Conference notes

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 2017 JETAA USA National Conference
Hosted by JETAADC
August 3-6, 2017

Thursday, August 3rd: NatCon Day One
By Renata Janney, JETAADC JET Talks Co-chair 
 
9:38     Acronyms by Monica Yuki
 US JETAA- We were elected as your country representatives. We work together. We represent JET Alumni, we work to help with conventions, and we help with officer problems. We’ve held most of the positions, and we’ve seen every problem you can have. Feel free to reach out to all of us. We are funded by CLAIR, which helps us travel to chapters, buy equipment, etc. Country reps represent US to international chapters. USJETAA is a 501c3 non-profit umbrella organization. It supports us in every way. Became a non-profit 2.5 years ago. Happy to have Laurel here and Paige. They work so hard to write grants and get money, and the more money they get, the more they can disperse.
JETAA International – Xander Peterson is international chair
MOFA & CLAIR – support us

9:46     JETAA Chapter Introductions

  • JETAADC: Crab-flavored chips
  • JETAA NY: Brooklyn baked goods & New York Candy-flavored, pop rocks
  • New England: Boston Taffy
  • Southeast- Pecan clusters
  • Mid-South: Crawfish and Voodoo-flavored potato chips
  • Florida (Miami): Chocolate-covered coconut patties
  • Chicago: Chicago Mix?
  • Heartland: Russell Stover boxes (Made in KC)
  • Texoma: Soaps
  • Rocky Mountain: Local Taffy
  • Pacific Northwest: Tea, Taffy, Salsa pretzels
  • Portland: Tea (made in Portland)
  • NorCal: Ghirardelli Chocolates
  • SoCal: Spicy Mango Mexican candy
  • Hawaii: Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts
  • Alaska: Salmon Jerky
  • Great Lakes: Sanders Caramels
  • Minneapolis: Salted nut rolls and maple goodies
  • Music City: Chocolate Candy and Moonpies
  • Canada: Chocolate from Canada and Oh! Canada M&Ms
  • CLAIR: Japanese sweets!  And Senbei!  And Manju!  And Chocolate!

10:05    “GIA is Changing and Why You Should Care” by Matt Gillam

Two points in particular

  1. Types of GIA we provide, which can be confusing:  Basic GIA vs Normal GIA

“Basic GIA” is a base amount 100,000 yen per chapter for your administrative costs- paper, copies, mailing, etc.  We give this to all chapters equally for admin and operating costs.
Note: Please hold on to receipts for all money you spend!  If you’re supporting members or JET Program, we’ll fund it within the limits we have. Ask Matt if you have questions about funding.

“Normal GIA” is for your activities and should ideally be about promoting Japan tourism, sister-city relations, and exchanges with Japanese communities.  We also want to promote Japanese

  1. We get a block amount every year and we’ll ask you to submit requests, then we look at factors and decide what the final amount is.  If your chapter is trying to be more active, feel free to ask for more money.  If you can’t support much activity, don’t apply for it.  We hope you apply for both Basic GIA and Normal GIA.
  • Country Rep Grant & Aid:  If you host a country rep, apply for country rep funding along with chapter funding.  Any of you who might get Country Reps in the coming year, keep this in mind.  We’ve aligned the country rep and fiscal process together.  Country reps- we provide 10,000 yen per chapter, divided among country reps.  This is the money we give so reps can travel to conferences.
  • We are also providing NatCon GIAs:  For conferences, we provide multi-chapter conference GIA.  Basic support is 200,000 yen, and this is money for venues and materials costs. Chapter GIA goes to the host chapter.  We fund CLAIR Reception separately. Reception funding has its own sources. We pay up to two lunches and we try to cover meals and accommodations.
  • We still have $4,000 left for the additional 30th anniversary funding. If you’d like to go home with momentum, let us know if you want to do an event connected to this convention/ reunion. The thing you have to remember is that you have to complete the event and submit all documentation/receipts to CLAIR by February 23, 2018 so they can process it by the end of the fiscal year.
  • Furusato Program Participants: CLAIR will be holding the Furusato Program again in the fall, two groups, please keep an eye on that.
  • We’ve redone application fees for GIA.  Similar form for 30thanniversary activity funding.  Then the final report forms.  Form is the same, usage change has the new format.  All of these are very similar, but it’s much easier to fill in.  Let us know if you have any issues with that. Applying for funding is a rough job, and we appreciate the work you put in. We try to make it as easy as possible, and we want to make your life easier.

