JCI European Conference 2015

JCI European Conference 2015

June 11, 2015 9:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

2015 JCI European Conference in Istanbul, Turkey

Our President Mark Smith, Deputy President Gareth Carson and Communications Director Ryan Pilkington ventured to Istanbul, Turkey for the four day JCI European Conference, joining as part of the JCI UK delegation of members and representatives from the British Senate.

Whilst as Sheffield members this was our second European Conference since joining JCI, it was nevertheless filled with many firsts. Mark made both his international training debut, delivering the JCI recommended course ‘effective communications’ as well as his international debating debut, representing JCI UK with fellow Yorkshire members, Ben Hawley from JCI Barnsley as team captain and Char- lotte Scouthern from JCI Rotherham, debating the topic ‘cyber bullying should be made a criminal offence’, on the opposing side. Unfor– tunately, those proposing the motion, JCI Latvia won, but our JCI UK team certainly gave a good fight, cheered on by a great bunch of supporters from the UK and Ireland!

Our Sheffield members Mark, Gareth and Ryan were invited to the Senate bar by Lesley Young Past Executive Vice President assigned to Europe in 2013. Never one for being ‘off duty’, Gareth took this as an opportunity to promote the JCI Sheffield ‘Through the Decades’ Annual Dinner and was overwhelmed by the positive responses. Gareth had the fantastic opportunity to meet Ted Williams the British Senate Chair who shared some of his many stories of the organisation from when he was a JCI member. He was reflecting on how much business and the world has changed over the years and reminiscing when he sent his first ever email in 1984 on JCI business, whereas now we send emails, text messages and whats app messages to communicate with each other! Gareth was also excited to hear how many of the senate had a soft spot for Sheffield as a chamber and how they could add to our knowledge of the history of JCI Sheffield.

We were up bright eyed and bushy tailed for the 9am morn– ing show on the second day of conference where Lesley Young delivered a very powerful and inspiration talk on the subject of perseverance as part of impact talks. World President Ismail Haznedar then presented several ‘project impact 100’ awards to members for projects that have im– pacted at least 100 people.

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World President Ismail Haznedar then presented several ‘project impact 100’ awards to members for projects that have impacted at least 100 people. JCI Sheffield was proud to receive recognition for our 2015 Easter Egg appeal where we collected more than 700 easter eggs for children, families and older people in Sheffield.

To round off the conference, the JCI UK delegation certainly scrubbed well, donning their black ties and ball gowns for a night of recognition and celebration of the incredible impact that JCI members across Europe have made over the last 12 months. We are reliably informed that there are 38 JCI member countries in Europe and 30,000 JCI mem- bers. We are over the moon that JCI UK was recognized with 5 Euro- pean Awards including ‘most outstanding new chamber’ by JCI Canary Wharf, ‘best growth and development project’ for the JCI UK National New Chamber Task force. Then JCI Sheffield won another 3 awards for the UK – these are ‘best personal skills development program’ for ‘Be Better: Be The Change’ training program, ‘most outstanding local project’ and ‘best economic development project’ both for our project ‘Time to Rise’, working in partnership with RISE Sheffield. These award entries are considered for activity taking place from April 2014 to April 2015. In addition to this, Ryan was shortlisted at the age of 20 years old in the top four shortlisted for ‘most outstanding JCI member in Europe’! We were also thrilled that Ben Hawley from JCI Barnsley was also in the top four shortlisted for ‘most outstanding local president’ as was JCI Rotherham for ‘best personal skills development program’.

Our conference experience wasn’t without the odd hair raising moment including when Mark along with members of JCI UK National Board Drew, Sarah, Wasim and other got stuck in a small lift for about 10 minutes, not to mention the taxi rides which certainly were an experience!

Whilst the weather in Istanbul wasn’t as hot and sunny as we had hoped, the Sheffield crew managed to grab a ‘hop on, hop off’ bus tour around the City to see such delights as The Blue Mosque, the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, Hagia Sophia (Sultan Tombs). 

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This post was written by Ryan Pilkington

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