inc. for over two decades.
“For over 30 years, Melanie has been a visionary leader with an innovative spirit who creates and launches high-impact programs for women and girls on international, national, and local levels,” said Dona Ponepinto, President of AJLI. “We believe her experience as a creative partnership builder and thought leader with a strategic mindset and operational acumen will successfully position AJLI for growth in the future.”
Throughout her career, Schild has spearheaded a number of programs that uplift and support girl and women’s leadership causes. She created National Women’s Friendship Month, and founded the Confidence Coalition to promote self-confidence in girls and women. Additionally, Schild created International Care and Kindness Week, International Girls Day, and a variety of programs to help college-aged women with personal development and peer pressure.
“I am deeply honored to be selected to serve The Association of Junior Leagues International as its next Chief Executive Officer,” said Schild. “The Junior League holds a special place in my heart as it was the first place I volunteered as a young adult, and it was a place where I honed my leadership skills during the early part of my career. I take great pride in having been a Member of two different Leagues and seeing firsthand the impact Junior Leagues make in their communities. I look forward to working with the AJLI Board and staff, but most importantly, listening to and working directly with the 295 member Leagues. It is my goal to help the Association continue on its path of being a collaborative membership organization that fosters innovation, transformation, and leadership within all women in every community.”
Schild is also active in her community as a volunteer and expert on women’s leadership issues. Her volunteer work began with the Junior of League of Denver and continued with the Junior League of Memphis, where she chaired projects and programs, and was a national trainer for AJLI. Beyond The Junior League, Melanie has served as President of the Association of Fraternity Executives, President of National Panhellenic Conference Executives, and has volunteered with the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis, The Arthritis Foundation, Circle of Sisterhood, Volunteer Memphis, Heritage Memphis, Women of Action, and many other local and national organizations. She has received many honors including Memphis Woman Magazine’s Top 50 Women Who Make a Difference and Memphis Business Journal’s Super Women In Business Awards.
Schild has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Denver.
About The Junior League
Since its founding 1901, The Junior League has been an American icon. For more than 100 years, the mission of Junior Leagues has not wavered: to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training. In order to bolster their power and amplify their voice through shared knowledge and common causes, Leagues came together in 1921 to form a collective body, which is known as The Association of Junior Leagues International. Today, the Association is powered by over 125,000 women in 295 Junior Leagues in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.