It’s only the fabulous Mr Paul Widger today…
Which chamber are you a member of?
How long have you been a JCI member?
Joined summer 2010
What made you join?
I can’t lie – I fancied a girl who invited me to a “JCI Quiz”. I turned up but she didn’t. But there were other great people there too, so I stayed.
What is the most interesting JCI event you’ve been to and why?
Manchester has been running a series of monthly business/training seminars that are top notch… but that is pipped by my first international JCI experience at the European Convention in Germany in 2012.
Paul in his famous David Bowie jacket
Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that you never would have thought possible before you joined?
The opportunities for hosting and public speaking in JCI are fantastic, but I’ve always had a passion for them. The major, unthinkable departure from my comfort zone was when my other half Heather (whom I met through JCI) took me to Zimbabwe, where we met local JCI members.
What is your job/career/profession/business?
I’m a forensic accountant at Baker Tilly. A what? It’s like a financial detective. I value business and shareholdings, and investigate frauds and commercial disputes. It’s the sexy side of accounting. (You know, like the warm side of Antarctica.)
Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Absolutely – in several ways. It’s built my confidence and my network of contacts. And I’ve learnt much about management theory and psychology that I’ve tried to introduce back at the office.
Who is a leader you admire?
Without considering the politics, I admire David Cameron for his pragmatism, his willingness to empower others, and his command of public speaking.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Within JCI, it’s either organising the UK National Convention in 2013, with Heather, or else representing the UK in the JCI World Congress debating championship. Outside JCI it’s winning the R3 Insolvency Association limbo dancing championship. No doubt.
What’s your favourite biscuit and why?
Jaffa cakes. Because they’re not really biscuits, and that gets accountants really excited (for reasons I won’t bore you with).
What is a good weekend to you?
If it’s not travelling the country (or the world!) with JCI, then it’d involve some time with the family, a glass of the good stuff, The Times crossword and a pub quiz.
Proof that Paul can multi-task
Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done.
My first child was born in May 2015 – Anna – a “JCI Baby”! And, thus far, parenting has felt crazy, dangerous, inspiring and unusual (to name a few).
Though I can add to the “unusual” category ad infinitum: I was Northwest croquet champion 2010; I played a Nazi and a toyboy on stage (not at the same time); and I blogged all night through the 2015 general election.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Fiona Silvester