Sixteen years ago, Judy Riggle accepted an invitation to join the Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine. Today, she is the new president of the national Federation of Woman’s Exchanges, an organization of 20 not-for-profit exchanges in 12 states.
Riggle, a Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine past president and St. Augustine resident, was elected at the Federation’s recent annual meeting hosted by the Dedham Woman’s Exchange in Massachusetts.
“I am honored to take on this responsibility as president,” Riggle said. “Our Federation’s Woman’s Exchanges provide a vital source for income for many consignors in our communities.”
Federation member-exchanges use their proceeds from sales to assist their communities’ charitable purposes, including aid to programs for children, families and the elderly; college scholarships; other educational programs; and immigrant job training.
“We are unique businesses in that we promote the work of consignors, but, as businesses, we help our communities’ overall economy,” Riggle said.
The Federation was formed in 1934 to bring together independent woman’s exchanges in an annual meeting to share successful merchandising techniques, problem-solving advice, lists of best-seller consignors and ensure that exchanges follow their philanthropic responsibilities.
Riggle’s goals for her term are: keeping the Federation fiscally responsible, stabilizing its membership while pursuing new members and expanding communication overall.
“I want to open up the lines of communication between all exchanges so that information sharing is a continuous activity rather than just at the annual meeting,” she said. “By hearing new ideas from each exchange, it will help us all be more successful.”
Riggle succeeds Laurie Monypeny of the Memphis Woman’s Exchange.
“Judy has been a great help to me,” Monypeny said. “She kept our Federation membership stable while working to grow the membership. I know she will continue to create more awareness of the Federation and woman’s exchanges.”
In June, Riggle received approval from the Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine board to host the Federation’s 2020 annual meeting, May 3-5. The local exchange previously hosted the annual meeting in 1992, 2001 and 2009.
“I’m happy that my exchange will be the site of the Federation meeting while I’m Federation president,” Riggle said. “Federation members love our historic city and we love to showcase our success. Not only do we manage the beautiful Peña-Peck House, but we also support our consignors, and award scholarships to women in need who are over 30, and just starting or, returning to college.”
Riggle’s election doesn’t surprise her long-time friend, Terri Kamm, also a local exchange member. They met some 20 years ago while serving together on Betty Griffin Center’s board. Riggle was president; Kamm was vice president.
“In my opinion, the Federation of Woman’s Exchanges could not have made a better choice for president than Judy Riggle,” Kamm said. “Outside of her family, her passion always has been helping others, especially women. Judy is a natural leader who does so with fairness, compassion and the desire to see everyone succeed.”
Riggle is the second member of the Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine to serve as Federation president and the third elected to the Federation board since 2003. Founded in 1892, the local exchange joined the Federation in 1940.
Riggle was elected to the Federation board in 2015 and re-elected this year to another three-year term. She has been membership development chair.
Riggle’s local predecessors on the Federation board, also local exchange past presidents, were Margo Pope and Doris Wiles. Pope was a board member from 2003 to 2009 and president from 2007 to 2009. She has been historian since 2009. Wiles was a board member from 2009 to 2015, vice president from 2009 to 2012 and social media administrator from 2013 to 2018.
Riggle learned of the local exchange from Billie Pruitt, a family friend and a past president. Riggle and her husband Frank had moved here in 1994 from Atlanta where they met.
“But, Billie told me, I could not be a member unless I quit work,” Riggle said. Riggle, however, was invited to join the exchange in 2002 and worked her required volunteer hours around her job.
A native of Baker County, Riggle commuted to Jacksonville working a full-time job by day and attending the University of North Florida at night. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in finance in 1978. A career in healthcare information systems implementations for both HCA and McKesson, and then sales of those systems with McKesson followed. Riggle retired in 2011 from McKesson as senior client executive, corporate accounts. She was with McKesson for more than 30 years.