Sustainer Spotlight

Jennifer Sourk
Sustaining Advisor to the 2022-2023 President of the Junior League of Topeka

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Wichita and moved to Topeka to attend Washburn.

What do you do for a living?

Lawyer/General Counsel.

How long have you been involved with the Junior League?

I attended my first League event in May 2011.

Why did you join the Junior League and what keeps you coming back year-after-year?

I joined after having our first child when we knew that Topeka was our home and that I desired to do whatever I could in order to make it the best place to live for me and my family.

What positions or roles have you held in League?

President & Treasurer

What do you love most about League?

Meeting new women who have the same interests in being community volunteers and connecting with them.


What advice would you give to someone wanting to join the Junior League of Topeka?

It’s been one of the most impactful experiences and I would not have my network of women without JLT.

What are you involved in outside of the League?

I currently serve as a board member of the Topeka Community Foundation, Downtown Topeka Foundation, Washburn University Board of Regents, TARC foundation board, and, incoming chair Downtown Topeka, Inc.

Join Us for a Prospective Member Lunch & Learn

Load up your friends, co-workers, sisters or peers! Grab lunch and join members of the Junior League to learn how you can advance your leadership development, connect with others for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training as a member of the Junior League.

Thursday, July 28
Noon – 1 p.m.

Johnny’s Tavern
2821 SW Fairlawn Rd
Topeka, KS 66614

RSVP via email to: Membership@JLTopeka.org.

The Junior League of Topeka is excited to welcome new members who value our mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

We strive for equity and inclusivity to encourage a diverse membership. Our goal is to promote and sustain relationships through building an integrated team of trained volunteers to improve the quality of child welfare in our community.

Hope to see you soon!

Sustainer Spotlight

Laine Hash
Director of Sustainer Relations of the Junior League of Topeka

Where did you grow up?

I am a Topeka native, born and raised! I grew up out North and currently live there with my husband and two cute kids and star Siamese cat (he has his own Instagram page). 

What do you do for a living?

I have been a Realtor in the Topeka community for 12 years now! My husband and I started our careers in Wichita and made a conscious decision to move back and be a part of our home community for the long-term. 

How long have you been involved with the Junior League?

When we moved back to Topeka in 2010, I ran into an old friend that was a member of the Junior League & decided to join later that same year to meet new women and get connected back into the community. I had been thinking about joining the League when I lived in Wichita, but to tell you the truth, it intimidated me there because of how large it was with it being a big city. 

Why did you join the Junior League and what keeps you coming back year-after-year?

I have always been one of those people that likes to be connected. Whether that’s knowing people, or just knowing what’s going on in the community. My background is doing communications work for social services, so I was very involved with community resources in Wichita. And even though I no longer had a job in that field, knowing what services are available and helping to volunteer and make an impact in our community has always been important to me. 

What positions or roles have you held in League?

I was in Membership Development 100% of my time in League! It’s wild to say that, but I know where my strengths are, and communicating about and marketing our league to potential members and new members really hit the mark for me. I served on the board as the VP of Member Development and also headed up the new member class for multiple years. 

What do you love most about League?

I’m a social person – I thrive being around people! So to me, it’s all of those connections and friendships I’ve made along the way. I have so much respect for the ladies I know through League. We all are on similar paths, trying to find our way and do our best, whether that be raising families, starting new careers, going on to leadership positions…whatever the paths we are on, I enjoy that we have shared those triumphs and struggles together. 


What advice would you give to someone wanting to join the Junior League of Topeka?

Don’t be afraid to try it out! When I joined League, I was afraid of the stereotype of being a “junior leaguer.” Boy did I find myself  ashamed I ever had a stereotype in my head at all. I am now a proud sustainer of the Junior League. 

What are you involved in outside of the League?

I am on the Board for the Multiple Listing Service for our Sunflower Association of Realtors. I received the Distinguished Associate of the Year award for our Association of Realtors in 2020. I have previously served on the PTO board for my kid’s school. Day-to-day, if I’m not showing houses, you will find me running kids to swimming, golf camp or theatre camp. 

Tell us something else about you?

I have a passion for flower arranging and for decorating (both completely amateur!). But I like to help clients stage their homes if they need it and I can always make a gorgeous bouquet on a budget!  

Member Spotlight

Rockell Otero
Treasurer of the Junior League of Topeka

Where did you grow up?

 I was born in Topeka and lived there until I was 10. I went to Most Pure Heart of Mary until my family moved to Hoyt, just north of Topeka. I graduated from Royal Valley. 

What do you do for a living?

My official title(s) – Prairie Band, LLC Financial Controller, Mill Creek, LLC CFO and Secretary. I am also listed as a Project Manager from Prairie Band Health Services, Inc though I spread my “PM” time between our three government contracting divisions, Prairie Band Construction, Inc. and Mill Creek, LLC included. I also wear an HR hat and any other hat needed based on the time and day! 

How long have you been involved with the Junior League?

