1. Can you share with us your JC life?
I was the 1998 president of JCI Lion Rock and 2005 National President for JCIHK. I joined JCI since 1990 as my Superior was also JCI member. As most of my pioneers constantly became LOM presidents in 1996 and 1997, I became more active to help them in different positions and I took up LOM president position in 1998.
When I was the president elect in 1997, I participated in National Convention. I saw other chapters winning a lot of awards for their own chapter but not a single one for my chapter. This was a great motivation for me and my bod members to fight for the chapter to recruit more members and win the awards in 1998.
I got invited to be the HKJC Foundation Chairman in 2017 - 2019 & JCI Foundation Director in 2020 after being National President in 2005. I always love to serve JCI in all meaningful ways.
2. What is the difference between taking a post at JCI level and JCIHK level?
LOM president is the most challenging position. You have to take care of every projects and positions in a local chapter. As a National President, the bod members are very experienced and dedicated. They can handle the things in a much comprehensive way and self-driven.
3. What is the most valuable experience in JCI Journey?
Both the year of chapter president in 1998 and National President in 2005 were unforgettable. As a payback for our great determination, we got rewarded as “The most outstanding local chapter” in 1998 National Convention. Most of my bod members then became presidents afterwards. It’s so touching and unforgettable. JCIHK also won “The most outstanding NOM award” in 2005 World Congress. As a great leader, I think one of the essential elements is to make others to be good leaders. I am so proud to see my LOM and NOM bod members to be local and National Presidents.
4. What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your JCI journey?
As a National President, you have to maintain the balance of interest between different chapters. Every chapter had their own culture. We have to fully understand and respect their culture. We need to communicate with different members from different chapters in order to make every chapters being treated in a fair way.
5. You also endeavor to do volunteer service for The Y. Elites Association and other organizations, may you compare it to JCIHK? Did the experience in JCI bring you any advantage?
The experience in JCI brings me big advantage. We are well-trained in terms of protocol, meeting procedures,
business manner and project organizing skills. We are so welcomed by other organizations and government
departments. We can make sure the meeting going in an effective and efficient way. That makes us great youth leaders.
For other organizations e.g. The Y. Elites Association are project/product-oriented while JCI focuses on empowering leaders and trainings for members.
Also, JCI is an international organization which got branches in over 120 countries. We emphasize so much on international affairs which encourage JC members from different countries to have more communication and connection.
6. What’s the biggest motivation for you to serve jci for such a long time?
JCI is a place that empowers me to be a real leader. I have a lot of experienced mentors and people who cares so much about me. I still have a lot of pioneers who are actively in participating JCI events. I am so glad every time I meet them and talk about the good old days.
7. How do you see the development of JCI in the coming future?
There are a lot of youth organizations nowadays. We have to communicate and cooperate with them to learn about their advantages so that we can make our system or projects to be more suitable and attractive to youngsters.
The rapid growth of Mainland China had created a lot of opportunities to young people. The development of Greater Bay Area and One Belt One Road are great chances for youngsters in terms of their career and future development. We used to have a close relationship with China Youth Federation which gave us chances to communicate with those high ranking members who may be the future leaders for China Government.
Focusing more on maintaining a good relationship with the youth organizations in China can create chances for members who are interested in China development so as to attract more quality members.
8. How do you make a work life balance? How can you achieve time management?
You can get it if you really want it. We should trust our capability and don’t set any boundary or excuses. Trust the power of delegation and team work. Our time and ability may have limit but a team don’t. Trust our teammates and make ourselves a great leader to motivate the team to move in an effective way.
Interview with JCI Executive Vice President Elect Senator Teresa Poon
THE HIDDEN GEM IN JCI IN THE EYE OF EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT ELECT TERESA POON
Elected as the Executive Vice President of JCI (JCIEVP), Teresa Poon is going to take up her role as one of the leaders in JCI in 2021. It might be very difficult for any ordinary members of JCIHK to imagine how life as JCIEVP would be like and Teresa is no exception. Yet, despite uncertainties, amongst other things, in international public health situation in 2021, Teresa is standing ready and grateful for the opportunity to take up the role as JCIEVP because of the hidden gem that she sees in JCI.
“Working in JCI is so different from that in JCIHK and you have to be open minded to embrace the cultural differences. For example, local chapters in JCIHK are so closely connected while local chapters in other places might not enjoy the same proximity. Also, I feel very lucky to be a member of JCIHK for the diversity and horizons that we enjoy”, said Teresa. When asked what motivated her to become JCIEVP in 2021, Teresa said without hesitation, “I am a person who is always willing and eager to grab any opportunity that comes to me and I endeavor to prepare myself for the opportunity that may appear in foreseeable future. Here, I met different persons including many peers and senior members that I admire, and learnt many things from each of them. This is the hidden gem that I see in JCI and I REALLY LOVE JCI SO MUCH.”
True as what Teresa said, JCI is a place that is full of opportunities. In her 12 years’ journey in JCI since 2008, Teresa started as the president of JCI City Lady in 2011, Secretary General of Asia Pacific Conference of JCI in 2012, Executive Committee member of JCIHK in 2013 and 2014, National President of JCIHK in 2017, Vice President of JCI in 2019 to JCIEVP in 2021. To her, she learnt the
most during the first 6 years in JCI, and the latter 6 years become the time for her to give back. She enjoys being the matchmaker to connect members with different needs in order to achieve a greater goal, from which she derived huge satisfaction.
2012 was a special year for Teresa as she worked as the Secretary General of Asia Pacific Conference of JCI (ASPAC), which was held in Hong Kong. During which, not only did she led a team formed by different representatives nominated by then 19 local chapters, she also got the chance to get involved in different stages in preparation for ASPAC. Despite withdrawal from work for 3 months to prepare for ASPAC, Teresa also gained by meeting great people who inspired her in every way. Since then, Teresa continued to assist in the organization of the ASPAC in 2013 at Gwangju, 2014 at Yamagata, 2016 at Kaohsiung, 2018 in Kagoshima, and the World Congress in 2015 at Kanazawa. Her experience in assisting in ASPAC and World Congress are unforgettable to her, which also brings special meaning for her to take up the position as JCIEVP in 2021.
2017 was another unforgettable year for Teresa as she was the National President of JCIHK. “It could be the most challenging time frankly speaking, because I wished not to fail the people who helped me to come all the way to become the National President of JCIHK, especially my lifelong mentor JCI Honorary Advisor and 1979 National President Senator Sonny Yu. As the leader of JCIHK in 2017, the ups and downs I encountered were beyond words.”, said Teresa.
Yet, when looking back, 2017 was also a year full of gratitude because Teresa found her own way to tackle problems and balance the “NP and Private Life” and got unfailing support from senior members, JCI City Lady and her elder brother JCI City. “The support that I got was the most touching and that deepens my craze for JCI.”
Looking forward, as JCIEVP in 2021, one of the major duties of Teresa is to act as the Chairlady of ASPAC to be held in Taichung, and she is standing ready to utilize her experience in the past ASPAC and World Congress aforementioned. She reminded us once again the hidden gem she sees in JCI with particular emphasis on the contribution of each and every member, “Different members might have different expectations when they joined JCI and their focuses might be different. Yet, I see something in common – all members do treasure the friendship they have got in JCI and this forms the solidarity in this organization. Let’s work together to cultivate and nurture friendship among members for the eternal bonding that we wish to have!”