In a new year for the Brisbane Junior Chamber of Commerce and ahead of our first event of 2022, we sat-down with Lois Penney – welcoming her to the role of President and giving our community a change to get to know her and the plans for Chamber.
A Message from Lois:
There is only one way to sum up my experience as President so far: overwhelming in the best way possible. The outpouring of support from our Committee, Ambassadors, and the wider BJCC community has empowered me to take this journey, knowing I’m surrounded by the best kinds of people, and for that I am truly grateful.
From the very first BJCC event I attended in September of 2019, I knew this group was different from the beginning. I remember immediately approaching Nathan to ask how I could get on the committee! The BJCC does an excellent job of succession planning with its ambassador program, and this was my first step on my journey to the committee.
In getting to know me, if you want the stock-standard-stuff, I’m a hard-worker, with a strategic mind that is both people and solution-centric. With a background in event management and sales for both membership and hospitality organisations, I love all things business, and cemented this with the completion of my MBA through Griffith University in 2017.
On the fun side, I’m a massive foodie, especially when paired with a good drop of wine. I’m a passionate advocate for Brisbane as a city, and think there is no better place for young people to pursue their professional careers. The growth that Brisbane has experienced over my own career to date has been phenomenal, and I’m excited to support our future leaders to be part of that continued growth.
As President for the BJCC, what is your vision for the Chamber across the next 12 months’?
For the 2021 year, my role on the committee was looking after membership; building value and growth in both our corporate and individual memberships. My vision for the Chamber is to continue to bring the voice of our membership base to the forefront of everything we do – I’d like BJCC membership to be something that people renew year after year because it offers exceptional value and is integral to their career progression.
Strategically, we will be partnering with businesses that align to our members interests, offering events that cater to their needs both personally and professionally, and continuing to position the BJCC as a strong advocate for matters that resonate with our members.
What is on the horizon for the Brisbane Junior Chamber of Commerce? What can people expect from the BJCC in 2022?
The BJCC is known for its events, and 2022 will be no different. We’re planning to make the events you know and love bigger and better than ever. We will be ensuring that the content is relevant, the venues are fresh and exciting, and that the networking is always beneficial.
Aside from events, definitely watch this space – we will be expanding on our mentoring program, business partnerships, continuing to push forward in our advocacy efforts, and will be releasing a few new initiatives along the way.
In welcoming new members to the BJCC, what would you like them to know about the Chamber and its people?
From the very beginning, the BJCC has always been welcoming and encouraging of newcomers.
What I liked about the BJCC when I started attending events was how many passionate and ambitious like-minded individuals I had the opportunity to connect with. Without the BJCC, I wouldn’t have been able to meet, establish or grow these relationships.
The diversity within the BJCC is an excellent point of difference. As a past event manager and salesperson I am no stranger to events – the mix of industries and people within the BJCC community is unmatched in Brisbane.
You have new members sitting on the Committee & Ambassador program with you, what would you like to say to them?
For the newcomers to the BJCC journey, welcome. For those who are returning, welcome back! I’m so proud and humbled to be working alongside all the incredible Committee & Ambassadors this year. The BJCC has always been an inclusive and encouraging environment, and I encourage everyone to continue to demonstrate these values to our wider community.
When looking back on your time as President, what would you like your involvement to be remembered by?
At the end of my tenure I’d like to be remembered as a supportive leader; someone who supported those around them, helped provide others leadership opportunities, strategic direction, or a voice where needed. Whether our members need career guidance, more specific professional development topics, more personal development, or just a friendly ear, I want to be remembered as someone who truly listened, and then took action.
What attracted you to the role of President?
As my first formal Committee role, the BJCC has taught me so much already – I wanted to challenge myself even further by expanding on what I have learned so far. My hope is to continue to make a difference in the community, whilst proudly representing the voice of our increasing membership base, with a view to significant growth and increased presence for the BJCC overall.
Lastly, any final remarks?
The BJCC has elected an absolutely stellar Committee to represent it in 2022, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be surrounded by such inspiring and successful future leaders. I look forward to connecting with as much of our community as possible this year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for a chat at firstname.lastname@example.org