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15th May, 2011

Interview with Solveig Malvik - JCI UK Deputy President
by Sarah Beckwith on May 15, 2011 22:22


Council team » Solveig.jpgWhat made you take on this role?
The opportunity to make a difference in JCI United Kingdom. When I joined JCI I did not expect to be elected Deputy National President less than 3 years later. When I first joined I remember looking up to Sofie and Marco as semi-gods as Local Presidents, and the National President I didn't dare talk to at all! I don't think the opportunity to take on the leadership of a national organisation comes everyday, and when opportunity knocks, I answer!

What are your plans for JCI UK in 2011 and 2012
In 2011 my plans are to support National President Allison Cowell and also to plan and prepare for 2012. I want to involve the current and future local presidents and active members as much as I can in this planning so that everyone can contribute and feel they have a stake and ownership in how our organisation is developing.

JCI is a leadership development organisation and we need to not only give leadership development opportunities to our members but also provide active leadership support. As National board our role is to support the local chambers. JCI is first and foremost local. If we don't make a difference in our local communities, if we don't contribute, if no-one were to miss us if we went away, then JCI is loosing its relevance and that is what I want to work on as National President in 2012. Support our local presidents make a difference in their local communities and be the best leaders they can be.

Has JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities? 

Unusual and interesting? For sure! Let me think which ones are appropriate for general consumption...

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that you never would have thought possible before you joined?
I'm an optimist, so I wouldn't say that anything before seemed impossible. However there are lots of things I've done through JCI that I didn't expect to do. I didn't expect to be the National President or Local President of JCI London, or even get as active as I have become, neither did I expect to speak in the House of Lords, compete in the World Public Speaking Championship, see Ban Ki-Moon, build a float in a Swedish forest, become a trainer...and the list goes on... (and I think that should answer the question before too...)
What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member?
The people. I love that everyone in JCI are engaged in the world around them. We say that our motto is "Be Better" and that is so true about JCI members. We're always looking at how we can make something be better, how we can be better, how we can make the world around us better for us and everyone else. With JCI members around there's always a good conversation lurking somewhere. 
Anything you want to say to end with?
Yes! If you are interested in the strategic development of our organisation, join Future Forum this year! We'll look at membership trends and how we can make the membership experience better.

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10th May, 2011

Inspired by some enterprising young entrepreneurs
by Sarah Beckwith on May 10, 2011 20:59


Young EnterpriseI have just returned from the Young Enterprise Central London finals and boy am I impressed!  Six teams of school students, who have set up their own companies, designed products and sold them to their designated market ,made presentations about their entrepreneurial journeys.

The products were all innovative, well-researched and some have even been bought by high street chains.  They ranged from solar-powered mobile phone chargers, to baby (or handbag) minders, to a fashion brand.  The winning team, The Readables, designed, manufactured and sold a totem pole bookmark aimed at getting children excited about reading.

Each of the businesses made a profit, some producing returns on investment up to 200%.  Many of the teams donated some or all of their profits to charity.


Blog » Random » Home Run Clothing Stand.jpg   Blog » Random » Excel Revision Book Stand.jpg

I was blown away by the quality of the presentations made by the teenagers.  At that age I would have been terrified to give a presentation in front of an audience of around 70 business people and peers.  The presenters were professional, knowledgeable and humorous and a large proportion spoke without notes.  They could teach a thing or two to many adults I know (JCI members who've been on one of our public speaking training sessions excepted of course!).

Each team member had obviously invested a lot of time, effort and passion into their project and there was great nervous excitement as prizes were handed out for best presentation, stand, project report and company overall.  Congratulations to all the participants and winners.  There are clearly many future entrepreneurs (and hopefully JCI members) in London!