10:22    “Security and Accountability with Chapter Funds” by Tim Roller, John Branderhort

Ethics of Fund Management: For this presentation, let’s go with the nickname: “OAFs”- Officers with Access to Funds. This could be the chapter treasurer, president, or anyone just receiving chapter funds. OAFs need accountability. Also applies to officers who wear multiple hats (ex. President/Treasurer, Vice President/Secretary).

Relations with OAFs: officers should be held to the same accountability levels, have complete transparency, laid out in bylaws. Officers should remain polite. Make rules and procedures, make them widely available, and explained in detail how it works to new officers. No officer should feel singled out- if they feel singled out, they could be doing something wrong.

Warning signs: Refusing to show account details. Refusal to provide receipts, vague descriptions of purchases, senpai/kohai “this is how it’s always done”, lack of communication. Last-minute rushes to complete paperwork. Getting offended when questions are asked about funds- it’s reasonable to ask questions. Undermining other people involved.

How to deal: Try to discuss the issues generally, not forceful at first. Voice concerns to other officers esp. other OAFs. Do not approach issues combatively (misunderstandings occur). If you can’t address, don’t give up. Contact JETAA National Representative (there is precedent). Contact CLAIR, Matthew Gillam, other staff

Matt Gillam: We ask for three officer signatures to prevent this kind of thing from happening. We can only police your chapter funding.

Tim: Be aware, and don’t let them copy their signature. JETs are honorable, but people can try to rationalize their actions.

Q: Internet banking is our friend, we have three people on our account, so everyone has control.  Internet banking- everyone has a password to monitor it.
A: Right
Q: Can you get your money refunded?

A: CLAIR can try to act as an arbiter but we rely on chapter officers/members to report suspicious activity. If you don’t tell us anything, there’s nothing we can do. CLAIR only has jurisdiction over GIA funds though. Other options are to go through small claims court, but you don’t want it to get to that point.

A: MOFA funding is very strictly handled.

Q: How can this happen?
A: Poor record-keeping, access to funds, loose oversight.

Q: Is there criminal liability?
A: If you go that route, there’s more of a chance it’ll shut things down completely.
T: Small-claims court is the usual route. I came because I want you to understand that this is a big deal and how this effects people.  Keep up all the hard work.
G: Don’t be afraid to come to us.

10:48    “JETAANC Case Study: Treasurer Challenges and Solutions” by John Branderhort

Treasurer Role is hard to fill.  Make sure people know it’s important.  It helps if they have a finance background.

Problem: Treasurer is checked out, so we don’t get a good transition. Solution: make sure multiple people have access. Have a larger bank working with you esp. if you have a multi-state chapter.

Problem: Hard to retain institutional knowledge. Make sure board & executive committee are pretty involved with each other.  Have documentation and a system that everyone knows and uses.

Problem: Possibly using non-profit status. Use calendar updates to make sure you know when fiscal items are due.

Problem: GIA Receipts are gone or missing when deadline approaches. We need to keep in receipts- have a process!

Problem: everyone is a volunteer and communication is not good.  Make a culture/ set expectations. Use multiple forms of communication, e-mail, have online meetings.

Problem: Officer burnout. Regroup and reset priorities, don’t promise more than you can deliver.  Take the pulse on how everyone is doing with tasks.

Ask for volunteers, keep lists of people, screen your volunteers, check-in and support volunteers, do many things to appeal to different interests, don’t dump things on volunteers, don’t expect volunteers to read your mind, don’t burn bridges, don’t schedule last minute, don’t do more than you can manage.

Q: Do you have forms that work for you?
A: Yes, we have some google forms.  We’re doing that as we try to grow subchapters.
Q: Best practices?
A: Sit down for strategic planning for the upcoming quarter.
FL: Doing quarterly meetings.  Setting a hard deadline for the next quarterly meeting.
Great Lakes: Officer-specific e-mails.  Everyone can step in, read everything, and start things up.
Seattle: When February rolls around, we can click on that label and start for reporting.
A: We have a format for passwords so we can get into everyone’s accounts etc.
Rocky Mountain: No guidance at first.  No access to original Google Drive.  We made a new Google Drive, and the password is all shared.

11:20    “Building Your Chapter Nest Egg” by Monica Yuki

Nest Egg = Reserve Funds i.e. money you can spend however you want. With your own reserve funds, you won’t be restricted to MOFA/ GIA guidelines. Helps you plan for future- planning for the future, scholarships, chapter growth.

Where does it comes from?
Fund-raising, membership, grants, interest, strategic event planning
Event categories: Large-scale out-of-box ideas, ways to strengthen membership, GIA funded event, partnerships with other organizations, personal interest events.

