Meredith Eason – 2018 RISING STAR AWARD WINNER

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From In order to grow as leaders we often have to stretch outside of our comfort zones, and that couldn’t be more true for our Rising Star award winner, Meredith Eason of the Junior League of Nashville. A connector of people, and a teacher by heart, Meredith has brought her unique brand of resiliency and passion for growth to all that she does in and outside of her League.

After joining the Junior League of Nashville in 2013, Meredith spent her first active year on the Done in a Day placement—going above and beyond the hour requirements to better immerse herself in the program and find the best ways to help.

It’s no wonder that the following year, Meredith was appointed to be one of the Done in a Day co-chairs. The initiative was seeing exponential growth in its placements, growing from 40 to 200 members, which meant Meredith and her co-chair had to take on additional responsibilities at a moment’s notice—which they embraced in true Junior League fashion. Meredith and her co-chair reached out to organizations in the community to find interesting opportunities where the additional women could volunteer.

The volunteers in the Done in a Day placement came from diverse backgrounds, education levels, and experience levels, and many formed friendships through the volunteer work and social activities Meredith helped organize. The majority of the members in the placement were provisionals or first year actives and did not know many people in the league yet. Meredith and her co-chair went out of their way to make them feel welcome and included.

Outside the Junior League, Meredith has demonstrated her commitment to diversity and inclusion through her work with kids with dyslexia and learning differences at Learning Matters, and with homeless youth at the Oasis Center.

In 2015, Meredith joined her League’s Grants Committee to help select partner agencies for JLN’s new focus areas through 2022, including human trafficking and literacy. Through that placement, Meredith has helped influence the direction of the JLN and the member experience for years to come.

Meredith also serves as a community leader outside of her work with the Junior League as a civil litigator, dedicating time to pro bono service as a member of the Tennessee and Nashville Bar Associations. Here, she’s helped support Learning Matters, which offers low-cost tutoring and diagnostic services to dyslexic children.

Being an effective leader often requires a balance of many different, and sometimes conflicting, personality traits. The ability to be assertive and confident, yet generous and approachable. To come to the table with a keen set of skills and knowledge, but also be open to different ideas and viewpoints that could reveal a better solution. Meredith embodies all of these qualities and more and shows great potential for leadership in her League and the community at large far into the future.