Blog » Random » The Readables Totem Bookmark Stand.jpg   Blog » Random » The Winners Collect Their Award.jpg

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2nd May, 2011

JCI London Projects Looking for Team Members
by Sarah Beckwith on May 2, 2011 13:16



We have some exciting projects on the go at the moment and looking for members to get involved to make them a success. To name a handful:


1. Starting a new JCI Chamber in London

We're looking for some dedicated members to form part of this project team to help us create a new chamber to provide more JCI members to opportunities to become leaders in this Local Chamber and make a difference to their lives and the community. So if you have some spare time on your hands and willing to commit to taking on some tasks to help us achieve this. Tasks may include:

  • Be it in the from of either analysing boroughs in London,
  • Researching what future members want,
  • Organising team meetings,
  • Talking to other chambers around UK/EU on their experiences,
  • Building relationships with international cities for twinning possibilities,
  • Investigating venues to base the new chamber,
  • Applying for funding and looking for sponsorship
  • ....the list goes on!

This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved. We're looking for people who are able to commit at least an 1hr-2hr per week if need be as well as be an active part of the decisions that need to be made.


2. Twinning Weekend in London

JCI stands for Junior Chamber International. London is probably the most international Chamber in the world, and we are connected to 5 other cities we call twins  (JCI in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin, Paris and Berlin), which means we have a special relationship with these cities. What better way for our members to get to know each other than to invite our twins to London for a weekend of fun and experiences to build upon our close relationships? JCI London are hosting a twinning weekend on the first weekend of September 2011 and we're looking for members to be part of this project team to make this weekend happen and ensure out twins have a fantastic experiences and leave London with a good impression. The theme of our Twinning weekend is "Live like a Londoner".

Some of the tasks include:

  • Checking out venues for events like dinners,
  • hotels/hostels or members who are willing to host a guest for the weekend,
  • organising walking tours and other London inspired sites,
  • creating marketing material for our weekend,
  • assist with being a contact for a twin city if they have queries or questions,
  • possibly look for sponsorship from companies for some funding to make the weekend cheap for our twins
  • Assist on the actual weekend (host events, coordinate members, show members around during their free time).

This project will require you to attend a team meeting per month and complete which ever tasks you take on in your own time.

This is a great chance to get involved and build some bridges on an International level!


3. Other Events

Fancy organising and hosting something fun? We are looking for members to be apart of our fun social team and help us organise and host a wide variety of events to keep our members entertained. We have some ideas, but always keen to hear some more and make them happen! So of the events we have in mind are:

  • Dinner Evenings
  • Picnic in the Park
  • Cocktail Making evening
  • Treasure Hunts
  • Apprentice style days in London
  • Laser Tagging/Paintballing
  • Party/Club evenings out in London
  • Networking Thursday in the Pubs
  • Open Air Theatre
  • Festival Days
  • Etc........

This is a fun way to get involved and get to know more members!


If any of these projects have sparked your interest then please get in touch with Nadene Jones


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1st May, 2011

Meet Regional Group Chair for The South - Anne Craven
by Sarah Beckwith on May 1, 2011 19:37


Anne Craven - RGC The SouthHow long have you been a member? 

I have been a member for about 1.5 years now, having joined the JCI in December 2009.

Why did you join?

I wanted to increase my skils and experience. Originally I was particularly interested in governance and council work, and then saw how many other skills I could also develop -- project management, team work, budgeting...

What is your role this year?

I am Regional Group Chairman for the Southern Region within JCI UK. This means that I act as a facilitator in the collaborations between the JCI Local Chapters in the South and also act as a link between the Presidents and the National Board.

What made you take on this particular role?

I was interested in coordinating and facilitating collaborations on a larger scale. The year before (2010), I had been International Director and Deputy Business Director within JCI London, had enjoyed the work and felt ready for a bigger challenge!

What are you hoping to achieve this year?

I am hoping to help the Southern Region lay some useful cornerstones for current and future collaborations between the Chapters. Just improving communications will also be an achievement! I am glad to say that we are on track on both accounts.

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that you never would have thought possible before you joined?

I would not have imagined working on a regional basis, or winning Best Project/Programme prizes on a national level, or being successful in a Public Speaking competition, or indeed winning national awards in Debating!

What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member?

I enjoy getting to know different people and working with them, and of course socialising with them! Moreover, I really enjoy challenging myself and learning new skills.

**A final word -- please could I encourage all those interested in regional events and regional collaborations to contact me on Loads of exciting opportunities available!


