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25th May, 2015

Meet the Member - Charlie Pearson - RGC Yorkshire
by Fiona Silvester on May 25, 2015 07:06

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Membership » MTM-Web-Banner2.jpg

We are lucky today to find out more about our Regional Group Chairman for Yorkshire - Charlie Pearson.

Which chamber are you a member of?
I am a JCI Rotherham member.

How long have you been a JCI member?
I joined JCI Barnsley in 2011, I then moved to JCI Rotherham in 2014 for their Relaunch.

What made you join?
At the time I was a freelance Photographer looking for networking opportunities. I quickly
realised that I was going to get that and much more so I stayed once I got full time
employment.

Membership » MTM Charlie 1.jpg

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
Oooh that one is really hard! I have to say my first European Conference in Braunschweig
Germany in June 2012. I was just the most amazing week with great friends. I learnt,
laughed and did so much in those few days (helped that I didn't sleep much).

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that you never would have thought
possible before you joined?
I'm not sure there is anything I wouldn't have thought possible as I am a person that is
always willing to give things a go so given the right opportunities then anything it possible. I
think JCI gives me those opportunities. Everything from Debating to having afternoon tea in
a palace gardens in Malta!

What is your job/career/profession/business?
I am a stock & facilities assistant for a fundraising company.

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Yes, completely 100%! My boss is a past JCI Barnsley President, I she hadn't come in to run a
training session for us then I wouldn't have even known there was a job opportunity there.

Who is a leader you admire?
Nelson Mandela has to be high on the list, to stand so strongly for that you believe is right,
with grace and dignity to improve not only your life but the life of others is exactly what
everyone in this world should aim to do.

Membership » MTM Charlie 2.jpg


What's your proudest achievement?
All the things I have done that could be in this list!! Personally I am so proud of myself for
getting an education. I am not a naturally academic person and applying myself enough to
get everything from GCSE's to a BA hons Degree means the world to me and has set me up
for whatever I decide to do in life. In JCI there are two moments, JCI Barnsley being
shortlisted for Most Outstanding Chamber in Europe for my Presidential year or 2013 and
JCI Rotherham's first birthday Annual Dinner. For those of you who know me well you will
know that basically means both of my Presidential years for two fantastic chambers, I am
sure my RGC year will get added to the list in December too!

What's your favourite biscuit and why?
Anything with milk chocolate on it, why? because it's chocolate!

What is a good weekend to you?
I love the weekends I am at home will my family, the chill out or catch up Saturdays , being
woken up by my three year old niece at 9am on a Sunday morning and then the whole
family getting together for dinner. It is just crazy, loud and normal life.

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done.
When I left University I went to America to be a camp counselor which was just crazy!
Finding a snake in my shower was dangerous, the kids were inspiring and the whole thing
was unusual!

Thanks!

 

 

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22nd May, 2015

Meet the Member - Wasim Alfaisal - National Board
by Fiona Silvester on May 22, 2015 07:54

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I'm sure he's probably imfamous around the globe thanks to his JCI travels, it's our National International Director Wasim Alfaisal.

Which chamber are you a member of?
JCI Leeds

How long have you been a JCI member?
7 years

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What made you join?
I was looking for an international volunteering experience, then when I found JCI I was impressed by the package of development opportunities it provides. Now after 7 years in JCI I can easily say that I have become a different person than the one I was before joining JCI.

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
Oh difficult to tell, there is a lot! OK, I will say 2010 JCI Africa and the Middle East Conference in Nigeria. It was my first time in Africa and I wasn't expecting that I will visit Nigeria in my life but this is an example to where JCI could take you. I had amazing 12 days there and I made loads of friends from around Africa.

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
JCI is meeting my International passion. I have friend from all around the world now. Whenever I visit any country I have friends to meet and show me around.

Membership » MTM Wasim 2.jpg

What is your job/career/profession/business?
I work as an Education Consultant for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London. I am also starting my own Training Company now.

If we came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator, what would we see?
You will see quite variety of International food and especially Middle Eastern food. You are always invited for a dinner though ;)

What is a good weekend to you?
Attending a JCI International conference ;)

Thanks!

