History of JCI Galway
JCI (Junior Chamber International) Galway began on February 10th 1961 with our first President Thomas McDonagh, just a few short years after JCI Ireland was formed in 1957.
JCI Galway has been a highly successful chapter with every decade in making an impact on the local community and International, within recent times winning the Worlds Best Chapter in 2006. In it's lifetime there has been over 3,000 past members of JCI Galway.
Brief History of Junior Chamber International
With over 150,000 members world-wide, across 5,000 local chapters and located in 100+ countries, JCI is the leading nonprofit organization of young active citizens age 18 to 40 who are engaged and committed to creating impact in their communities.
Founding a Movement
By the age of 18, Henry Giessenbier Jr. formed the Herculaneum Dance Club, a social outlet for the community’s youth. Unknown at the time, Giessenbier was laying the foundation for what would become a global movement. On October 13, 1915, the first JCI Movement was founded when 32 men joined to form the Young Men’s Progressive Association (YMPCA) at the Mission Inn located in their hometown of St. Louis, USA.
St. Louis Chamber of Commerce Emblem
The Young Men’s Progressive Association members received acknowledgement from the broader community, however on November 30, 1915 official recognition of the organization was granted after enrolling as a member of the Mayor’s Conference of Civic Organizations. One year later, the YMPCA became known as the Junior Citizens and soon the Junior Chamber of Commerce, after affiliating with the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce.
The First National Convention
In June 1920, with 41 cities present, the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce held their first official convention, where their first constitution was adopted and the first President, Henry Giessenbier Jr., was elected. Giessenbier closed the ceremony with his expressed goals for the organization: “We have definitely launched a great institution into the world of progress. Let us hope that from this institution will emerge citizens of loftier ideals, higher privileges, greater opportunities, purer patriotism, broader ideas of service and greater capacity for happiness.” — Founder, Henry Giessenbier, Jr.
Aviation Expansion and Voting Participation
In 1926, after gaining Charles A. Lindbergh, commercial aviation pioneer, as a member, the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce pursued to expand aviation throughout the United States by working to establish and promote airport construction, encourage air mail usage and mark towns for easy identification from the air. That same year, the Get Out the Vote campaign was initiated in which the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce became the first national organization to conduct a systematic campaign to educate citizens of their civic duty to vote. As a result, 12 million more individuals voted in the 1928 election than in 1924.
Inter-American Congress in Mexico City
On December 11, 1944, the Inter-American Congress was held in Mexico City. Representatives from the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama gathered to officially establish Henry Giessenbier's 24-year-old civic association as an international organization, Junior Chamber International.
The First JCI World Congress
In 1946, with their new international presence recognized, the first JCI World Congress took place in Panama City, and included the adoption of a provisional Constitution.
Partnerships Connecting Young People
JCI members partnered with Pan American Airlines during the 14th JCI World Congress to connect young active citizens with JCI members from around the world.
JCI Creed Outlines Fundamental Values
Written by C. William Brownfield, the JCI Creed, a six-line statement of the beliefs and principles of the JCI Movement, was officially adopted in 1948 uniting individual members across the world.
Exemplifying the value of brotherhood, JCI’s first international campaign launched in 1954. Operation Brotherhood was developed through collaborating with the United Nations to support refugees fleeing communism in Vietnam. The campaign included large-scale fundraising efforts that raised US $1 million, assisted more than 730,000 individuals through health and wellness programs and created more than 350 community living spaces for refugees.
In 1965, Project Concern was started to administer dental and primary care to underprivileged individuals in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Mexico and the Appalachian Mountains in the United States. While the program grew internationally in 1965, it was started by JCI Hong Kong in 1962, spreading to other National Organizations before its international adoption.
Opportunities for Women
Throughout the 1970’s, membership growth among women soared and in 1971 the first female National President was elected in Nepal.
JCI and the United Nations
In 1954, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) granted JCI Special Consultative status, officially defining the supportive relationship between JCI and the UN. In the photo above, 1981 JCI President Gary Nagao visited with the UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim at the United Nations to discuss the long-standing partnership between the two organizations.
Peaceful Solutions led JCI
Starting in the 1980’s, organizational themes focused heavily on equality, internationalism and world peace in response to civil conflicts, assassination attempts and acts of terror as well as increasing global inflation and an oil and energy crisis. At the 1982 JCI World Congress in Seoul, South Korea, delegates skipped lunch to raise funds and support for disadvantaged populations on the North and South Korean border.
