Junior League of Elizabeth–Plainfield names first black president

Kalshelia Lloyd

CRANFORD, NJ — The Junior League of Elizabeth–Plainfield welcomes its first black president, Kalshelia Lloyd. Lloyd, along with the rest of the 2021-2022 board of directors, will lead the charitable educational organization in its 99th anniversary year. Founded in 1923, the JLEP has a rich tradition of community service in the surrounding Union County area.

Lloyd has been a member of JLEP for more than 10 years and has had several leadership roles prior to taking on the role of president. She will be one of only a few women of color to have ever served in this role.

The 2021-2022 board of directors includes Lloyd, President-elect Marie Weitzman, treasurer Valerie Glinn, member resources council director Rohini Singh, community service director Tara Tepp and sustainer representatives Terri DiFrancesco and Pat Colbert.

The 2021-2022 board of directors comprises extraordinary female leaders whose personal, professional and volunteer experience will be pivotal to guiding the organization to continued success and impact in the surrounding communities. With projects such as Career Closet and Teen Closet, the new board will continue to shape and elevate the philanthropic endeavors of the league for years to come. “I am looking forward to leading as president,” Lloyd said, “seeing the power and impact the board and our league members can make on the community.”

She also said, “It is not lost on me the historic nature of this moment and how groundbreaking it is for me to be president. When JLEP was founded, women such as myself didn’t have the rights that we do today and definitely were not members of the league. This year, when social justice and inequality are a central part of the national narrative, I am proud that the Junior League of Elizabeth–Plainfield continues to demonstrate what it means to be inclusive and reshape what the Junior League not only means for me, but also future generations, like my 7-year-old daughter. This is an organization that embraces diversity, whether it be race, religion, national origin, sexuality or otherwise. I am honored to serve as JLEP’s president and to leverage the strength of our diversity to address the problems of the community in meaningful and innovative ways.”

Lloyd is the marketing director for group benefits at MetLife. She resides in Rahway with her husband, Malcolm, and their three children. Prior to taking on the role of president, Lloyd has served in several roles in JLEP, including president-elect, membership resource director, treasurer, assistant treasurer and Teen Closet chairperson, along with being active with other charitable organizations in the area.