Happy August JCI Michigan

It is hard to believe that we are already at the point in the year that it is time to elect our State Officers for next year.  I would like to thank the candidates that have submitted  packets for certification; and wish them all good luck.

There is still time to certify as a candidate for state office.  Information on the certification process can be found at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1NQDfQ-kNICaC-xl0N3xMshb9gUr21COL?usp=sharing

The 2021 JCI Michigan Elections process will take place through an online balloting system this year.

  • The electronic balloting system will open on August 9th and the chapter delegates selected by the local chapter president will receive an email with instructions on how to cast their vote.
  • The electronic voting system will be open from August 9th to September 10th. We will announce the Election Results via Zoom on September 11th.

Finally, I would like to thank the 2021 Elections Committee members; 87th JCI Michigan President Dave Worthams, 2021 JCI Michigan Legal Counsel Cory Rickett, Sean Manriquez from the Frankenmuth Jaycees, and Heather Cochran from JCI Kalamazoo. I could not ask for a better group to work with in this process.

Any questions on Candidate Certification or the voting process can be sent to me at [email protected]

I look forward to “Seeing” you all at Meet the Candidates.

Yours in Service,
Sarah K. Austin, 2021 Elections Chair

Anna Versalle

Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/JCIMI98

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. I own the access request process for VPN (virtual private network). As a Departmental Manager I am responsible for delegating work, setting timelines, following up with my staff, providing resources for them to be successful, making high level policy decisions, and providing coaching and feedback. My favorite things about my career are the opportunities to help my staff learn new skills and grow their careers.

What are the three most important skills or assets you will bring to the office you are running for?
My ability to listen and focus on the message being sent. I have learned through my education and through JCI how important it is to listen and receive the message and then craft a response. 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. I passionately believe that I am only as successful as the weakest member around me. I seek to empower those around me to be great leaders, to have the tool

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. The President is representing the membership as a whole and knowing what the membership wants is key to successful representation.

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.

Are there any new ideas or programs you would like to implement?
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 and how will you help JCI MI meet this need?
Retention of members. 2020 was a rough year but we can bounce back. We know that without growth we can not sustain the organization – but the key to growing is retention. I will help JCI MI meet this need by connecting with Chapter Presidents, working with the JCI MI Membership VP, and encouraging a more personal touch to the renewal system.

What would the role of the state board of directors be in your administration?
The State Board of Directors would be responsible for 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.

Carol Zombro-Pickelmann

Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/vote4zpickel

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 work as a Human Resources Assistant at Amigo Mobility. Even though I just started there a few weeks ago, I can tell you with 100% certainty that having to answer phones all day has changed my Jaycee life. I find myself picking up my phone to call people more and more recently. I know that being President will mean picking up the phone a lot more, and I feel much more prepared for that because of my job.

What are the three most important skills or assets you will bring to the office you are running for?
My top three skills are emotional intelligence, problem-solving, and enthusiasm. While it is still semi-debatable whether that last one is a skill, I am standing my ground that it is a vital asset for any young leader in our world today. The combination of these three skills is what I count on whenever I am leading a team – self-awareness, empathy, and critical thinking will be my guide to navigating any challenge Team 98 comes across.

What is the most important role of the position you are running for?
The most important role of the President is to be the face and voice of our organization. We need a President who can speak to anyone from reporters to politicians to members, past, present, and future. We need someone who understands the mission of our organization and can inspire others to take action to further that mission. This is vital to the success of any board of directors, but especially ours and especially now.

What inspired you to seek the position you are running for?
Working on the state board the last two years has inspired me to want to serve as President. I have had the privilege of serving on boards with some of the finest people I know.  We had a Global Pandemic wipe out our entire state plan. We rebuilt our goals from the sanitized ground up and we are now in a position to save our organization from a terrible fate suffered by most civic groups. This year we are building bridges to get us out of the darkness so that next year we can shine.

Are there any new ideas or programs you would like to implement?
We need to re-implement large state-wide projects that follow the Active Citizen Framework and focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  Even just one large scale project of this nature will create an enormous impact while reminding our communities that the JCI MI brand is creating positive change. This is also an opportunity to aggressively recruit young volunteers to help ease the workload of our seasoned members. The changemakers in the volunteer crowd will join JCI.

What do you think is the greatest need of this organization right now and how will you help JCI MI meet this need?
The greatest need we have right now is to recruit members under the age of 30.  The only way to convince a young person to join a cause is to show them the impact the cause makes. How many of us are members because of a passion project? We did something amazing and it hooked us on the mission.  I could type about this all day but solving our greatest need was not the question.  I plan to help JCI work towards minimizing this problem by forming a committee to implement my answer to Question #5.

