So while all the members from JCI UK and all around the world all get to go to training sessions, key note speakers, hang out at the tradeshow or maybe even sleep in from a late night party, what does a National President do at European Conference?
First of all I’m there to represent JCI UK at the General Assembly. The General Assembly is where all the National Presidents from Europe comes together and makes decision about the organisation, the international version of our National Council here in the UK. For example we vote on where the next conference will be, we elect members to the JCI Europe board and then we discuss things we believe are important to the organisation. With me in General Assembly I had Deputy National President Emma Eastwood, which was a great support and great fun.
Emma and I with our JCI UK voting stick. As you can see, a Monegasque Schmurtz has sneaked in and glued himself on top of our stick.
In between GAs there’s usually other meetings taking place. For example JCI UK is part of a group of countries called S&M (Small and Mature) and we had a meeting to talk about issues we are facing as countries and what we want to raise in GA later. We had a meeting discussing JCI Europe. Another meeting discussing the next European Presidents Meeting. A meeting sharing best practices on membership management. And so went the days.
Here’s a picture from one of the meetings we had in between the other meetings. This is a group of Small & Mature countries discussing what we feel and think around JCI Europe Inc.
After GAs, both during lunch and in the afternoon, us National Presidents are often invited to receptions or dinners by national organisations promoting conferences, candidates or events. This year we went to a reception by JCI Malta to promote JCI European Conference in Malta 2014, a lunch by JCI Monaco to promote the 2012 European conference as well as receptions held by the Mayor of Braunschweig, JCI Germany, JCI Taiwan and the Chairman of the conference. Going to receptions might seem like not such an important thing, but they are very important to the country that puts them on, they get to tell us about their plans and promote their event to us, so it is important to be there.
As we have a tight schedule, we often have to run from meetings to receptions to meetings to dinners. We often have buses taking us even the shortest of distances (but using quite a time driving there), though in Braunschweig the German efficiency made it quite easy.
Malta is running to organise European Conference in 2014 and held a reception to introduce their bid to everyone at the conference. I’m with a couple of delegates from Malta and the National Presidents from Ireland, Scotland and Malta.
Like everyone else attending I do my best to get time to go to the parties. This is where I get to spend time with the awesome delegates from the UK and let my hair down a little bit. The parties at European Conference in Braunschweig were all amazing. Everyone were so happy and smiling it was just brilliant. Of course it was also brilliant that our own Tim Metcalfe, International Director JCI UK 2012, was able to raise 200 bednets during one of the parties appearing in nothing but a mankini.
With Kate Senter at the Alps Party
The biggest party of them all is the final award gala dinner and it was really great to see that JCI UK was shortlisted for all the awards we submitted. This means that we scored more than 80% and is a recognition that we are doing really well consistently. We also won an award, Soraya Bowen from JCI London won the award for Most Outstanding New Member. Congratulations!
On stage with President Bertolt, Soraya Bowen and EVP John Weber to congratulate Soraya with Best New Member Award.
I always love it when I get to spend time with the delegation. Though as a National President you are at the conference to represent your country, it feels a bit sad to not be able to spend a whole lot of time with the people from your country when there. Maybe next year?
The JCI UK delegation was awesome. Anywhere you went you saw Union Jacks, they were everywhere! Happy people in red, blue and white. Even at the gala dinner…
Not sure why I look so surprised…with Vicky, Niki, Ilona and Kate from Sheffield at the gala dinner.
So this is what a National President do at European Conference. I had a great time, thank you everyone!
2012 JCI UK National President
Certified National Trainer (CNT)
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Solveig Malvik