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28th Apr, 2011

60 second interview: Nadene Jones, Social Director, JCI London
by Sarah Beckwith on April 28, 2011 20:16



Can you tell us about your background? 
I have a rather mixed back ground in that I don't think I can say that I come from one place/country. I grew up in Zimbabwe, so had a very exciting time with some of the most unusual pets imaginable (I'm a mad animal person!). I moved to New Zealand where I studied Business and Computers at Uni and started my own trading business.

I caught a Travel bug while over in London a few years ago and decided to pack up and move to China for a few months, which was amazing! When I ran out of money I then moved to London and have been here 3 years now...there is never a dull/boring moment to be had in this Melting Pot of a city.Portraits » Nadene JCI London.jpg

Why did you move to London? 
I moved to London to take advantage of the travel opportunities here. Travel around Europe is so much more accessible from London than it was in New Zealand and also I knew the job opportunities would help me gain the experience I need to get higher up the ladder given that there are so many more cultures to work with.

What's the benefits of being active in the JCI London council? 
Being involved in, not only the Local Chamber but also being allow an opinion in the National Board decisions. But for my role as Social Director I would say the biggest benefit is being able to develop other members who want to be involved and learn how to organise and host events. Giving them to the licence to be creative and empowering them which inspire confidence.

What was you biggest learning when you did JCI Presenter and JCI Trainer? 
I thoroughly enjoyed both of these courses! In just those three days I learnt so much about myself and other people. Biggest lesson that has stayed with me is, if your speaking in front of people and you know what you want to say, but it doesn't come out right or you make a mistake - it's not usually noticeable by anyone but yourself so just carry on as if nothing was wrong. Words flow easierly if your talking about something your passionate about and believe in.

What projects are you involved in in JCI London 2011? 
I'm involved in a project where we have invited our five twin cities (JCI in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin, Paris and Berlin) to London for a weekend of British culture. This is one of the ways we encourage relationship building with our countries as we are international and we all have the same goals in mind for the our lives and saving the world.

Another really exciting project we're doing this year is creating a brand new London Chamber from scratch. This will mean we have two JCI chambers in London, giving the members an opportunity to be involved and double the benefit we can provide to our communities.

Why do you think more people should join JCI? 
It's just such a fantastic opportunity to be active and develop your networks but also to help other people. For me personally, I joined because I wanted to meet new people like me that would make a difference in my life and learn the skills to be confidence as I knew I needed it but, after being in JCI for a few months I have a real passion to help other people make the most of their experiences and their lives. JCI has a really supportive membership base that are always more than willing to help and offer their advice.

What do you think make JCI different from other networking groups in London? 
JCI is different because we have a wider focus which suits every one of our members, from community driven people to business driven people. There is always something out there which will interest everyone. We make a difference and we can see this with our Nothing but Nets Champaign where we have helped saved families in Africa from Malaria.

Who do you admire? 
There are so many people I admire for all different reasons, though the first person that came to mind is a JCI member for her passion, her Just-Do it attitude and her drive to succeed with the same values as myself. She has achieved a lot in her JCI career and there is always a new challenge that she's willing to take on. She's such a supportive and encouraging person. For me, she's one of those people I admire and would strive to have the same qualities, drivers and ambition and I which I am working on. This person was President of JCI London last year and will be President of JCI UK next year - Solveig Malvik.

What you biggest passion in life? 
I have two passions in life and both equally important to me, one is travelling - I love exploring and experiencing different places and cultures, there is always such wonderful learning experiences to be had. The second passion for me is helping people make the most of their lives. The way the world has changed, has left a lot of people struggling for some purpose and direction in life. The reward for me is seeing how much happier people can be once they are doing what they are passionate about and making the most of what they have.


