Greenlee Travels The Globe

September 5, 2007
| By Pete Daly |
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GRAND RAPIDS — For a young man totally on his own and in need of direction, Scott Greenlee obviously made a wise decision when he joined the Grand Rapids chapter of the Jaycees.

Today the Grand Rapids resident is the world president of Junior Chamber International — which still is better known by its former name of Jaycees — a worldwide network of more than 200,000 professionals and entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 40 in about 115 countries.

You won't find Greenlee at home much this year. As the Junior Chamber International leader for 2007, by August he had traveled to 32 countries and nine U.S. states — and he has a lot more places to go before the year ends. The highlight will be Nov. 5-10, when Greenlee will preside over the 62nd JCI World Congress in Antalya, Turkey, which will be attended by JCI members, heads of state and community leaders from around the world.

He never would have imagined it 20 years ago.

Greenlee graduated from East Kentwood High in 1985 and attended classes at Grand Rapids Junior College, but he couldn't decide on a career. His father, a teacher, died in 1986, and, tragically, his mother, who worked at an ad agency, passed away a year after that.

After the death of his parents, Greenlee found himself on his own and going nowhere. Eventually he went into sales, he said, because there were opportunities there for people without a college degree.

He also started volunteering to work on election campaigns in West Michigan. Greenlee said he ventured into politics because he was influenced by presidents Ford and Reagan. In 1989-1990, he worked as the statewide youth director on John Engler’s campaign for governor of Michigan and spent a lot of time on college campuses. Later he worked on political campaigns for Pete Hoekstra and Glenn Steil Sr.

His most crucial step was in 1991, when he joined the Jaycees and became involved in their fundraising efforts. That experience opened another door: A year later he was recruited to run the Grand Rapids office of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Meanwhile, Greenlee was finding a home in the Jaycees. In fact, he found a spouse: Gina had been a Jaycees member since 1990, and when she moved here in 1993 from out of state, she immediately became active in the Grand Rapids chapter — and met her husband-to-be. Today, Gina Greenlee works for Notions Marketing in Grand Rapids.

BRIEFLY
Name:
Scott Greenlee
Affiliation: Junior Chamber International
Title: World President
Age: 39
Birthplace: Grand Rapids
Residence: Grand Rapids
Family: Wife, Gina
Biggest Career Break: "Joining the local Jaycee chapter in Grand Rapids."

By 1996 Scott Greenlee was president of the JCI Grand Rapids Chapter, which was named by the organization as the best Jaycees chapter in the U.S. that year. He said his Jaycees success was due to "the good people I was working with."

JCI was originally established under the name Young Men's Progressive Civic Association, in St. Louis, Mo., on Oct. 13, 1915. Henry "Hy" Giessenbier Jr. gathered together 32 young men to form a club that would tackle difficult civic problems while helping themselves develop their business skills and effectiveness.

According to Greenlee, the young men Giessenbier brought together were either unemployed or under-employed, similar to the situation he found himself in after his parents died.

The group quickly became so effective in the community that the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce "adopted" them in 1919, and the name changed to Junior Chamber of Commerce, which soon morphed into Jaycees.

The organization grew phenomenally through the 1920s and 1930s, with chapters started in Europe and on other continents. The leadership decided by 1940 that the organization should become an international organization. World War II delayed those plans, but in late 1944, Jaycees delegates from eight countries, led by U.S. delegates, met in Mexico City "and JCI was born," said Greenlee.

Today JCI (www.jci.cc) is headquartered in Chesterfield, Mo., but is a worldwide federation of young male and female professionals and entrepreneurs. Their mission, according to the Web site, is "to contribute to the advancement of the global community by providing the opportunity for young people to develop the leadership skills, social responsibility, entrepreneurship and fellowship necessary to create positive change."

JCI is an international Non-Governmental Organization that participates in the United Nations system. In this context, JCI has relations with the Office of the UN Secretary General and holds "consultative status" with the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

In the 1990s, Greenlee had gone to work in sales for SBC and did very well, being promoted four times and honored with membership in the company's Sales Hall of Fame. He became a private consultant in telecommunications in 2003, partly due to the fact that he was elected a JCI vice president that year and assigned to Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.

In 2005, Greenlee went back to work as a professional political consultant in Keith Butler's U.S. Senate campaign. Today he alternates between work as a consultant in telecommunications and as a political campaign consultant. His parallel career as a JCI officer continued to grow and in 2005, he served as JCI General Legal Counsel. Greenlee is not an attorney; as general legal counsel, he was responsible for updates of JCI bylaws and rules.

In 2006 he advanced higher when he was elected a JCI executive vice president. He was assigned to JCI's Asia-Pacific area and chaired the area's conference that year in Takamatsu, Japan.

Greenlee has attended eight JCI area conferences and five world congresses. He has been honored as JCI Senator (Honorary Life Member) No. 60646.

He will soon "age out" of regular JCI membership when he turns 40, but as an honorary life member will always be connected with the organization that has played a major part in his life.


Scott Greenlee has risen to the top ranks of Junior Chamber International.

Greenlee Travels The Globe

Pete Daly

GRAND RAPIDS — For a young man totally on his own and in need of direction, Scott Greenlee obviously made a wise decision when he joined the Grand Rapids chapter of the Jaycees.

Today the Grand Rapids resident is the world president of Junior Chamber International — which still is better known by its former name of Jaycees — a worldwide network of more than 200,000 professionals and entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 40 in about 115 countries.

You won't find Greenlee at home much this year. As the Junior Chamber International leader for 2007, by August he had traveled to 32 countries and nine U.S. states — and he has a lot more places to go before the year ends. The highlight will be Nov. 5-10, when Greenlee will preside over the 62nd JCI World Congress in Antalya, Turkey, which will be attended by JCI members, heads of state and community leaders from around the world.

He never would have imagined it 20 years ago.

Greenlee graduated from East Kentwood High in 1985 and attended classes at Grand Rapids Junior College, but he couldn't decide on a career. His father, a teacher, died in 1986, and, tragically, his mother, who worked at an ad agency, passed away a year after that.

After the death of his parents, Greenlee found himself on his own and going nowhere. Eventually he went into sales, he said, because there were opportunities there for people without a college degree.

He also started volunteering to work on election campaigns in West Michigan. Greenlee said he ventured into politics because he was influenced by presidents Ford and Reagan. In 1989-1990, he worked as the statewide youth director on John Engler’s campaign for governor of Michigan and spent a lot of time on college campuses. Later he worked on political campaigns for Pete Hoekstra and Glenn Steil Sr.

His most crucial step was in 1991, when he joined the Jaycees and became involved in their fundraising efforts. That experience opened another door: A year later he was recruited to run the Grand Rapids office of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Meanwhile, Greenlee was finding a home in the Jaycees. In fact, he found a spouse: Gina had been a Jaycees member since 1990, and when she moved here in 1993 from out of state, she immediately became active in the Grand Rapids chapter — and met her husband-to-be. Today, Gina Greenlee works for Notions Marketing in Grand Rapids.

By 1996 Scott Greenlee was president of the JCI Grand Rapids Chapter, which was named by the organization as the best Jaycees chapter in the U.S. that year. He said his Jaycees success was due to "the good people I was working with."

JCI was originally established under the name Young Men's Progressive Civic Association, in St. Louis, Mo., on Oct. 13, 1915. Henry "Hy" Giessenbier Jr. gathered together 32 young men to form a club that would tackle difficult civic problems while helping themselves develop their business skills and effectiveness.

According to Greenlee, the young men Giessenbier brought together were either unemployed or under-employed, similar to the situation he found himself in after his parents died.

The group quickly became so effective in the community that the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce "adopted" them in 1919, and the name changed to Junior Chamber of Commerce, which soon morphed into Jaycees.

The organization grew phenomenally through the 1920s and 1930s, with chapters started in Europe and on other continents. The leadership decided by 1940 that the organization should become an international organization. World War II delayed those plans, but in late 1944, Jaycees delegates from eight countries, led by U.S. delegates, met in Mexico City "and JCI was born," said Greenlee.

Today JCI (www.jci.cc) is headquartered in Chesterfield, Mo., but is a worldwide federation of young male and female professionals and entrepreneurs. Their mission, according to the Web site, is "to contribute to the advancement of the global community by providing the opportunity for young people to develop the leadership skills, social responsibility, entrepreneurship and fellowship necessary to create positive change."

JCI is an international Non-Governmental Organization that participates in the United Nations system. In this context, JCI has relations with the Office of the UN Secretary General and holds "consultative status" with the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

In the 1990s, Greenlee had gone to work in sales for SBC and did very well, being promoted four times and honored with membership in the company's Sales Hall of Fame. He became a private consultant in telecommunications in 2003, partly due to the fact that he was elected a JCI vice president that year and assigned to Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.

In 2005, Greenlee went back to work as a professional political consultant in Keith Butler's U.S. Senate campaign. Today he alternates between work as a consultant in telecommunications and as a political campaign consultant. His parallel career as a JCI officer continued to grow and in 2005, he served as JCI General Legal Counsel. Greenlee is not an attorney; as general legal counsel, he was responsible for updates of JCI bylaws and rules.

In 2006 he advanced higher when he was elected a JCI executive vice president. He was assigned to JCI's Asia-Pacific area and chaired the area's conference that year in Takamatsu, Japan.

Greenlee has attended eight JCI area conferences and five world congresses. He has been honored as JCI Senator (Honorary Life Member) No. 60646.

He will soon "age out" of regular JCI membership when he turns 40, but as an honorary life member will always be connected with the organization that has played a major part in his life.

But Greenlee won't be resting on laurels. The JCI motto is "Be Better." Rest assured he'll be working on it.    

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