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18th Nov, 2014

This weekend was the 2014 JCI UK National Convention, hosted by JCI Canary Wharf and JCI London with the theme of the Phoenix Tale: “How we deal with challenges makes us stronger!”. The National Convention is the highlight of the JCI UK calendar - a weekend where JCI members and non-members come together from all around the UK and from across the world to train, socialise and celebrate with a true JCI spirit. Although I wasn’t able to be there for the whole weekend I was very fortunate to be sponsored to go to the JCI UK Annual Black Tie Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening by my local chamber - which I was especially grateful for as I had been nominated by them for the JCI UK Most Outstanding New Member of the Year Award! :)

Canary Wharf at night

I travelled up by train and tube in the afternoon, meeting Michelle Bustos, IPP of JCI Portsmouth at the Travelodge in London Docklands around 5:30pm to get ready for the evening.

The evening JCI UK Annual Black Tie Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony was held at the Museum of London Dockyards in Canary Wharf - quite a dramatic venue with the backdrop of all the lit up high rise offices all around. We started off in the Rum & Sugar bar next door with a welcome drink chatting and catching up with other jaycees before heading through to take our seats.

JCI UK 2014 National Convention- venueIt was an outstanding evening - but it all felt like a bit of a blur. Drew and Jasmine did a wonderful job hosting the evening and in true JCI spirit there was a great atmosphere throughout. The level of genuine support, encouragement and celebration for each other in JCI always amazes and humbles me - this occasion was no exception. The whole evening from the meal to the speeches and the award ceremony were fantastic. Well done to JCI Canary Wharf and JCI London for pulling it off! I was sitting with the rest of the JCI Southampton team who could make the weekend and we enjoyed sharing a table with representatives from JCI Malta. We were all very excited to see everyone who went forward to receive an award or certificate of merit and be recognised for all the hard work they’d put into this year. I know that this was only a small snapshot of all the effort, development and changes that have happened throughout the chambers in the UK - so to all those who didn’t get a mention - well done and keep going! :)

Of course, there were a few highlights in the Award Ceremony for us…

  • Best Inter-Organisation Collaboration Project Award for JCI Southampton and our collaboration with JCI Kortrijk which started when they came over to visit Southampton in March. The highlight of this collaboration for me was being able to  visiting them and JCI Waregam in Belgium in July. We’re in the process of finalising the next meet up in the new year and look forward to what the future may bring.

  • Most Outstanding New Member Award for me? Total honour even to be nominated by the JCI Southampton council team - it’s still not quite sunk in that I’ve won it… wow!

  • Drew Charman (our 2011 and 2012 JCI Southampton President) stepping into his role of 2015 JCI UK National President, receiving the Most Outstanding Legacy Award and being recognised with a Senatorship, which our 2013 JCI Southampton President Michael Steel was able to present!

Best Inter-Organisation Collaboration Project Award Blog » Most Outstanding New Member Award 2014.jpg Michael Steel speech

Drew Charman - Senator 2015 JCI UK National President Drew Charman

2014 National Convention - awards JCI 2015 Banner

Although we had to finish the evening in the pub next door due to venue issues outside our control it felt very fitting to be sat closely together rather than spaced out for the Friendship Speeches and formal keynote speeches late into the night. It was a very memorable end to an evening celebrating this last year and it reminded me of what a difference a year can make. So, whilst we all revel in the successes of the awards and delight in the memories of the past year the challenge of what we do and how do we continue to fulfill the JCI mission and vision both locally and worldwide in 2015 and onwards still remains.

It’s going to be an exciting year! See you on the other side...

-

Joy

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