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Kiwanis Family Relations: Another Perspective

Hello, CNH Circle K! Kiwanis Family Chair Andrew Tom has requested me to share a Key Club perspective on Kiwanis Family relations, and I would be more than happy to oblige. I hope that from reading this post, you will all have better insight from the vision and perspective of one Key Club member, and use this knowledge to influence others. In Key Club, the Kiwanis Family & Foundation, or KFF, Committee focuses on educating Key Club members throughout the California-Nevada-Hawaii, or CNH, District regarding the Kiwanis Family and our CNH Foundation. As KFF Chair, I serve alongside nine other Lt. Governors and we are guided by a committee mentor, a Kiwanian. As a committee, we are all devoted to serving the 46,000 Key Club members across California, Nevada, and Hawaii. As Chair, my duty with the committee revolves in providing tools and resources to promote strong relations with each level and program within the District and International Kiwanis Family and the CNH Foundation for the Key Club members. The committee also assists the members with strengthening the Kiwanis Family through effective marketing and branding of the organization. The committee has accomplished these by creating and presenting numerous publications relating to the Kiwanis Family and its projects, such as the Pediatric Trauma Program, the Eliminate Project, Co-sponsorships, and much more. 

Some examples are provided here: SLP Quick Reference: http://www.cnhkeyclub.org/downloads/Resources/Chartering/Publication_KiwanisSLPs_1213.pdf SLP Directory:
http://www.cnhkeyclub.org/downloads/Resources/Chartering/Publication_SLPDirectory_1213.pdf As KFF Chair, what I strive to do with the committee is strengthening Kiwanis Family relationships across all of our branches, one step at a time. How can Circle K help me reach this goal? Simply find opportunities to serve with Key Club members in your community! As members of Circle K, I feel that it would be great for you all to establish relationships with Key Club members. Not only do I feel that the age gap may be deemed more mature in comparison to other branches, I also feel it would be beneficial for Key Club to learn from Circle K. Circle K members are college students, individuals who have gone through the college application process, the college life, and are progressing towards adulthood and so much more. It would be enlightening for Key Club members to hear about and witness these experiences firsthand and be able to envision what their future in college could look like. Perhaps in the future, Circle K and Key Club could more actively serve with Builders Clubs and Kiwanis Kids as well? I personally would love to hear all about the Circle K experience and how they feel about serving, and serving with, Key Club members! If any of you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me at any time at cnhkc.kff@gmail.com. Thank you all for reading! - - In service and friendship,
James Chen CNH Key Club Kiwanis Family and Foundation Chair
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Fall Training Conference 2012 - Ceremony of Lights

My nerves got the best of me during this.

DCON is typically viewed as a weekend of education for incoming club officers, a weekend to retire and elect the district board, to reunite with friends from around the district, to make new friends, a celebrate a year’s worth of success. However, I want this picture to remind everyone in this mix, a CKI DCON is a celebration of Key Club members continuing their journey in the K-Family.

Now I didn’t count, but this is the number of past Key Club members NYCKI had at their DCON of nearly 200 attendee’s and this turnover was beyond heartwarming (and there were a few more who missed the photo). Key Club made such a profound impact on my life and therefore I take pride in strengthening K-Family relations, especially when it comes to bridging the gap between Key Club and CKI. I am proud that so many Key Club members I met over the past few years, as a CKI member, have joined CKI and are attending district events like DCON. 

Just to name a few: Terrell, who went from being the NYDKC’s Distinguished Senior Key Club member to NYCKI’s Outstanding First Year Member Award and incoming LTG; Priya, who went from a club officer in my home division to a dedicated member of Binghamton CKI; Becky Hopkins, who has been dedicated to her home club and division since I met her in Key Club; Josh Hill who immediately stepped up to the LTG position is now moving onto serving as District Treasurer; Tina Lee, Outstanding Club Secretary, incoming LTG, official NYCKI video creator; Ed Kroll, one of the Key Club LTG’s I met who always asked me more about CKI and incoming LTG; Walaa Ahmed and Renee Girard, who like me, both went from never holding district office in Key Club to District Governor; Barry Lee who is completing his term as LTG and who made a significant contribution to membership recruitment, pushing UBCKI to the largest club within Subregion F; Nabiha Qudsi, past NYDKC District Board member and incoming Cornell CKI Club President; and so many more that I could not be more proud of. 

How to: Network in CKI

Networking fosters relationships in the professional world and beyond.  What better way than to develop good networking habits in CKI!  As a starting point, being involved in the district Kiwanis Family programs is a great way to encourage networking in Circle K clubs.  From there, you can consider the following networking strategies to further enhance your relations.

Simple in concept, but developed through practice

1.       CKI Networking while in CKI

We do this every day!  Meeting new people in the club, at interclub events, and attendance at district events is a great way to network with CKI members and Kiwanians alike!  Encourage higher attendance at interclub and district events to members in your club.  Also, network down the Kiwanis Family, and encourage the younger branches you work with to continue their membership in the Kiwanis Family too!

2.       Club Networking:

Circle K Alumni are everywhere, but often times it’s hard to keep track.  If you feel up to the task, consider keeping better records of your club members (either through Facebook groups, email lists, or membership form archives).  The earliest you can ever start is this year!  Maybe one day your records will grow, and you can throw your own CKI alumni event!  Always encourage old members to join Kiwanis after graduation, and remain involved with CKI.  Whether or not they involve themselves right away, it’s important we foster the lifelong commitment to service and contribution in our clubs!  If they stay involved, you may reconnect with them one day.

3.       Networking Internationally
LSSP and ICON are excellent events to meet CKI members and Kiwanians from around the world.  However, since it may not be financially in your means to travel to LSSP or ICON, there’s other options too!  Joining Kiwanis is the best way to stay in the network, but there’s also the CKI and KCI Alumni Association programs.  Even if you haven’t graduated, adding yourself today ensures your invitation to Alumni events as international continues to develop the CKI network.

Link to CKI Alumni Association: http://sites.kiwanis.org/Kiwanis/en/Alumni/CKI-Alumni/Home.aspx

Link to KCI Alumni Association: http://sites.kiwanis.org/Kiwanis/en/Alumni/Key-Club-Alumni/Home.aspx

All three strategies are great ways to promote networking in your club and within the Kiwanis Family. Here are tips and tricks to promote networking yourself!

+ Develop a networking mindset!  Think to yourself, “How could I better promote myself (or my club)?”  Networking builds from small things like business cards, email signatures, and website links!  Networking is like marketing, in that instead of marketing a product, you market yourself!

+ Portray yourself in a positive and professional way.  Dress as seriously as you want to be taken, in any setting.  Always be mindful of your manners and body language.  Nothing says “professional” better than a confident handshake, fit for meeting new members, or the founder of a successful non-profit.  Don’t forget to smile!

Portray yourself in a positive and professional way.

+ Strive to be a conversationalist!  Having a set of topics to talk about beforehand will help pave the way to a more in-depth conversation.  For example, ask a Kiwanian why they joined Kiwanis, or talk to a Key Club member about what’s going on in their high school life!

+  Follow up!  If you ask for someone’s contact information, be sure to shoot them an email!  Be generous in your appreciation notes, and maintain your network by taking a genuine interest in the well-being of others!

Simple in concept, but developed through practice – that’s networking!  Networking is a great tool to further develop your Kiwanis Family Relations, and overall CKI Alumni network.  Feel free to search up more networking tips to enhance your relationships with those around you!