The role of the JCI MI Board and Committees

Having served on several boards within JCI MI and my local chapter of JCI Kalamazoo I have learned over that the tone of the entire team is definitely set by the President. For anyone considering serving on the JCI Board in 2021 you may wonder what that would look like if I am elected and truthfully, I hope you do!

First comes the appointments interest meeting. Outside of the elected Board Members, the remaining officers, auxiliary officers, and committee members are appointed by the elected President. Positions that are eligible for election but have no candidates are also filled in this way. Going into this process it has been very important for me to keep an open mind in considering appointments and therefore I have decided to wait for election results to be announced and see who is interested in serving and what roles they are interested in before deciding appointments for any position – including the Chief of Staff and the Chief Operations Officer. In previous years, it’s been my experience that many of the appointed roles are promised out prior to the election. While there can be advantages in the increased amount of time to plan for the next year, I also believe this leaves a disadvantage for members who want to step forward for consideration but aren’t aware of how to do that until the election is complete and the interest form is available. To ensure that all members receive a fair consideration for appointments I am committing to holding that interested meeting and reviewing the interest forms for all positions after the election.

If elected, once the appointments are completed my next step to lead the group would be to hold a SWOT Analysis and planning session. This is a great opportunity for the newly formed Board of Directors and Committee Members to meet one another, discuss the vision and plan for the organization, and start the process of what will eventually become our long term strategic plan.

I think it’s also important to provide some training opportunities to the Board and Committee Members. There is a lot of responsibility that goes into serving on the State organization and the best way to be successful is to provide those leadership development opportunities. A few of the training sessions would include bringing outside trainers for virtual or in person sessions to assist the board with learning more about diversity, inclusion, and addressing member reported issues of assault, sexual assault, trauma, or other issues brought forward. Too often we expect our leaders to just know how to handle things like this but that expectation is unfounded. To better serve our members, we need to be educated as leaders on all aspects of supporting the membership. Additionally, training on conflict management, balancing work load, and managing teams are important development skills to bring forward.

During the year, I look to all members of the Board as a primary contact for chapters. I would encourage travel – visiting chapters projects, GMM’s, and socials. The State Board has a responsibility to provide support to chapters and that starts with proactively reaching out and connecting. Travel will be a big component of my plan as a leader and for those who are leading along side me as well.

An important aspect of leading the way is also listening. If elected, I would ensure open office hours available monthly for any member to be able to connect and communicate with myself and other members of the Board. Breaking down the communication barriers between the local organizations, members, and State Board of Directors is an important focus for me. Without members and local organizations there is no reason for a State President and State Board – providing the resources needed is vital to the continuation of JCI MI.

During the year I plan to hold quarterly SWOT analysis with the entire Board and Committees to ensure we are capitalizing on strengths, turning our weaknesses into strengths, and addressing the external forces in our opportunities and threats to ensure a successful year.

I believe that serving as President is much like managing a team in a work place. It’s important to connect alongside all the members of the team, to focus on our mission, vision, and goals, and in doing so we will find success.

I hope to be a leader that JCI MI is proud of and to bring up other leaders along side me to continue a strong legacy of leadership for JCI MI in years to come.

Platform: Increased Recognition for General Members

One of the most memorable moments in my JCI Career was in 2012 at JCI MI Conference. Sarah Nelson was our President and she led us to Write Our Future. During the recognition ceremony as I was listening to her give a speech for the Jaycee of the Trimester I was really impressed by what this member had been doing – I had no idea until the end that it was me. As a General Member, the impact of being recognized for the things I was doing in my chapter was huge.

If elected, I plan to work with the Programming and Membership Vice Presidents to find ways to increase recognition for General Members – not just at Leadership Conferences, but throughout the year. I believe it’s important to ensure that members are recognized for outstanding efforts outside of Conference as well as during our Trimester Recognition Ceremonies.

