JETAA Chicago officer elections are coming up on March 1st! In light of this, we wanted to take the time to shine a spotlight on our current officers (election term from November 2019 - March 2021) in order to get to know the people behind the headshots, and to learn more about what they do in their roles as officers. This will be an 8 part "Get to Know Our Officers" series in which we will highlight each officer leading up to the elections and come to know their motivations, values and legacy.
Last week we introduced our Treasurer, Tyler Blaz. Next we would like to introduce our Marketing Coordinator, Alexis Palmer (she/her), who was an ALT in Tottori Prefecture from 2016-2018!
Tell us more about your JET experience.
I lived in the town of Chizu in Tottori Prefecture, which is a beautiful rural area surrounded by mountains, rice fields and rivers. It's a very small community, and I tried to get involved with local community members by joining a small karate club with my students, hosting an English conversation class for local adults, and teaching supplementary "Challenge English!" lessons to some of the elementary schoolers on the weekends. I loved my town and still think about it all the time!
When did you join/how long have you been on the JETAA Board? What positions have you held?
Marketing Coordinator 2020-2021
What inspired you to step up as a leader and join the JETAA Chicago Board?
I joined JETAA Chicago events for the first time after they went virtual due to the pandemic, and I instantly felt welcomed and appreciated even though I barely knew anyone. I was able to reconnect with my JET experience and fellow JET alumni, and I realized that I wanted to help create that same feeling of warmth and unity for others. So when JETAA Chicago announced they had open positions on their board, I ran for Marketing Coordinator so I could have the opportunity to give back to my JET community.
Describe your officer duties and what you have enjoyed about said duties.
During my time as Marketing Coordinator, I've designed graphics and used social media and website posts to promote our events and engage our community. I've particularly enjoyed learning more about graphic design and getting to test out different promotional designs for events like the Bowlnenkai, Primeval Brewery Tour, and so forth.
What could be a healthy and/or needed culture add to JETAA Chicago?
I would like to see JETAA Chicago get more engagement from our subchapters of Indiana and Wisconsin, particularly by hosting events or meet-ups in those subchapter locations (when it's safe again) or by highlighting a business, restaurant, etc. from that area in a virtual setting.
What is one highlight, accomplishment, and/or something you're proud to have been a part of during your time serving as an officer?
As an Indiana native, I really enjoyed getting the chance to involve our Indiana subchapter by hosting a virtual tour of my dad's brewery, Primeval Brewing (located in Indiana). I wanted to draw attention to one of the many amazing small businesses Indiana has and emphasize how much we at the JETAA Chicago board value our subchapters. I want Indiana JETs to feel represented and appreciated!
For you, what sparks joy?
- Friends & Family
- Anything Harry Potter
What is your favorite Japanese "thing" near where you live now (and/or in the Midwest)?
I love the Japanese restaurant Asaka in Castleton, Indiana because it has a lot of my favorite authentic Japanese dishes, like takoyaki, curry udon, and miso ramen!