JCI Ireland Quarter 2 Newsletter

27 Aug 2020
President JCI Galway By President JCI Galway
Quarter two in JCI Ireland doesn't disappoint ! Two TOYP nominees in the final top 20. A historic online European Conference. The launch of 'The Business Series. Our first guest blog of the year from JCI Cork member Maria O Donovan. Read on to hear how we did not let lockdown slow us down! 

JCI Ireland Online Spring Conference - Hosted by JCI Mayo

The first ever JCI Ireland Virtual Spring Conference happened from the 9th-10th May 2020. It was a weekend full of activities which commenced with the National Council meeting very early on the first morning. At the meeting important business was discussed and voted on. The afternoon was all about public speaking and debating where training sessions were held in each area. Máire Garvey from Toastmasters conducted the public speaking training while JCI Dublin's Ben Hall ran the debating training. The sessions were followed by the National Public Speaking and National Debating Championships. Congratulations to Colleen Baxter for prevailing in the public speaking and to JCI Galway (Colleen Baxter, Conor Hogan and Marie Scully) for winning in the debating. The gala ball along with the award ceremony took place that evening while bingo, a few drinks and a lot of fun wrapped up the night!

The second day commenced with a training on JCI Admin (involving how the organisation operates) with JCI Senator Deborah McAndrew while JCI Ireland's assigned Vice President for Europe, Jenni Ahlstedt, presented a session in the afternoon on Effective Communication.


Members joined from every corner of the globe for the occasion and a huge thank you to JCI Mayo and Local President Áine Mc Manamon for hosting such a remarkable event.

JCI Cork - A member's perspective

Junior Chamber International (JCI) Cork plays an active role in the local community from volunteering, training, fundraising and social events and has gone from strength to strength in the last two years with many new members. Now is a good time to join JCI as it offers many online opportunities in the areas of personal development and business.

This youth organisation has benefited many people in Cork and beyond during the Covid Crisis by keeping spirits uplifted with online training seminars and social events. Furthermore, JCI may benefit anybody who finds themselves currently unemployed as we have many opportunities for upskilling in the key areas of personal development and social media.

JCI Cork has hosted many interesting training seminars, such as a ‘Lunch and Learn’ session in collaboration with Republic of work where Fatou Barry gave the audience some practical tips on how to find the job you love and the benefits of volunteering.

Ms. Barry also gave us an informative workshop on ‘How to optimise your Job Search using Linkedin’ a few months ago and was attended by many professionals both inside and outside JCI.

‘Become an Inspirational Leader’, a leadership training day was held in April where several speakers including the Local President of JCI Cork, Melanie Morrissey gave an inspiring seminar on ‘Linkedin Branding and Positioning Yourself’. Participants received a certificate of completion.

In February, we had ‘JCI Achieve and JCI Impact Training’ at University College Cork. We also had a fantastic goal setting workshop with Dana Fülles at the Workbench, Bank of Ireland, Cork which was attended by many members. A social event was organised afterwards.

JCI Cork also recently announced our Ten Outstanding Young Persons including Jamie Murray for his advocacy at the Cope Foundation. He says: ‘It’s good to help people through advocacy because everyone has the right to have their voice heard and to be treated with respect.’ Other recipients include Stephen Teap, Rena Buckley, and Sinéad Kane, amongst others.

In the coming weeks, we will also have our ‘Business Success Series’ which will include Marketing, Podcasting, Finances, Networking and Project Management.

JCI Ireland has come together to create an 8-part series to provide business owners, employees, and professionals with the tools they need to boost their business in this ‘new normal’.

The Business Success Series is about setting yourself up for success in business, as an employee or business owner, by availing of this series of 8 stimulating seminars, running over the month of July aimed at enhancing your potential.

Dana Fülles Coaching will be hosting the first event entitled ‘Developing and Going for your Career Vision’ on Wednesday, 1st of July, from 7- 8:00 pm.

Make sure you book your ticket for this inspiring event, free for JCI members and only €5 for non-members when you book on Eventbrite.


I am a proud member of JCI Cork, and I am excited to host an online zoom webinar on ‘Creative Writing’ in August, which will introduce members and non-members to the benefits of writing, creating a writing space and tools for success. 

We are a welcoming youth organisation who like to give back to others and the community, and we are always accepting new members. Throughout the year, we organise social events and networking opportunities. JCI Ireland runs ‘The Friendly Business Awards’(FBAs) which recognises and applauds businesses that go above & beyond in a range of areas from Digital Experience, to Disability Access & of course customer service.  There has been a significant growth in entries in the last two years.