Goal: make $5/person attending the event. Make cost-sharing between CLAIR and Alumni.

Have mix of cheap member-grabbing events and big events as well.

Ideas: Apply for a grant, raffles of donated prizes, Amazon Smile, Happy Hour supporting JETAA, end-of-year donations, 50/50 raffle, merchandising

Case Studies: JETAANY- we host a boat cruise, not GIA Funded, but we get a private boat and over-sell tickets slightly. Ticket price was $10, we charge $15. Giant softball tournament, we have companies pay to play in the tournament, that’s a money-maker. Curry event at an international festival, we made $350 to support subchapters in NJ.

NorCal: Most fundraising goes to scholarships. It can be hard to get people to donate to us.  With the scholarship, it connects them more to doing something good. Our scholarship fund has $15,000.  It’s a branding exercise- it’s an emotional connection to being a future JET. The kids are talented, and they’re all deserving. When you’re able to show their picture, it warms their heart. They see how great it is. They can come to the departure reception as well.
Q: What do you use scholarships for?
A: College tuition, they need to intend to study something Japan-related. It’s not much, but it’s getting more competitive every year. We have great relationships with Japanese teachers in the Bay area, so it’s a way to get to know the teachers
Q: How many do you give out each year?
A: Two usually, depending on how much we raise.

SoCal: We got a big member donation.  Helps us increase assets every year.  NatCon was expensive.

Minnesota: We have one big event every year- we partner with Como for a lantern festival, and we have a booth there. We leverage funding sources. MOFA pays for registration and volunteer tickets. CLAIR helps us buy supplies. We sell kakigori at the booth. Lantern festival expanding. We made our operating budget in a day. We hope to do that again this year.

11:42    Breakout sessions

Some ideas for fund-raising:

  • take advantage of festivals, sell coffee jelly/ Japanese items at stalls,
  • have a specific event in mind for MOFA funding (MOFA needs lots of reporting, best time to apply is in February),
  • try Groupon for good deals,
  • member donations,
  • bring in partners for hosting large events (like manufacturers),
  • making an e-book to sell (after JET career guide),
  • raffles for fundraising,
  • put on large events where you can sell things,
  • tiered ticketing (early bird special),
  • promotion codes,
  • use skills in your chapter,
  • reach out to businesses,
  • foster long-term partnerships,
  • date auctions,
  • karaoke contest,
  • potlucks/ cooking classes,
  • career fairs/ job fairs (offer headshots),
  • invite larger com

13:15    “Strengthening Leadership: Building a Board” by Brenda McKinney

Objective: ID-ing and growing leadership qualities.

Leaders… inspire, trust & empower team, demonstrate integrity, listen, clarify responsibility, enforce accountability, recognize team work, provide a vision of success

Good follower: Take on more than asked, listen and ask for clarification, team player, meet deadlines, strive for excellence

Work on activating members- create new titles so people can start to feel empowered. Capturing returnees. Work with alumni to cultivate leadership.

Ten skills: 

  1. Learn about your fellow leaders- how do they consume information? How do they communicate? How do they prioritize tasks?
  2. Learn how to communicate at your best.
  3. Learn how to plan effectively- learn how to execute projects, understand project management, be able to translate things into action, get things done.
  4. Create a vision, plan, and map it out- where do you want your chapter 5-10 years from now, research where trends are, what skills/experience will you need? Network, network, network.
  5. Volunteer for the ‘hardest’ assignments, take or support projects that stretch your abilities, look for opportunities in the forefront of key issues, broaden your experiences
  6. Expand skills, experience, knowledge- continuous learning, inside and outside of JET, travel and get to know our city, read regularly, use a wide range of sources.
  7. Understand what the Big Picture is- for JET, JET AA, for your chapter, for your projects, know how you and your chapter fit into the big picture.
  8. Learn about decision-making- don’t be risk-averse, but don’t be reckless, read about how the best leaders do it, know your decision-making style.
  9. Seek out and ask for diverse projects- learn about other chapters and their cultures, learn about domestic and international politics, network network network.
  10. Seek out mentors- learn from those in leadership positions, stay in touch with past senpai/leaders you admire, read key speeches, articles, and news, ask someone you respect to mentor you.

Cultivating leadership/ building a board: Invite people to the table (communication), distributive leadership (organization and funding), documentation (information-sharing), collaborative support (what are other chapters doing?), strengths-finders and other tools (IDing your top five skills)

Next Steps: ID qualities, use your network, organization (start planning, organizing, sharing information now)

13:46   “Strengthening Membership: Seeking New Members & Engaging Current Membership” by Lara Espinoza

Created a JETAA Survival Series: educational training to on-board outgoing JETs. Idea was to encourage Alumni to be active, taking pre-departure preparation to the next level. Empower members who had a bad time. Address concerns departing JETs have head-on.

