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Thursday, 17 November 2016 02:39

The Great Debate

JCI Brantford competed in a friendly debate Monday evening with the local Toastmasters Club at Charlotte Villa. The meeting kicked off with chairman Ken Klunder, both a Toastmaster and member of JCI Brantford, going through the proceedings of self introductions, flipping the coin to choose sides, and general announcements. Then the grammarian, and JCI member judge, Michelle Giffin, presented the word of the day, Ambagious, meaning "roundabout" or "circuitous". Ken then turned things over to local entrepreneur -and the evening's guest moderator- Lucas Duguid. Lucas took to the podium and covered the rules and regulations, he introduced the topic, "whether the government should impose a tax on foreign property investment", then turned the floor over to the team captains. Each team member spoke about the topic, for and against, with great delivery, considering it was the first time for many participants, and audience members. In the end, it was a close decision, but team JCI Brantford came out unanimously victorious. The feedback was very positive and many excited conversations could be witnessed after the meeting concluded. Fantastic job by all who participated and attended. We look forward to our rematch challenged by local Toastmaster president, Nate Friedman. #jcibrantford

On July 16, 2016, members of JCI Brantford joined Burlington riding Liberal MP Karina Gould, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, at the Paris Public Library, in a roundtable discussion on the best approach for Canada's International Aid efforts.

Representatives from Kiwanis, Muslims for Humanity ICNA Relief Canada, Liberal Riding of Brantford, JCI Brantford, Catholic Church Development and Peace, Laurier University International Relations, and Can-Pak Health & Education spoke openly about different efforts which their respective organizations are involved in. Karina also spoke about the UN's Sustainable Development Goals which rolled out last year to be endeavoured towards by 2030 and how they could be tied together. Everyone was asked to speak about how Canada can best get resources and aid to the people who need it most and where Canada should focus their efforts.

Among the suggestions were specific efforts to improve our global impact within developed nations regarding carbon emissions and green initiatives, health and education, a focus on women & children, and partnering with local organizations in affected areas to empower them to create self-sustaining change after relief groups leave. Everyone walked away feeling positive with the dialogue.

Karina is next headed to New York City for a few days to attend a conference on involving youth in the international solution.


Wednesday, 18 May 2016 16:31

Welcome to our newest members

JCI Brantford welcomes its newest members:

Edward Darling - Joined October 2016

Ken Klunder and Amanda (Goins) Ferris - Joined July 2016

Jodi Laking - Joined May 2016

Joshua Wall - Joined Feb 2016

James Reinelt, Entrepreneur With Murky Productions - Joined Feb 2016

Darrin Knill, Engineer at iSPAN Systems - Joined Feb 2016

Mandy English, Account Coordinator at TDG Marketing - Joined Feb 2016

Valentina McGrandles, Goldsmith at JD Hill Jewellers - Joined Feb 2016


 These active citizens have become a member of the world’s leading network of young people. JCI Brantford provides members with leadership, networking and personal development opportunities to empower them to create positive change both in their lives and their community.

As a new member, they will bring great value to the organization. Full of fresh ideas and enthusiasm. The time to take action is now. We look forward to the input on programs, events and services that these new members would like to see provided by JCI Brantford.


Wednesday, 18 May 2016 15:35

2016 Santa Claus Parade Chair

JCI Brantford congratulate Jessica Collins for stepping up to be the 2016 Santa Claus Parade Chair.  Jessica has worked on the Parade committee for several years and promises to deliver the best parade ever!  She is looking for active members of the community to help her as there are many jobs to do and many hands make for light work!  More information can be found at the official parade website:



Every year local chapters, regions and national areas hold Effective Speaking Competitions to help people train and gain experience in public speaking. This is a deep tradition in Brantford and was held once again by the JCI Brantford Chapter on Thursday, April 20, 2016. 


The winner of the JCI Brantford competition goes on to represent the local chapter at the competition held at the JCI Regional Conference. The winner of that goes on to the National level, and then potentially moves onto the America's and eventually the World competition. By putting yourself forward, the payoff in training and experience is unmeasurable. 


This year, the Chapter was hosted by the owners of BRELU Restaurant at 153 West St, Brantford who provided us with space and delicious refreshments for the evening.  Thank you for your generosity and I hope this partnership with our organizations is long lived.


Two competitors, Joshua Wall and Aaron DeMille, prepared a 5 to 7 min speech on a pre-determined theme of “Leading by Example”.  Their second speech is considered “impromptu” where the theme of “If you had to choose anyone in history to have lunch with, with whom would it be and why” was not told to them until just before they spoke. They were given 1 minute to prepare a 2 to 4 minute speech to deliver.


Our elite panel of judges had their work cut out for them. Current JCI Brantford member Jeremy Voss has participated in the JCI National Speaking Training and completed at the local level. JCI Brantford Alumni John Murnaghan, a member from 1991 to 2012 represented our region at the national level with his effective speaking. JCI Brantford Alumni Doug Summerhayes (Order of Canada and Co-Founder of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Canada) had represented JCI Brantford at the provincial level in the late 1950’s.