 

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21st May, 2015

Meet the Member - Kate Senter - National Board
by Fiona Silvester on May 21, 2015 08:04

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Although she's been on National Board for over 3 years it's always lovely to spend a little more time getting to know Kate Senter, our Immediate Past President, and finding out more about why she loves JCI.

Which chamber are you a member of?
JCI Sheffield   

How long have you been a JCI member?
Since 2008

What made you join?
A friend encouraged me to go along to a new member night in October 2008 because she thought I might enjoy the personal development aspect. I went along and signed up on the night and then met with her a few days later to see how I could get the most out of my membership...needless to say, I joined her 2009 local council team and never looked back!

 

Membership » MTM Kate 2.jpg

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
I can't pick only one! No way! I have had SO many amazing opportunities - a whistle stop tour would be:

  • European Academy in 2010 - this really changed my life and I learnt so much!
  • My first World Congress in Brussels - wow! Wow! Wow! The training, the new friends, the camaraderie, the parties!
  • Attending a champagne reception with Prince Albert of Monaco in his palace!
  • Living with a Japanese family for a week as part of the Japan Academy

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
Loads! See above! But mainly it has been great to develop my skills as a trainer!

What is your job/career/profession/business?
I am a senior internal communications manager for GlaxoSmithKline

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
YES! I wouldn't be in my role now! The ability to develop leadership skills has really pushed me forward and I owe a lot to the organisation.

Who is a leader you admire?
There are many people that I have met in JCI that I really admire - people who have shown me different ways to lead and that there isn't a one size fits all approach!

What's your proudest achievement?
My year as local president of JCI Sheffield was my proudest achievement I think. Working at a community level, with a brilliant team of people gave me the opportunity to shape my leadership style, learn LOADS and connect with my home city.

 

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Kate after the Reaper obstacle run

If you were given the chance to enter the Big Brother house would you?
No chance!!!!!!!!

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
I love physical challenges and have started to get involved in mud and obstacle runs! And if this wasn't enough, I am in training to complete the Para10 - 10 miles, in army boots, with 15kgs on my back. What a joy! But for me, it is all about determination - something JCI has really taught me to use to great effect!

 

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

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20th May, 2015

Meet the Member - James Lambert (JCI Southampton)
by Fiona Silvester on May 20, 2015 11:54

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Although we are in the middle of our Meet the National Board blog series this is our usual Meet the Member day and I thought it fitting to introduce James Lambert from JCI Southampton.  Although James isn't on National Board and doesn't attend our meeting he's been a huge support to the team so far this year.  He's running our TOYP project, involved in organising LEAP and volunteered to help with our website.

Which chamber are you a member of?
Southampton

How long have you been a JCI member?
2 and a half years

What made you join?
I re-located to Southampton for work and originally joined JCI for the networking opportunities. Since joining I have got so much more out of being a member particularly in relation to Personal Development.

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
LEAP (JCI's Leadership academy) which I attended in August 2013. Amongst other things the weekend helped me learn about myself and how I can work better with others as well as making some great new friends. LEAP is back for its 4th year in 2015 and I am honoured to be the LEAP Director this year. If you haven't been to LEAP I would strongly encourage you to come this year (it's on 21st - 23rd August). For more info see http://www.jciuk.org.uk/leap

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The 2014 LEAP delegate including james hiding

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
Attending TOYP academy in Istanbul where I got to learn more about JCI and also local customs as I stayed with a JCI member there.

What is your job/career/profession/business?
I work as a tax accountant, preparing tax returns for people to ensure they (legally) don't pay too much tax

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Yes. JCI has improved my communication skills and increased my confidence in my own abilities.

What's your proudest achievement?
There are 2 - Being named Most Outstanding New Member in 2013 and also running the Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) project this year.

Membership » MTM James Lambert.jpg

If we came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator, what would we see?
Not much as it is shopping day tomorrow!

