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21st Jan, 2014

Meet Dexter Dash - JCI London's President 2014
by Sofie Sandell on January 21, 2014 14:16

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This is the first 2014 interview by me, Sofie Sandell. I was JCI London's president 2008 and I think it's amazing to get to know all the new people who are getting involved in JCI. Now in January I interviewed Dexter Dash to get to know him a bit better. Please share the interview in with your friends and network!

Congratulations Dexter, you are the 2014 President of JCI London.

How are you today?
Fantastic. Inspired.

What was it that made you step up to the leadership position in JCI London? Dexter Dash JCI London
I never aspired to the presidency until I was asked. Even then it didn't appeal to me. Once I thought about what I could bring to the organisation I then thought about the personal gains. From that moment it felt like the next natural step.

Can you tell me about your background? 

I was born in London and have always lived in London. My family is originally from Barbados, and my family is a priority for me. I've been fortunate to travel extensively. In 2013 I went to Italy, Brazil, Austria, Botswana, Monaco, Nice and Sweden. I believe there that education, both traditional and non traditional are both valid to improving ourselves. I Love to read. I'm a learning enthusiast and a big fan of sports.

What do you do when you are not JCI-ing?
Architect by day - start ups by night.

Who is a leader you admire? 

Increasingly my family, and many of my friends

What is it you like about them?
Their willingness to try. Their willingness to confront fears. The tenacity is infectious. Their aspirations. Their personal desire to manifest themselves, whatever that may be, great or small and choosing what that means. Their belief in playing the long game. That they don't get distracted from their own game plan, particularly by the achievements of others. Ultimately the self belief.

Which are your dream partnerships for JCI London? 

Nike, Forbes.com, Bill Gates Foundation and silicon roundabout.

Where will you travel with JCI this year?
Malta, Belgium, Germany and Estonia.

Which is the best JCI project you've been involved in? 

"The Partnership" which is this year's concept of the JCI London council. The JCI London council essentially manage the running of the JCI London each year. There is a motto in JCI "By the members, for the members" and it's those three words "for the members" which created the idea for thinking about the council as a partnership. 

We want to try and exemplify the teamwork. We changed the name to partnership because we invite and wish to include our members at all levels of participation to have a voice in JCI London. The simple idea of "better together" is a philosophy at the heart of what it means to be a part of JCI. A close second would be TEDx within the context of JCI projects, it's simply unique and the great thing about TEDx is it's subtle influence on other JCI projects .

Who is the best inspirational speaker you've listened to? 

At the moment I listen to Thich Nhat Hanh. Eric Thomas was my daily mp3 running partner. Brene Brown is a wonderfully grounding speaker. Martin Luther King speeches and Mohammed Ali interviews, the 50th Law, Russell Simons and Action Jackson whose book and 30 day challenge I am in the middle of doing for the 2nd time.

If anyone would like to step outside their comfort-zone in JCI, but don't know how to do it, what are your best tips for them? 

Do it. If that doesn't work verbalise it. Someone will hold us to account for what we say. Find anyone who will make that step with you. If you're really struggling, my number is 07747022449.

What's your hidden talent? 

I'm a great babysitter - love love love kids, especially naughty kids! Particularly from 2 to 8 years old. My family would take my sister and I on day trips to museums, theatre, walks around central London, tourist hot spots, cinema etc. I loved going to the South Bank as a kid and walking to Trafalgar Square. Children have such a unique understanding of the world and it's great to hear their opinions on the world as they see it.

Do you have a favourite quote?
No.The impact of the words are determined by my circumstances at the time.

Do you have any crazy JCI ideas you would like to propose?
If I had a longer term as president, I'd aim for a million pounds turn over in three years. But as I only have 1 year, I'd like to take 30 JCI members to JCI World Congress in November for free. I don't think it's crazy because I think it's totally doable if we work for it. That and tripling the membership in two years.

Can JCI help you with anything? Connections? Mentors?
The short answer is yes. Actually it's more of a YES, than a yes. Perhaps the question to ask is "...Am I ready to receive help and advice?" Today ‘Special Projects Director' Matt Beavan sent a message "if you focus on results you will never change, if you focus on change, you will get results"

Thank you Dexter!

