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The Chamber Blog

This space features conversations about issues affecting the Decatur-Morgan County area from leaders in our community.

Jaycees: Good times for a good cause

There is much to be said about all that is happening in Decatur, Morgan County and our region. From downtown revitalization to comprehensive planning and major industrial growth and investment. Through all of these amazing things, one common factor is emerging: young professionals are on the rise.

A new driving force for economic and residential growth, young professionals are excited to step up and be involved in all the great success yet to come. Decatur Jaycees, or the Junior Chamber of Commerce, is a young professional organization for local residents ages 18-40. We pride ourselves on being community advocates, volunteers, and partners.kyle pike

Jaycees supports local charities and organizations through fundraising projects throughout the year. We also host great public events such as The Big Deal and The Decatur Christmas Parade. We currently have 50 members and have experienced rapid growth and expect to continue our upward trend.

We have been known throughout the community for many things over the years from “the future leaders” to “the young people who enjoy their parties,” but we know who we are and what we stand for. Who says you can’t be both? Sure, we like to get together for our monthly socials and have a good time. We also love to get together to host an Easter party for the children of FACES or hang flower baskets downtown. We are an organization of young professionals who enjoy networking together, building professional relationships and lifelong friendships. We are a caring group, eager to serve those around us.

As Jaycees, we do a lot more than volunteer, network, and enjoy time together. We grow together and support each other. We also advocate for issues we care about such as the recruitment of young professionals to our area and many more. But, one that is very important and often overlooked is that we help mold each other into strong, young leaders. It’s something Decatur Jaycees has done since its charter in September of 1946.

For more than 70 years, Jaycees has yielded many local leaders in our community from businessmen and women to politicians throughout our city and state. How? Through our ability to bring members from all different professional fields and personal backgrounds to work together for the common good of our community. Members are given the opportunity to build a relationship with others outside of their normal realm of acquaintances.

Throughout the year, members have the opportunity to help prepare and plan for many events and functions. Some members commit to being an event chair or co-chair. While this may mean more work and a bit more responsibility, it allows these members the chance to learn leadership skills such as communication and organization. Other members may want to serve in a larger scale by running for an officer position. Officers are responsible for the operation of the organization, and while each role differs, they are all equally important to the overall effectiveness of our work. These positions afford members the opportunity to learn multiple leadership skills ranging from planning and communication to organization and public speaking.

I believe all of us can agree that leadership is an important quality to learn. It is important in our jobs, our companies, and our community. But to me, the development of leadership among young professionals is key to our future success. It is often said that young professionals are the “future,” but if you take the time to look around you will begin to notice the number of young leaders emerging all around us.

I like to think that as Jaycees, and young professionals, we’re not just the leaders of the future but we’re the leaders of the present. We are a group that serves in many capacities, ready to step up and ready to help build a better future for the next generation of leaders.

Jaycees are proud to be able serve our community, home, and friends. We enjoy the opportunities to help each other grow and cherish our time together no matter the occasion. From our private socials to our public events and everything in between, we are prepared to lead. So, if you, or someone you know is interested in joining Jaycees, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You won’t regret it!

Kyle Pike is president of Decatur Jaycees. He is also the owner of HiLo Fences, owner of Dry Creek Marine and a chemical operator at Hexcel Corporation in Decatur. For more information about Jaycees, please click here.

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