Year 1: We had an informal coffee meet-up and Mitsuwa Market sweep/ did a scavenger hunt (just planned it with newsletters, fb, and word-of-mouth).

Year 2: 10-event survival series- meet & greet, coffee kaiwa, breakout Q&A, Mitsuwa Market sweep, 6 meet-ups in Chicagoland area. Accessibility, variety, expanding beyond the grocery store! Always invite friends and family! Provide talks about niche topics- hospitals, marriage, etc.

Year 3: Reformatted series based on feedback and alumni resources. Added Happy Hour as a weekday event, coordinating with consulate’s weekly Japanese classes for new JETs.

Year 4: Revisited old ideas- sento introduction, meet & greet revamp, last call online Q&A, encouraged new alumni and many recently returned JETs to participate.

Application: Identify a team/committee (brainstorm ideas and encourage ownership), Evaluate annual resources (build partnerships with people and places), Plan the timeline and action items (tracking and documenting data and activities)

Ideas to get started: In-person events big or small (coffee talks), connecting digitally (social media groups), writing content and resources (survival guide for new JETs), build relationships locally

Planning for the Future: Assess data and learn from past efforts, ask for and apply feedback to current and future projects, room for improvement (never be afraid to change things up)

Organizational Longevity: Activate inactive members (a meaningful outlet to share honest dialogue on JET experiences, creating opportunities for constructive interactions and proactive solutions), Opportunity for recently returned JETs to get involved, puts alumni chapter in front of Outgoing JETs (encourages future participation)

14:31   “Strengthening Sub-Chapters: Monterey Bay Case Study” John Hayato and Kai Wiesner-Hank

Monterey Bay founded April 2016- JETs contacted JETAANC, started August 2016. Based at Middlebury Institute for International Studies (large JET alumni population, JET Alumni scholarship). Around 10 active members (10-50 event attendees), semi-regular meetings (pairs with other groups on MIIS Campus).

Activities: Movie Screening & Discussion, Dinner and meet-ups (Nihongo-dake dinner, takoyaki party, karaoke outings, potluck), JET Arigatou Campaign, Assist at JETAANC events & consulate-run JET events

Strengths: Stable JET Alum population, events kept social and at a manageable size, centralized group makes planning/ implementation quicker, direct communication with consulate, Japanese professors at MIIS help ensure continuity

Thoughts on building a subchapter: 2+ motivated founders, centralized location (look at universities etc.), university/community/ consulate connections, manageable event size, independent action (does its own thing, pretty self-motivated), support from main chapter

Contact Amy Russo russoae@gmail.com

15:17   Breakout session (divided by group)

Distance leadership, assigning tasks over a wide area, managing a large number of officers, find motivated individuals to start subchapters, cross-advertise with events, what the best communication mediums are, encouraging meeting attendance

Have committees for outreach/fundraising, remember to trust and let others make decisions, make sure you get people who are just returning, but don’t lose relationship with well-established people, diversify. Plan for long-term and contextualize what you do. Get a one-year calendar down, reaching out to other communities. Capture returning JETs, make a survival guide for returning JETs, be as inclusive as possible, have a new returnee pair with an outgoing, and have that new returnee pair with a 10+, diversify events as much as possible. Make a ‘Friends of JET’ region. Provide needs for your region- be aware of what your region needs.

Fund professional development to help leaders, work on team-building.  Delegations.  Exit interviews/ succession planning, mentorship/recruitment.  Communicate consistently with members, engage volunteers/ do volunteer appreciation, partner with relevant organizations, provide support to sub-chapters and make sure they feel connected.

In monthly newsletter, we’ll put out applications for positions, invite members to board meetings, leave a paper trail for future leaders, make surveys of what people want (offer a gift card), reach out to current JETs if you know they’re returning soon, get e-mails, find a way to reach out to the JET Program Coordinator.  Challenge is engaging families- meet up with other organizations for Undokai, picnics, etc., place flyers in cultural areas

Give small responsibilities at first, then add more, make things are organized internally, be transparent, keep media outreach up-to-date and engaging.  Use Eventbrite and “GuestList” as well as Facebook, capitalize on Friends of JET.