You can connect with Dexter Dash over email: jcidexterdash@gmail.com, mobile: 07747022449 and you will find him on LinkedIn as well www.linkedin.com/in/dexterdash

 

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10th Mar, 2013

Meet the Members
by Eleanor Handslip on March 10, 2013 12:49

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The membership team are really excited about our next membership event on Friday 22nd March. We are holding it in the Symbolic London art gallery in Mayfair, London (thank you to Jason for this.) Tickets will sell out fast so don't delay - see you at the Encounter with Pablo Picasso.

 

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19th Jul, 2012

Meet one of our new members - Ola Szaran
by Sarah Beckwith on July 19, 2012 21:59

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Why did you join JCI?

Ola Graduating at Marketing AcademyI joined JCI because I believe this is a place to meet active and extraordinary people who are not afraid to take actions to make a difference! It's a place to learn, develop your skills and become a person you want to be

What events have you attended?
My first JCI event was the ‘Marketing Academy' in Sheffield. I was very impressed by the smooth organisation and great training sessions. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in marketing. I've also attended several business events and the event with JCI Secretary General Edson Kodama who talked about JCI history, where it all started and what's the plan for the future.

I even organised one event myself- a meeting with an inspirational business woman and mentor- Karen Darby. I received all the help I needed from the business team members and the event was a great success with almost 40 attendees.

How have you been enjoying your membership so far?
Yes, very much. One of the best things as a member is that you are able to decide how much you want to get involved. I think you can compare it to a beautiful garden. You can sit on a bench and enjoy the surroundings or grab a trowel and plant some flowers. It's really in your hands, as every JCI member has a voice and can shape the future.

What are you most looking forward to about being a JCI member?
I can be very specific - I'm looking forward to the 21st July, to attend the TEDxSquareMile - Team Launch Event. I would love to get involved in this project!

 

Thanks Ola!

 

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7th Jun, 2012

Trang from London becme a member earlier this year and joined several projects immediately. Read what she has learned so far from being involved in JCI! 

Can you tell us about your background?Tran Nguyen Huyen Trang, JCI London
I am an experienced digital marketer. After two years working for Singapore Tourism Board in Vietnam, I decided to study abroad and see the world, then I went to the University of St Andrews for a Masters Degree in Marketing. I graduated last year and came to London in September to look for new ventures.

When did you join?
I joined JCI London in January this year. As I was new to London I was looking for professional networks to meet like-minded people. I came across JCI London's website and I was impressed by all the projects and activities for young professionals and entrepreneurs.

Can you tell us what you have been involved in in JCI London?
As soon as I joined JCI London I joined the business and training teams to see more aspects of JCI London. I've attended several events so far such as Happiness at work, the Magic@Work Series and Meet the Members to name a few. 
In terms of current projects, I'm helping to organise Social Media events with IBM in June and Google in September. Also, I'm part of the committee for the Public Speaking Club initiative, in charge of communication with the Club's members. And I'm involved in the JCI London TOYP awards with Sofie Sandell.

What have you learned from being involved?
There are a lot of different things I have learned so far from organising and participating in the events. Above all "Just do it". It doesn't matter what it is, how difficult it may look, the most important thing is start doing it. As long as you know what you want, start doing it in order to achieve your goal. A journey of a thousand miles just starts with this single-yet-important step. And of course, your attitude is also important, as long as you believe you can achieve it, you are already half way there.

What else would you like to do in JCI? Any roles? Projects?
In the long term, I would like to be involved in more projects with the International team. I'm always interested in meeting more members from other countries to learn more about their cultures and experiences. Also, I would like to enhance the marketing and partnership aspects of JCI London. We have a lot of high quality events so far. It's important to raise awareness and interests from the community and large corporations.

How is JCI different from other networks/organisations in London?
If you are a member you already see the differences between JCI and other networks in London. JCI is an all-in-one organisation where you can develop your skills or give back to society via different projects. 
For me, as a foreigner living in London, I love JCI London - I find it inspiring whenever I meet up with other members. Most of them are professionals and entrepreneurs from all different backgrounds and they always welcome new members and are willing to share and help each other to be more successful. And the most important difference: the bond between our members is much stronger than in other organisations.

