Emma Eastwood has an exciting year ahead. Being JCI UK’s National President is a great honour and gives you a holistic view of JCI in the UK and internationally. I asked her some questions to find out a bit more about her.
How are you today Emma?
I’m great thank you and completely energised after the first JCI UK National Board weekend of the year! I am very lucky to have such an amazing team to work with.
Where are you from and where are you based now?
I’m from Leicester originally but I have lived in Leeds for over 15 years now and call Leeds home!
How did you hear about JCI? And when was that?
I found about JCI at a charity event that I attended in October 2006. I was talking to a member that had just returned from a conference in Estonia. It sounded like an amazing organisation so I went along to the next event. I joined the JCI Leeds council team a couple of months later and the rest is history!
Can you briefly tell me about your background in life and JCI?
I’m a really social person and I joined JCI to meet people. My first role was as the local social director organising the monthly socials and then the annual dinner for the chamber. After I started attending some personal development events I got the bug for training and started to deliver my own courses. I’ve also taken part in many of public speaking competitions and some amazing community projects. I joined the JCI UK National Board last year as Personal Development Director before being elected as Deputy National President in April.
What’s your profession?
By day I’m an Associate Director and City Centre Rentals Manager for Morgans City living in Leeds. My team specialise in renting apartments in Leeds city centre. I have worked for Morgans for over 13 years and love my job.
Can you use what you have learned in JCI in your job?
Yes, I am constantly using skills that I have developed through JCI in my job. I have had the opportunity to manage large teams in JCI and have learned so much about myself that it would be impossible not to take this learning back into the work place. My employers have been very supportive of my roles within JCI as they have seen the development in me. So much so that in 2013 they have given me a month’s sabbatical so that I can spend extra time concentrating on JCI.
What will you do as a National President? How would you explain that for a JCI newbee?
My role as National President is to work with the national board to help support our local chambers to be the best that they can be. This can be anything from providing marketing resources and tools to organising training events and programs. We also run national events and projects. In addition to this I need to ensure that I visit the chambers and meet the members. Last but not least I will also represent JCI UK at an international level by attending the key conferences and events throughout the year.
I remember when you, Lisa and I won the JCI World Championship in Debating 2008 in New Dehli. At that time did you ever dream of becoming JCI UK’s National President?
I remember that conference very well and the excitement of becoming World Debating Champions! What an amazing experience. I was just about to start my year as local president of JCI Leeds and would never have dreamed that it would be possible for me to become national president. It just shows you how much your confidence and ability grows over time when you are a member of JCI.
You are doing a JCI UK tour in 2013, can you please tell me the details?!
This is in the sabbatical that I mention above. I am travelling round a number of chambers during that time to visit them and attend events to meet their members. I am so far booked to go to Barnsley, Boston, Portsmouth, Cambridge, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Southampton, Cardiff and Aberdeen!
What has been your proudest moment as an active member in JCI so far?
My proudest moment by far was when we were last year awarded the Queens Jubilee Award for volunteering. This is like the MBE for volunteer organisations and I was so pleased to see all of our members bring recognised in this way for all of their hard work.
Why should more people join JCI UK?
People should join JCI so that they can take on a bigger role in their local communities. At the same time as doing this you develop yourself in ways which you never thought possible. The opportunities are endless!
Who is a leader you admire?
I really admire my managing Director Jonathan Morgan. He is so passionate about our company and our city Leeds!
How do you describe his values?
Jonathan believes that it is his responsibility to make a difference in our city. He is so active in the local community and in promoting the benefits of Leeds.
Do you have a favourite quote?
Live every day like it’s your last! I always try to enjoy everything that I do, seize different opportunities and push myself outside of my comfort zone.
Which countries are you travelling to 2013?
I’ll be travelling to Scotland, Ireland, Monaco, Brazil, Denmark, Switzerland and Malta. I guess that there is also still some time to schedule in a couple more.
Can you tell me something about yourself that you don’t think anyone knows?
I’ve been caving quite a few times and I really loved it! Most people would probably be surprised that I left the city centre!
What are you most proud of that you have done in the last year?
I am most proud of the team that stepped forward to work on national board with me this year. They really are fantastic and both I and JCI UK are very lucky. I have an amazing feeling about 2013!
Thank you Emma and have a great and inspiring year!
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Sofie Sandell