What is a good weekend to you?
Relaxing with friends and a walk along the coast with my fiancé

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
I've done a couple of skydives (one over the desert in Africa and the other in New Zealand).

Thanks James!!

 

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19th May, 2015

Meet the Member - Sarah Beckwith - National Board
by Fiona Silvester on May 19, 2015 11:17

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Introducing our National Deputy President Sarah Beckwith.  Find out a little more about why Sarah loves JCI.

How long have you been a JCI member?
Almost nine years

What made you join?
A friend from uni was a member on the south coast and kept e-mailing me telling me how she was going to public speaking training, organising a charity event or off to a black tie dinner.  She said it was a great way to meet new people.  I was interested in doing more voluntary activities so went along to an open meeting and project team meeting, soon joined up and quickly got involved.

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
There have been lots, but one that sticks out is Inspiration Day in Barnsley in 2009.  There was a speaker called Paul McGee: The SUMO Guy, which stands for Shut Up Move On.  He was one of the best speakers I've ever seen and I still read his books and get his newsletters.  We then did Samna Drumming as a team building activity, which was totally different and so much fun.  After further bonding via a night out in Barnsley, the JCI London Council held our first team meeting the following day.  It was a great start to the year.

Membership » MTM Sarah 1.jpg

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
Yes, so many...it's one of the reasons I stay a member.  Every year I find new opportunities that surprise, challenge and excite me.  Just some of the things I've done as a member include:

  • Organising JCI UK's first modern-format three-day programme National Convention in 2010.
  • Giving my inauguration speech as JCI London President at the House of Lords.
  • Taking part in international debating competitions in Budapest, Monaco and Rio.
  • Standing for and being elected as JCI UK Deputy National Presdient.
  • Getting to be a trainer internationally at European Academy in Sweden.

I could go on and on...

What is the best thing about JCI?
The people.  There is just nothing like attending a JCI event full of the most enthusiastic, talented, generous, caring and inspiring people you can ever imagine meeting.  Our members make our organisation and created that inexplicable buzz.  Thanks to JCI I have great friends in my home city, across the country and around the world. 

What is your job/career/profession/business?
I'm a Chartered Surveyor and director at BNP Paribas Real Estate, where I've worked for over ten years, joining as a graduate trainee.  I specialise in the negotiation of rents and leases on high street shops, restaurants and pubs.

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Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Without a doubt.  The skills I've developed through JCI have helped me in many ways.  The public speaking and debating skills have helped me when delivering pitches, technical training sessions for clients and even giving evidence in court.  I'm recognised by my colleagues as bringing something different to the team in the way I facilitate team meetings and looking at problems from different angles.  Generally JCI has given me the confidence to take on leadership roles, which otherwise would have been out of my comfort zone.

If we came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator, what would we see?
Not a lot!  I can't profess to be any kind of masterchef at the best of times and at the moment I'm so busy I hardly ever seem to be home, so I tend to just buy food as and when I need it, rather than waste it.  At the moment you'd find the staples of milk, orange juice, pesto, olives and chorizo. 

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
Walked on a glacier in Argentina.

Thanks Sarah!

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18th May, 2015

Meet the Member - Drew Charman - National Board
by Fiona Silvester on May 18, 2015 14:41

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Which chamber are you a member of?
JCI Southampton

How long have you been a JCI member?
Since April 2007

What made you join?
I was first introduced to JCI back in 2006 when I was invited to JCI Southampton's Annual Gala Dinner by my good friend Will Noble who was Local President at the time.  With best dinner suit on I stepped into the room to find over 150 fellow young professionals in front of me - quite daunting for a newcomer, but I had an absolute blast & decided to go along to further events to find out more about this extraordinary organisation that I had never heard of before.  I was fascinated by the fact that one organisation could offer so many different areas of opportunity whilst still retaining a sense of fun along the way & from that moment on I was quite simply hooked!

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
That's a difficult one as there have been many!  I'd say probably JCI Academy in Japan.  Anyone who has been to the JCI Academy or to European Academy, both of which are leadership courses designed to prepare incoming National Presidents or Local Presidents for their year to lead, will know why I've chosen this particular event. 