If you could invite any speaker to a JCI event who would that be?
There are many people I would like to invite to a JCI event as a speaker. If you ask me to choose one I would like to invite Richard Branson for now. Lately, I have read one of his books - Screw it! Let's do it! And i totally love it. I would like invite him to come and share more inspiring stories with our members.

Who is the person who influenced you the most, and how?
There are many people who have influenced me in different ways. For me, I can always learn something from each person I encounter. By talking to them, listening and sharing experiences with them, I can see the world in different perspectives. Within JCI London, I would say the first person I talked to Ricky Kothari - JCI London's Business Director. Through his leadership and support in all the projects and business team meetings, he showed me that everything is possible. With the team support, each of us has the ability to lead and be successful in all the projects we embark on.

How would you describe him?
If I can describe Ricky, he would be an entrepreneur at heart, an enthusiastic leader and an excellent team player.

What is your hidden talent?
People say that Sagittarius is the most positive of the star signs. They never take no for an answer, and they always see the cup as half full, not half empty. Also, they'd always rather aim high and take on the adventure of life than get to the end of the road regretting that they didn't have a good go at making their dreams come true. 
Don't you think so? Why not catch up for a chat at the upcoming events, see if I really am a Sagittarius? I love to meet and talk to more people to share experiences and listen to their interesting stories. Also, if you need information about working in Asia, specifically in Vietnam and Singapore, I may be able to help. Connect with me at Linkedin www.linkedin.com/in/trannguyenhuyentrang for more details.

Can JCI help you with anything? Contacts? Ideas?
At the moment, I am looking for new venture in digital marketing. I've contacted recruitment agencies and companies so far. Given the fact that JCI is a large network of professionals and entrepreneurs, I would highly appreciate it if you could direct me to people who might be able to help me in my career. Thank you very much for your help in advance!

Thank you Trang, lovely to speak to you! 

Sofie 

 

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16th May, 2012

Interview with Simon Bucknall - 2012 President of JCI London
by Simon James Bucknall on May 16, 2012 13:37

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This week, we caught up with our current Chamber President, Simon Bucknall. What's his JCI story - and current perspective on membership and what it can offer?

How did you first hear about JCI?Council team » Simon - coach.jpg

JCI found me! Back in late 2007, I had had some success in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. Tina Strack, President of JCI London at the time, got in touch and invited me in to run some public speaking workshops for the Council. It wasn't long before I joined - and I've never looked back!

What do you feel is the biggest benefit of being a member of JCI?

OPPORTUNITIES! We're living through perhaps the toughest job market in a generation. Economic malaise is rife and there are countless thousands of young people out there with so much to offer... but in need of opportunities through which to do so.

Unless you've secured an internship with literally your dream organisation, JCI membership beats unpaid internships any day. Why? Not because you get paid here - you don't. None of us do - not even the President! But because the opportunity for you to make things happen are limitless - and all within a safe environment. You have complete flexibility and scope to use your initiative, while all the time working with like-minded ambitious young people from across a wide range of professional backgrounds.

If you want project management experience... you can help organise speaker events in business and in training. If you want to build an international network... you can connect with a global JCI network of more than 170,000 young professionals (last weekend saw JCI Berne in Switzerland host 'European Capitals Meeting'). Next month, JCI Braunschweig in Germany will host JCI European Conference - and it'll be HUGE). Equally, if you want to gain confidence in the public speaking... you can join our newly launched public speaking club. Simply make new friends and have fun... come to our regular socials.  I could go on!

We get the idea! Sounds like you feel quite strongly about this?!

You bet. What baffles me is why there aren't more young people approaching us and seizing these opportunities! Of course, as a chamber, we take responsibility for part of that - it's up to us to get the message out there more; to hammer away at social media, blogs like this, via email, eNewsletters, calling friends, text messages and the rest. But we have events running pretty much every single week - and we're not hard to find on google! The need out there is so strong... So, if you're reading this and know someone who's in search of practical skills and experience, get in contact! I'll give you my email at the end...

