JLS Board 2016-2017



We are pleased to introduce the 2016-2017 Junior League of Sacramento Board of Directors.  This dedicated group of women provides leadership and planning for the organization.  

The Board meets monthly throughout the year, providing governance oversight and strategic planning to the League. Members are selected through a Nominating Committee and our League year is June 1st through May 31st.  

Board members act as trustees and stewards on behalf of our members, including the financial management of the League.  They are also responsible for the strategic direction of the organization.

Each member of the Board brings inspiration and talent to the JLS.  Scroll down to read information on each board member.

Photo courtesy of Mark Long at Eleakis & Elder Photography

Board of Directors 2016-2017

To read about JLS President Laurie Somerhausen's year, please click here 

Laurie Somerhausen, President

Laurie joined the League in 2009 and is serving her fifth term on the Junior League of Sacramento (JLS) Board of Directors and will be the first 2 year President term since 1957.  She has served on the Public Relations and Marketing Committee, Chaired the Cookbook Committee, been Treasurer-Elect, Treasurer, Events VP, Chaired the Ad-Hoc committee to decide the next focus area and most recently served as President-Elect.  In 2011 she was awarded JLS Active of the Year and in 2013 she was named a Rising Star by the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI). Laurie holds a Bachelors of Science in Dietetics from the University of California Davis and a Master’s of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Dietetics from Eastern Illinois University.  She has been a Registered Dietitian for 18 years and a Manager for 10 years. Her career has been entirely in public health both at the County and State level and she is currently the Director of Nutrition Services for Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency. Laurie lives in Sacramento with her husband Paul and son Jake.

Stephanie Rice, Executive VP

Stephanie has been a member of the Junior League of Sacramento since 2008. This is Stephanie's 2nd time serving on the Junior League of Sacramento Board of Directors.  Much of Stephanie's time in the League has been spent focused on community programs.  Most recently, she helped the Adhoc team narrow in our new issue of Empowering Girls which will begin in our next League year.  She has servied on the Kids in the Kitchen committee for two years before taking on leadership of the committee as a co-chair during the 2011-2012 League Year. She is passionate about nutrition and loves the impactful community outreach made possible through the Junior League of Sacramento. This is her first year on the Board of Directors. Stephanie received her undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara and her law degree with a concentration in tax at McGeorge School of Law. She currently works as an attorney with Spinelli, Donald & Nott, a full service litigation firm in Sacramento. She has been with the firm for six years. Stephanie also is involved with Metro Edge, which is the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s young professionals group, as well as the Barristers’ Club and Women Lawyers of Sacramento. When she is not working or volunteering, you can find her at Capital Athletic Club.

Mary Werling, Recording Secretary

Mary is entering her second year as Recording Secretary on the Board of Directors. Mary joined the Junior League of Oakland-East Bay as a new member in 2012 and transferred to the Junior League of Sacramento in 2013. She was the 2013-20014 recipient of the Spring New Member of the Year award. Prior to serving on the Board, Mary was actively involved in AJLI's Governance & Management transformation model and the Community Programs council. In addition to serving the League, Mary is the President of the Sacramento chapter of the Santa Clara University Alumni Association, a Friend of the Sacramento Library, and an active volunteer at St. Ignatius Loyola parish. She has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and a minor in International Business from Santa Clara University. Mary works in the insurance and financial services industry.

Heidi Pyle, Treasurer

Heidi joined the Junior League of Sacramento in 2014 to volunteer with like-minded, empowered women working to improve Sacramento communities. She joined the finance committee immediately following her provisional term, serving as Treasurer Elect for the 2015-16 league year. Her favorite part of the League is the support and camaraderie provided by league mentors.  Heidi received her undergraduate degree in political science from UC Berkeley and her Master of Business Administration from Drexel University. She currently works as a public relations professional at KP Public Affairs, a policy oriented advocacy and comprehensive public relations firm in Sacramento. She also sits on the Leadership Council for MetroEDGE, the young professionals program of the Sacramento Metro Chamber Foundation, as well as the Friends Committee for My Sister’s House of Sacramento. Heidi lives in Sacramento with her husband Russell and two cats. 