After a wonderful night of speeches, the 2016 JCI Brantford Effective Speaking Champion and the person representing the local chapter at Regionals this year is Aaron DeMille. CONGRATULATIONS! Both Joshua and Aaron spoke passionately and eloquently and are excellent examples of how our chapter of young active citizens is striving to BE BETTER.




JCI Brantford's mission is to "empower young people to create positive change" doesn't stop with local projects.   Once a need has been assessed in a local community, it is often partnerships with other community organizations that make lasting sustainable change in a community.  When we found a need in the Brantford community for more positive learning opportunities for youth, member Aaron De Mille was reminded of the impact that Junior Achievement (JA) had on his life and picked up the phone.  Little did he know that JA was already looking for opportunities to expand their programming to Brantford and South-Western Ontario.  A perfect match echoed by the enthusiasm of JA Waterloo President and CEO, Karen Gallant.


It wasn't long after that call that a committee was formed in JCI and Karen was invited to present the Company Program to JCI members at their April 6th General Members meeting.  Karen Gallant - President of JA Waterloo Karen is an amazing presenter with professional experience at the business incubator, Communitech based in waterloo.  Karen shared some of the amazing points of impact that the Company Program makes around the world, some especially interesting facts are highlighted below:


75% percent of Achievers stated that JA has had a significant impact in the development of their financial literacy and decision-making skills.  JA inspires students to stay in school and prepares them to succeed in tomorrow’s jobs. Through our programs, students learn how to translate their interests and skills into successful careers. They also develop practical job skills in such as interviewing, communications and critical thinking.


65% of Achievers stated that JA has had a significant impact on their decisions to stay in school and enroll in post-secondary education.  Graduates from JA programs save more and borrow less than the average Canadian. In our financial literacy programs, students learn how to create and manage wealth. They develop real-world skills that they can apply to their lives immediately – such as budgeting, investing and aligning their financial choices with their goals.


JA graduates are 50% more likely to open a business.  JA graduates are more likely to launch businesses and create jobs. Through our entrepreneurship programs, students gain firsthand experience in running a business. They work with mentors from their local business communities to create strategies and manage companies. Many business leaders cite JA’s Company Program as the catalyst that gave them the ambition to launch a business and the skills to do so successfully.


So what is the Company Program? (From the JA Waterloo Website)


The after-school Company Program is designed to help young people appreciate and better understand the role of business in our society. With the support and guidance of local business professionals high school students get the opportunity to build their own business enterprise.

While operating their business, Achievers will have the opportunity to:

  • Incorporate and capitalize by selling shares
  • Organize a Board of Directors and elect a management team
  • Produce and market a product or a service
  • Establish production and sales goals for their company, and monitor progress toward goals at regular company meetings
  • Maintain and analyze financial records
  • Compile an annual report for shareholders, pay a dividend and liquidate the business

Through this after-school Company Program Junior Achievement of Waterloo Region seeks to:

  • Link students with mentor Advisors in the form of volunteers from our community who are knowledgeable about business operation and may be working local businesses or operating their own.
  • Oversee the integrity of the ventures through robust policies
  • Ensure the safety of products and services
  • Develop lasting relationships that bring students, mentors, and the business  community together for mutual benefit.


JCI is already forging partnerships with the Grand Erie District School Board and the City of Brantford to bring the JA Company Program back to Brantford.  For more information, contact member Aaron De Mille who is leading the JCI efforts relating to this innitiative.


Saturday, 13 February 2016 05:00

Poker Bowling

Bowling is a great way to spend time with friends during the cold (or sloppy) winter months.  Members of JCI Brantford met at Star Lanes bowling alley on Saturday, Feb 13th for a good time and a side game of poker.  And at JCI events, you don't even have to PLAY to win - as one of our newest members Mandy English found out when she won the first Poker hand.  We might have bent the rules a bit for her and had a rotating schedule of "surrogate" bowlers to stand in while she cheered on the sidelines and nursed a sore wrist.   


In attendance was JCI members James Reinelt, Mandy English, Secretary Thomas Ferris, VP Jason Freeze (who we now blame for weather this time of year),  Jeremy Voss, and organizer Aaron De Mille.  About half way through the night President Adam Marshall visited to support the social as well as VP Michelle Yuile and and member Shawn Stemmler. 


Although no-one recorded the scores (perhaps conveniently), it was a night of fellowship and fun, and is a great way to meet JCI members for the first time or to hang out with friends.



Tuesday, 09 February 2016 18:21

A Great Start to 2016!