Peace and Literacy for Children
The first Earth Run at the 1986 JCI World Congress promoted UNICEF and “Global Peace for Children.” Later, in the 1990s JCI officially established a partnership with UNICEF based on the organizations’ mutual commitment to protect and support children. In another project dedicated to child development, members of JCI Hong Kong established the first children’s library and provided mobile libraries to the Social Welfare Office in 1986.
JCI Supports Fall of the Berlin Wall
In 1989, JCI Presidents signed "The Independent" describing the fall of the Berlin Wall and presented it to JCI Germany.
JCI Day at the United Nations
Throughout the 1990’s, JCI and its long-time partner the United Nations organized JCI Day annually on December 11th at the UN to educate young people on global challenges and how their history of cooperation can inspire local collaborations.
JCI Celebrates 50 Years of International Action
Half a century after the JCI Movement expanded internationally, JCI celebrated its 50th anniversary. JCI leadership blows out candles to celebrate this momentous occasion. Other celebrations included publishing a JCI Golden Anniversary Book to commemorate 50 years of history since founding internationally in 1944.
JCI World Headquarters Relocates to City of its Founding
On November 30, 2002, JCI stakeholders attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new location of the JCI World Headquarters. After nearly 50 years of being located in Tulsa, Miami or Coral Gables, USA, the headquarters relocated back to the city where the JCI Movement was founded, St. Louis, USA. The building was inaugurated on June 23, 2004.
JCI Adopts the Millennium Development Goals
First a resolution of the JCI-UN Leadership Summit, in 2004 JCI members committed to join leaders around the world to advance the Millennium Development Goals. Members globally continued to run national and local projects aimed to advance these eight global development goals, which ranged from eradicating extreme hunger and poverty to combating HIV/AIDS and malaria.
The Fight Against Malaria
To advance MDG #6, Combat Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases, JCI formalized a partnership with the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign in 2008, which focused JCI members’ actions to raise global awareness, advocate for government funding and fundraise to support the fight against malaria through prevention. Over the next eight years, JCI raised over US $3.5 million for malaria prevention.
The JCI Active Citizen Framework
To increase the quantity of projects that result in sustainable solutions, the General Assembly of the 2010 JCI World Congress adopted the JCI Active Citizen Framework, a roadmap of actionable, results-driven steps to produce sustainable impact. This framework has been a guiding force behind grassroots projects around the world, resulting in sustainable solutions such as a medical camp in Bangladesh slums for expectant mothers lacking prenatal resources, community farming in the Dutch Caribbean, apprenticeships for unemployed youth in Europe and voter awareness campaigns across African nations.
100 Years of Impact
As JCI celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the JCI Movement, the moment presented itself for the organization to reflect upon and celebrate 100 Years of Impact. Celebrations included parties, 100th Anniversary documentary screenings and a commemorative monument and unveiling at the JCI World Headquarters. JCI members across the globe participated in Project Impact 100 with the goal of empowering young people and their communities to impact the lives of 100 individuals by taking grassroots action to create positive change; 467,540 individuals were impacted globally.
Ending Extreme Poverty, Inequality and Climate Change by 2030
2016 was the first year of implementation for the 15-year global development agenda—The Global Goals for Sustainable Development. These 17 ambitious goals aim at achieving three extraordinary tasks: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and combat climate change. During the 2015 JCI World Congress in Kanazawa, Japan, JCI leaders committed to advancing these goals by creating awareness, taking action on the goals most relevant in their communities and taking responsibility to hold JCI members as well as all sectors of society accountable to implement and monitor the progress of the Global Goals.
JCI Galway History Timeline
The following is a few highlights over the years of JCI Galway, members and our contribution to the local community.
JCI Galway under President Garry Lohan is awarded the title of Best Branch in Ireland at the JCI Ireland National Convention which was held at the Cork International Airport Hotel. JCI Galway also wins best project with the Galway Young Entrepreneur.
