Board of Directors

2018 - 2019 JLSS Board of Directors


Elissa joined JLSS as a member of the 2015-16 provisional class and was eager to get involved.  As a 3rd generation Junior League member, she sees the value in the relationship between all members (actives and sustainers).  Elissa received a B.S. in Food Science from Cornell University and currently works as a Food Technologist at Beech-Nut Nutrition in Amsterdam, NY.  Elissa is the current Secretary of the Kiwanis Club of Troy and the Alumni Co-Advisor for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Organization.  Elissa resides in Schenectady and enjoys volunteering and spending time with her family and friends.


Treasurer: KAITLYN  VanDYKE

Kaitlyn joined the League in 2015 as a way to become more involved in her hometown of Schenectady. One of the things Kaitlyn likes most about the League is the opportunity to directly see the impact League projects have on the community. She is excited to serve on the Board this year to support the league and its members. Kaitlyn received her B.A. in Communication/Rhetoric from Nazareth College in Rochester and currently works at The Red Cross in Development. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading a good book, and spoiling her three cats, Sterling, Zorro and Rory. Kaitlyn resides in Schenectady with her husband, Jon.


Meghan recently moved to the area and was looking for a way to get involved in the community, as well as meet like-minded women in the city.  After her provisional year and one active year in Charleston, Meghan found herself relocating to another city.  Meghan transferred her Junior League membership to the Junior League of Honolulu, HI and again became involved and connected with a new city.  In 2016, after three active years with JLH, Meghan was able to transfer yet again to another League, this time to her current placement with the Junior League of Schenectady & Saratoga Counties.  This is Meghan’s first board position within Junior League.  She was previously a co-chair of the “Done in a Day” committee during the 2015-2016 League year with JLH. Junior League has been an invaluable resource to Meghan with each new area of the country she finds herself and she looks forward to supporting JLSS this year as a board member.   

Meghan received her B.S. in Education and Human Sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has taught a variety of grade levels in elementary schools in Charleston, SC & Honolulu, HI.  She is currently staying home to raise her one year old son.  Meghan resides with her husband and son in Rock City Falls where they enjoy spending time together and exploring all that the Capital Region has to offer.

Committee Chairs

Communications Director: NIKITA HARDY

Nikita joined JLSS  as a member of the 2016-2017 provisional class,  she was seeking opportunities to volunteer in Schenectady County and connect with like-minded women dedicated to serving the community.

Nikita is passionate about women’s issues, health care policy and eradicating socio-economic barriers. She strongly believes in giving back and ‘paying it forward’. Amongst her professional roles, she has held various community leadership positions. She founded the Capital Region Black Breastfeeding Empowerment Network and serves on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Northeastern NY.

She holds a Master of Public Administration from the Austin Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College. In addition, she earned a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in American and Urban Politics from Brooklyn College with a minor in Africana Studies.

A native of Brooklyn, NY, she relocated to the Greater Capital Region in 2015 and currently resides in the town of Glenville with her husband, James, and their two small children along with their Doberman Pup, Beau. She is a proud active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Incorporated and Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Fund Development Director: LAUREN TRUNKO JARRARD

Lauren joined JLSS as a member of the 2015-16 provisional class and saw the value in giving back with positive, supportive women in the community.  Lauren is the Director of Women and Family Services at the YWCA Northeastern NY in Schenectady and works closely with victims of domestic violence and women who are homeless.  Lauren received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology from the University of Tampa and recently came home to New York after living in Tampa, Florida for almost 10 years. Lauren is constantly striving to deliver the mission of the YWCA NENY and fiercely advocates for victims of domestic violence.

Community Director: JULIA NALWALK

Julia joined the league in 2015 as a way to become more involved with the Schenectady and Saratoga communities.   Julia finds that working with a group of women that actively volunteer and look for opportunities to make a difference has been one of the most rewarding parts of being involved with the league.  She received her degrees in Neuroscience and Physiology from Cornell University and currently works at Albany Medical College.  She enjoys a good discussion, traveling to remote places, reading, kayaking and wandering on beaches when she can find them.  Julia lives in Clifton Park with her husband; her daughters are launched and exploring the world.


Bio coming soon!

Nominating Director: