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Junior League of Dallas (JLD) Centennial Milestones Luncheon Co-chairs Lydia Novakov and Isabell Novakov Higginbotham revealed that American media businesswoman, writer and TV personality Martha Stewart will be the featured speaker of the Centennial Milestones Luncheon set for April 21, 2022. In addition, the JLD will honor Mrs. Laura Bush with its Lifetime Achievement Award and Veletta Forsythe Lill with the 2022 Sustainer of the Year award during the luncheon. Sponsors of the 2022 Milestones Luncheon include: Kohl Foundation, presenting sponsor; Sewell Automotive Companies, speaker sponsor; and Origin Bank, VIP reception sponsor. 

Martha Stewart is the founder of the first multi-channel lifestyle company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, an entrepreneur, bestselling author of 99 to-date lifestyle books and Emmy award winning television show host. Reaching more than 100 million devoted fans on a monthly basis through her magazines, television shows, books and products for the home, sold at multiple retail and online outlets, Martha is the “go-to” source for the homemaker. She and her talented staff provide trusted, timely, and useful information on all aspects of everyday living: cooking, entertaining, gardening, home renovating, collecting, organizing, crafting, healthy living, holidays, weddings and pet care, both in print and social media.

Martha has been awarded numerous honors and distinctions from various industries including business, education, television, media, culinary arts, animal welfare and retail. She was included among the 100 most influential men and women of the year in the 2005 TIME magazine’s annual “TIME 100” list and was also named one of "America's 25 Most Influential People" by TIME magazine in 1996. Since founding her company, Martha has been named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women” by Fortune magazine five times, and she was included among the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds in the 2018 Forbes Magazine Centennial issue. In addition, Martha and the Martha Stewart television production team have earned 18 Daytime Emmy Awards for the Martha Stewart Living television show, which received a total of 60 Emmy nominations in ten seasons, and The Martha Stewart Show, which earned 20 Emmy nominations between 2005 – 2012. 

In 2007, Martha unveiled the new Martha Stewart Center for Living at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. The center is an outpatient facility for geriatric medicine, providing clinical care and education for patients, offering training for physicians and coordinating healthy-aging research and practices. She was inspired to create the center by her mother who remained active and engaged in life to the age of 93. In June 2019, Martha opened a second Martha Stewart Center for Living location at Mount Sinai-Union Square dedicated to her grandchildren.

“We are so excited to have Martha Stewart join us for this year’s Centennial Milestones Luncheon. She is a true trailblazer who proves time and again that commitment, dedication and hard work are keys to success, and she sets an example by giving her time and talents generously to numerous causes and nonprofit organizations,” said Isabell Novakov Higginbotham, 2022 Centennial Milestones Luncheon Co-chair.

In celebration of the Junior League of Dallas’ Centennial anniversary, the JLD will present Mrs. Laura Bush with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her excellence in voluntarism and community leadership. This distinguished award honors a Sustaining member who has been a catalyst for community change. Mrs. Bush was an Active member of the Junior League of Midland, Texas, for more than 15 years. She was a member of the board in 1983 and served as Recording Secretary of the Executive Board in 1984.  When Mrs. Bush moved to Dallas in 1989, she maintained her Sustainer status and supported the Junior League of Dallas.

While serving as the First Lady of Texas, and later as First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Bush highlighted groups who needed the help of volunteers across our state, and across our country. Mrs. Bush often gives credit to the Junior League for setting a fine example of how voluntarism and women’s leadership can solve the most complex and difficult issues, improving lives every day.

The 2022 Sustainer of the Year is Veletta Forsythe Lill, who credits the JLD for giving her leadership skills that have served her throughout her life – from nonprofit board service and budgets to the critical issues facing our city. She served as a volunteer and Project Chair for The Family Place, where she learned about the victims and dynamics of domestic violence, and the complexities of an organization that serves multi-layered needs. Ms. Lill also served on the Community Assistance Fund, which she says was “the equivalent of a lightning round on nonprofits, where she was amazed by the League’s ability to respond to needs in such a thoughtful and timely way.” 

Ms. Lill believes her volunteer commitments in the League provided valuable education, preparing her to serve the city of Dallas and dozens of nonprofits over the years. She is best known for serving as a Dallas City Councilmember for eight years representing District 14. Her passion for history and the arts drove her to focus on these topics while working on the City Council. Ms. Lill’s passion for arts and preservation have allowed her to help shape the growth of the Dallas Arts District, including the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Klyde Warren Park, Nasher Sculpture Center, Moody Performances Hall, Crow Museum of Asian Art, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and many more.

“We are thrilled to be able to come together in person this year and know this will be a memorable Centennial event, as we celebrate all of our dynamic members, especially our Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Mrs. Laura Bush, and Sustainer of the Year, Veletta Forsythe Lill,” said Lydia Novakov, 2022 Centennial Milestones Luncheon Co-chair. “Mrs. Bush and Ms. Lill used their volunteer and leadership training in the Junior League to advance numerous efforts in their communities and beyond. We are thrilled to be able to honor both of these ladies in this milestone year for the League.”

The Milestones Luncheon is an annual fundraiser benefiting the Junior League of Dallas Community Service Fund that serves as a platform to raise awareness for the programs and issues supported by the JLD, and to recognize the impact and achievements of its volunteers. Proceeds from The Milestones Luncheon allow the JLD to grant approximately $1 million annually to the Dallas community. 

The 2022 Centennial Milestones Luncheon will take place Thursday, April 21, 2022, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Luncheon tickets are $200 each and VIP tickets are $350 each. Centennial Celebration ticket packages will be offered this year and include tickets for the Milestones Luncheon and Centennial Gala, which will be held April 23, 2022. Regular Gala tickets are $500 each and VIP tickets are $700 each.  Sponsorships also are available for the Centennial Milestones Luncheon and Centennial Gala and start at $1,000. For more information, visit

Started in 2020, the Milestone Member Recognition Program allows guests the unique opportunity to recognize a Junior League of Dallas member who has been a “milestone” in their life or the Dallas community as a colleague, mentor or friend. To learn more, visit


The Junior League of Dallas cultivates leaders who collectively address the critical needs of the community. Founded in 1922, the JLD is one of the largest Junior Leagues in the world, as well as the largest and oldest training organization for women in Dallas. Active members range in age from 22 to 49 with approximately 85% percent of women employed outside of the home. The JLD provides leadership opportunities to nearly 5,000 women each year through more than 26,000 cumulative hours of experiential and formal training. Uniquely member-run, the JLD provides over 130,000 hours in volunteer service and approximately $1 million in funding to area nonprofits each year. For more information, please visit or Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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