Our next online event will be held on the 4th of July when Stevie G, DJ with Redfm and Youth Coordinator at Cork Migrant Centre and Phumla Ajayi of Dell Technologies will host this webinar on Leadership from 1.30 – 3.30 pm, for more details follow JCI Cork on their social media channels.

Written by Maria O' Donovan JCI Cork Member 

JCI Dublin hosts JCI European Conference 2020

The JCI Virtual European Conference took place from the 12th-21st June 2020 and what a cracking conference it was. Once again history was written as it was the first European Conference to go online. The conference kicked off in style with a Riverdance Wake-Up Session while many activities, talks and events followed in the build up to the climax on day 1, the opening ceremony. Thousands of people tuned in from all over the world to see the European National Presidents virtually walking on stage and hear from the leaders in our organisation. The attendees were also treated to some quality entertainment with Carrie Coleman singing live and the Gardiner Brothers among other entertainers dazzling the viewers. The opening ceremony was co-hosted by Keira Keogh and John Murray who brought great Irish humour to the party. The rest of the first weekend proceeded with fantastic sessions for delegates to learn and to be inspired. Some of the highlights were “The Power of Networking in a Post-Corona World” delivered by Kingsley Aikins, “The Happiness Habit” ran by Brian Colbert, “Conscious Leadership” hosted by Joe Dalton and “Substance Over Superficial” facilitated by our very own, John Murray.


The conference then moved into the second week with many more educational sessions scheduled over the evenings and one day dedicated solely to business training. The Online European Public Speaking and Debating Championships also took place where Colleen Baxter did our country proud with a great performance in the public speaking while JCI Ireland (Colleen Baxter, Conor Hogan and Marie Scully) reached the semi-final in the debating. In keeping with the spirit of competition there was an Extempore Off The Cuff Public Speaking Contest where, once again, JCI Ireland had strong representation in Ben Hall who reached the final round. Great entertainment and parties kept delegates going into the late hours throughout the conference which culminated in the JCI Europe Awards Ceremony on the final night. JCI Ireland did exceptionally well at the awards ceremony to bring an amazing conclusion to the conference for the host organisation (more on that to follow soon).


JCI Ireland would like to give a huge congratulations and thanks to the Conference Director, Derek Reilly, along with the COC consisting of Keira Keogh, Ronan Neacy, Laura Goci, Catherine Laffey, Jeremy Doyle, Laura Enache, Patrycja Jurkowska and Annalisa Schembri for their phenomenal work in organising. Also gratitude must go to the many others who played their part in this unique and wonderful conference.


Ten Outstanding Young Persons Awards (TOYP)

Two of JCI Ireland’s entrants into the world TOYP (Ten Outstanding Young Person) Awards have qualified for the final. Aaron Hannon in the category of Medical Innovation and Jack O’Connor in the category of Humanitarian and/or Voluntary Leadership made it through to the world’s top 20 where a combination of a public vote and judging panel will determine the final 10 to be awarded on stage at the World Congress in Yokohama, Japan in November. The bios of our outstanding people are as follows:


Aaron Hannon


Throughout his school years, Aaron Hannon was involved in projects to build everything from pest control innovations to Formula One cars, ultimately traveling to Singapore to represent Ireland at the F1 in Schools World Finals, where he placed third overall.

He began his medical device innovation journey designing for his grandfather, who suffered from severe post-stroke paralysis. He created a voice-controlled automatic shaving device, and founded a start-up to bring that device to more people. Unfortunately, he failed to attract sufficient funding to proceed, but his passion for learning about the needs of others through user research did not diminish. Mr. Hannon co-founded Lily Devices, another start-up aiming to prevent hair loss from chemotherapy. Through talking directly with patients, he designed a comfortable and elegant device that would prevent hair loss using electrical stimulation techniques, and was successful in securing €500,000 in funding from Enterprise Ireland to continue his work.

The Lily Devices Team has won numerous national and international accolades, like the EIT Health Headstart Grant, as well as first place in CRAASH Barcelona, a Europe-wide accelerator program for medical device start-ups. Mr. Hannon was named Mayo’s Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019.