Melissa Munno, Nominating Chair 

Melissa joined the League in 2006 and since then has been involved in many community programs, including the Sacramento Children's Museum and Kids in the Kitchen. As a prior board member, she was the Recording Secretary and Administrative Vice President. This year she is the Nominating chair. After receiving her Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University, Melissa moved to Sacramento. While teaching first grade, she earned her Master's degree in Education from California State University, Sacramento. She currently works as a Kindergarten teacher and lives in Rocklin.  

Sheri Chow, Sustainer VP

Sheri joined the Junior League of Sacramento in 2000, and is excited to be back on the Board of Directors. She has served in many roles with the JLS including Parliamentarian, Treasurer, Treasurer-Elect, and member of the Nominating Committee. Since becoming a Sustainer in 2013, she has served on the Sustainer Council and Poinsettia Luncheon Committee. Sheri joined the JLS to give something back to the community, and credits the league with helping her develop valuable skills and lasting friendships. As Sustainer Vice President, her goal is to keep sustainers connected to the league and our community programs. She also serves as VP of Communications on the Phoebe Hearst Elementary School PTO Board. Sheri is a marketing and communications consultant, and works on various marketing, editing and writing projects. She has a Master's degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Golden Gate University and a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from CSU Chico. Sheri grew up in Sacramento, where she currently lives with her husband Bob and their daughter Samantha.

Jackie O'Connell, At-Large Director

As a new Sacramento resident, Jackie joined the League in 2010 to make friends and get involved in her community.  She is serving her first term on the JLS Board of Directors and has previously served on the Technology Committee, Done in a Day Committee, and most recently on the Ad Hoc Committee to further explore the League's focus of Empowering Girls.  Jackie holds a Bachelors degree in Environmental Engineering and a Masters degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  She is a registered civil engineer in California and currently works as a Senior Environmental Project Manager for a consulting firm.  Jackie lives in El Dorado Hills with her husband Sean and daughter Imogen.  Imogen loves burning off her toddler energy at the Sacramento Children's Museum and Fairytale Town, her two favorite JLS signature projects.  

Tiffany Polk, At-Large Director

Originally from Southern California (Simi Valley), Tiffany joined the Junior League of Sacramento (JLS) in 2011 to meet like-minded women and to get involved in the Sacramento community. She was the 2012 recipient of the New Active of the Year award. Tiffany started her JLS journey in Community Programs and was Chair of the Kids in the Kitchen Program for the 2013-2014 year.  Wanting to share her passion for JLS with others, she served as a New Member Advisor from 2014-2015. Tiffany graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelors of Art’s degree in Government and a minor in Communications. Tiffany works at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) as an Investment Officer.

Toni Tinker, At-Large Director

Toni is a Sacramento native, and holds degrees from Sacramento State University in Ethnic Studies & Multicultural Education with emphases in African and Native Studies. She worked for CSUS in the Educational Opportunities Program and Ethnic Studies Department. The majority of her published academic work has been on the access and success of students of underrepresented populations in public education, the success of African Americans in higher education, and the impact of Service Learning on youth in the community. She currently owns her own business and works as a Community Liaison. She’s currently working with a cross-collaborative team on the development of a pilot Ethnic Studies curriculum for Sacramento Unified School District. In addition to her academic work, Toni serves as a Black Parallel School Board member, Sacramento Stingrays Swim Team Board member, Greenhaven Soccer Board member, and is a part of Ethnic Studies Now- Sacramento. Toni joined the Junior League in 2015 as a way to network and volunteer. When she is not working with youth and the community, Toni enjoys precious family time with four children that range from 18 to 3 years of age and her partner, Scott at their home in the Pocket/Greenhaven area.