News — July 19, 2002
Meet JCI Vice President Kimmo Toivakka
Almost all the good things I now have are somehow connected to Junior Chamber. I even met my wife at a Junior Chamber event! ?JCI Vice President Kimmo Toivakka Kimmo Toivakka, born on November 21, 1962, in Kotka, Finland, is a trained classical musician and a hypnotherapist. He heads the training department of a management consulting company in Espoo, and resides in Helsinki with his wife Sanna. While at a birthday party, a Jaycee friend suggested that Toivakka should join Junior Chamber, to which Toivakka responded, "What's that?" So, the Jaycee friend invited Toivakka to a regional conference. ?I like to meet people who are smarter than I,? Toivakka says. At the conference, finding clever people, excellent training and worthwhile projects, he became interested in the organization.
When he was introduced to the idea of personal development and the "learning-by-doing" principle, he was hooked. Finding that Junior Chamber was a perfect way to develop himself, Toivakka joined Junior Chamber in 1996. He participated in various local and national activities, serving as president of his chapter in 1999 and as national executive vice president in 2001. He has attended several JCI Area Conferences and three JCI World Congresses, and is an International Graduate of the JCI Training Institute. During 2002, he is serving as JCI Vice President assigned to the national organization members (NOMs) of Andorra, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Catalonia, Poland, Russia, and Spain. His goals in Junior Chamber His most important personal goal is to learn as much as he can. ?Junior Chamber is full of people you can learn from,? he states. His Junior Chamber goal is to contribute as much as possible to the success of the organization and its members. ?I try to listen to our members and help turn their thoughts and ideas into reality,? he says. Since he will be forty this year, he does not aspire to higher posts, but hopes future JCI leaders will give him opportunities to provide training and coaching. What has he gained from being a member ?Junior Chamber has been the number-one success factor in my life,? affirms Vice President Toivakka. ?I've gained a life fulfilled with great people and amazing experiences. Almost all the good things I now have are somehow connected to Junior Chamber. I even met my wife at a Junior Chamber event!? ?In Junior Chamber, I've met outstanding professionals and leaders. They?ve shared their experiences with me. By conducting projects and receiving training together, we?ve become friends for life. Professionally, I've gained skills I can use in my work. I've become a better professional. As a consultant and trainer, I've learned in Junior Chamber what I could not learn at the university. I've acquired skills and experiences money can't buy. I will always be grateful to this organization. It has made my life better in all respects.? Advice to members aspiring to become JCI officers ?Go for it! It's absolutely one of the best experiences you can have,? he says. ?It?s a life-changing experience. There are two parts involved: being a candidate and being an officer. Both are great experiences.? ?As a candidate, you need to prepare yourself and do your homework?learn the Constitution, Robert Rules of Order, JCI history, everything on the web page, all the programs and services. Then you need to promote yourself, negotiating with people from different countries and cultures. You go through the whole Congress experience?training, elections committee, caucus, becoming friends with other candidates. That by itself is worth the effort. And if you are elected, you will be leading the best organization in the world with other outstanding leaders? ?It?s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience,? he adds. ?Go for it!?