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How has JCI membership benefited your career?

in countless ways. I'm a professional speaker and have been running my own business since August 2008 (great timing, huh?) My first corporate client was Shell plc... would never have happened without JCI. One of my (now) closest colleagues is Richard Mullender, former hostage negotiator from Scotland Yard. Would never have met him... without JCI. I've had the opportunity to speak to audiences in India, Finland, Denmark and Japan. would never have happened... without... well, you get the idea. Honestly, and I really mean this, JCI has been a massively positive influence on me and my business in so many ways.

Are you saying that you have to become President in order to reap the benefits?

Not at all! None of the above personal benefits have had anything to do with being President. I was first introduced to Richard through JCI more than four years ago! Like anything in life, the more you put in, the more you get back. But even if you were simply to attend, say, a couple of events a month, the rewards you reap would be huge. They really would.

But you have to make a commitment - you have to invest in your own success.

But if you do that, you'll hear from quality speakers like Vivi Friedgut (former Private Banker and now personal finance expert at Black Bullion) or Delfin Vassallo (Social Media Ops Manager at Nokia) or Lee Warren and James Harwood from InvisibleTraining. i met Lee after the first event in their 'Business Magic@Work Series' (run specially for JCI London) He's a serious, serious expert at what he does - he's got testimonials from Prince William for goodness sake! Nowhere else would you get access to this level of expertise - unless you're prepared to fork out an absolute fortune. Deep breath... so, there you go. Hope that answers your question!

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Uhm... yup! So what's your top tip for readers of this article?

If you're a JCI member, deicde to commit. Now. How? By registering for an event - any event! - right away. If you're reading this article before 6pm on Thursday 17th May, then come to our Social Media workshop with Delfin. How can anyone serious about business NOT be interested in mastering social media? I know I am! Book your ticket and come along. This year's programme is packed with value - we'd hate you to miss it. If next week, then how about Meet The Members? Or Business Magic 2? Here's the link to all upcoming events...

If you're new to JCI, then we'd love to see you at an event, also! But you may prefer first to take a look around the website - have a read and if you like what you see, drop me a line. Also you can check out our facebook page if you haven't done so already... http://www.facebook.com/JCILondon 

Finally, if you think any of this stuff could be of benefit to someone you know, then please forward this article to them - or forward the link. Too many young people are suffering from a lack of quality opportunities in this current climate. Maybe JCI can help?

And money needn't be an issue - in fact, at 7pm on Wednesday 23rd May 2012, we'll be hosting the second in event in our 'Meet The Members Series'. Informal social in the City - all are welcome; tickets are free. you even get a free drink! Now how's that for a bargain...?

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Simon Bucknall is the 2012 President of JCI London.

His email is  simon.bucknall@jcilondon.org.uk

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14th Dec, 2011

Meet our Members - Tina Strack
by Sarah Beckwith on December 14, 2011 21:15

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This week we meet Tina Strack, JCI London President 2007 and one of our newest senators.

Blog » Members » Tina.jpgWhy did you join JCI? I joined JCI because a friend from Uni was a member and told me about it. He and I were both members of fraternities at University and he explained it to me as being quite similar so I thought it would be a great way to meet people while developing my leadership skills.

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why? Probably European Conference in 2007. I have never been around so many interesting, friendly people in my life. I remember that you could walk up to any person and just start chatting with them. I highly, highly recommend attending one of these.

What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member? For me, its always been about the people. I have met such lovely people through my time at JCI - people who interest me, who support me, who challenge me, who make me laugh and most importantly, who I enjoy spending time with.

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that you never would have thought possible before you joined? For me it would be taking on a leadership role. I've been involved with membership organisations all my life - student government, my sorority, clubs at University - and I never really had the courage to take on a leadership role until JCI. For me that aspect of JCI has always been such a strength of the organisation - it gives you a safe place to spread your wings and try things that you might not be able to do in work life. I still can't quite believe that I've managed to be President of two chambers.

What does becoming a senator mean to you? Its still a shock! But its such an honour and most importantly means that I will have a connection to this organisation and its amazing people forever. The funny thing is that on the evening I received my senatorship I had been telling Sarah how difficult it is when you hit 40 and you need to "let go" of JCI. This means I don't have to! I'm really humbled that JCI London felt I deserved this recognition - THANK YOU!

