The U.S. Jaycees have elected St. Rose native Tricia Buehne as its 2019 national president. She was elected at the annual Junior Chamber International (JCI) USA meeting in Denver.
“I am excited and I can’t wait to work with the Jaycees all over the United States,” Buehne said. “I have been a member for 17 years and this is definitely my biggest achievement. I am ready to motivate and inspire members and make sure we make the biggest impact in 2019.”
Buehne, 38, made the decision in 2017 to run for the national presidency. She spent much of 2018 traveling to campaign and promote the Jaycees. Her 2019 slogan is “Be the Change.”
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Recently, Vanessa Birchler, a member of the New Baden Jaycees who is currently serving as president of Illinois Jaycees, nominated Buehne for the national presidency.
Forty-four Jaycee members from Illinois attended the convention to support Buehne, who will take over the national presidency on January 1. Earlier this year, the Illinois Jaycees selected Buehne as one of its Outstanding Young Persons of Illinois for her humanitarian and voluntary leadership.
Buehne is active in many community and professional organizations. She is a board member and ambassador for the Highland Chamber of Commerce and served as its president in 2016. In addition, Buehne has been active in the Jaycees since 2001 and has been a past president of both the Highland and Illinois Jaycees as well as past national vice president of the U.S. Junior Chamber. She also serves as a board member for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland and on the St. Rose Catholic Church picnic planning committee.
Buehne is a vice president and mortgage lender at First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust in Highland. She is an affiliate member and secretary of the Greater Gateway Association of Realtors; affiliate member of the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois and a member of the Home Builders Association of Greater Southwest Illinois and serves as secretary of its Professional Women in Building Council. In addition, she belongs to the Clinton County Connection Group.
“Giving back to my community has always been important to me,” Buehne said.
As JCI USA president, Buehne will devote her time to meetings and travel. She will also represent the U.S. Jaycees at international meetings.
Buehne will attend a Presidents’ Retreat in Puerto Rico, where she will meet other world Jaycee leaders for training and planning, along with the Conference of Americas in Mendoza, Argentina, and the World Congress in Tallinn, Estonia. Buehne has also made plans to attend this year’s World Congress later this month in Goa, India.
Among her goals for next year are:
• To start new chapters all over the U.S. and to recruit and activate new members to make existing chapters stronger.
• To add new programs in connection with stopping childhood hunger, anti-bullying, helping with the fight against the opioid epidemic and advocating for “If you see something, say something.”
• To implement new ideas to keep her team motivated so they can Be the Change.
Leadership development through community involvement has been the basis of the Jaycees since its inception in 1920. The goal of the not-for-profit organization is to provide members a means to reach their full potential through networking and personal growth opportunities and is ideal for proactive young people, ages 18 to 40.