Consider having a lot of events.  Invite people from other chapters.  Cater to local chapters.  Include links to other chapters.  Make a starter kit of good graphics, make Google Drives public. Build transitions into election timelines, empowering members, have contingency plans, visit sub-chapters yearly

Friday, August 4th: NatCon Day Two

By Erin Knisley, JETAADC JET Talks Co-chair

 9:05am Call to Order: Mark Frey welcomed attendees

  • Recap of August 3rd discussions (how to strengthen chapters, financials, increase membership numbers, how to build community)
  • Mark thanked CLAIR for providing Mark and team the ability to visit “Can Con” in Canada for JETAA
  • Introduction of JETAA Canada representatives

9:09am JETAA Canada Update

  • Greg and Laura shared highlights of Canada Con, including an overview of events (with photos), agenda for attendees, and how they built community amongst attendees while discussing JETAA topics.
    • Examples of keeping the convention experience unique: axe throwing, taiko, convention t-shirts for all participants, chapter presentations
  • Canada Con overview:
    • 1st National Conference held in North America in Edmonton, Canada.
    • 7 chapters, 4 consulates. Largest chapters in Toronto and Vancouver
    • Canada sent 150 JETs to Japan in 2017. What followed was a discussion of the geographic difficulties and realities faced by prospective Canadian JETs, how it affects interest/application numbers (due to distance to consulates/interview sites), as well as how geography affects JETAA membership and involvement in the Canadian chapters.
    • Questions: how to gain engagement, shout outs to cities further away from the main chapter centers to increase numbers, connect with other chapters for multi-chapter events

 9:34am JETAA International Update

  • JETAA International roots firmly based in the United States, expanding outwards and growing engagement across the globe
  • In 1989, JETAAI was established with bylaws similar to AJET and CLAIR
  • 1st International Conference held in 1995 (before this date, JETAAI was only chapter based. The International Conference provided opportunity to engage as a ‘full board’ of delegates
  • Funding for JETAAI vs. 1.0 was cut and the group faded away. Later, Vs. 2.0 was born.
  • Stephen Horowitz created JETWIT International
  • JETAAI 2.0 learned from Canadian members and aimed to build itself into a full Board organization. 2.0 included a Chair, Vice Chair, Webmaster, Country Reps from all participant countries, as well as a Board of Advisors (using JETAA bylaws). The main organization has a similar mission and goals to the individual JETAA chapters. In addition, its overarching goal is to give JET Alumni a way to connect with alumni from around the world and providing chapterless JETs (in countries where forming JETAA groups is difficult) a ‘home base’ chapter. JETAAI served a secondary purpose of making CLAIR’s job easier.

 Xander Peterson (Chair of JETAAI) welcomed to the stage to share his thoughts

  • Who is JETAAI?
    • 17 countries, 19 members with a Board of Advisors providing insight and wisdom to help govern the board’s decisions. 4 Board of Advisor members, close contact with CLAIR and AJET.
  • Where is JETAAI?
    • Across the United States (physical), digitally available across the globe (website, FB, etc) in order to engage with countries where some organizations are not welcome (ex. China)
  • What is JETAAI?
    • “Google group but with bylaws”
    • JETAAI is a clearinghouse for those alumni without chapters, helping to grow individual JETAA chapters and connect them, while serving in a closer capacity to CLAIR and JETAA groups globally. It is not a parent organization (does not exhibit bureaucratic authority over the chapters), but a facilitator for those groups when called upon. It also helps to ensure that the ‘language issue’ is not an issue (ex. delegate whose first language is not English, but speaks fluent Japanese so JETAAI ensure a translator is around, or send e-mails in English and Japanese so that all group members can engage).
    • At recent JETAAI Meeting in Tokyo, members discussed how we can diversity the JET application pool, held a mug exchange and candy exchange.
    • Excited to support the Furusato Vision Project and hopes it continues
    • Introduced the 2017 CLAIR video contest with $1K travel voucher prize
    • JET Streams articles
    • Brainstorm on helping how to support JETs
    • What’s next?
      • 2019 with the Rugby World Cup and Tokyo 2020 Olympics
      • Continue to establish new JETAA chapters worldwide
      • Establish ‘home’ for chapterless alumni
      • KenJETkai—connect with home prefectures as a way to strengthen JET ties, feel involved, grow awareness of our Japanese homes
    • Calls to Action
    • Follow on social media, website, podcast “After JET”
    • Send in logo/mascot ideas for JETAAI
    • Introduce JETAAI to JET alumni in countries without representatives
    • Thinking big, thinking global—send your ideas