Currently, he has dedicated his time to the needs of patients battling COVID-19. Mr. Hannon led two multidisciplinary teams to develop a solution for open-sourced, low cost ventilators. He hopes devices like this can be used in the longer term to reduce inequality in medical device innovation.

Mr. Hannon uses his design, engineering and entrepreneurship background to keep patients at the center of the design process and improve their quality of life. He believes in giving back to his community by providing STEM education opportunities to young people, and his motto is “work hard enough, dream big enough, and anything can happen.”

Jack O’Connor

At the age of thirteen, Jack O’Connor volunteered with his father through fundraising to support Milford Hospice, a palliative care center, and became actively involved in voluntary projects of all kinds in secondary school. He led four projects on different subjects to the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. The last project, entered in 2017, was a handheld seed planter that farmers in developing countries could use to make the planting process faster, with less physical strain. 

It was selected as the winner of the Science for Development Award, and Mr. O’Connor and his partner traveled to Malawi to conduct field testing and research with their invention. It was dubbed Moyo Nua – a dual language term between Irish and Nyanja meaning “New Life.” The invention won various pitching competitions, including the World Trade Centers Association Peace Through Trade Competition, garnering the interest of Forbes Magazine.

Mr. O’Connor currently serves as the United Nations Youth Delegate for Ireland. When he attended the UN General Assembly in 2019, he gave a speech on mental health and suicide prevention with the Hungarian Ambassador, World Health Organization and UNICEF after suffering stress-induced burnout the previous summer. He aims to destigmatize mental illness, especially among young people.

Now at 21 years old, Mr. O’Connor knows that his place in the world lies in helping others in whatever way he can. He has a human-centric approach to problem-solving and varied experience with different projects and industries. Mr. O’Connor lives by the idea of kaizen, the Japanese art of continuous improvement, and has a desire to create a world of equitable opportunity through upskilling, advocacy and positive mental health work.

Success at JCI Europe Awards


JCI Ireland scooped three awards at the European Awards Ceremony to mark our organisation’s most successful awards night in recent times. The JCI Ireland Friendly Business Awards won Best National Flagship Program, JCI Galway’s Effective Weekend won Best Inter-organization Collaboration Project, and, JCI Dublin’s Tara McGinley won Most Outstanding New Member. Congratulations to Tara, JCI Galway and everybody at JCI Ireland involved with these achievements.

Business Success Series

JCI Ireland under the direction of Director of Business  has launched the Business Success Series with the aim of enabling members to set themselves up for success in business, whether as an employee or business owner. The series is an online collaboration between the branches across the country where sessions will be hosted at 7pm on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the month of July. A superb line up of top speakers from the business industry will be bringing their expertise and experience to the series. Further information on the events is as follows:

  1. Wednesday 1st July - Developing and Going For Your Career Vision - Goal Setting Workshop delivered by Dana Fülles of Dana Fülles Coaching: http://https://bit.ly/JCIBusinessSuccessSeries1

  2. Monday 6th July - Learn how to build the perfect profile on LinkedIn, Generate Prospects and Visibility delivered by Miles Duncan of LinkedIn SuccessSystems:  https://bit.ly/JCIBusinessSuccessSeries2

  3. Wednesday 8th July - It's Beyond Time to Rethink Your Marketing? Panel discussion with Muriel Foley Founder and Managing Director at MGF; Karina Collins, Marketing Manager at Clonakilty Distillery; Stephen Ryan, Founder Narration & 24 stories:  

  4. Monday 13th July - Promoting Your Business Through Podcasting with Gary Kelly of GK Media: http:// https://bit.ly/JCIBusinessSuccessSeries4

  5. Wednesday 15th July - How to start your own project and deliver quality content with Verena Zimmermann, Corporate Sales Development Manager at Workday:  https://bit.ly/JCIBusinessSuccessSeries5

  6. Monday 20th July - Re-adjust, Reset, Re-emerge with Your Finances with Eoin Wilson, Certified Financial Planner: 

  7. Wednesday 22nd July - How to create a strategy & optimise your website to boost sales with Anne Conlon of All About Sales and Lucy Reilly of Lucy Designs:

  8. Monday 27th July - Networking adapting to the changing work environment with Andrew Whitaker, Founder & CEO at Culture Co-Working: https://bit.ly/JCIBusinessSuccessSeries8

We would love to hear from you. Please tag us on social media (see links below) and use the theme for the year: 


Also if you would like to contribute to future newsletters please send and email to IPP@JCIIreland.ie