​I joined the Junior League in 2019 and started on the Funding Development Council.

Why did you join the Junior League and what keeps you coming back year-after-year?

​I joined League after a divorce. I was looking for purpose, fulfillment, and to create the best me. League helped me through a transformation and despite challenges that the entire world is facing, I continue to fill my cup. 

What positions or roles have you held in League?

​Funding Council Member & Treasurer 

What do you love most about League?

​I love the purpose League gives me outside of being a mom and my career. I think society in general does a good job recognizing an individuals need to seek self fulfillment outside of home and work and the League offers that to me is a variety of ways that are important to me. I love being involved in the community in a way that helps others and I love to connect with people/organizations. I have also gained invaluable knowledge and experience that its helpful not only in the workplace, but life. Vickie Clark, a speaker we had last year on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, was inspiring! 


What advice would you give to someone wanting to join the Junior League of Topeka?

The Junior League of Topeka allows you to cookie cutter your experience so that you can get the most meaningful experience. Think about what you want out of your experience and don’t be afraid to try new things. 

What are you involved in outside of the League?

Family! I have three kids that keep me busy. I have a career that is exciting and sometimes has me all over the place. I also like to get involved with Forge when the starts align and am currently in my second year of working the the Topeka Mosaic Partnership. 

Tell us something else about you?

​I am competitive, and it is my greatest weakness. I can turn anything into a competition and I am relentless. My son is finally better at Mario Kart than me, but there were several times before that the game ended in him crying because I would never let him win. LOL! 

Member Spotlight

Marsha Sheahan
Sustaining Member of the Junior League of Topeka

Where did you grow up?

I’m a third generation Topekan.

You had a great career! Can you tell us about it?

I retired in 2015 from the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce (Now Greater Topeka Partnership) where I was Vice President of Marketing and Leadership.

How long have you been involved with the Junior League?

I was a new member in 1976.

Why did you join the Junior League and what keeps you coming back year-after-year?

I joined the League because friends were members and they encouraged me to join them.   I keep coming back to help because I believe the League is a great opportunity for women to learn new skills, learn about community needs and make great life-long friends.

What positions or roles have you held in League?

I was active for 14 years and served as President in 1987-88.  I served as community vice president, newsletter editor, chair of the grantsmanship committee, headquarters search committee, new member training committee and Next to New business manager. It was through the Grantsmanship Committee that we were trained in fundraising, and we established the Topeka Community Foundation.  I’ve been Sustaining Advisor to the Board of Directors several times. 

What do you love most about League?

I loved the opportunity to explore and try new things in the non-profit/volunteer world.  I learned many things that I continue to use today in the marketing, fundraising, and strategic planning arenas.


What advice would you give to someone wanting to join the Junior League of Topeka?

Say “yes” to new opportunities.

What are you involved in outside of the League?

 I recently completed serving on The Library Foundation board and I am currently president-elect of the Topeka High School Historical Society.  I also do some consulting with area organizations about board development and strategic planning and assist other non-profits with specific projects.

Tell us something else about you?

I was a camp counselor during the summer of my college years and have continued to teach leadership skills throughout my adult life, specifically through the Leadership Greater Topeka program.  Bill and I have three adult children and three grandchildren and will celebrate our 50th anniversary in May. 

Junior League Members Volunteer at Roll & Read

Junior League of Topeka members volunteers at the Roll & Read event on Saturday, April 2. The event was hosted by Parents as Teachers and the United Way of Greater Topeka. Local celebrities stationed at locations in NOTO and at Evergy Plaza in Topeka to read a special story to children a different stops. Roll & Read attendees received information and gifts from community partners, including free bike helmets, water bottles, toothbrushes, books and more!

Member Spotlight

Laura Harrison
2021-2022 Executive Secretary

Where did you grow up?

I have lived in Topeka for 24 years now.  I moved here from Acworth, GA, when I was 13 years old because of my dad’s job in the shoe business. 

What do you do for a living?

I am currently a sixth grade teacher at Auburn Elementary.

How long have you been involved with the Junior League?

This is my 3rd year in league!

Why did you join the Junior League?

One thing that I love about League is the opportunity I have been given to learn more about my city and how I can help. 

What positions or roles have you held in League?

My first year active I was a member on the Funding Council and now in my second year I serve on the board as Executive Secretary. I participated in LBDI when I was on the Funding Council and was blown away by the stories people shared with me about their struggles with food insecurity.  

What do you love most about League and what keeps you coming back year-after-year?

One thing that I love about League is the opportunity I have been given to learn more about my city and how I can help. 


What advice would you give to someone wanting to join the Junior League of Topeka?

It will be the best decision you make. You create lasting friendships, you learn about organizations in Topeka, and you learn how to be a leader in the community. 

What are you involved in outside of the League?

Outside of League I am active in my church, part of the Leadership Team at my school, and spend any other free night playing chauffeur for my four children and all their activities.   

Tell us something else about you?

I love to read books!