As Deputy National President of JCI UK in 2014, I had the great privilege and honour of attending the 27th JCI Academy in Handa, Japan. Being a delegate at the Academy reinforced for me the real sense of global community within JCI and the fulfilment of getting the most from others.  It helped to strengthen the knowledge that and I and my fellow JCI members had a fantastic opportunity to work across boundaries and make even greater contributions to the growth and development of our national organisations, our local communities and the world as a whole.

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Drew in Japan

My 10 days in Japan will stay with me forever. From the moment I landed in Japan and stepped off the plane to the Graduation Ceremony and Farewell Gala celebrations I was immersed in the wonderful culture of Japan, surrounded by my peers - friends old and new - from across the world. It was quite simply a couple of weeks that I will never, ever forget.   There were many late nights and early starts, where we worked hard, but I got to learn powerful things about myself and made many lifelong friends.  I definitely had the time of my life... so far!

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
It's not often that you get a chance to meet foreign Embassy teams or join a reception when foreign royalty is attendance, but JCI has given me this opportunity.  Along with other JCI members I've had the privilege to meet up with the US Embassy in London and join a reception with HSH Prince Albert of Monaco in attendance whilst attending the European Conference there.  I'm lucky enough to have met our own royalty on a couple of occasions, but that's another story!

What is your job/career/profession/business?
I'm a Change Analyst (that's a Change Manager to everyone else) with Virgin Media, looking after planned works on our cable network.  I assess the impact the works will have and who to, and work with the project management and implementation teams to ensure correct governance is followed.  It's a perfect job for someone with Blue-Red energy!!

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Not directly per se, but it has certainly influenced my professional and personal development and therefore my career.  My JCI journey was a major factor in helping me to successfully apply and graduate from Virgin Media's year long Orbit Leadership programme.  I regularly utilise what I learn from being a JCI member during my professional activities.

 

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Drew in Monaco

Who is a leader you admire?
Well, being a Virgin Media employee and therefore part of the Liberty Global and Virgin Groups I would have to say Richard Branson.  He's just got it all going on and he's quite rightly respected as one of the leading global entrepreneurs and forward thinkers of our time.

What's your proudest achievement?
There have been a few - all very random such as winning the Egg & Spoon and Obstacle races at my first ever primary school Sports Day (a very proud day indeed), getting accepted into university which was a big thing for my family at the time, the numerous JCI UK award wins over the years, graduating from JCI Academy, to my home chamber nominating me for a Senatorship which was awarded on stage at National Convention in 2014.

If we gave you an elephant, where would you hide it?
Who wrote these questions?!  Not quite sure why I'd want to hide it assuming it's a real one, but if I had to then I'd probably paint its toe nails red, stick some leaves on it and hide it in the middle of a cherry orchard.  Or something like that.

What's a great weekend to you?
When I'm not attending a JCI event, then it would be a weekend that involves as little admin work as possible, long lie-ins, a nice lunch or dinner and drinks out with friends in the sun somewhere (as long as I've remembered to put some Factor 50 on!).

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
Tough one!  Probably dangerous would be the way to go - I've been off-roading in Crete at speed along narrow cliff top roads with sheer drops.  The speed thing won't come as a huge surprise to anyone who knows me, but it was very dangerous, with no real safety and therefore very scary at the time.  The things you do on all-boys summer holidays back in the day!

 

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14th May, 2015

2015 TOYP Honoree Mohammed Zafran
by James Lambert on May 14, 2015 11:56

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The second in our series of blog posts about the UK's 2015 Ten Oustanding Young Persons is from Mohammed Zafran (Known as Zaf to many) who is based in the West Midlands.

 

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"I work as a Community Liaison Officer at South and City College Birmingham and I am the CEO of a company called All 4 Youth & Community.

I got into helping youths get off the streets and stay away from crime after; my 24 year old brother-in-law was brutally murdered in a local park 5 years ago.

