Evaluating Mid-Year

Programming VP Jocelyn Moellering

Hello Michigan Jaycees!

Can you believe 2017 is already halfway over? I certainly can't! Thinking back on the work you've accomplished so far this year, how do you feel about it? Amazed? Proud? Disappointed? If you're happy with where you and your chapter are, how can you continue to keep the momentum going and even step it up a notch for the rest of the year?

If you're not happy with how things are going, what needs to change? Take a look at what's worked well so far, even the small accomplishments. A successful project or maybe a great phone call with a local organization. A collaborative committee or a great guest speaker at a meeting. Maybe a member came out to an event that you haven't seen in a while.

Ask yourself why those things worked and if there's anything you can do to tap into that success for the remainder of the year. Then, take a look at what hasn't worked. A project that fell through or just fell flat. A member that's making things difficult for the chapter. A missed opportunity to build a new relationship with an organization. Is there a way some misfortune could have been avoided? State it and commit to whatever it is you need to do to avoid it in the future.

Is there an action you or your chapter could take to fix an ongoing or underlying problem? State it, consider your options, decide what's best for your chapter, and then do it! See the potential success for the second half of 2017 with the kind of attitude that others can feed off of.

Be the chapter that the young people in your community want to be a part of. Don't lose sight of what the Jaycees are doing and have the ability to do!

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It is more than just recruiting!

Membership VP Sarah Ellis

Last month, I congratulated the chapters that reached growth for the 1st Quarter. The mechanics of membership growth are easy. We recruit new members, renew current members, and then compare numbers from the beginning of the quarter to the end of the quarter. However, growing your chapter isn’t just about looking at the numbers.

Real chapter growth is a step or two beyond the mechanics. It involves asking and answering the following questions:
• What is the progress of the chapter plan?
• Are members participating?
• Are members complaining?
• Do members seem satisfied with projects and project assignments?
• Are board members serving the members?
• Are board members promoting the ultimate goals of the chapter?

Real chapter growth has two components: the number of new members and scheduled activities and real results. The following questions should be asked and answered:

• What is the chapter’s image in the community?
• Does the community turn to the Junior Chamber for help?
• Does being a Jaycee stand the member in good stead in the eyes of the community?

Real chapter growth also involves the lasting effects involvement has had on past members. The following questions should be asked and answered:

• Did being a member of the chapter give past members the skills they needed to get a better job?
• Did their involvement make them better citizens?
• Did their involvement give them the courage to stand and be counted?
• Did their involvement give them more confidence in taking and completing tasks?
• Does the community recognize their accomplishments?
Note: True chapter growth is not a year-long goal. It is a lifetime goal for the chapter. A member’s improved standing in the community should be indicative of personal growth. After all, the Junior Chamber is all about learning and improving ourselves and our communities.

A chapter that is not healthy will not grow. Not sure how to improve the health of your chapter? Join the District Directors for their training on the habits of a healthy chapter at the Leadership Conference this weekend!  If you can’t make it to conference, reach out to your district director.
Membership Tip of the Month:

Encourage your members to enroll in the Passport to Leadership Program. This program provides a path for members to follow to learn about the Junior Chamber and experience personal growth in a logical manner. It is also a great tool for the chapter to activate new members and ensure that they have every opportunity to gain the benefits of membership.

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May Activities to Visit!

There are plenty of events around the state to travel to during May. Check some of them out here:


  • Lansing: GMM on May 16 at Piazzano's.
  • Kalamazoo: GMM on May 17 at Boatyard Brewing Co. 
  • Ann Arbor: GMM at 7 p.m. May 4 at Arbor Brewing Company. Mirror Maze Social on May 20 in Frankenmuth, Love a Park Clean Up Day on May 28.
  • Ionia: GMM on May 25.






