7 Questions with Andrea Pack, 32nd President, Ohio Valley Jaycees
Andrea Pack served as the 29th and also the current 32nd President of the Ohio Valley Jaycees. Born and raised in Wheeling, WV, she stayed in the area to attend college West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Andrea has served on the OVJC Board of Directors for the last eight years – since she was 21 years old! Currently, Andrea is employed at Russell Nesbitt Services, Inc. providing employment services to individuals with disabilities. In addition to her commitment to the Jaycees and her full-time position, she also waitresses at a local restaurant part-time. In what little of her remaining free time, she enjoys reading, riding four-wheelers and hanging out with her family.
How did you decide to get involved with the Jaycees?
- I’m actually what you might call a legacy. I have been involved with the Jaycees through my parents since I was a small child and always knew I would be one. My dad was president twice and I am now on my second term.
What has your experience been as a leader within your organization?
- It’s been an amazing learning experience. I’ve learned more about interacting with people, putting out fires, and “walking the walk” than I ever thought I could. But most of all I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of.
Is there a special recipe for leadership? Or is it more about learning as you go?
- Being a leader takes lots of hard work, a good tongue biting reflex, the ability to take constructive criticism, and being able to let go of the small stuff. “Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation.” You have to be able to learn and grow as you go to be a good leader. If you’re not learning, you’re not living.
How has joining the Jaycees enriched your life?
- I can’t imagine my life without the Jaycees. Having grown up as a Jaycee, I have had the unique experience of really being raised by that proverbial village. The Jaycees are my family, as much as my cousins, aunts and uncles are. The feeling of being able to give back to the community is such a great thing. It never fails to make me feel like a better me when I can help others.
Do you have any advice for Jaycee members seeking a leadership role within the organization or in the workplace?
- Ask someone! I guarantee that the people on your local or state board of directors will be super excited that you’re interested. I know I would be! (And for those leaders/board members already out there: the reverse is true, sometimes all you have to do is ask someone to become more involved and they will!). In the workplace, I would say use those skills you learned in Jaycees like public speaking and event planning using the CPG. You’ll blow them away! (my boss will tell you so ? )
What are the best skills or knowledge to have in order to be successful in this job?
- I’m going to list my top three: 1. You will never make everyone happy. 2. You will inevitably make someone mad (see No. 1) 3. Don’t be afraid to be innovative, but listen to constructive criticism and keep it in mind. (always with a grain of salt)
What part of your involvement in the Jaycees makes you most proud to be a key member of the organization?
- Watching my father run our local organization and then having the opportunity to do it myself. Learning that I’m capable of doing things that scare me to death. Knowing I can hold my own among professionals of every level. Having a Jaycee family who always has my back.
Want to share your experiences as a leader with the Jaycees? We’d love to hear from you! Contact our National Chapter to find out how.