I started walking in local parks in the middle of the night and engaged with youths who were linked with gangs and helped them to change their ways and get back in education and work. Till date through sporting and educational programmes, I’ve managed to help 13,000 youths through my academy.

I’ve completed 99 projects thus far with, a total funding of £2500 from the enterprise catalyst.

In the last couple of years I’ve set up a women’s academy which, ensures young Muslim women are not forced into marriages and can continue in further education after the age of 15. I have managed to sign up over 2,000 young women in my academy.

My work has been recognised locally and nationally and I have won the Birmingham Sports Community Award 2013, BBC West Midlands Project of the Year 2013 and National Diversity Award.  I am the current Pride of Birmingham and Pride of Sport Award winner also."

 

TOYP » 2015 TOYP Winners » Zaf Picture.jpg

 

For further information about the TOYP awards please click here

 

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13th May, 2015

Meet the Member - Sammuel Kitone - JCI London
by Fiona Silvester on May 13, 2015 08:03

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Introducing Sammuel Kitone from JCI London.

Which chamber are you a member of?
London

How long have you been a JCI member?
2 months

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What made you join?
- Enhance expertise 
- Community - Involvement
- Up skill
- Great network with likeminded people.
- Giving back to the community

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why
JCI London, KICK OFF 2015  -  Opportunity to see how I could take part
Inspirational Day - Manchester - Understood JCI core values

Membership » MTM - Sammuel 3.jpg

What is your job/career/profession/business?
Security Specialist / Business Owner

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Yes

What's your proudest achievement?
Seeing my daughter (calling me the best dad when I bought her an Oxford and Cambridge mathematical sets)

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
Went with friends in a swimming pool to swim when I couldn't swim! They only realised that I couldn't swim when I was already in the pool. I believed I could swim.

Thanks Sammuel

 

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6th May, 2015

From Fairy Tales to Global Success - Heather Ransom (JCI London)
by Michaela Schaller on May 6, 2015 22:33

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Three months after joining JCI London, I find myself heading to my first international JCI event - the European Capitals Meeting in Copenhagen with the inspiring theme 'From Fairy Tales to Global Success'.

The Jaycee welcome in the arrivals hall at Copenhagen Airport immediately made me feel at home. After dropping my case at my hotel, I headed to the harbour area of Nyhavn for a pre-tour walk around the canals to see the Little Mermaid statue before the welcome party in the meatpacking district. Everyone enjoyed the free beer and cider donated by Carlsberg! On the drinks table there was a donation box for JCI Copenhagen International's schools project in Liberia, which has a similar goal to our own London to Ghana project in fundraising for school books.

The theme for Friday was global success. We began the morning at the Vartov conference centre where we heard inspiring stories on developing success from Frans Mikael Jansen, Director General of Action Aid Denmark, and Lars Christian Brask, a banker who has also been the tour manager for the pop band Aqua. In the afternoon we walked over to the Culture Centre where we heard from Hans Jorgen Wiberg about an iPhone app  'Be My Eyes' enabling volunteers to support visually impaired people with everyday activities such as reading food labels, and from Helen Dahl, Director of the Tivoli Gardens, Denmark's largest amusement park. John Raagauge then led an interactive session focusing on understanding your mind, body, and feelings in order to create success and live your passion. Key pieces of advice given to us by the speakers were:
 'You have to buy the lottery ticket to have a chance of winning'
 'Success is doing more of what you are good at'
'The expert in everything was once a beginner'

The afternoon continued with a workshop. JCI members were divided into fairy tale groups (I was a Thumberlina) to discuss 'in which areas can we make a JCI capital chapter more successful and how?' There were lots of creative ideas which I'll be sharing with the Council team. We then heard that next year's ECM will be in Ankara and include an optional pre-tour to Cappadocia. Friday finished with dinner and drinks at Bof og Ost - a french inspired Danish restaurant.

Saturday morning started with a treasure hunt around Copenhagen. We were split into our teams and given clues to take us to various sites around the city, at which we had to complete tasks including walking three legged, learning a dance routine, pronouncing difficult Danish words and answering random questions. We then went to the canal for a boat ride round Copenhagen before a guided tour of the Opera House. The highlight of the weekend was a fairy tale themed dinner - everyone went to town to create stunning outfits. As Maid Marion I even managed to find my Robin Hood!