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Programming for Trimester One

Programming VP Jocelyn Moellering

It's hard to believe that the first trimester is already almost over! Here are a few key dates regarding the end of the trimester and submissions:
  • Friday, April 7: Topics for prepared competitions will be announced on MIJC Post-it-Here and Programming Facebook groups and will also be emailed to presidents
  • Friday, April 14: End of the 1st Trimester 
  • Friday, April 21 at 8 p.m.: All 1st Trimester Submissions due at michiganjaycees.org/submissions
  • Friday, May 5: All on-site Single Project Entry presentations, interviews, and competitions at May Conference at Shanty Creek. SPE presentations are before opening ceremonies and competitions follow the opening ceremonies.
The 1st Trimester Competitions offered include:
  • Prepared/Impromptu Write-up
  • Prepared/Impromptu Speak-Up
  • Master Speak-Up
  • Film It!
  • Brownfield
  • Armbruster
  • Mungenast
  • Professional Online Networking
  • Debate
  • Jayteen/Jr. Jaycees Film It!
  • Jayteen/Jr. Jaycees Prepared Write-Up

Please consult the Programming and Recognition Manual and the Competitions Manual for more information and details. Feel free to email me at jmoellering@mijaycees.org with any questions. Thank you!
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Challenges = Opportunities

Chief of Staff Adam Nelson

Every nonprofit has challenges affecting its members and leadership. What are yours? A few common challenges include getting recognized in the community, fundraising, finding and developing lasting leadership, having common goals and objectives, and finding active members. Bear in mind, these challenges are not unique even though they may feel specific to your case; others have experienced them too. 

Changing your mindset to view challenges as “opportunities” will keep you in an optimistic attitude to tackle them.  This will be important to find success in taking advantage of these opportunities. 

Finding and developing lasting leadership is a good one to begin working toward today. While the next election of board members may seem far off, don’t delay in mentoring your next team to take on a future leadership role. 

Do you see someone with a passion for the organization’s mission, just not with confidence or specific skills to take on their next role? These individuals need projects and events (opportunities) throughout the year to gain necessary tools (developed skills) to take on more responsibility.

What’s lacking for up-and-coming leaders you’ve identified? Will each be ready with the right tools? Consider planning a public speaking opportunity, extending an invitation to participate in event budgeting, involving them in brainstorming exercises, or holding group social activities to create strong team bonds. All of these opportunities  will help you confirm if the next leader is ready or help you find the diamond-in-the-ruff member to nominate during elections.

We’ve been chewing on great opportunities already – keep on pursuing greatness by continuing to chew through the challenges and you will find your successful goal starting to materialize before too long.

Jaycee on my friends!

Adam J. Nelson
Chief of Staff
Senator #72491

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COO Update

Chief Operations Officer Anna Versalle 

Hello Michigan Jaycees!

I am excited to transition into the role of Chief Operations Officer for you this year. There is also a fantastic JCI Training Day planned for March 11 in Lansing and I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to attend the various trainings offered! 

Plans are starting to form for our May Conference at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire so be sure to save the date: May 5-7.

Yours in Jaycees, 

Anna Versalle

Chief Operations Officer

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Plans, Preparations, and Implemention

Chief of Staff Adam Nelson


Congratulations on the start of your new year! We are see the hard work of chapters already making an impact. 

By now, you have made your plans, preparations, and are implementing them with an excited start. In the movie Hidalgo, Frank Hopkins and his mustang entered the great Arabian “Ocean of Fire” 3000-mile endurance race. When the starting gun goes off, all the other racers gallop off at full speed – and Frank saunters off telling Hidalgo it’s okay to pace yourself for the long race.

Your chapter may be starting off the way the other racers did. Keep in mind as you are chasing goals in membership growth and training, programming to impact your community, and finding ways to improve your chapter operations – the year is a marathon. Pace your excitement so you don’t burn out.

We know you have great events planned and Team 93 wants to be more than just spectators to your great race. Please invite us out with a personal invitation, instead of a passive invite we may miss on social media, so we can join in too. There is a great guide for State and National Officer Visit Protocol in the Document Library on the Michigan Jaycees website.

There is a lot to complete during this year’s race - Our challenge to you is to bite off more than you think you can chew - and then just keep chewing!

