By: Allison Gallaspy
Since its founding in 1923, the Junior League of Greater New Haven has sought to effect positive change in the Greater New Haven community by promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and supporting the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. As the League prepares for its Centennial Anniversary, we celebrate our members and share their incredible stories, recognizing how each individual story makes up that of the League as a whole.
Ashley Fitton found her way to the Junior League of Greater New Haven naturally. Though she was familiar with the Junior League because her sister-in-law was a member of the New York Junior League, friends she happened to make at New Haven’s YMCA baby swim class as a new mom convinced her to join about five years ago.
Ashley has served in several leadership positions since then, including as the 2021-22 JLGNH President, 2020-2021 President Elect, as the Chair of the League’s Winetasting fundraiser, and honorary Co-Chair of the Done in a Day Committee. She describes her progression within JLGNH’s leadership as beginning with baby steps. “I wanted to feel comfortable taking on a leadership role,” she recalls. But along the way, something clicked for Ashley that changed how she viewed the opportunities available to her. “Once I realized that taking on a leadership role was half of the learning opportunity, I decided to take the plunge.”
She credits the JLGNH with helping her hone her organization skills, especially when handing responsibilities over to new Board members at the end of the League year. She also attributes her ability to balance her League responsibilities with other priorities to, “multitasking, multitasking, multitasking.”
Ashley’s highlights of her time in the League include the memories and friend she made as Winetasting chair, saying, “tough projects really do cement strong relationships!” She also appreciates the ways her League participation has expanded horizons for she and her daughter. One highlight was when she was able to bring her daughter to a League service opportunity, saying, “the opportunity to bring my daughter to the mobile food pantry was enlightening for her.” Personally, Ashley feels that JLGNH, “is very rewarding. Time spent working on League initiatives… stretches your brain in a different capacity than in my home and work lives. I’m appreciative of the opportunities to learn new things and meet new people.”