At the end of South Jersey Region’s last term, it was announced that the Regional Director would be stepping down. Coming into this position would be Jenny Oswald, who, at the time, was the Regional Director for Liberty Region in Pennsylvania. For Jenny, entering an unfamiliar region as a director was something that she had never experienced before. She was eager to learn about SJR and the people she would be working with. As a member of SJR myself, I was curious about how Jenny felt adjusting to our region. In order to understand her learning process over the past few months, I sat down with her to have a conversation.
Jenny began her BBYO career as a BBG in Philadelphia Region, a part of what is now called Liberty Region. From eighth grade up until high school senior year, Jenny was a passionate member of her community. During her college years, Jenny worked for the CLTC office, and afterward joined the BBYO staff in Liberty Region. She has worked there ever since, having been Regional Director there prior to officially joining SJR as the Regional Director around July of 2019. According to her, this extensive experience with BBYO customs and lingo has been one of the most helpful tools for her transition between regions.
Jenny enjoys learning about the many differences between the two regions she has worked in. These disparities range from small things, like the new chapter dynamics and strategies in promoting events, to larger differences, such as the variety of chapters a new member can look through before joining one. Liberty Region covers a large area, with only a few chapters around this area, meaning that it is much more convenient for new members to simply join whatever chapter is the closest. Jenny contrasts this with SJR, which covers a smaller area with about the same amount of chapters to pick from. Within SJR, prospects are free to try out many different chapters to see which best fits them, instead of choosing the most convenient option based on where they live. Jenny says that she loves this system, as it gives so much more freedom to prospects looking for a chapter.
During our interview, Jenny made it clear that the people around her have helped immensely in her transition between regions. She gives thanks to the staff and awards a special shoutout to SJR’s Assistant Regional Director Sara Nussbaum, who she says provided some much-needed insight into the processes and points of view that make up the region. The current SJR Regional Board has also allowed for her smooth change from one region to another since Jenny knows she can trust them to do their jobs without her having to worry. She praises them for their adaptability in the trying times that have surrounded their term. Jenny has put a lot of work into adjusting, even as the pandemic continues to hinder SJR’s plans. She says that she has “spent a lot of time on individual calls with Regional Board members and Chapter Advisors trying to learn about the region,” and hopes that as the pandemic slows, she will get to experience more of SJR and the people within it. Her experience with SJR is, of course, just beginning and I cannot wait to see the future of the region with her at the head.
Jamie McManmon is a BBG from South Jersey Region and she loves all things reading and writing.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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