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26th Apr, 2011

What will your never-thought-I-would experience be?
by Sarah Beckwith on April 26, 2011 21:43


Blog » Random » Leadership Academy.jpg

My aim this year is for every JCI London member to experience/achieve/do something they never would have thought possible before joining JCI.  So here, as inspiration, are my personal top ten things I never dreamed I would ever do before I joined JCI:

1.       Put on a Santa hat and collect gifts from the public in a shopping centre for disadvantaged children (Gift of Christmas 2006)

2.       Dance and sing made up words to the tune of queen's ˝Don't Stop Me Now˝ (Scottish Leadership Academy 2007)

Blog » Random » European Academy.JPG

3.       Help to organise the informal international event the European Capitals Meeting, where venues included the top floor of City Hall and the Clink Prison Museum (ECM, London, 2008)

4.       Go to a party in a pool with 2000 other Jaycees (European Conference, Budapest, 2009)

5.       Graduate as a JCI Trainer and give training to other Jaycees (JCI Presenter & Trainer 2009)

6.       Take part in an academy where I only slept about 3 hours per night, did some crazy things (including painting my face blue and handing out cheese!) and have never laughed so much in my life (COC Academy, Austria, 2010)

7.       Walked blindfolded in the pouring rain through a frog-infested forest in Sweden (European Academy 2010)

Blog » Random » HOL Speech.jpg

8.       Organise a 3 day conference for nearly 150 people (JCI UK National Convention, London, 2010)

9.     Travel to Japan and do karaoke in a Union Jack dress (World Congress, Osaka ,2010)

10.   Give a speech in the House of Lords in front of nearly 100 people (Presidential Inauguration 2011)

Every year I discover more and more of these incredible opportunities only available to JCI members.  What will your never dreamed of experience be?  The only way to find out is to get involved!


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12th Apr, 2011

LSO Concert on Sunday 17 April - special deal for JCI
by Sarah Beckwith on April 12, 2011 21:16


The LSO have teamed up once again with JCI London to give you a chance to meet up with other JCI members and enjoy some of the finest live music in the City at the same time, by one of the world's best orchestras.

Sunday's concert with the LSO is part of a series they've dubbed 'Classic Tales' featuring story-telling through music. Fire, ritual and magic link the three pieces in this concert. Manuel de Falla's El amor brujo (Love, the Magician) is set among the gypsy population of Granada. The story concerns the efforts of a gypsy girl to exorcise the troublesome ghost of her former lover so that she can get on with her life, and the centrepiece of this colourful score is the celebrated 'Ritual Fire Dance' performed in a cave at midnight. Magic and fire also infuse the last work of the night - Stravinsky's luscious piece The Firebird, based on a Russian folktale about a mythical bird who helps a prince to release some captive princesses from a spell woven by an evil magician. Fire and Blood for violin and orchestra by the American composer Michael Daugherty was inspired by the exotic life stories of the painters Diego Rivero and Frida Kahlo.

The music
Falla El amor brujo
Michael Daugherty Fire and Blood
Stravinsky The Firebird - Suite

The artists
Kristjan Järvi conductor
Vadim Gluzman violin
London Symphony Orchestra

Tickets just £5 for JCI members and their friends in any available seat and you can pick your own seat online too.

JCI London members can contact Sarah Beckwith, JCI London President 2011 to find out how to take advantage of this very special offer.



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12th Apr, 2011


Ismail Haznedar is JCI Vice President assigned to JCI UK. For many members that doesn't mean much and we tend to use lots of abbreviations in JCI. Portraits » Ismail_Haznedar_Foto.jpg

Here is a quick lesson how it works: JCI is present in over 115 countries and to keep all countries together and make them work toward our mission there are some "layers" of leadership.

So in short, we have our members, Local Presidents, Regional Group Chairmen, National President, International Vice President (IVP), Executive Vice President (EVP) and JCI World President. Lots of titles and people. In JCI you have one year to lead, one year to make an impact and one year to learn, develop and grow.

Ismail is from JCI Eurasia, one of the chapters based in Istanbul in Turkey (they have eight chapters in total) and JCI Turkey have been growing a lot over the last few years. He was National President 2010 and as IVP he is assigned to JCI UK, JCI Scotland, JCI Ireland, JCI Germany, JCI Switzerland and JCI Austria.