10:10 USJETAA Update with Paige and Laurel

  • USJETAA is an independent non-profit organization with the goal to support US chapters
  • Introduction of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (focus for JETAA/USJETAA) grant for JE$T chapters to develop programs and create new event programs to increase membership. (Joy Champloux, current Sasakawa employee, provided additional insight).
    • Application deadline 9/5/2017, grantees notified by 9/22/2017
    • All programs must be completed by January 2018 to keep in line with Japanese fiscal year
    • Application is available on the USJETAA website
    • Enable JET chapters to pursue new programs or enhance current activities that would otherwise be prohibited by lack of funds/budget.
    • In 2016, 8 proposals for 7 chapters funded by the Sasakawa grant in amounts ranging from $200-$2K
  • Mentorship program to help JETAA chapters with program planning, consulting on programs, community outreach, building a membership base, establishing a Board of Directors, nonprofit status, etc.
    • In 2017 Laurel visited JETAA Pittsburgh (subchapter of NY) and JETAA Florida. During the visit, they held a session to which over 70+ people attended, to discuss strategies about how to move forward programmatically or with establishing a Board; what are the chapters facing in their home areas, issues, and other questions.
  • Introduced USJETAA Webinar series “JET Toolbox” (available on USJETAA website)
    • The webinar features JET alumni and experts in their fields speaking on various topics. Ex: Engaging a Broader Membership Base, How to Obtain 501(c)(3) status, Effective Program Implementation. USJETAA welcomes ideas for future topics, or recommended speakers
  • US Embassy in Tokyo/USJETAA have partnered to establish micro-grants for current American JETs abroad. The grants purpose is to provide funding resources to make lessons fun and engage in cultural exchange lessons otherwise difficult in their schools due to budget or time constraints. Laurel asked JET Alumni to spread the word to departing JETs and JET friends still overseas.

10:36   Let’s Work Together!

  • All participants engaged in sharing of events/ideas used in their chapters in a brainstorming session.
  • JETAA DC discussed it’s unique program, JET Talks that invites JET alumni and friends of JETs to participate events led by featured alumni or cultural expert 3-4 times per year. Specific examples shared included ramen night, taiko session, and a yukata wearing lesson open to the public.
  • Other ideas discussed included:
    • Career Fairs/events: Colorado did 14 (remote) career counselling sessions for JET alumni with professional career counselors. The system worked extraordinarily well and was also useful for JETs preparing to depart Japan back to the United States to help reassure them and bolster confidence.
    • Webinars
      • Chapters work together to host webinars over Skype, Facebook Live, or digital platforms with other chapters across their region or the US.
      • Pros: Location is flexible, not pinned to one place. Share, archive, and repurpose lectures and other talks from individual chapters to a broader JETAA audience. Ability to embed links and resources for all viewers/listeners.
      • Challenges: Time differences can be a challenge. How to plan/promote far enough out to engage the largest audience possible? Finding an appropriate setting to host. Photo/Image release forms—are they necessary and the challenges they can pose. What’s trending—what do viewers want to see?
      • Food for thought:
        • Format: Single vs. dual (or panel) presenters. Is it moderated, Q+A, or a hybrid?
        • Test: Always test the sound, lighting, agenda/flow, Wi-Fi and all equipment beforehand. Arrive early to make sure everything is working day of.
        • For the future: Pay attention to archiving capabilities!
        • Webinars in Action: JETAA Toolbox JETAADC webinars hosted with USAJOBS/POM on professional development, bi-monthly via Skype. Peace Corpse.
      • Sister Cities
        • How do you establish a sister city in Japan/US?
        • How do you establish a sister city/sister state?
        • USJETAA grant to establish sister cities?

11:35am KenJETkai – introduced by Mark Frey

  • How can you have a ‘Kumamoto moment” for your own home prefecture?
  • Established as a way to reconnect JETs in their home countries with their ‘home prefecture’ in Japan where they spent time on JET. Goal is to strengthen and create connections.
  • “Satogeari Program/Project” of 2016 (continuing forward thanks to the success of the first project). How can we make it into a sustainable program?
  • How would you map your home prefecture and current home state? How can you exchange and collaborate?
  • Join the KenJETkai Facebook group, create your own home prefecture group and link it to the KenJETkai group page. Like and follow the current FB page. (Try to also connect with the kaichou of your home prefecture).
  • Advertise on the main page to gather followers, or to have other JET alumni from your home prefecture join your page. Start posting on your newly formed page 1/wk and ask people to share.

12:05pm Closure of Day 2, JET 30 Reunion Overview

JET30 Reunion (Friday PM – Saturday All day)

 Sunday, August 6th: NatCon Day Three

By Erin Knisley, JETAADC JET Talks Co-chair

 9:15am Results of Thursday Night Scavenger Hunt

  • Joy Champloux of JETAA DC shared the results from the Scavenger Hunt 30th Reunion activity including winning photo images and results. Team 1 was the winner!