I look forward to hearing feedback on thoughts or ideas for recognition from members as well. It’s important to know what things all of you value in recognition to ensure that JCI MI is providing the best program possible.

Platform: Long Term Strategic Planning

We have one year to lead and having a road map is integral in ensuring that we make the most of each year. If elected, I plan to appoint a committee chair and committee members to lead in creating a 5 year strategic plan for JCI MI. I believe that having a dedicated chair will ensure that the time and attention needed for such an important initiative is able to be directed into those efforts.

Some areas I believe our Strategic Plan needs to address:

  1. Member activation and retention – once we get members to join how do we engage them and keep them renewing their membership?
  2. Member recruitment – we need to continue bringing new members in to help us grow not only in our membership numbers but with ideas, skills, and thoughts as well.
  3. Leadership Development – how will we deliver on building leaders in the organization? What opportunities are available to members?
  4. What potential partners can we identify and how can we work together to realize our mission and vision?
  5. How will JCI MI follow the 5 pillars of Impact, Motivate, Invest, Collaborate, Connect?

Listening/Q &A Sessions

Join me for a zoom chat August 10, 12, 24, 26 at 8:00 PM. I want to hear for you!

Share what you like about JCI MI and what you wish would change.

Ask questions and get answers – think of something after Meet the Candidates? This is the perfect opportunity to ask questions or bring forward discussion points related to my campaign and vision for JCI MI.

Zoom Details will be released closer to the chat dates… so stay tuned.

Candidate Questionnaire

  1. What is your current employment and what types of responsibilities do you most often fulfill for your career? What do you like about your career best?

I am Departmental Manager with the State of Michigan in the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. My team is responsible for issuing and maintaining the Virtual Private Network access to the State of Michigan Network. My favorite things about my career are the opportunities to help my staff learn new skills and grow their careers.

  • What do you consider to be your three greatest assets?

My ability to listen and focus on the message being sent.

Willingness to step outside of my comfort zone and get into the place that allows for true learning.

A drive to empower those around me to be successful.

  • What is the most important role of the position you are running for?

The most important role of JCI MI President is to listen first and talk second. As the leader of the statewide organization it’s important to ensure that feedback from the members is sought, considered, and acted on.

  • (Presidential Candidates only) What would the role of the state board of directors be in your administration?

The State Board of Directors would be responsible to managing and implementing the day to day work of the organization, including overseeing teams and committees as needed. I would also expect that the State Board is connecting with local organizations to assist in their operational needs.

  • Are there any new ideas or programs you would like to implement?

I would like to implement State Board Office Hours as a monthly zoom/call in option for members to add an additional contact channel.  

I would like to implement a Strategic Plan Committee – with a chair and committee members (3-5) to focus on all aspect of planning and implementation.

  • What do you think is the greatest need of this organization right now?

The greatest need of our organization right now is to deliver on what we promise. JCI is a leadership organization designed to empower young active citizens to create positive change. We currently suffer from an identity crisis – between branding issues and the struggle between being known as a volunteer organization vs. a leadership organization – it can be difficulty for chapters to recruit new members. Having a focus on unified branding efforts (chapters branding or co-branding to JCI) and identifying as a leadership organization will make a huge difference for us.

  • What inspired you to seek the position you are running for?

In 2011 I attended my first JCI MI Conference at Boyne Mountain. Dave Worthams was President and there was something quite magical about seeing the inspiration and excitement in members at that conference. I knew then that I wanted to be the person to bring that magic someday.

Platform: Diversity and Inclusion

It’s important for the future of our organization that we focus on Diversity and Inclusion. We are so fortunate in JCI MI to have many members who are subject matter experts in this area. As we continue to build on these internal resources it’s important to look towards external resources as well.

I would propose that we bring in outside trainers to work with the state board of directors – lets learn more about how to turn our weaknesses and opportunities into strengths.

Incorporating Diversity and Inclusion training for members into our conferences as well as monthly or quarterly webinar opportunities will provide the support members are asking for to learn.