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Megan Miller - Updated Platform for President, 2008

Created 29th February 2008 @ 15:05
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Greetings JET Alumni in NY and vicinity! I decided to update my platform now that I have what appears to be a very worthy opponent in the running.

As current Vice President of JETAANY, I have had the privilege to learn the inner workings of the organization and to see first hand where improvement is needed. To that end, I have already begun to implement changes and really hope to keep the momentum going for another year or longer. Some of my accomplishments this year included:

*Cultural event planning, including a Japanese Dance lesson with renowned performer Sachiyo Ito, and a private tour of the Miwa Yanagi photography exhibit at the Chelsea Art Museum.

*Participation in and organization of regular meetings and events, including monthly executive meetings; quarterly member meetings, most notably the extremely popular January dinner at the Cha-an Tea House which I personally organized; the 2007 and 2008 Shinnenkai/Nijikai; the 2007 Softball Tournament; JETAANY Happy Hours; the 2007 Meishi exchange and the upcoming 2008 Meishi exchange which I am currently helping to organize; the upcoming Onsen trip; and various other JETAANY undertakings.

*Formalization of our weekly announcements email, with an emphasis on putting a more professional face on the JETAANY organization.

*Executive board recruiting, including two of the candidates currently running!

Moreover, I have already lined up some events beyond March 31, including a sake tasting event, a chocolate tasting seminar, and a Japanese cooking class. I am constantly looking to leverage the huge JETAANY network and provide exclusive events and offerings to our membership base.

Some other ideas I have for the upcoming year include improving both the Pre-departure Orientation for new JETs embarking on their Japan expedition as well as the Returning JETs Conference and Career Fair. As a prominent organization in the NY Japanese community, JETAANY already has a wealth of local contacts, including recruiters, that can be even better leveraged to benefit our membership. Furthermore I would like to re-establish the Nihongo Dake Dinner as a monthly outing, and I have some great restaurants lined up.

On a final note, I would like to more firmly recognize one of the Four Pillars of the JET Alumni program, which is outreach to the community. I would like to see a part of our budget specifically set aside for those that we like to call “FOJ” – or Friends of JET. Currently JETAANY funds are solely used to benefit JET Alumni. At times, this can work against us to cut off the greater network. By specifically setting a budget for these valuable “members” of our organization, we can ensure that the JETAANY community stays rooted in the larger community and our network stays strong.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that experience is the best teacher. As a current, active, and involved member of the JETAANY Executive Board, I am well poised to seamlessly move into the role of President with no steep learning curve. I am familiar with the yearly calendar and required events, and well-connected to bring about new and exciting events on a regular basis. I have established a great working relationship with our unofficial yet essential “board” members, including our Social Chair, Monica Yuki, our Webmaster, Lee-Sean Huang, our Newsletter Editor, Steven Horowitz, and countless other JETAANY regulars.

I personally feel that JETAANY has stepped it up a notch in the past few months, and that our membership has noticed. I believe that I had a strong involvement in this development. Please vote for me and help me to keep the momentum going!

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