 

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9th Nov, 2011

Meet Peter Reitano - Past National President of JCI Australia
by Sarah Beckwith on November 9, 2011 20:42

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Blog » Members » Peter.jpgHow long have you been a member? 19 years

Why did you join?  I joined for the social aspects of JCI.  Since I've been a member I've picked up so many different aspects of the organisation.  For example before joining I hadn't travelled overseas or even around Australia as much as I have now.  I have now been to every state in Australia and to almost every continent (hope this will be rectified by the time I get to World Congress in Brazil in 2013 - South America will then be done) !  The speaking opportunities is another aspect of JCI that I really enjoy.

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?   I definitely would say the 2009 JCI Japan Academy (the best Academy ever) in Kagoshima.  I had the opportunity to meet and network with future leaders of the organisation and be shown around a great part of Japan.  It's very intense in that we had a week of being together 24/7.  I highly recommend this Academy for anyone looking to lead their national organisation !

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that you never would have thought possible before you joined?  Yep.  Sitting in your lounge now!  Travelling around the world.  I never would have travelled around the world without JCI.  I wouldn't have met so many amazing people.  This being my ninth world congress I'm going to this week, there's so many people I've met.

What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member?  The opportunity to meet and network with people from around the world.  People don't believe me when I say it, but I'm quite a shy person.  JCI gives me the opportunity to get out there and meet people in a friendly environment.

 

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17th Sep, 2011

Meet Glyn Jones - JCI UK National Convention Team Member
by Sarah Beckwith on September 17, 2011 16:12

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How long have you been a member?
I joined JCI Sheffield in only January of this year, but with everything that I have been involved with and the friendships I have made, it feels more like a couple of years!

Why did you join?
I met Kate Senter (JCI Sheffield President) during a normal work meeting to discuss how both of our organisations could work together. After listening to her speak so passionately about JCI I was sold!  When I looked through the list of events, seminars and training that was on offer, I really couldn't think of a reason why I wouldn't want to join, it seemed like a great way to improve the skills that I would need to move on in my career, and all I could think of at the time is that I wish I had joined sooner.

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
I have just recently been lucky enough to attend an amazing 'Leadership Planning for Managers' session, where amongst other things we had to retrieve a life saving antidote from a contaminated field , plan a strategy to extract 2 teams from an island with a snowmobile and a dog sled in time to rendezvous with a military ship. Not things that I usually have to deal with in my day job! It was great opportunity to learn some leadership techniques that are used by the British Army which can be adapted to everyday life and in particular my role at work. It typified what JCI is all about, challenging yourself, learning new skills and working as part of a team.

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that you never would have thought possible before you joined?
The one thing that I didn't think was possible was that within 6 months of joining I would have met so many people, many of whom I now consider as friends and I am certain that number will continue to grow over the years.

What is your role this year?
After just a couple of months as a new member I took on the role of Business Director, so I am working on the partnerships and engagement that we have with local commercial organisations to help build the awareness of JCI in Sheffield. As an added bonus I am also part of the Planning Committee for the National Convention and I am currently responsible for securing sponsorship from the local businesses and organisations that are keen to align their brand with us, and with Sheffield being a city keen to promote entrepreneurialism and future business leaders there have been no shortage of interested parties.  

What made you take on this particular role?
I took on this role as I thought I could use a lot of the existing relationships I have with businesses in the area and my experience in sponsorship and promotions would be useful to ensure that we get the 'buy in' from the local business community to help make the National Convention an event that JCI will be proud of. And with the plans that we already have in place it is already shaping up to look like a phenomenal event and we cant wait for our JCI colleagues from around the country to come and experience some renowned Yorkshire hospitality.  

What are you hoping to achieve in this role?
The National Convention is a great opportunity for us to be able to promote the JCI. So beyond delivering a fantastic event for all the members , I am hoping that this will be the springboard to an ongoing campaign of improving the awareness of JCI, and hopefully we will get many more young professionals from the city and beyond who sign up to membership.  Personally through my role as Business Director, through the campaigns that we have been working on since I joined and the exciting ones that we have planned in the next few months, I would love to see our membership grow and we could go on to deliver even bigger and bolder projects.

