Over the years, the Kinsmen have gained a reputation for providing assistance to Red Deer and the surrounding community as well as being a great opportunity for men to socialize and make lifelong friendships.
But who make up the Kinsmen? What are they like on a personal level? To answer these questions, we've created a new series called Member of the Month. Each month, we'll speak with one of the Kin to learn more about them and to highlight their accomplishments in relation to the Kinsmen's efforts.
This month, we're speaking with JC Levenne. JC is a Supply Chain Manager at Control Technology and has been a member of the club for 6 years. Over the years, he's been President and Dream Home Chair of the Kinsmen; these days, he is our club's Treasurer.
How did you first hear about Kinsmen?
A work associate invited me out to a meeting. I didn't know what to expect from the Kinsmen, but I knew that I wanted to help out the community. Becoming a member of the club gave me an outlet to give back, but it also allowed me to meet people that I never thought I would interact with. The guys were a great group and we've had some great times in the 6 years since I've joined.
According to an undisclosed source, you met your wife thanks to the superb wing-manning skills of a fellow Kinsmen. Is this true? Why don't you tell us about the social benefits that come with being a Kinsmen that some people might not know of.
A lot of my good friends are now a part of the club. Because we end up working on a lot of projects together that end up impacting the community, I think we develop strong ties with each other. Many of the members are also business minded people.
I think that most people end up socializing with people who they work or go to school with. I probably would not have crossed paths with the guys that I consider to be friends. In terms of networking, I've met guys from a variety of backgrounds, including housing, finance, and law. One of the added benefits of the Kinsmen is that you get a well rounded network. If you ever need advice on a certain topic, you have access to a diverse group of guys to brainstorm and exchange ideas with.
Do you have any memorable stories worth sharing?
Our annual ski trip has become staple for many of the members. On our last trip, we thought it would be funny if we pranked a few of the other guys by putting half eaten shrimp in their ski boots. Since then, they've responded with a couple of pranks on their own, including a couple of glitter bombs and rattlesnake eggs in the mail. Stuff like this makes the club fun and shows that our friendships aren't limited to the two meetings we have each month.
What is your favourite part of the Kinsmen?
During my first year with the club, our president at the time shared a graph which outlined the meeting's objectives. It was divided into 3 sections: 40% for helping the community, 40% for socializing, and 20% for networking. We've used this graph to structure our meetings accordingly. Because we meet bi-monthly, we generally have a business meeting and a social meeting. So you're not only spending time with friends, but you're also setting goals and accomplishing them. If it's just socializing, it defeats the purpose of meeting, and if it's just business, then it isn't as fun. Keeping a good balance is my favourite part.
Let's say that there's someone out there who is thinking about coming to a meeting but is on the fence. What would you say to persuade them?
Just come and try it out; you've got nothing to lose. Our prospective members tell us that making time for the club can be tough, but there isn't any commitment with the Kinsmen. Whether you can come for 2 or 10 hours a month, we appreciate any help we can get.
Is there anything else that you'd like to mention?
For me, the most effective part of the Kinsmen is the balance between networking and socializing. If you're looking for only one or the other, I don't think the club will be a good fit for you. I've developed a cohesive group of friends thanks to the guys I've met through the Kinsmen and I encourage everyone to see what we're all about. I believe one of the reasons why some of my closest friends are also Kinsmen members is because we are all like minded people. Everyone in the club wants to contribute to the community while having a good time.
Thanks JC! To join JC and become a Kinsmen , head over to our Membership page and fill out the appropriate sections. Once you do that, we'll follow up with you shortly. And if you're not already following us on Facebook and Twitter, make sure you do so in order to stay up with everything going on with our club!