JCI Penticton members at the local food bank after a successful valley-wide food drive campaign that saw a generous amount of donations come in from Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton. Food was then donated to each communities food bank. Submitted photo

Small Business Week: JCI developing young business leaders

Penticton JCI supports entrepreneurs and young business people

The Junior Chamber International of Penticton is local organization that looks to support entrepreneurs and young business people in the community.

Membership in the JCI is open to everyone under the age of 40.

“We do everything from personal development to community volunteering to networking and more,” said Lee Smith, the current president of JCI Penticton and member for the last four years.

Membership in the JCI provides access to training, volunteer, and further experience building opportunities. JCI is heavily involved with the local community with their volunteer efforts, often working alongside other charitable organizations.

Related: Young professionals look to stock up food bank

“We have worked with the soup sisters, the Yes Project. We have a pancake trailer, that we roll out to events, and we serve up pancakes and more,” said Smith. “We have worked with Big Brothers and Sisters Club, we’ve collaborated with the Rotary, and we’ve done a lot more.”

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Recently JCI groups in Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon were awarded an inter-chapter co-operation award at the JCI Canada conference. The three chapters collaborated with Black Press promoting the Valley-wide Food Drive in the spring. Events were held in all three of the cities at various grocery stories and the food donations went to each communities local food bank.

Related: A shopping list for the needy

“It was great to work with other chapters on a social issue that affects every community. We were pleased with how Black Press helped us spread the message about the campaign and the generosity of reader’s in each of the communities,” said Harpreet Sidhu, JCI Penticton communications director.

In addition to their volunteering, the JCI offers a variety of personal development opportunities.

“We do everything from business networking; experience with serving on an executive with our board; speaking training; working with the Robert’s Rules for running effective meetings. There are even a bunch of travel opportunities, such as the world congress conventions, if you’re interested in that,” said Smith.

The JCI also works to ensure that their volunteering efforts translate into professional and personal experience.

“One of the biggest things we do,” Smith said, “is that any event anyone runs, we have them do up a business plan for it.

So that way they get experience with running committees, speaking, budgeting, all of those kinds of things.”

The JCI will be holding an event in October where they will be looking for prospective members. Membership in the organization has a yearly fee, but no other obligations to members beyond what they are willing or interested in.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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