What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member?
The thing that I enjoy most about being a JCI member is that there is opportunity and no limits. There is always something new to look forward to, something new to challenge yourself with, and you are surrounded by a great team of people who you can learn from and who are willing to support you along the way.  I have gained so much from it already and I haven't even scratched the surface yet, I can't wait to attend some of the International conferences and make connections with other members from around the world!

Sign up for the JCI UK National Convention here

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9th Aug, 2011

Meet IVP Lesley Young
by Sarah Beckwith on August 9, 2011 19:45

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We talk to JCI London member and past council director, Immediate Past National President and International Vice President, Lesley Young.

How long have you been a member?
Lesley Young, JCI UK
7 years

Why did you join?
I had moved to a Belfast for a new job and thought it would be a good way to meet like minded people and make new friends. I was aware of some local JCI projects like the Christmas Tree appeal and Friendly Business Awards and was very impressed by their work!

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
There are so many it's hard to pick one as the most interesting! I guess one that really sticks out in my mind was the JCI/UN Global Partnership Summit in New York in June 2010. As well as a great programme focusing on how we can development partnerships to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals I was able to meet JCI members from across the world. A big surprise was when Ban-Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, came to address us personally and thanked JCI for our partnership work with the United Nations. It was a real honour to meet such a prestigious leader and it really encouraged all the delegates to be more active!

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that you never would have thought possible before you joined?
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would one day be the JCI UK National President!

What is your role this year?
I am International Vice President and am assigned to 7 countries in Europe. This means I am a member of the JCI Board of Directors and my role is to mentor and advise the National Organisations I am assigned to as well be an active member of the JCI team in Europe. This has provided many unique opportunities such as Chairing the First Timers event and Debating competition at the European Conference in Tarragona.

What made you take on this particular role?
I have always been very active and passionate about the international opportunities within JCI. After serving as National President I knew that I was keen to take my involvement to the next level as well as try to give back to the organisation that had made the opportunities I've been given in the UK possible. I really want JCI to grow in strength both within the UK and across the world and I am delighted to be able to contribute to that in some small way.

What are you hoping to achieve this year?
To build on the great relationships I have established with my assigned countries as well as make a positive contribution to the work of JCI President Kentaro Harada's team in 2011. I hope that the work carried out in my VP visits are beneficial to the JCI organisation in that area in terms of raising awareness of what JCI means and hopefully help attract new members and partners.

What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member?
Friendship!! I've made a number of dear friends in London, the UK and across the globe that I know I will be close to for many years to come!

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5th Jul, 2011

Meet James Lynch - Our New Finance Director!
by Sarah Beckwith on July 5, 2011 12:55

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We speak to James Lynch, our new Finance Director and latest addition to the JCI London Council.

How long have you been a member? I joined JCI at the beginning of last summer so about a year now.

Why did you join? A friend of mine made me aware of JCI initially. We spoke about the variety of events, quality of the speakers, and the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of the people involved and it certainly sparked an interest. So I checked out the website and saw that everything I had been told was true and that there was literally something for everyone, I really liked that broad approach that you don't have access to with some professional societies.

What made you take on the finance director role? All the people I've met through JCI have been inspiring and interesting individuals in one way or another and the opportunity to be involved with the running of an organisation that attracts these types of people to it was something I didn't want to miss. Also, I come from a finance background professionally but my current role focuses on external reporting so the chance of gaining an insight into what is is like to work from an internal perspective is something I hope will help me to develop a more rounded understanding of finance.

What are you most looking forward to in taking on this role? I'm most looking forward to learning more about how the council operates and from the strengths of the other council members. It seems that everyone comes from a different professional background so it's a real melting pot of skills and abilities. It's because of this diversity throughout our membership base that JCI London is going from strength to strength so I'm looking forward to contributing to its continued success and watching the organisation grow.

What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member? There's so much on offer it's really hard to choose one thing. One element that I really do enjoy is welcoming new members to their first event or social evening. Most people are a little nervous when they first walk through the door but once they realise that everybody is really happy they came and keen to get to know them it opens up a world of discovery for them as they explore what's on offer. Well that's how it felt for me anyway but I guess I'm a bit of a romantic at heart.

 

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