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ECM finished on the Sunday morning with brunch - a delicious buffet with a glass of bubbly. Stephan Bouman, conference director, reminded us that fairy tales end with "they all lived happily ever after" and there will be opportunities for us to continue our JCI journey together at the European Conference in Istanbul and at ECM 2016. Marco handed over the London delegation's thank you gifts - Pimms and a Keep Calm mug.

ECM is a brilliant concept and is perfect for new members looking to network internationally on a smaller scale. I leave after three jam packed days having made 90 new friends from all over Europe. Thank you to Stephan and his JCI Copenhagen International team for amazing weekend. We look forward to seeing you in Ankara in 2016!

 

 

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30th Apr, 2015

Meet the Member - Ilona Alcock (JCI Sheffield)
by Fiona Silvester on April 30, 2015 08:03

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Today we meet Ilona Alcock the Immediate Past President of JCI Sheffield.

Which chamber are you a member of?
JCI Sheffield

How long have you been a JCI member?
Since September 2011

What made you join?
I had attended a couple of training sessions and though "it's great, but not for me" so sent my husband along instead. A few months later I had to join so I could see him as he was out all of the time! I immediately got more involved, joining the Council team in 2012 and becoming local President in 2014.

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
So many to choose from! It would probably have to be European Academy, an intensive four day leadership programme in Sweden for deputy presidents. This included outdoor team building activities (note, I am not the person you want to help you build a ladder), Insights personality profiling, indoor group  work and presentations, training on building a successful JCI chamber, chance to build relationships with 85 delegates from across Europe and a grand total of about 10 hours sleep!

Membership » MTM - Ilona Alcock.jpg

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
Loads... international conferences with thousands of people in Malta and Germany, debating competitions, twinning visits on the West coast of Ireland including meeting their Prime Minister, training on everything from time management to public speaking, supporting a city wide graduate internship scheme.... I was so proud to be able to launch the JCI UK Ten Outstanding Young Persons project following a training academy in Istanbul in late 2012. The best bit of JCI is definitely the chance to make so many amazing friends along the way.

What is your job/career/profession/business?
I run a company called Technology Panda which provides technical solutions which will transform the recruitment industry. It's a really exciting new venture backed by James Caan and I'm so excited to see where the next few years will take us! If you're in hospitality check out our first niche job board, thejobsmenu.com.

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
JCI has totally transformed my career. When I joined I was a very unhappy corporate lawyer with no real idea of how to get out of it. Between a goal setting session from JCI Sheffield patron Jon Coleman and a great speech at 2012 Inspiration Day, I realised I could quit and set up a business with my husband. The last three years have been an absolute whirlwind and would not have been possible with all the support and contacts from JCI.

Who is a leader you admire?
Solveig Malvik, JCI UK President in 2012. She's just AWESOME. I love that she inspires everyone around her and always works so hard to support her team. A real ambassador for our organisation, I feel lucky to have had chance to learn from her.

What's your proudest achievement?
Within JCI, it would have to be getting our 2014 flagship "be better" project shortlisted as one of the top four personal development projects in the world. It was the culmination of so much hard work from the whole team and just wonderful to see it recognised at that level. 

Where's your favourite place to eat?
At home! Between work and JCI I'm out and about all the time (which I wouldn't change for the world) so it's lovely to get chance to do some cooking and settle in with my husband, my new cats and a nice bottle of wine.

What is your perfect weekend?
Got to be a JCI conference! The amount of activities that get crammed in to national conventions is just amazing - training, debating competitions, zorbing.... -  and you get to spend three whole days with fantastic people. I'm so excited to be off to Aberdeen in a couple of weeks for the JCI Scotland convention.

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
Hmmm..... I'm not sure I've done anything really dangerous! I suppose my most recent crazy decision has been to move across the country to set up a new business in January. So far, so good though!

Thanks Ilona!

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