Janice barbecuing2President Janice agreed to be interviewed by John Isles as our first speaker of the New Rotary Year.  This is how it went!

John:  “Incoming President Janice welcome to our first Speaker slot which we hope you and others will enjoy.  Perhaps the first question has to be – Why did you join E.Rotary”?

Janice:  “For 23 years I was the ‘wife of a Rotarian’, during which time I supported all Tim’s involvement in Rotary, went to the socials and ladies nights, and was constantly asked to join Inner Wheel.  But none of it appealed to me, eating around squashed in tables, drinking and chatting (I don’t drink much and struggle with small talk), being ignored by the cliques, nor do I like formality, so the toasts, bells and Sergeant at Arms drove me out the door with my head ringing.  Then I joined Facebook and discovered Rotarians talking a different language, openly sharing the service they do around the World and in May 2011 I went with Tim to the Rotary International convention in New Orleans.  18,000 Rotarians from 200 different countries was an experience in itself, but the constant conversation about what Rotary was doing was mind blowing.  I attended workshops run by the branding manager for Coca Cola, I learnt from a young man about the differences between Generation X, Y and Z, I spent hours talking to people in the massive Hall of Friendship, and I finally learnt what Rotary was all about and I wanted to be part of it.  I also attended a workshop about E-Rotary, the flexible, modern way of being involved in Rotary and the rest is history …..”

John: “That’s very interesting, now tells us a little about yourself and your family”;

Janice:  “This year Tim and I celebrate our Silver wedding anniversary and for the last 6 years we have run our own business consultancy called Practical Sagacity Ltd.  I left school planning to train as a Special Needs Teacher, but only survived 1 year of the course – loved the practical, hated the writing.  So my career has been one of anything as long as it is interesting, leading me to work among many things as a medical photographer, an Abbey educational officer, making window blinds within the hour for a brand new shop enterprise, managing a training centre to support disadvantaged adults back into employment, qualified as an NLP business coach and analysed business intelligence for a blue chip financial organisation.  All the time I was also working voluntary in youth work projects with Tim, a journey that has taught me lots working alongside other passionate people.  With photography, computer graphics, textile arts and crafts, cooking, playing musical instruments (badly) and singing in a choir, I have interests that I can use in community involvement as well as for my own pleasure.  Luckily we have three dogs who constantly keep us grounded and ensure we do have a life of our own”.

John: “You are obviously a very busy lady with lots of interests. Let me ask you “who is your favourite celebrity and why”?

Janice:  “I have no interest in ‘celebrity’, I’m interested in people whoever they are.  I have always been influenced by the description of group work in the Bible as compared to the parts of the body, every single part of the body is needed to make it function efficiently, from the head to the little toe and all the gory bits inside.  A few are noticeable and glamorous, others doing sturdy supporting work, others are hidden away keeping the life forces flowing or cleaning up the mess.  But every single one is essential and valued.  Recognising the whole group I am working within at any one time to me is important, understanding the roles we all play to work efficiently together and where support is needed to enable that to happen”.

John: “If you could choose one book to take away on holiday which would you choose and why?

Janice:  Easy, ‘The Colour of Magic’ by Terry Pratchett.  I love all his books, they really get my imagination working with his quirky view of life, but this very first one sets me off in giggles every time I read it”.

John: “If you had the chance to appear on Britain’s Got Talent – what would you perform?”

Janice:  “I have a party piece where I dress up as a school boy in short trousers and cap, with shirt hanging out and recite a monologue called “What’s It For” by Mab Davis, written 1935.  My mother always called me a Why Child, I had to understand why to anything and everything, so when I read this poem as a teenager it really rung true.  It’s hilarious, well, I think it is”.

John:  “Finally, coming back to Rotary. Everyone is looking forward to your year with great anticipation.  What are your own hopes and aspirations for Rotary and in particular our eClub throughout your year?”

Janice:  “That we get to know each other well, welcome in new members and help each other all feel a valued part of the eClub.  That we network efficiently for the activities we undertake and for our own personal businesses, trading understanding, knowledge and skill sharing.  That we develop our activities so that no one feels excluded because of the membership spread that is growing, and that we support recruitment and the development of hubs of people in local communities where our members are based.  That we do not just do things because we feel we have to, but that our journey together includes laughter, tears and emotion born out of passion for what we are trying to achieve”.

John: “Thank you Janice for sharing with us.  We all join in wishing you a very successful and enjoyable presidential year”.

Have you questions for Janice?  Please comment or ask your questions below.

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0 thoughts on “Meet our President for 2013 – 2014

  1. David Pratt says:

    As I responded to Facebook I guess I should just say similar words of support for Janice in her year as President. I know I enjoyed my year as did Charlotte. We had a lot of fun, which I see as key to a successful Rotary club! Onward. Kind regards, David

  2. Sinead Darker says:

    Great interview and brings out the fun side of Janice, who works so hard 🙂 Nice to hear about the personal aspects, well done John

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