Ismail, how long have you been an active JCI member?
I discovered JCI in 2005 through a training event. After participating in the event I decided to be a member and took responsibility to be a project director.
What was it that made you put yourself forward for the role as IVP?
International Vice President position is a great opportunity to continue your development. I also have the chance to share my experience and best practices I learned during my membership and to help support JCI's National Organisations to accomplish their targets. Meanwhile, it also gives a chance to experience the international leadership and to create value within a global network.
I happen to know that there are some members of JCI who are aspiring to go for an international position within JCI, do you have any insider tips that they should follow?
Actually, the best advice is always to concentrate on your current responsibility. You can build a career just with a success story. If you can do the best and be open to serve in any position, then opportunity  finds you... Regardless of what it is, in JCI to be active and have a responsibility is a living mission and creates development opportunities.
Who is a leader you admire?
I had a great chance to meet, work and participate in academies where JCI World President's shared their experiences. Kentaro Harada, Roland Kwemain, Jun Sup Shin, Graham Hanlon, Scott Greenlee, Lars Hajslund, and other past World Presidents are great leaders, true global networkers and people of inspiration.  
How do you describe their values?
They are the ones who live the values of JCI and who realise the chance, first starting with themselves and then being an example for ourselves.
You seem to have a lot of energy, do you have any tips you would like to share on how to keep a high energy level?
When you are active and involved with something you love it gives you a positive energy. There's no secret, just keep doing the things you like most. I think that I am lucky to have that.
Do you have a favourite quote?
Joel Barker's quote 'Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world' is one of my favorite quotes.


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11th Apr, 2011

World Malaria Day - 25th April
by Sarah Beckwith on April 11, 2011 21:14


Events » generic jci images » bednets.jpgWorld Malaria Day 2011 is on 25th April each year and gives people the opportunity to raise awareness of malaria and do some fundraising for this worthy cause. This year's theme is ''Achieving Progress and Impact'' so how will you be making an impact on April 25th?

JCI is one of the biggest global partners in this campaign against malaria. So far JCI has donated $747,606. The plan is to send 1 million nets by 2015, it does look promising.

JCI Japan is the biggest supporter and within a few months they raised £240,000... Amazing!

'JCI organisations have been working incredibly hard to reach this goal. They have been hosting concerts, writing and selling books, designing calendars, starting employee giving campaigns at their workplace - all to send nets and save lives. In Japan, over 3,000 JCI members in 19 cities conducted their own Nothing But Nets activities to raise awareness and funds for malaria prevention. Within a couple of months these savvy professionals raised over $240,000! That will send 24,000 life-saving bed nets!'

World Malaria Day was instituted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) at its 60th session in 2007. The day is commemorated every year on April 25 to create awareness about an ancient disease and the devastating impact it has on the lives of more than 3 billion people - half of humanity. World Malaria Day is an opportunity for the global development and health communities to intensify their efforts in providing access to affordable, safe and effective anti-malarial combination treatments worldwide, as well as protective insecticide treated nets and other preventive measures.

JCI London will be hosting our first annual Nothing But Nets pub quiz on Thursday 12 May. Check the events diary for more information, in the meantime start getting your teams ready (4-6 people).

For more information visit:

Or contact Dimitri Inglezos, JCI London  Community Director if you want to get involved

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5th Apr, 2011

10 Steps on How to Make a Career Change
by Sarah Beckwith on April 5, 2011 21:08


by Nisa Chitakasem, co-founder of Position Ignition Ltd

If you are considering a career change then this is an exciting time for you. Nowadays, the number of times people change careers is several times greater than in previous decades. We have more choice available to us and if we are smart about it - we can make the transition smoothly and effectively.

Finding the right next career for you can be challenging to do especially if you're doing it on your own.  Moving into a new industry, sector or completely different type of role - will mean that there is new learning to be done and lots to discover. Making this change isn't a small transition and requires some thought - so the following steps are outlined for you to make sure that you start out in the right direction on your new journey...

1. Invest in yourself

This journey is important - so give yourself time to work it all out.  You will need a significant amount of thought, consideration, time and investment in order to make this change smoothly and to make it the right career change.  There are many key stages and turning points to consider so take the time to do it.