Adam J. Nelson
Chief of Staff
Senator #72491


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Testimonial Tuesday: Carol Zombro

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Carol what inspired you to become a Jaycee?

Almost three years ago, my grandmother passed away. I was charged with clearing out her house. This was especially hard for me because I only every saw my grandmother as a child during the summers and she was always busy. I remember quite un-fondly her baking delicious cookies that she never let me eat. It wasn’t until I entered her office to pack her things that I found out what she was actually doing with those delicious unreachable cookies.

My grandmother was a proud member of the Martinsburg Lioness Club for over thirty years. Her office packed from floor to ceiling with boxes of certificates, awards and medals honoring this woman for her charity work. She raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for homeless children in West Virginia. Her big project? Bake sales.

At that point I didn’t know what a Jaycee did. I was only here because Kymi made me do it. That remained for the case for quite some time, until it was time to renew. That’s when I heard about the Duffle Bags of love project. The Jaycees were collecting items to give foster children a bag containing items that belong to them: clothes, diapers, snacks, comfort items. I guess my grandmother would be proud if I stuck around for that. Besides, I was in the process of becoming a foster parent myself, so I was a little partial to the idea.

I didn’t know the true impact of this project until two of those duffle bags walked into my house a few months later. As a respite foster care worker, children can come into your house at all hours with absolutely nothing. Duffle Bags of Love is changing that in Kalamazoo.

As I approach my third opportunity to renew my Jaycees membership, I can tell you with 100% certainty that the Kalamazoo Jaycees make a difference. It is my honor, pleasure and duty as an active citizen to continue helping them make that difference. I gladly donate $70 to the organization that creates change one project at a time.




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Training for Development

Training Director Nikki Glinski

Hello and SURPRISE to my fellow Michigan Jaycees!  I am your NEW Training Director for 2017. In addition to Chris Buehrer, we now have Beth Michaels on our squad helping you all with your training needs.

Have you ever checked out trainings available from JCI? We are offering two training sessions (JCI Impact or JCI Effective Leadership) on March 11 in Lansing for $15, which includes lunch. Pre-registration is required online but you can pay for the training right at the door!

While checking out the list of JCI trainings, let me know if your chapter would like to host one!


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Membership Info You Need to Know!

Membership Vice President Sarah Ellis

Hello Michigan Jaycees!

Membership closeout for the 1st Quarter is March 25. Members who are on a monthly payment plan will automatically be renewed and do not need to take any action. Members who pay their dues annually will need to renew their membership via their chapter page on the MIJC website prior to the closeout date. 

MIJC Membership Closeout Dates for 2017 are as follows:

  • 1st Quarter – March 25
  • 2nd Quarter – June 25
  • 3rd Quarter – September 25
  • 4th Quarter – December 20

Members who make monthly payments will automatically be renewed.  Members who pay annually will need to pay their dues prior to the closeout date.  If you need a list of members that pay annually, please contact Membership Vice President Sarah Ellis.

Member Spotlight: The 2017 Membership Team wants ALL Jaycees to be able to nominate outstanding members for recognition. We recognize that not all of our members attend Leadership Conferences and that there are many members who are working hard behind the scenes that deserve recognition.

If you have a member in your chapter that goes above and beyond and deserves to be recognized, nominate that person for the Member Spotlight! The members selected for the Spotlight will be featured in the Michigander and on MIJC social media pages. If you would like to nominate a member, please e-mail me the following information:  

  • Your name
  • Name and chapter of the member you are nominating
  • 150 words explaining why you are nominating them
  • A photo of the person

Membership Tip of the Month:  Keep a prospective member list that your chapter reviews on a monthly basis. This can be done at either your board meetings or GMMs. When a prospective member attends a project or meeting, make sure you get their contact information. Make a plan of action to follow up with your prospective members. Call or e-mail them to thank them for attending your project. 

Are they on your e-mail list so they will know about future events? Are you inviting them to your projects or meetings? Make sure you communicate who will follow up with each prospect.


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