9:35 CLAIR Update on JET

  • Fukukawa-san (of CLAIR) shared highlight’s on CLAIR’s efforts to help JETs find careers post-JET, information on the 2020 Olympics and Tokyo’s mission to bring in 19K volunteers, and shared on current initiatives for remembering JETs memorials.
  • Careers post-JET in Japan
    • 20% of JETs respond they want to stay in Japan post-JET.
    • CLAIR hosting career fairs in Tokyo to help connect JETs with potential employers and internships, working to open networks to job opportunities for alumni in Japan. Fukukawa-san requested that JETAA continue to support their alumni (abroad and at home) in their career hunting and professional development.
  • 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Para-Olympics
    • Host town initiative (250 towns currently registered to serve as host towns to Olympic-goers
    • Cultural and sports exchange
    • 19K volunteers to be recruited, with recruitment beginning next summer (summer 2018)
  • JET memorials and remembering 3/11
    • Iwata University remembering fallen JETs (see document shared by Fukukawa-san for more details) through Monty Dickinson Hall in the Monty Dickinson Language Center (Alaska)
    • Taylor Anderson Libraries as memorial to fallen JET Taylor Anderson
    • Building trust, tourism back to Fukushima which is still suffering from suspicions by foreign markets and buyers due to the Fukushima nuclear plant issue despite Fukushima having lower radiation levels than some of the areas who have stopped accepting products from Fukushima. Fukukawa-san asked JET alumni to bring awareness to the prefecture to help rebuild trust, interest, and tourism for Fukushima’s economy
  • Mark Frey thanked Fukukawa-san and CLAIR for their continued support of the JET program and for joining us at the JET National Conference.

9:50 Keynote Speaker Gary Mukai

  • Mark Frey introduced Gary Mukai, Director of Stanford Program on International and Cross-Culture Education.
  • Mukai thanked JET 30, JETAADC, USJETAA and all associated groups for the invitation. He introduced his topic and included mentions of his personal history and experience to provide tangible examples. He also discussed the interdependence between the United States and Japan and how it needs to remain in the forefront of our goals.
  • Mukai focused on 7 main topics:
    • The importance of diversity of JET participants and how that diversity contributes to cultural exchange
      • Alumni’s role in helping new JETs develop empathy for their students and the culture they are going to be/now are part of during their stay on JET.
      • This empathy will help new JETs be mindful and more understanding of the connection with multi-diversity of their students in the classroom (ex. awareness of the increased number of ‘hafu, half-Japanese students, half-Korean, half-Chinese, etc. students and the importance of showing empathy to these students who face their own questions of cultural-differences.
    • Technology
      • Mukai commented on the role of technology and how it could possibly change JET teaching instruction. For example, synchronous talks over Skype across multiple classrooms (or with overseas classrooms in the JETs home country).
    • JET Program Coordinators
      • JET Program Coordinators play an essential role and have great influence in establishing uniformity in interviews for JET applicants, developing alumni-led orientations, etc. Mukai suggested JET Program Coordinators coordinate annual meetings across the United States to help with the above.
    • Soft-power
      • Mukai discussed the benefits of soft-power, how it can add value through JET to the United States-Japan relationship. By building cultural understanding and connection the awareness spreads, increasing JET numbers and building more trust between the countries through JET teaching and cultural exchange.
      • Mukai urged JET alumni to speak about the soft-power role each JET has and how they can use their soft-power to spread the word, awareness, and importance of the US-Japan relationship.
    • Reaching future JETs
      • How do we inform US high school students about the JET program and increase JET applicant numbers in JET in the US and around the world? Mukai shared the example that JETAA UNC grants scholarships to high school students to encourage them to join JET and further the exchange.
    • Getting involved
      • The importance of engaging new JET alumni and re-engaging past JET alumni. Satogaeri, conferences, after JET conferences—other ways to keep JETs involved and active in the JET conversation.
    • Collaboration
      • Mukai urged alumni chapters to form partnerships with amplifying organizations to grow awareness not only of Japan, but the JETAA name, mission, and purpose. A specific example shared was the Super Global High School program to foster globalized leaders. (MEXT website has information about the Super Global High Schools, as well as Super Science High Schools. Such high schools encourage future JETs to also teach classes in their individual study backgrounds).
      • Mukai concluded with the question of where will JET be 30 more years from now? Especially in the light of proposed reforms, English testing requirements, and what role can JET play and advise for chapter officers.
      • Advice/thoughts for chapter officers
        • Be good listeners, stay in close communication with all members of the Executive committee. For those with 501(c)(3) status, keep in line with bylaws, legal needs, and transparency.
        • Establish a Board liaison for chapter leaders (especially important if you don’t have a full Board). Maintain a clear line of communication on concerns with neighboring chapters.
        • Consider bringing in mentor figures, Board of Advisors, to bring insight and new perspectives on the issues facing JETAA chapters and Boards across the US. Boards of Advisors should be made up of members with varied backgrounds and study focuses, looking beyond JET alumni to find a diversity of professional fields and knowledge.
        • For individual Boards of Directors, make sure the Executive Committees work together and that their work is in line with the mission of the full Board and USJETAA to maintain goals alignment.