2. Get Clear, Seek Clarity

Without real clarity about what you want to do or how to get it, achieving any sense of fulfilment or being in control of your future will be very difficult.   Therefore it is really important to work on getting clear about what your central goal is and how to achieve it.  If you want to learn about the different ways to do this then feel free to drop us a note.

3. Create an action plan

Simply knowing what you want will not ensure that you get it.  You need to be clear about your plan of action - what steps you are going to take - and how to carry out what you have specifically designed for yourself.  Get clear achievable steps in place.  Outline it so that it is broken down into steps that you can work through towards that bigger goal.   Reward yourself and be proud of yourself as you get through each stage of your plan. 

4.  Be totally focused on the task

Making a change and finding the right role is not always an easy task.  It can be tough, tiresome and long.  You need to stay really focused and be efficient around where you put your energy and effort to get the outcome you want.  Make sure that you are in control of the key elements in your world and are able to drive forward with the career and life of your choosing.  You will need perseverance and determination to help.  Being smart about how you spend your time is crucial. 

5.  Understand your strengths

Get to know yourself better.  Identify what your key strengths are.  What are you really good at?  What do you enjoy that you are also good at?  What skills have you learnt? What are you naturally inclined to do and be better at?  Make sure that you get right to the core of it.  The more you know yourself the more confident you will become and the better you will be at identify the right role for you and projecting yourself in order to get it.

6. Get Passionate

Without real passion for a role - it will be difficult to get.  Even if you do get it - you will find it difficult to maintain and grow within and beyond it.   What you want here is the right role.  This means something that you are truly passionate about.  It might take a bit of experimenting to find what 'floats your boat' - but it will be worth it when you have found it. 

7.  Be clear about your boundaries

Being clear about what works and what doesn't work for you in order to be happy can be groundbreaking.  Set the boundaries. It sounds simple but so many of us do not actually take the time to work it out.   In each different work situation - we may have different boundaries. By being clear about what they are and then communicating this clearly to others and staying true to what is important - will make a huge difference.  This impacts work and your personal settings.

8.  Learn how to manage relationships better

This is important from all aspects.  If you learn to manage your relationships effectively you will be able to control the process and transition.  You will be able to manage your exit smoothly from your current or old role.  Understanding where your old boss is coming from and the impact you have on him/her - and how you interact could really influence how you leave a job.  How you get your next job and keep it may also rely heavily on your ability to manage relationships well.

9.  Harness your connections

Improve and build on your networking skills.  Learn how to harness your network and connections effectively.  This does not mean bombarding people you do not know with emails or adding everyone you can find to linkedin.  Neither is this picking up as many business cards you can at a networking event and calling that person part of your 'network'.   Real networking is about getting to know people. You need to work on identifying and getting to know those who can help you along your way. 

10.  Get free from your blocks, fears and insecurities

All of us have them at one stage or another.  Many of us keep them for years. However, do not let them stop you.  If you are afraid - that is ok - just do not let it take over and control what you do or do not do.  If something is blocking you from moving forward - take the time and action you need to confront it, deal with it and resolve it.  This does not have to be done alone.  Find support from those around you.  Get support from a professional if it is a deep personal issue that is troubling you.  If you do not deal with it now - it will keep blocking you in different ways throughout your career and life.  Once you have worked through the blocks - you will be so much more energised, comfortable, confident and free.


Those are the 10 pieces of the pie that you must do before or as you start your journey and change careers.  Each step requires some work, time and thought - but they are important if you really want to make it work.  There might be a lot to do - but you are not alone and you CAN do it.


If you'd like professional help with your career, request a free no obligation phone consultation with one of our career guides now:


About the Author

Nisa Chitakasem is the founder of Career Change Specialists Position Ignition - a careers company dedicating to taking you to the next step in your career.  Nisa is passionate about helping individuals find the right career path for them whether it involves finding a more rewarding career, making a career change, figuring out the right career plan or being creative about career directions. 

Visit: or email: to contact Nisa.

For more free advice, guidance and information from Nisa visit: Position Ignition Career Change Blog or find her on Twitter: PosIgnition


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