What would the role of the state board of directors be in your administration?
“We have to take the baton when it’s passed to us and run as fast and hard as we can and then pass it on to someone else.”  Theodore Shaw.
In our case, the baton is a gavel, but, same. Our current race? Survival. Long-term strategic planning is key. We are making good progress towards becoming an inclusive organization that young people want to join. We can’t let our “year to lead” mentality get in the way of serving the greatest young-person organization in the world.

Kimmy Black

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 currently the Principal of Everbrook Academy, a childcare center in West Bloomfield. In my role

as principal, I have been able to gain skills to help mentor and motivate others.It has been important to celebrate successes and work through any areas of opportunity.I also understand the importance of planning and flexibility.A plan provides the structure, but the flexibility has allowed me to go with the flow and embrace changes that come my way.

What are the three most important skills or assets you will bring to the office you are running for?
One of the most important skills I possess is that I am a team player. In any leadership role I have taken on, I always say that I don’t expect anybody to do something I wouldn’t do. Another skill that I possess is a passion for organization. This has allowed me to keep things in order in the Jaycees, in my career, and at home. I am also a quick learner. I think this can be an important skill in a role that may change quickly depending on the tasks at hand.

What is the most important role of the position you are running for?
The most important role as programming vice president is to provide support for local chapters throughout the programming process. It starts with chapter planning which will help to set up a successful year. It also includes chapter support as they implement ideas and follow through with projects. I also think that an honest reflection about projects that take place will also help chapters continue to succeed.

What inspired you to seek the position you are running for?
This organization has been a huge part of my growth and development as a leader. In this position, I can continue to empower others to grow and develop. Programming during the pandemic caused everyone to alter the way they approach programming. In my director role, I have enjoyed seeing chapters get creative and adjust to the constant changes rather quickly. I am looking forward to continuing to be a part of the larger picture by supporting our local chapters as they set and achieve goals.

Are there any new ideas or programs you would like to implement?
I am hoping to provide more opportunities for local members to participate in competitions. This past year there hasn’t been much participation and I’m hoping that providing opportunities at the local and district level, it will help make the process feel more accessible. I would also like to find a way to connect the chapters through programming. Whether it’s in a mentoring aspect or through joint programming opportunities, I do think we are stronger when working together.

What do you think is the greatest need of this organization right now and how will you help JCI MI meet this need?
Membership growth is the greatest need for our organization.  As programming vice president, it is important to support chapters in providing creative programming to not only gain new members but also retain our current members.  We are in a unique position where we are almost starting new.  It is important that we are flexible and provide virtual options as well.  We need to keep up with this 21st-century world if we want to gain and retain our members.  Let’s level up in 2022!

What would the role of the Programming/Membership directors be on your team?
Programming directors would help support the programming happening around the state.I would like for directors to help support chapter planning and submissions, create engaging competition topics, and support the key programming areas. I’m looking forward to partnering with directors to help JCI MI have a successful year in 2022.

Kayleigh Gratz – District 2

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 a herd manager on a chinchilla farm. It is a recent job change (within the last 2 months), and it has

prepared me for being a district director by being more adaptable to change and willing to take on risks and try something new. Additionally, in my job, I manage over 600 chinchillas and have the ability to recall specific pedigrees and health issues, which will help me navigate juggling multiple chapters’ meetings, events, and needs.

What are the three most important skills or assets you will bring to the office you are running for?
I am a very outgoing person and I am pretty good with organizational skills and time management. Additionally, I am already a member of 2 of the 4 chapters in District 2 (Allegan and South Kent) and am familiar with both chapters.

What is the most important role of the position you are running for?
The most important role of a district director is to support the chapters within the district. We are there to assist the local presidents and their board with any questions they may have and offer guidance if they need it.

What inspired you to seek the position you are running for?
I’ve spent the past 2 years as President in Allegan and was thinking about having some role at the state level next. I am very passionate about the Jaycees and always thought about having a state board position, especially after growing up with parents who were both involved with the Jaycees at the state level.

Are there any new ideas or programs you would like to implement?
I would like to see chapters in our district looking into doing projects in other areas, outside of our perspective towns/cities, possibly as a joint project with another chapter. District 2 is only 4 chapters, but Region C used to be 16 chapters. Even if we just did district events in areas we may be unfamiliar with, at least get our name out there and potentially recruit new members from areas where there is no longer a chapter.

What do you think is the greatest need of this organization right now and how will you help JCI MI meet this need?
The greatest need of JCI MI right now is recruiting more members. I would help chapters brainstorm ideas for recruiting, encourage chapters to collaborate on projects, and potentially establish membership drives in areas between chapters to get into some untapped regions.

What are your plans for building relationships with your chapters, their leadership, and their members?
My plans for building relationships with chapters and their members is to connect with each chapter’s board members, attend GMMs and events for each chapter. I would check in with each president on a regular basis, to see how their chapter is doing.