Mark Frey

Mark Frey- headshot

Mark Frey

JETAA Northern California (US-13)

Kumamoto, ALT, 2002-2006
“The Next 30 Years: Activating the Power of our JETAA Network”

I feel your pain as a chapter officer. I feel your joy. I feel your pain and joy because I have experienced both in equal measure as an officer in JETAA Northern California (JETAANC) over the past 10 years.

As your Country Representative (CR), I pledge to dedicate myself to easing your pain and increasing your joy as you serve your fellow alumni, build your network, and develop your leadership skills!

In the paragraphs below, I hope to inspire you with a vision for JETAA USA that we can work together to make a reality. I call the vision “The Next 30 Years: Activating the Power of our JETAA Network.”

Activating the Power of our JETAA Network

I pledge to do the following as your CR to bring this vision to life:

  • Do a deep “listening tour” of all 19 chapters to learn the particular issues and challenges each of your chapters is facing, as well as best practices we can share across the chapters
  • Use the results of the listening tour to create national “workstreams” made up of interested officers from around the U.S. who want to work together to develop new ideas and solutions related to an important issue while deepening their friendships
  • Start monthly CR “office hours” conference calls for interested officers to communicate directly with the CRs, share common concerns and best practices, and develop relationships with officers in other chapters. “We are not alone.”
  • Establish the Slack app as a team messaging, archiving, and search tool for us to use to communicate and collaborate with each other in real time.
  • Organize inspiring and useful National and Regional Conferences to give you the ideas and tools you need to supercharge your chapters while connecting 1:1 with alumni superstars from across the U.S.
  • Work closely with USJETAA, CLAIR, and JETAA International to tie together our alumni nationwide and connect them with our global network of over 65,000 alumni in 65 countries–starting with the 30th Anniversary JETAA Reunion in DC this summer.
  • Roll out a JETAA “Kenjinkai” program to reconnect alumni to their home prefectures to promote economic and cultural exchange–a great untapped area of JETAA potential
  • Connect alumni with global job and business opportunities by developing partnerships with recruiting agencies and other organizations and leveraging the JETAA network
  • Build on the amazing work of Monica, Cheryl, and Xander to take their accomplishments to the next level!

These pledges try to respond to real needs that I perceive in our chapters. How do we best manage chapter operations? How do we deal with officer burnout and turnover? How do we engage our alumni and keep them active? How do we bridge geographical divides? How do we re-engage our “sempai” alumni who have been back 10+ years? How do we engage the growing number of alumni who prefer to interact virtually rather than in person? How do we help our alumni find quality jobs and develop their careers? How do we develop our own professional and leadership skills?   

Every year for the past five years, I have had the privilege with many of you of seeing these same “eternal JETAA” questions come up at our JETAA USA National and Regional Conferences. Every year I fly home to my chapter inspired by the many ways that chapters have addressed these issues. And every year I largely disconnect and disappear back into my chapter “bubble.”   

What if we could keep the spirit of the National and Regional Conferences alive throughout the year? What if we could continue to inspire and support each other during the other 360 days of the year? What if we could enable easy year-round access to all of the talented and brilliant officers across our 19 chapters? My vision attempts to enable this dream and I invite you to share with me even more ways we can make the “spirit of NatCon” a 365/year thing.

In driving this vision, I will draw upon my 10 years of passionate involvement as a leader in JETAA. This includes the past 3 amazing years leading JETAANC with my team as President and 7 years before that as Vice President and Communications Director. Over those years I have developed and maintained a wide network of close friendships with officers across the country, as well as with the CRs, the JETAA USA Advisory Board, CLAIR New York and Tokyo, Steven Horowitz of, and Laurel and Paige at USJETAA.

One of my proudest accomplishments in JETAA was participating in the Working Group that laid the groundwork for USJETAA. I was humbled to have the opportunity to get to know the CRs of 11 countries through my participation in the JET Programme Satogaeri Project. I will also draw upon my 17 years of professional experience, including 4 years as a JET in Kumamoto and 13 years as a Marketing Manager, currently at PricewaterhouseCoopers.   

I thank you sincerely for the opportunity to share my vision for JETAA USA here with you and welcome your ideas and questions at mark(dot)frey[at]jetaanc(dot)org. I look forward to the chance to work with you to launch the next 30 years of JETAA by activating the power of our network!

Selected CV:

To view Mark Frey’s CR Endorsements, click HERE or see below:

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