For Janet Naessig, her time with EmBe spans back to when we were still known as the YWCA. She started her time as YWCA Teen Age Program Director in 1957 and then went on to complete her term on the Board of Directors in 2003. Janet’s involvement dates to having chaired the Leader Luncheon, engaging in the Annual Fund Drive, the Santa House Project, the first ladies golf tournament, and much more!

Janet has also been a longtime supporter and donor of EmBe. She was the Y’s representative to The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation during the drive to obtain Kreske funds. When she was recognized as the SD Volunteer of the Year in 1990 by Governor Mickelson, she immediately gave the $1,000 award to the YWCA for the start-up expenses of the capital campaign to remodel the YWCA for childcare.

When asked why is EmBe is a cause worth supporting, Janet mentioned that years ago, during her time as a Program Director, she met with girls after school every week, forming Y-Teen clubs, and was the beginning of leadership awareness for the girls. The young girls elected their own officers, planned regular programs, collected dues and set goals.

“EmBe continues to train the next generation of community leaders through its programs, boards and committees.”

Janet reflected back on when the YWCA transitioned to EmBe, and mentioned, “EmBe is not only innovative, but it is willing to evolve. When we, as a board, recognized that the national YWCA organization was no longer attuned to the community’s needs, we voted for local control and services.”

Janet still keeps a folder of event programs and committee lists and handwritten thank-you notes from fellow workers to remind her of her time with our organization and what sets us apart from other nonprofits. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

“EmBe truly is a community of women blending their abilities, energy, ideas and resources.”​​​​​​​