JCI Galway with project chairman Keith Killilea, launches a new & highly successful technology summit with awards, expo and speakers under President Garry Lohan. Also supporting proceeds to local charity organization, COPE. Watch the Year in Review Video below.2014 Year
National TOYP Awards
JCI Galway under President Ronan Walsh hosts the National Ten Outstanding Young Persons Awards at the Meyrick Hotel (former Great Southern) in 2015, with Joanne O’Riordan being put forward Internationally and she won the JCI World TOYP Award in Japan.
This year also sees the last Galway Young Entrepreneur Awards held after running for two successful decades with a prize fund of €50,000 and media coverage. Techgate is held again with partners Bank of Ireland and features as part of the National Startup Gathering from Startup Ireland.
Watch the Year in Review Video below.2015 Year
World Debating Champions
JCI Galway under President Keith Killilea, hosts the JCI National Convention in 2016 and Training & Events featured a diverse range year round with large numbers. JCI Galway leaps forward to become the 2nd largest chapter in Ireland.
JCI Galway member Sara Gilligan along side JCI Mayo's Keira Keogh and Adrian Corcoran, wins the JCI European Conference English Debating Championship and the team goes on to also win the JCI World English Debating Championship 2016 in Québec, Canada.2016 Year
JCI Galway under President Dominick Whelan continues to improve local projects such as the TOYP, Friendly Business Awards expands to City & County and friendship pact with JCI East Kowloon in Hong Kong for 2017.
JCI Ireland wins the JCI World English Debating Championship twice in a row with past JCI Galway member, Ronan Neacy.2017 Year
St. Patrick's Parade & An Tánaiste Meeting
JCI Galway under President Carol Ho attends the St. Patrick's Parade in Hong Kong and meets with An Tánaiste Simon Coveney representing JCI Ireland & the local community work carried out by members In Ireland.
The JCI Ireland 2018 National Convention was hosted by JCI Galway with a record number of International Delegates to attend in recent years with one of the largest National Convention Program ever designed, including dozens of trainings, speakers, events and hosting the JCI Edinburgh Night of JCI Galway's Twin.
In 2018, JCI Galway returned as the 2nd largest chapter in Ireland, growing from a handful of members to nearly 20 new members and a strong focus towards community & business projects, including the re-introduction of the Galway Tourist Guide. Watch the Year in Review Video below.2018 Year
Growth & Development
JCI Galway under President Keith Killilea grew the membership base by over 230% to 43 active members by year end and the launch of a new JCI Galway supported NUIG Society called: Active Citizens Chamber.
JCI Galway returns to take part in the Galway St Patrick's Parade as featured in decades gone by. Expanding on 2018 with increased member engagements of training & social events, and a new Galway Tourist Guide for the local community.
JCI Galway held one of the largest TOYP Awards nationally with many past members supporting it, multiple clean-up events across Galway City, Darkness into Light, the Friendly Business Awards with new partners. the Presidents Gala Dinner with past members & senators, and re-launched the Easter Bunny project in delivering Easter Eggs from our cos-play friends & the Galway Easter Bunny at the University Hospital Galway.
JCI Galway was recognized and won a major award at the JCI European Conference with the project "Leadership 4 Growth" under the category: Best Local Growth & Development Program.
A special occasion happened during the year with a JCI Galway Wedding of two members and many JCI members from Ireland & world-wide attending.2019 Year
Covid-19 Pandemic & Virtual Year
JCI Galway under President Colleen Baxter faced the global Covid-19 pandemic and stepped up for the challenge it represented with maintaining a good year for the chapter.
JCI Galway featured multiple trainings & events that now crossed over online, some of these include: Explore A New World of Opportunities with JCI in partnership with JCI Mayo, the Business Success Series run by all local chapters, and with International Chapters was involved with the project:
Travel With Us. JCI Galway also delivered with social distancing a bumper amount of Easter Eggs for the Easter Bunny project to the children in UHG.
JCI formed a new partnership with BNI worldwide. JCI Galway releases the latest Galway Tourist Guide at Fáilte Ireland locations and for the first time also went online with the guide in digital format.
JCI Ireland enters the JCI European Debating Championship which is represented by JCI Galway members who reached the semi-finals.
Two years in a row, JCI Galway wins an award at this years JCI European Conference and also wins at the JCI World Congress, with the project "Effective Weekend" which was chaired by Carol Ho, in the category of the Best Inter-organization Collaboration Project.2020 Year
Further Details will be updated during the year.