Jaycees brings young business leaders together.
Since its national founding in 1920, the Junior Chamber, or as it is more commonly known, the Jaycees, has helped more than 11 million young adults in the U.S. and 20 million worldwide become leaders in their communities. A short 14 years after the national inception, New Braunfels started a thriving Jaycees group that has served our area well. Jaycees is a leadership training and civic organization for people between the ages of 18 and 40. Areas of emphasis are business development, management skills, individual training, community service, and international connections. In 1934 when JP Nowotny helped develop the charter and became the first president of the New Braunfels Jaycees, there were 91 members. Within 3 months their ranks had grown to 170. A great start for a great organization.
Space does not permit a complete listing of civic accomplishments, but a few items include:
- In 1936, the Jaycees received state honors for its involvement in Landa Park.
- In 1948, the Jaycees built the tennis courts that were once in Landa Park.
- In the 1950s, the Jaycees hosted the Miss Texas Pageant in New Braunfels.
- In 1965, the Jaycees were credited with helping move our city governing system from Mayor/Commission to Mayor/Council structure.
- In 1987, when the city had budget cuts, the Jaycees raised all of the money to put on the July 4th fireworks show.
Many other benefits large and small have occurred as a result of an active Jaycees group.
Many local business/community leaders started out as leaders in the Jaycees. State Representative Doug Miller, Stephen Hanz, Allison Humphries, Brandon Dietert and Heidi Aleman are among many of the great past presidents who continue in different leadership roles to this day. They and many others continue a legacy of community involvement. A plaque in the Jaycees Wurstfest booth lists all the past presidents. So, in November when you stop by the booth for a Wurst Taco or Wurst Nachos, be sure and check out the list and see how many names you recognize.
In the early 2000’s our local Jaycees began experiencing a decline in membership and participation. After several years of working internally to correct things the board realized getting additional help was in the organization’s best interest. Jaycees that were already members of the Chamber of Commerce knew the Chamber supports business leadership as part of its mission and knew it would be receptive to helping this important demographic. The key area of support that was identified was administration. In 2015 the Jaycees agreed to partner with the Chamber to receive administrative support while maintaining autonomy and the ability to restructure and rebuild.
Today, the Chamber works closely with the current Jaycees board to provide support and added resources. Due to the thoughtful actions and hard work of the Jaycees board, the organization has grown to 175 active members, and they have a vision for helping members and the community at large.
The Jaycees is made up of aspiring leaders between the ages of 18-40 who are looking to grow their network, become engaged in the community, progress their professional development and work toward creating a better New Braunfels through volunteering and philanthropic efforts. The Jaycees help prepare members to become the business and community leaders of New Braunfels’ future.
Monthly mixers continue on the first Tuesday of every month for networking and socializing. Leadership Luncheons are scheduled on the third Tuesday of every month to engage members in a learning opportunity about the community or how to better themselves. They offer quarterly volunteer days, and host the annual Rising Stars of New Braunfels award program along with a few fundraisers, and operate booths at Wurstfest and the Comal County Fair.
Annual dues are $75 and more information can be obtained by emailing NBJaycees@hotmail.com or by visiting the group’s Facebook page.