Meet Impact 100 Jersey Coast Member Holly Lyttle
By Janet Mazur Cavano
Describe your occupation
I’ve had two careers. I was originally an in-house organizational consultant for AT&T, specializing in leadership and team building. I retired when my kids were in school. I then volunteered for various non-profits, and eventually got a master’s degree in non-profit management from Columbia University. I’ve also chaired three local boards over the years — The Junior League, the Monmouth County Arts Council and Family and Children’s Services. I have 25 years of board experience.
When did you join Impact 100 Jersey Coast and how did you discover us?
I heard about it mainly through word of mouth and I liked the idea right away! So many of my friends were joining. This is my fourth year — I joined in 2017.
How active are you in Impact Jersey Coast?
I’ve served on two Focus Area Committees (FACs) — Children and Families as well as Environment, Parks and Recreation for which I am now the vice-chair. I’ve gone on a number of site visits and talked to the people running the non-profits and that’s where you truly see the need out there! That’s the importance of being on a committee.
So, what keeps you coming back/rejoining?
The grants are so transformational! Your contribution does work; it’s an exponential thing. Also, when you hear the reports at the annual meeting and see exactly what the grantees have done with our contribution — it’s amazing! There are so many good causes in the world — Unicef and other global organizations — but we need to remember our local community. If we are not going to step up and take care of the most vulnerable in our backyards, who will?
What would you tell a woman who is thinking about joining?
Your contribution combines with others in the best possible way AND you will meet the most amazing women, one after another! I am awestruck with everyone I’ve met, and we all learn from one another.
What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve received?
When I was in the 8th grade, my grandmother told me, “Always smile.” Things are going to happen to you in life, good and bad, yet if you smile and keep a positive attitude, people will treat you better no matter what. And it works.
What’s the most recent book you read?
I just finished Mitch Albom’s “Finding Chika.” It was a quick, easy read about helping people in Haiti. The author and his wife adopted a Haitian orphan.
What’s something about you that most people don’t know, a fun fact or two?
I can juggle! I led a class in creativity at AT&T and taught people to juggle! I don’t have a lot of hand/eye coordination, but I learned it for the course.
Also, when I was on the board of the Association of Junior Leagues International in 2002, I took a personal tour of the West Wing of the White House. We weren’t actually allowed to step into the Oval Office, but I did peek in and I found that it’s a lot smaller than you would think.