Today we are lucky enough to ‘meet’ Michael Best from JCI Harrogate.
Which chamber are you a member of?
How long have you been a JCI member?
What made you join?
I saw an advert on a noticeboard where I was working at the time, It mentioned the opportunity to take part in projects and get involved with marketing and networking, while helping out in the local community. So I went along to see what it was all about and the rest is history. My first Junior Chamber (as it was then) meeting was in 1998 but It wasn’t until I got involved with the local Secret Santa project in 1999 though, that I started to get really involved. I think until you’ve taken part in a project or a role in your local chamber, you don’t really appreciate the opportunities and see the “bigger picture”
What is the most interesting JCI event you’ve been to and why?
I think the Secret Santa project. It was the first project that I had got involved with and volunteered at a meeting to lead it. It developed so many skills, from organising the venue, contacting local children’s homes, pulling a team together, then standing in a shopping centre and having to approach strangers (frightening!). I think that this experience turned me from being a member who “attended events” to one who wanted to get involved and develop further!
Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
Winning the national four person debating competition in 2000, bringing national boards from across Europe to Harrogate in 2002, raising my own profile locally, taking part in the national public speaking and extempore finals, dining on the Titanic. It was being involved with JCI Harrogate which gave me the opportunity to be interviewed on Sky News regarding a young person’s view in their pre-election coverage in 2005.
What is your job/career/profession/business?
Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Taught me loads about sales, marketing and a range of personal skills. I can now sell to prospective clients and build great relationships with current clients. Understanding different types of people and how they “tick”. The increase in profile within Harrogate which JCI Harrogate has given me in the business community has had a tremendous effect.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Qualifying as an accountant with all first time passes in professional exams. Outside of JCI, completing four Long Distance Walker hundred mile challenges (the challenge being to complete it non stop in less than 48 hours)
Where’s your favourite place to eat?
I love English and Italian food, so for me it has to be a nice pub somewhere- preferably in the country after a long day’s walk. There are so many to choose from- the Lister Arms at Malham or the King’s Head at Masham, for example. Generally, the types of places where they still serve your food on a plate rather than a wooden chopping board!
Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
Got to be the hundred mile challenges. They run every year in a different part of the country and you often end up walking through two nights. The first night is ok but the second you start hallucinating. The atmosphere, camaraderie and welcome at the checkpoints is amazing though. When I finish with JCI I definitely want to do more of these- there is a special award for completing 10!
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Drew Charman