During my studies, I wanted to become a member of an international youth organization. This was in early 2009, when I returned to Zagreb after having been in Italy for a while. I had watched a TV Show where a Korean fellow talked about an international organization that brings together young professionals and leaders. It was the first time I had ever heard of the organization named Junior Chamber International. I then decided to google it to find out more about the organization. The Korean fellow was Mr. Jun Sup Shin, the 2009 JCI President.

I soon realized that JCI Croatia existed in the second half of the 1990s, and that it dissolved in the early 2000s. The organization was very interesting to me, so I decided to contact some members. As JCI Serbia was the closest to Croatia, I contacted them. In conversation with them, we concluded that I could re-establish JCI in Croatia. In 2009, I tried to bring some people together to form JCI Zagreb, but I failed. In the meantime, some things had changed so I gave up on JCI. I was 23 at the time.

Four years later, a friend of mine asked me whether I know anything about JCI. I said I know quite a lot. To my great delight, I decided to join a small group that had an idea of establishing JCI in Croatia. I had given up on JCI, but JCI had not given up on me. With this notion in mind, I chose to dedicate a great deal of time and energy to the founding of the organization. We formed the first JCI Local Organization in the summer of 2013 in Zagreb, and I was elected the JCI Zagreb Local President. Soon after that, we established another Local Organization and the JCI National Organization. Even Madame President Chiara Milani attended the JCI Croatia Founding Assembly in 2013. A month later, at the JCI World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, JCI Croatia was affiliated to JCI as a Potential National Organization.

My JCI journey has developed quite progressively in these five years. I was the 2015 JCI National President, in the year when we celebrated the 100th Anniversary of JCI. In that same year, JCI Croatia became fully affiliated to JCI. The promotion at JCI World Congress in Kanazawa was the pinnacle of three years of work.

The following year, I joined the JCI European Development Council and helped them establish JCI organizations in Albania, Kosovo and Slovenia, countries that are very close to Croatia. I was the 2017 EDC Councillor too. During my time as the NP, we put forward a bid for 2018 EPM to be held in Zagreb, and we won it. For such a young organization it was a big challenge, but we enjoyed it. We organized a superb event in Zagreb, and to my great surprise at the Gala Dinner, I was named the JCI Senator #76830. It was a great honour as Rudolf von Bachellé, 1981-82 Senate President of the Association of JCI Senators in Europe, presented the Senatorship to me.

During all these years, I have developed many of my skills through JCI. With ten years of executive management experience, I started my own business. Since then, two years have passed during which I have been working as a business consultant in strategy and operations.

Marko Ignjátić
JCI Senator #76830
JCI Zagreb (JCI Croatia)

I have joined JCI back in the 1986 as a young entrepreneur. Pretty soon I noticed that most of my business clients were also my close friends through JCI. I was very excited about this finding and it motived to continue. During the first JCI years I made career in my home chapter JCI Pori, additional to all board member responsibilities, I was COC Director of national election conference in 1989. In 1994 I worked as regional VP and member of the board in JCI Finland. Amazing memories as a campaign manager of dear friend Petri Niskanen, through his JCI career from national level to the World President of JCI in 1998.

The best memories are certainly all the international travelling to the European and world conferences. During the young days, we created a group called “Hupparyhmä”. Within this group of close friends in my home chapter we have visited several conferences and typically combined holidays together. This group enabled valuable networking around the world and close life-long friendship.

I was honored with JCI Senatorship in 2001, entitled to all privileges as a life member of JCI. All the national and international events in the JCI family have enriched my life and enhanced the business opportunities. The past year as the President of JCI Senate in Finland has been fantastic, and great reminder how privileged we senators are. It’s been appealing to recognize that even as a senator one can still learn and experience new things. My Presidential period will end to the national elections meeting of JCI Senate in Finland with the theme Take Care Of! in August 17 – 19, in the city of Pori, Finland. But the lifetime enjoyment of this great association will continue!

Teijo Virtanen
President 2017-2018
JCI Senate in Finland

I had a dream of traveling around the globe when I completed my graduation in 1972. I was in a small town called “Siliguri” in West Bengal, India. My dream did not get any support from my family as they wanted me to join the family business “Truck Transport of goods”. I decided to take the bicycle as it does not require any huge cost to get one and to keep it maintained. I started my bicycle trip 16thApril 1974 and after being cycling 8 months in India, finally came to Penang and cycling through Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippine,  Macao, Japan, South Korea, SSSR, Finland, Sweden and arrived NORWAY October 1977.

I contacted the immigration office to get my visa extended so that I could see the beautiful Norway.

The officer told me that it is not safe and you will not be given permit to cycle in the winter.

I had never experience the snow and had no idea about Norwegian winter. Thus I realised that my dream needs to be HOLD until summer arrives next year. During this HOLD time I got married and then I became a member of Junior Chamber Haugesund in 1985. There, I held the positions of Vice President, President and attended severalNational, European and World Congresses latest in 1992. I became Senator #50314 in 1992.

From 1992 and up to now I have periodically attended the National Congress and Senators’ get-togethers “Senotium”. At the National Congress in Oslo 2017, I was elected Senate President for 2018.

During my active years, I gained self-confidence and established new relationships, both locally and abroad. This gave me the confidence to establish myself as an entrepreneur.

Now, I am the Managing Director of a private Limited company called “Applus Norway”. We are providing consultancy vendor inspection, third party inspection, certification, testing and manpower services for the Oil & Gas industry. Applus Group provide asset integrity, quality assurance, quality control and a variety of other engineering services to leading oil and gas companies worldwide. We operate globally from five regional headquarters in the USA, UK, South Africa, UAE and Malaysia. Applus+ has 70 offices in 50 countries worldwide.

Tarlok Singh Sidhu
#50314 – Norway