Jan Shaw: A WRJ Leadership Spotlight

July 14, 2023Jan Shaw and Gracie Cohen

This week, we feature Atlantic District President Jan Shaw in WRJ's Leadership Spotlight.


Watch what Jan advises for future WRJ leaders:


How did you come to be a leader at WRJ?

The beginning of my WRJ sisterhood journey was kind of funny and interesting. I was involved, and I was working full-time. So, the meetings of my sisterhood were, at that point, on Thursday mornings (read below how and why Jan later changes the meeting day!). This was because the meetings were attended by people who were retired or didn't work for a living. I couldn't go to the meetings at the time. But then, one day, the nominating committee member called me and asked me if I would become a director on the sisterhood board. She said you don't have to go to meetings. Well, we all know that's not true. But, not so funny, a little while later I lost my job. This turn of events allowed me to then go to the Thursday morning meetings! I realized, at that point, how wonderful my sisterhood was and how powerful WRJ was as an organization. So I eventually became president of my sisterhood, which led me to become the vice president of marketing and communications for the Atlantic District, and now, of course, I've been involved for a long time. And here I am as president of the Atlantic District!


Describe your leadership in three words:

Teamwork, respect, and delegation.

Who is one leader you admire and why?

WRJ Past President Rosanne Selfon! She can accomplish anything she wants. For instance, her fundraising skills are off the charts. When Rosanne asks you to donate money, you can’t say no. She just has that special skill. She had me at hello the first time I ever met her at an Atlantic District Convention, and all I could think of was that I hope I could do half as much as she’s done in her tenure.


Tell us about a moment that called for your leadership:

When I became President of my sisterhood in March 2023, I immediately proposed changing our meetings to Sunday mornings so religious school moms could join us. As soon as I explained why, it was passed unanimously. I thought the process would take a few meetings to discuss amongst fellow members because the meetings took place on Thursday mornings for so long, but the women who came before me all trusted me to try something new. I chose this issue to be the first one I tackled because without women attending meetings, the future of our sisterhood was questionable. The sessions continue to be held on Sunday mornings. 

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