10:50am “Reflections on Leadership” with LeighAnn Mastrini (Director, APCO Worldwide)

  • LeighAnn opened with a self-introduction and her experience as the former President of JETAADC, including her goals to make JETAADC more of a professional group/organization, the challenges that came along with the process, and the enjoyment of seeing it reach those goals.
  • LeighAnn led a group activity where she challenged JETAA delegates to write down (and then share with the room) their big dreams of where they hope their own chapters will be in 5 years. A discussion of individual JET chapters followed, as well as sharing individual chapter experiences and challenges on their roads to achieving those future dreams and what they are doing now to pursue them. Ideas shared by the delegates include:
    • Non-profit and Board related: Non-profit status for all chapters; collaboration between regional chapters; upper leadership/Executive Boards connecting monthly or every other month to discuss their chapters focuses; quarterly meeting via Skype for updates and idea sharing; ensuring there is no Board burn out. HR/people opportunities to grow a stronger internal Board structure; inter-chapter discussion of chapter Board policies, procedures and SOPs; establish leadership communication pipeline and information flow; establishing Boards and Boards of Advisors; establish sustainable Board structure
    • Resources: Chapters sharing resources and knowledge of how to grow engagement; building new partnerships; inter-chapter collaboration; utilize local expertise to help with JET alumni professional development HUBs and networking for job opportunities
    • Funding: Achieving financial self-sufficiency; long-term foresight
    • Outreach: Mentor-mentee program between alumni and new/current JETs; volunteering in the community
    • Elevate community presence: building presence in the Japanese/language community—get those groups to come to us with less of us going to them.

11:15am Chapter Pride

  • A selection of chapters shared photos, and successful event ideas with the delegates to stimulate creative event planning for the future.
  • Chicago:
    • Bento Talks: The President of TOTO USA came to the bento event hosted at the consulate and talked to participants.
    • Off the Beaten Path
    • Japanese Reading Club
  • Hawaii: Joy Champloux shared Hawaii updates as the delegates had to leave early to make their flight.
  • Portland:
    • Iron Chef (partnered with local Japanese community for ingredients)
    • Seattle and Portland location swaps for inter-chapter collaboration (sister city association)
  • Texoma:
    • Japan Festival (2 day event) with food, culture, games.
    • Were able to purchase scrolls, promoting outreach.
  • Great Lakes:
    • Job Fair (first annual) held immediately after JET return. The Job Fair included JET alumni, Universities, and a keynote speaker.
  • JET 30:
    • Alaska? Seattle?
    • New JET training, 2 full days regarding teaching/living in Japan highlight sessions and unique experiences

11:45am Everyday NatCon

  • Discussed important takeaways for delegates to share with their Boards and chapters back in their home states/countries including: the collaboration between Canada and the US representatives, the renewed sense of the JET Family thanks to having additional time together (Thurs-Sun).
  • Additional takeaways:
    • Country Reps to organize quarterly meetings, training sessions, subchapters, all presentations across the board to be made live
    • Carry the lessons learned back to delegates’ home chapters; don’t be a roadblock.
    • Each chapter to establish goals and report back on those goals/be held accountable for reaching those goals by the CRs
    • Set SMART goals to get officers to engage more
    • Use social media and the Facebook page to keep connected, strengthen bonds.
    • Post and share the Point of Contact for each chapter to assist with idea flow, discuss previous work/projects (successes, challenges) and continue to more fully share said lessons going forward
    • Individual chapters challenged to get their alumni to join USJETAA.
    • Looking for geographic area/chapter to host the regional conference in 2018 (looking for a host in January or February of 2018) and topics for the conference

12:00pm Closing Remarks and Wakarikai

12:05pm JETAA USA 2017 National Conference Closed

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