The Canada country representative (CR) is the primary point of contact to Canada’s various chapters, and represents our country at the JETAA-International level, as required. See below for further details on the Canada Rep’s responsibilities.
Each chapter submits a vote to the returning officer on behalf of members. Alumni, please let us know by March 27 who you think would be the best rep by voting by email.
Candidate 1: Greg Joughin
I’m Greg Joughin, from JETAABC, and I hope you’ll once again allow me to represent us all as the JETAA Canada country rep.
My platform is pretty simple. I pledge to…
- Continue to take care of the mundane tasks in the background;
- Help prepare for the 2019 CanCon and promote JETAA Canada at NatCon; and
- Stay out of your way (and maybe provide some resources) as you run your chapter.
“Jikoshokai” / Who Am I?
I was an ALT in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, from 1996-1999. In “real life” I’m an engineering project manager—so for me, involvement in JETAA is a rewarding avocation that has nothing to do with my career.
I’ve been actively involved with JETAABC since 2002, and over the past 17 years, I’ve done a little bit of everything: I’ve been president of JETAABC, organizer of three Canada conferences, Canada rep, organizer of JETAA-based dragon boat team trips to Yokohama and Honolulu, and project manager for the first Japan Bowl quiz event held in Canada.
The Canada rep position is fairly bureaucratic. You have to supply CLAIR with information collected from Canadian chapters, and you have to distribute information from CLAIR and JETAA International to the chapters. You’re supposed to attend the Canada Conference, and work together with the organizers and the chapter reps to set the agenda of the conference. You have to manage a small budget, from which your travel expenses are paid. And if things go well, there may be some funds left over to be able to buy some promotional items with JETAA Canada and/or chapter branding.
Given the bulk of the Canada rep responsibilities, in my opinion a good Canada rep should be reliable and boring. I am reliable (involved for 17 years!) and boring (engineer!). For many years, I’ve helped to keep things running smoothly “behind the scenes,” as an unofficial Canadian point of contact for CLAIR in New York, and keeper of the Canada rep election process. I have previously used Canada rep funding to develop our current JETAA Canada website (with web professionals who are alumni), and I still take care of all of the JETAA Canada hosting and domain registrations.
CanCon / NatCon
Over the past few years, JETAA USA and JETAA Canada reps have been invited to each other’s national conferences, which helps both countries continue to build on a great friendship. I have previously used some of the Canada rep budget to help ensure another Canadian—from the chapter that will host the next CanCon—can also attend the USA NatCon (and present the “chapter report” for Canada with me to a genuinely-interested American audience). My existing relationship with CLAIR and the US country reps should maximize our chances of having that happen again this year.
Stay Out of Your Way
I know as well as you do that sometimes it’s hard enough just to get enough people together to organize the modest local event you want to hold, without the burden of additional work at the national level. Which is why I’m not proposing any grand plan to further tax your limited time and resources.
I hope that doesn’t sound lazy and defeatist. On the contrary, it’s meant to be empowering: I have confidence that you know your membership better than I do, and that you’re already working hard creating events and opportunities for yourselves and your members to enjoy. I will be pleased to use Canada rep resources (funding? merch?) to help you make your events better, but otherwise I expect to keep your chapters as free from “administrivia” as possible so you can stay focused on the things you already enjoy doing.
During my lengthy tenure as a member of JETAA Canada, I think I’ve demonstrated an enduring love of Japan and the JET Programme, and that I still enjoy “giving back” by spending time and energy on JETAA events—like you all do.
I hope I’ve provided a decent idea of why I think I’m fit to be Canada rep this year, and what benefit I plan to provide to your chapters during my term.
Thanks for your consideration! With warmest regards,
Candidate 2: Andrew Massey
JETAA Exp: Joined Toronto chapter in 2015; Website Coordinator (2016 – 2019), Treasurer (from 2019). Vision: To create a more career-focused JETAA; to increase professional opportunities for JET alumni. Plan: Networking events; providing community services; consistent and unified branding nation-wide.
My name is Andrew Massey and I want to be the next JETAA Country Representative for Canada.
I live and work in downtown Toronto where I am employed as the Tourism Coordinator for the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). After graduating from the University of Toronto, I was an ALT at a senior high school in Nagasaki Prefecture from 2013 -2015. During my time in Japan, I ran a magazine, was involved with prefectural working committees, and was fortunate to have travelled extensively. This experience has helped me immensely in my current role with the JNTO, particularly when it comes to PR writing, editing, and traveling around the country for travel shows and other cultural events. My unique mix of skills and experience together with the relationships I’ve developed through working with Japanese government organizations makes me an ideal candidate for the next JETAA Canada Rep.
I have been involved with JETAA’s Toronto chapter since returning from Japan in 2015. I have served as JETAA Toronto’s Website Coordinator for the past three years and have lead our ongoing JETAA Toronto Website Revitalization project (launching in April 2019). I am now the incoming Treasurer for the 2019- 2020 year. I have worked closely with the other committee members and the Japanese Consulate in Toronto to plan and run events such as the Pre-Departure Orientation, Returners’ Conference, and our annual Career Round Table event, in addition to participating in many other events over the years.
As an employee of the JNTO, I have had the opportunity to travel across the country for events and have met fellow JET alumni from other chapters. I always strive to provide opportunities for JETAA members by hiring them to work as travel show booth attendants in Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa. As Canada Rep, I’m certain I can do more to further JETAA as an organization, to the benefit of all members.
My vision for JETAA Canada is twofold. 1) I want JETAA to be a more career-focused organization with an emphasis on professional networking and skill development, and 2) I want to see JETAA transition into a service provider role for Japanese government organizations and the Japanese business community here in Canada. In short, I want to provide JET Alumni with more opportunities to capitalize on their JET experience through meaningful employment while still maintaining their ties to Japan in a professional capacity. By this, I mean getting more JET alumni into Japanese or Japan-related businesses.
In the Toronto chapter, we are already laying the groundwork for this transition with two initiatives:
First, since 2013, we have held our annual Career Round Table, a professionally focused workshop event for which we invite JET Alumni who are further along in their career to speak, provide advice on career progression, and share insight into various industries. It has met with great success thus far and I would like to see that success repeated in other chapters across Canada.
Second, we are in the later stages of our Website Revitalization Project, which aims to build new website resources that can provide services to JET Alumni, Japanese government organizations, and the Japanese business community. Namely, we are looking to create a volunteer pool, job posting section, media library, and an interactive, annotated map of Japan-related businesses and services in Toronto.
By providing more professional networking opportunities for JET Alumni, increasing our online presence, and increasing our overall usefulness to the Japanese and Japanese-Canadian communities, we hope to elevate the reputation of JETAA and strengthen the organization overall.
To implement my vision of strengthening JETAA Canada, my planned course of action is to 1) using the collective experience of JETAA Toronto to support other chapters in developing more career-focused events and resources, 2) establish a national volunteer pool that can be can be utilized by Japanese government organizations and businesses, and 3) introduce consistent branding across all chapters. In essence, I will treat JETAA as a brand representing integrity, community, and international goodwill, and intend to work toward getting that message out to external stakeholders Canada-wide in a way that yields tangible results for our membership.
Tagline: Once you’re a JET, the sky’s the limit.