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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


Blog » Members » Glyn - Sheffield.jpg

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


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


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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30th May, 2011

Meet Melissa Hackney - Community Team Member
by Sarah Beckwith on May 30, 2011 11:51


How long have you been a member? Around a year and a half. 
Why did you join? I had not been living in London for very long and wanted to meet new people.   As a Solicitor I was also interested to find out about the soft skills courses and networking opportunities which JCI offers.
Blog » Community » 248892_10150277624627577_601587576_8967586_8178192_n.jpgWhich JCI event would you recommend to other people? I have found the "Go For It" community event the most  interesting and rewarding event to date, which I would recommend to others.  It provides the opportunity to meet people of an age group and background who you may not otherwise meet, and to find out what interests and motivates them.  It is clear that just by attending the event and sharing out experience, we made a difference to their lives in some way.       
Has JCI presented any unusual  or unexpected opportunities? When I attended the JCI Open Evening and became a member, the first person I met was Eyad, who is currently the JCI international director.  When he told me that he was from Syria, I mentioned that I was trying to learn Arabic at the time, but was failing miserably.    Eyad became my Arabic tutor and we subsequently had a few amusing lessons, and an interesting trip to a Syrian restaurant, which included a memorable dish of meat and yoghurt.   
Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that  has benefitted your career?   JCI gave me the opportunity to develop my networking skills, particularly at the Thursday networking events.  I'm now completely at ease walking into a room full of strangers at business networking events.    
I think that JCI presents a lots of opportunities which will benefit my career in the long run, but it also offers much more than that.  
What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member? I enjoy having a new circle of friends who I can call anytimeboth on a professional level but also personally  (e.g. when I'm lost in Bloomsbury and can't get GPS to work - Carolin :) )

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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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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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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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26th Feb, 2011

Meet Soraya - JCI London's Deputy Community Director
by Sarah Beckwith on February 26, 2011 13:46


Blog » Random » Mile of Pennies.jpgHow long have you been a member?

6 months

What is your role this year?

Deputy Director Community

What made you take on this particular role?

In my current role in the NHS I workpredominatelyin thecommunity, this role doesn'tallow me to focus on other areas of interest such as leadership skills needed in the third sector andcorporatesocialresponsibility.

What are you hoping to achieve this year?

There is just so much I could say here. I would say to build on the community teams main theme : Building foundations for active citizenship at grassroots level, enabling our  members to make an impact at local and international level. A key achievement would be create more volunteering opportunities and assist our members developing projects that make an impact in their local communities. Finally for the London chamber to raise the most money for the Nothing But Nets  through the Mile of Pennies campaign- basically collecting pennies from members at every event.  So remember JCI members bring your pennies to every event (larger donations are most welcome). Every penny counts!!!!

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

Standing on a drinks create at speakers corner totally unprepared promoting the benefits of JCI to the general public for Leadership Academy  apprentice challenge

What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member?

Opportunity to meet like-minded people, JCI really allows to put the personal back into personal development as sometimes can be restricted in the workplace and the space you are given to develop these skills


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6th Feb, 2011

Meet JCI London's Newest Senator - Marco van den Heuvel
by Sarah Beckwith on February 6, 2011 17:14


How long have you been a member?
I have been a member since March 2005, so almost 6 years.

Why did you join JCI?
I was a Research Chemist at the time and convinced of my potential to be a good team leader at the company I worked for. However, they felt that as I didn't have the experience they couldn't give me the opportunity to demonstrate my abilities. That way I would never progress my career. Then I heard about JCI (by chance) and immediately recognised the potential to learn additional skills, get involved in projects and demonstrate (to myself as well as others) that I could indeed lead a team.

What is the Council team » Marco.jpgmost interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
That's a difficult one, as I have been to so many interesting ones. Top of the list though must be the international events like European Conferences and European Capitals Meetings. My best training experience has been European Academy, which is aimed at incoming Local Presidents: excellent trainers and training events, fantastic people and networking opportunities.

Has JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
That has to be my career change. Although I joined JCI to increase my chances of career progression to team leader in Chemistry, I had acquired all these great transferable skills through taking on leading roles on (international) projects and by being Local President. Realising I would not be able to put them into practice at my company, I decided to look for another job outside chemistry. Chance had it that I met my next employer, Marcus Orlovsky, at the European Conference in Budapest in 2009 who was a very inspiring speaker and mentioned they were looking for more staff. His drive and passion to improve learning environments at schools in the UK matched my desire to create positive change through my work. If it wasn't for the transferable skills I acquired through JCI that career change would simply not have been possible.

What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member?
The opportunities for continuous personal development, meeting people from all walks of life and hearing their personal stories, working with other driven members who volunteer their time to help others whilst developing their skill set, and above all the supportive environment to expand your comfort zone and to become the person you can be.

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that you never would have thought possible before you joined?
Where to begin...? Leaving chemistry after my Ph.D. and 7 years industrial experience to a job for which I had no experience or qualifications. Having dinner at the House of Commons and House of Lords (and speaking at the House of Lords!). Taking part in public speaking and debating competitions (and being quite good at it). Having an extensive international network of people many of whom I can proudly say I call friends.

What does becoming a senator mean to you?
Whilst I still feel that I have not done enough for JCI to deserve this great honour, it has given me the perfect opportunity to do just that: continue 'giving' and taking part, and be part of this great organisation after I age out (which is not that far away).

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