The January General Members meeting is usually a long one - there is a lot of business to discuss and not a lot of room for our usual shenanigans (No fine session!).  This is the meeting where the newly elected JCI Executive present the plan for the year.  We're talking about the Chapter Business Plan (CBP) presentation, complete with budgeting and strategic goals.  Before an executive can move forward, the membership must vet the great plan with a vote.
President Adam Marshall started the meeting with words of wisdom and reminded the members that since the CBP was precirculated, that discussion would be limited to addressing issues rather than presenting the whole plan.  A smart move since we aim to complete all of our meetings within 2 hours.  
The Vice Presidents Michelle Yuile and Jason Freeze gave their presentations.  Michelle's portfolio this year focuses on projects and community partnerships, while Jason's is centered on member retention, recruitment and marketing.  
JCI members were honoured to welcome National Vice President Joy Butler, who inducted new JCI Members Darrin Knill and James Reinelt. 
Michelle wasted no time getting project commitments as you can see from this list:
Trivia Night:
        chair = Michelle Y
        members = Michelle G, Josh, Jeremy, Rob Y (alumni)
Membership & Promotions Committee:
        chair = Jason F
        membership: Adam, Mark, Aaron, Darrin, Michelle Y
Breakfast in the Square:
        chair = vacant
        membership: Josh
Car Rally:
        no volunteers
Golf Tournament Committee:
        chair: (past president) Michelle G
        members: James, Valentina (prospective)
Christmas Trees Project:
         chair: Michelle G
         members: Aaron, Valentina (prospective)
Strategic Planning Committee:
          chair: Michelle Y
          members: Adam, Thomas, Jason, Aaron, Michelle G
Santa Claus Parade Committee:
          chair: Jessica C
          members: Jeremy, Michelle Y, Jason, Aaron, Michelle G, James, Amanda,
                              Valentina (prospective)
LOTS Conference Planning Committee:
          chair: Thomas
          members: Michelle Y, Jason, Adam, Darrin, Joy B (JCI National VP for Region)
Junior Achievement Committee
            members: Aaron, Mark
Talent Show :
            members: Josh
Debate Event:
             chair: Jeremy


Jason reinforced his commitment to members by encouraging participation and involvement.  


The CBP was passed in short order, and everyone left with a feeling of accomplishment and vigor. 


What a Great Start!  

Saturday, 30 January 2016 03:59

Hoops, Friends and Wheels.

The smell of burning rubber still fresh their senses, the JCI Brantford "Jammin' Jaycees" take home a victory for the team and a respectable 1/2 record.  Attending a Wheel Chair Basketball Tournament is no small affair. You must wear proper hand protection for starters.  And whatever you do, don't try to jump shot or you will feel the referees wrath.  The tournament is run by Participation House and organized by Doug Hunt and his team and has been going on for over two decades - at least some of us "old Jaycees" have been doing it for at least half that time.  


This years team was led by Mark Smith who rallied his team consisting of President Adam Marshall, Treasurer Aaron De Mille, Secretary Thomas Ferris, Amanda Baker, Jeremy Voss, Alumnus Rob Y. and Guest Lorne H. 


The event was very well attended and we saw many familiar faces and some new ones.  Our first opponent was the Fanshawe College team who drove an hour from London for this event.  Although they put up a valiant effort, they were no match for the Jammin Jaycees.   Our next match was against the Brantford Firefighters.  We started slow but eventually gave them a run for their money.  We ultimately lost at a "close" 10-26.  Sweaty, and tired with a feeling of accomplishment, the team returned to their Saturday happenings.


The JCI WCB Team is a wonderful opportunity for members to raise their awareness of the physical challenges that some face, as well as raise money towards the support services that PH provides. 

Thursday, 28 January 2016 17:53

JCI World Congress 2016

World Congress is in Canada this year! 


The Quebec City COC Is offering a special reduced rate only to JCI Canada members.  This special reduced rate goes up as of February 1.  If you know you are going to World Congress and wish to pay the lowest registration possible, click here and register before February 1!   Remember that you can always register later this spring or summer, at the regular registration rate.

Register Today!


Payment Plan Available!


 If you find that paying the full registration amount all at once, even at the reduced rate, is hard on the bank account, then we have a solution for you.  We are offering a World Congress payment installment plan.  Click here to find out more.  You can see that you are able to purchase your World Congress registration and your full hotel, if you like.  Fill out the forms in the link, checking off what you wish to purchase, and return the form to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We will calculate your total bill and verify that amount with you. Once we both agree on the numbers, we will run your credit card for 6 equal installments on the first business day of each month, from March to August.  We will purchase your registration and pay the hotel on your behalf.  You will show up to World Congress in Quebec City will a fully pre-paid conference registration and hotel stay.  We offered this service to members attending World Congress Kanazawa last year and it worked out well for everyone who took advantage of the program.  If an installment payment plan interests you, you’ll have to act fast, because the deadline for participating in the Installment Plan program is January 31.  Be sure to reach out to us before then.


 The rate you pay in #1 above is the same rate you’ll pay in #2.  The only difference is one lump sum payment versus installment payments.  There is no mark-up to choose one over the other. 


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