Today we’re getting to know Courtney Schlieter, winner of the Barbara Lee Pratt Heart of Gold Award. Courtney is a busy mom, wife, litigation associate at Rich Rosenthal Brincefield Manitta Dzubin & Kroeger, LLP and Junior Friend of the Campagna Center. Courtney was gracious enough to give us a few moments of her time to answer a few questions.
Tell us about yourself:
I grew up in Southern California (Pasadena specifically). After graduating from UCLA, I got involved in state politics in Orange County, California. After one election cycle, I was looking to get immersed deeper in politics and my choice was either Sacramento or Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. won and though my plan was only two years, I think I’m here to stay.
I worked on a number of different Members of Congress after moving to D.C. and went to George Mason Law School at night. After law school, I went to work for the Department of Justice for several years. I had the opportunity to stay home full time for a while. During that period, I co-chaired the Deck The Halls event and through that work met Lonnie Rich and Lana Manitta. I am now an associate at Rich Rosenthal Brincefield Manitta Dzubin & Kroeger, LLP. And I owe my job to Junior Friends and the great relationships it helps foster.
I live in Rosemont with my husband and my three daughters, Audrey (7), Eloise (5.75) and Lydia (3).
What initially drew you to supporting the Campagna Center?
I have always had a strong desire to give back to my community. In college, that was through my service organization, sorority and the Student-Alumni Association. As a young professional in DC, I missed that regular opportunity to give back. I was introduced to Junior Friends through Anne Marie Chotvacs and Susan Haigler Harvey, who spoke so highly of the organization and great group of women they met through it. Once I finally had my evenings back after law school, I joined and have enjoyed my time ever since.
What year did you join the Junior Friends?
It was the fall of 2007 when I was pregnant with my oldest. Oh how time flies!
What impacts have you seen TCC have on the community?
I’m not sure I know the full extent of the impact TCC has on the community. I know that I have been blessed with much and will be required to give an account of how I have used my resources to bless others. Junior Friends provides opportunities for women to give back in ways that can so significantly impact lives for the better in Alexandria. Take the teen moms Mother’s Day Shower for example. As a mother of three, all too often I lose my cool or do not respond with my emotions in check. And how many times have I felt unsupported, despite an amazing network of mom friends and a loving husband who does more than his share to support our family. I can only imagine what this young 15, 16 and 17 year moms feel like. Even if they do have an encourager at home, the logistical challenges they face to stay in school are enormous. Being pampered once a year by the Junior Friends with new essentials for their babies is such a small sacrifice for most of us and such a significant blessing for each of them.
What would you tell someone considering joining the Junior Friends?
This is an organization of amazing women who love doing good for the vulnerable in Alexandria. And they have a lot of fun doing it!
What events have you been involved with? Which are your favorite?
I think I have been involved in all the events in one aspect or another. I loved the events at Collingwood, initially as the Taste of Alexandria and later as Bowties and Belles. It’s such an amazing venue. All the events are amazing and such a great way to kick off a new season; Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend for Christmas, Toast to Fashion in the spring and Bowties and Belles for the late spring/summer party season.
We look forward to seeing you receive your award at The Platinum Gala. Are you excited?
I am so honored to be receiving this award and it is extra special that it will be presented during the Platinum Gala and recognition of all the efforts of TCC and Junior Friends over the past 70 years.
The Campagna Center and the Junior Friends thank Courtney for all that she has done to support our mission! On May 9th Courtney will be presented with the 2015 Barbara Pratt Lee Heart of Gold Award at the Platinum Gala, a wonderful event being organized by the Junior Friends to honor the 70 years of service and positive change in the Alexandria community. More information on the event and ticket sales can be found here.