Lesley Young is JCI UK’s first International Vice President (VP) since 2003. I had a chance to catch up with her this week.
How has your year been so far?
It has been really busy but very exciting to undertake such a different role in JCI. I’ve had lots of opportunities to meet members in their own local communities and learn about the projects they do.
Can you explain what you are doing as a JCI VP?
As VP I am assigned to a number of countries as a mentor and support to their National Organisation. My role is to promote the JCI Plan of Action and key goals for the year. I also communicate successes and challenges from NOMs to the JCI Board of Directors so that they can be taken into account in strategic planning and agenda setting for General Assemblies.
Which counties are you assigned to?
Catalonia, Cyprus, Armenia, Turkey, Hungary, Portugal and Greece.
Is this a full-time role?
Like other JCI leadership roles it is voluntary and can be fulfilled alongside a full time job. I’m fortunate not to be working at the moment and therefore have been able to spend more time on visits – it definitely feels like a full-time job sometimes as I’m also active as Immediate Past President of JCI UK.
Which JCI events have you travelled to so far this year?
Travelling has taken up a considerable amount of my time this year so far! I’ve attended:
- January Board Meeting at JCI HQ in St Louis
- European Presidents Meeting in Varese
- March – VP visit to JCI Catalonia
- April – VP visit to JCI Turkey and JCI Armenia
- May – VP visit to JCI Cyprus, JCI Greece and JCI Portugal
- European Conference, Tarragona
- JCI/UN Global Partnership Summit, New York
In JCI UK I’ve also attended the Senate Drumming Out weekend in Belfast, Inspiration Day in Reading, President and Deputies Day in Cambridge and National Board Meetings.
I hope to visit my assigned countries a second time before the World Congress in Brussels and will also attend the European Parliament Know How Transfer in October.
How many VP colleagues do you have in Europe?
There are 4 other VPs assigned in Europe with 17 in total on the JCI Board of Directors.
Has JCI Europe been growing in the last year?
I’ve been delighted to see growth and new local Chambers opening in my assigned NOMs. The actual growth will shortly be reported to JCI HQ and reported at the General Assembly at World Congress.
What other exciting tasks are you doing as VP?
VPs are expected to carry out support roles at international events in terms of facilitation of working groups and training sessions. I served as moderator at the Global Partnership Summit. We also take part in General Assemblies as members of the JCI Board of Directors. At European Conference I was delighted to Chair the First Timers Programme and the World Debating Competition. It was also exciting but nerve wracking to co-host the Awards Ceremony at the Gala Dinner evening!
How long have you been a JCI member?
If anyone is interested in taking on an international position within JCI, can you give them some tips?
Networking and getting yourself known at international JCI events is always a good way to meet members from other countries and to learn about the international scene. I would be very happy to talk to anyone interested in an international position as there are many different kinds of opportunities available. It is not always necessary to have been a member of National Board to be involved in an international project.
I would also recommend talking to your Local President and Alli Cowell, our National President who can advise on usual steps to take on international roles.
Who is a leader you admire?
I am very impressed by the 2011 JCI President Kentaro Harada.
How do you describe his values?
Dedication, selfless, humble, committed and visionary as well as being a warm and funny family man.
This is all against the backdrop of the tremendous tragedies suffered this year in his home country Japan where thousands have lost their lives, homes and businesses, including JCI Japan members.
Anything you want to say to end with?
JCI makes it’s impact across the world by the work it does locally and the dedication of all it’s members. I’ve been able to see so many examples of the hard work of local and national organisations and am very thankful for having the wonderful opportunity to serve as VP – I would highly recommend it!!
Lesley Young and Myles Reilly, JCI UK at the welcoming ceremony at JCI European conference
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This post was written by Sofie Sandell