Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Jaycee National President Bill Russell Remarks Portland Oregon – 1992

Inaugural Address Closing Ceremony
72nd Annual Convention Unites States Junior Chamber of Commerce
Portland, Oregon
June 25, 1992

Junior Chamber International President Herrberando, Junior Chamber President & First Lady Thomes, Fellow Members of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, JCI Vice President Yoshida, Past National Presidents, our Good Friends from the Japan Junior Chamber, Ambassadors, Senators, Jaycee Delegates, and guests:

This organization has been filled by generations of young people, each with the challenges of their day.  It was through commitment and courage that we as an organization have stood the test of time.  Challenges have always faced us…they did yesterday and they will tomorrow.  Like the past generations of Jaycees, we embrace those opportunities…and not one Jaycee member out there tonight … would shrink from that responsibility.

We will meet them head on.  Together!  Like Plato once said, “The beginning is the most important part of any work.”  Tonight we embark on a new beginning… a new Jaycee year.  There is a new world facing us out there.  It is a world filled with discovery and promise.  It is a world that we can use to unlock the potential of America’s young people.

Sworn in by 72nd USJCC President Greg Thomes

Sworn in by 72nd USJCC President Greg Thomes

Our future is unstructured as a dream.  The only limitations we have are those we impose upon ourselves. Someone once said that the world changes at such a pace, that each day writes a fresh page of history before yesterday’s ink has even dried.  Today, the task at hand is simple – the Junior Chamber of Commerce must lead again.  As it always has – as only we can.  It is time to write history.  Not content to merely be a part of it.

June 30, 1971 an amendment to the constitution was ratified giving 18 year olds a right to vote.  Young people making decisions about the future direction of their nation.  This is the 21st anniversary of that amendment.  Throughout America, people are disillusioned about their government leaders.  They are desperate for leadership.  However, our country has always survived and leaders have always emerged.  It is time for that leadership to emerge again…  It is time America felt the power of her young people.power0001

It falls to our young people to lead this nation…to restore her.  This year our Jaycee Chapters will register voters, sponsor candidate debates, and get the issues out to the communities through a program called “Wake Up America!”   We will again be young people of action.

Over the last couple of decades there has been a decline of family values.  Times are different from when you and I were in grade school.  Teachers have been replaced by TV’s and VCR’s.  Kids learn more from Doogie Howser and Bart Simpson than they do from mom and dad.  This year the United States Junior Chamber will answer the needs of our single parents and young families through a program called Junior Jaycees.  Getting our kids, young kids involved… instilling in them the values we cherish as Jaycees.

wake0001Over the past few years we have placed more emphasis on short term goals and rewarded people for short term success.  People are recognized for what they do this year with no consequences to what becomes of their chapter next year.  Our Blue Chip program is the key to chapter success.  Long term goals and the commitment to carry them out.  We must not sell ourselves out to short term success.  We must stop living for today with no plans for tomorrow.

Most of all – we cannot and will not settle for mediocrity. We must build a strong Junior Chamber chapter – one that is better today than it was yesterday.  Continuing to fulfill our mission of providing leadership skills to America’s young people.  We are a leadership training organization and it’s time we got down to the business at hand.  Teaching young people the skills they will need to be more productive and competitive in the business world.  Give them the chance to nurture networking skills, meeting other young people, fostering strong relationships, building bridges to the future.

The number one reason people leave our organization prematurely is because we do not deliver on our promise.  People leave feeling they have not received what they were looking for and they walk away…empty handed.  We must train our chapters to deliver on those promises…today.

It is time the United States Junior Chamber came out of its isolation and joined the Junior Chamber organizations of the world.  Junior Chamber International is growing, prospering, and delivering on its promise of leadership training through community service.  It uses the principles of those young men from St. Louis, Mo. whose dream it was to give young people business and community leadership opportunities.  I am asking each of you, if your chapter is not already, consider twinning up with another Jaycee Chapter in another country.  We can learn so much from each other as we move to an age of Global Citizenship.

There is the story of the great French General Lyautey who once asked his gardener to plant a tree.  The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for hundreds of years.  The Marshall replied, “In that case, there is no time to lose, plant it this afternoon.”

We are faced with unbridled opportunities – let us embrace them.  The affects of our programs may take months, years to see…but let us plant the seed tonight.  Jaycees…Founder and Past President Henry Giessenbier said, “In your hands lies the destiny of a great organization.  Let us build it to national prominence and let us not fail in that task.”

United States Jaycees, I believe in you with all my heart and all my soul.  Let us prove this year, we are the premier young people’s organization in America…and let us not fail in that task.  Thank you.

Advertisements

April 29, 2009 - Posted by | Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycee) Speeches | , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: