Patick’s Story…If You’re Interested

RD Patrick

Patrick Knightly, Regional Director of the Capital Region, Virginia Jaycees

Patrick’s Story…If You’re Interested

Archaeologists and historians will tell you that Patrick’s presence was first felt in the Richmond chapter of the Jaycees beginning sometime in 2007.   In fact, there’s very good evidence that Patrick served as a shift leader on the Christmas Tree Lot Project for Sunday morning shifts that year, but evidence pertaining to Patrick’s membership in the Virginia Jaycees does not appear in the historical record prior to April of 2008, when the Virginia Jaycees received word of his appointment to the position of Treasurer of the Richmond chapter. (OK, so those people weren’t really paying attention, but it makes for a good opening line, and writing the simple fact that his membership paperwork got lost somewhere in the mix doesn’t sound as exciting)

Patrick was appointed Treasurer of the Richmond Jaycees in April of 2008 after being brought in to replace the previous Treasurer who had been forced to move to Charlottesville for work reasons. Because Patrick wasn’t afraid to express his opinion (usually by crafting e-mails that could make Charles Dickens seem pithy by comparison), he quickly made a quite the impression on the board and on the chapter.

Throughout the summer of 2008, as Patrick became more visible and more vocal in the chapter and on the board, it became clear that he would play some role in the upcoming year on Richmond’s board.  But, the precise role he would take was not clear to him until the chapter’s Canal Cruise Membership Event held in September of that year.

It was at that event that Patrick was presented with a petition from the membership (signed by all assembled) asking him to run for the office of Richmond Jaycees President for 2009.  He agreed and was elected as President in December of that year, being officially sworn in by incoming state President Chuck Nelson in January of 2009.

During his year as President, the Richmond Jaycees saw resurgence in both membership involvement and chapter activity. The chapter continued its long standing projects like Drive for the Blind, Little Santa Party, Little Halloween Party, Christmas Tree Lot, and Project WARM while developing new projects throughout the year.  Among other new projects and events, the chapter participated in projects with Habitat for Humanity, conducted a raffle fundraiser for Camp VA Jaycee, a beer pouring fundraiser at Friday Cheers, sponsored the Richmond Improv Festival for the first time, began the International Mascot Project, the VA Pizza Party Project, and the Feed the Homeless Project, increased their management involvement with the Richmond Christmas Parade, held a Resume Workshop event, a sailing class event, sponsored 2 softball teams, a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Team, held regular large membership recruitment events, and participated in cultural activities like the Irish Festival, the Reenactment of the Patrick Henry Speech at St. John’s Church, First Fridays Art Walk, and Third Thursdays at the VMFA.

With the help of his State Director, Rogers Motley, Patrick helped to increase the visibility of the Richmond chapter statewide. With regular visits throughout the Capital Region and other visits to events like haunted houses and the East Coast Surfing Championships, etc. in a ‘program’ dubbed “Roaming with Rogers” Patrick got to know a lot of other Jaycees in Virginia.   The Richmond chapter also increased its visibility and participation at state meetings and events throughout the year.

While doing all of that, the Richmond chapter managed to finish the 2009 year at growth and extend the newest chapter in the Virginia Jaycees on the campus at VCU. Patrick routinely gives his board a lot if not all of the credit for his chapter’s accomplishments, saying that he was blessed with a great board, but his board members seem to think that he had a lot to do with everything the chapter accomplished in 2009.

In addition to all the accomplishments his chapter had while he was president, there were also quite a few things that he found rather frustrating, but he managed to work through them.

Outside of the Jaycees, Patrick has worked as a franchise office manager for a tax service, and an accountant at VCU.  He is a 3rd Degree member and a former Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and a Golden Hokie and VT football season ticket holder (and an all-around good guy).  Since his college days, he has taken leadership roles in almost every organization with which he has been involved (Please don’t ask, the list is too long to print), and has been successful in those positions as well.

Patrick will take what he has learned over the years and specifically what he has learned as president of the Richmond chapter and apply it in his new position as Regional Director. While he is always available to give advice to any Jaycees who ask for it, and while he certainly will try to promote all events in the region and all state events whenever and in whatever ways he can, he views his main role as Regional Director to be one of service to the local chapters.

Because it is his job as Regional Director to effectively represent the interests of the local chapters in his region on the state board, he will always be willing to listen to local chapter presidents, boards and members when they raise concerns or express their opinions and ideas on state policies, procedures, and events. He will strive to reinforce the fact that the Virginia Jaycees were founded, and are here now, not simply to count the number of members in your chapter, but to provide resources, advice, and ideas with which your chapters can thrive. He also will be looking for ways to simplify and clarify some of the interactions between local chapters and the Virginia Jaycees, so that said interactions can be more efficient, and local chapter presidents and officers can spend more time dealing with the needs and projects of their own respective chapters,  thus helping the Virginia Jaycees “Make a Difference” in 2010.

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