2017-2018 DISTINGUISHED MOM
Wife, mother of twins, immediate past Vice President for the Queens, NY Chapter and a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Yvette Watkins has learned to be a successful taskmaster while keeping a level head. Yvette is the founder and lead of her own prominent team, “The Clark Watkins Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate,” a highly-regarded name in real estate throughout the Queens community. Most recently, Yvette has received the prestigious 2017 Honors Circle and the 2018 Leading Edge Award from Douglas Elliman -- after only four years with the agency.
When considering which of our esteemed mothers would receive Jack and Jill of America, Inc. annual Sanderal S. Brown Distinguished Mother of the Year Awards for demonstrated excellence in service to their chapter, Yvette topped our list. Her drive, dedication and desire to succeed is never unnoticed. She is an overachiever in all aspects of her life and she went above and beyond in her service this year with the new member intake process. We were proud to unanimously select her for our chapter’s 2017-2018 Distinguished Mother Award.
The duties of Vice President are significant, as they set the tone of the chapter and Yvette has done an excellent job of maintaining a sisterly environment for mothers that keeps them motivated, ready to pitch in and always putting their children at the forefront. As VP/Membership Chair, Yvette is extremely proud to have introduced the newly-established New Member mentoring process to our chapter, which will foster bonds between mothers and ensure a positive new member experience.
A Bronx, NY-native, Yvette has been a Queens resident for the past 16 years, residing in the historic Addisleigh Park neighborhood. She has been an active member in the Queens, NY Chapter of Jack and Jill for eight years and served as Vice President, Treasurer, Foundation Chair, Protocol Chair and Age Group Leader. She has attended many Eastern Region Clusters and conventions, as well as the National Convention where she served as a teller.
Yvette is a voracious reader, who loves to swim and listen to her favorite songbird, Stevie Wonder. Spending time with family is a priority and she loves to visit amusement parks and to vacation with her husband, son and daughter. In her spare time, Yvette serves as a member of the Long Island Board of Realtor’s Ethic Committee, a member of the St Albans Congregational Church’s hospitality committee, and as the Block Captain of the Addisleigh Park Civic Association.
Yvette lives by the quote, “Order my steps in your word.” When asked to share her best parenting advice, Yvette offered the following: “Guide and mold your children, not control your children.”
Yvette’s leadership has allowed the chapter to achieve all goals while keeping members unified and working cohesively. We are extremely thankful for her time and dedication to the chapter. The Queens Chapter is proud to celebrate and congratulate, Yvette Watkins, our 2017-2018 Distinguished Mother!
2016-2017 DISTINGUISHED MOM
Each year all chapters of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. select a mother for the Sanderal S. Brown Distinguished Mother of the Year Award. The recipient is voted on by the members of the chapter and awarded to the Mother who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in her participation and support of the goals, mission and vision of the chapter, supports the growth of the chapter, keeps the morale high and unifies the chapter. Our chapter voted Greer Hansen-Velazquez as our 2016-2017 Distinguished Mother.
Greer currently holds the position of Program Director. She is an educator, is married to Manny and has one son, Richie. Her mother, Juliet Hansen is a Past President of the Queens chapter, and her sister is an active member of our neighboring Nassau County chapter. As a Jill of the Queens chapter, Greer had the opportunity to enjoy unique programming until her graduation from high school. When asked what Jack and Jill meant to her as a child, she responded "It was a major part of our upbringing. I have very fond memories of the activities and fun; we had no idea how much work was done by our moms to make everything happen. My sister and I still have friends to this day from growing up in Jack and Jill. I hope our moms in our chapter know what an amazing experience now and ever more they are providing for our kids."
She is thrilled that Ritchie is now exposed to similar experiences. She commented that she has witnessed Richie's love of JJ grow, every month he asks "when am I seeing my Jack & Jill friends this month" this brings such a smile to my face.
She remains active outside of the chapter, as well. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc, but she admittedly is not as active as she would like. The United Teachers Federation is blessed with her membership on its Executive Board, where she also serves as a convention delegate. In the Queens office, she is the maternity liaison, conducting monthly workshops for pregnant members. In addition, she handled arbitration cases for the UFT, and for her school, she has been a chapter leader for 16 years.
In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her family. Her favorite pastime is baking. Every summer, she vacations in Martha's Vineyard with her entire family.
Some favorite quotes that guide her life and management style : "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken," "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" , "I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.", and "If someone tells you who they are, believe them."
We are grateful for her leadership! Congratulations, Greer!