With just two weeks to go until Early Bird Booking opens for the 21st Soroptimist International Convention 2019, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we begin a special series of ‘Five Minutes With’ interviews, with members of the SI Convention Committee, to find out about the team behind what promises to be a truly spectacular, informative and inspiring date in the Soroptimist calendar.
Name: Joanne Yeoh
Club: SI Damansara, Malaysia, Soroptimist International of South West Pacific
Position in Committee: Local Co-Chair (Operations and Protocol)
Q: How long have you been a Soroptimist?
“Since 1999. I have been a Soroptimist for almost 20 years. I served twice as the President of my club, SI Damansara, from 2003 – 2005 and again from 2016- 2018. At the regional level, I served two terms as the Region Publicity Convenor, and am currently the Region Extension Convenor (second term), in addition to Region President from 2011 – 2013. At Federation level, I have served as the National Representative of Malaysia at Federation 2012 – 2014, and Federation Board member, and am currently in my second term as Federation Programme Coordinator”.
Q: What do you love about being a Soroptimist?
“Being able to give back to the community to benefit and empower women and girls to be the best that they can be. A highlight has been making an impact with underprivileged youths, by imparting soft skills to them and giving them the advantage to get jobs. Since 2012, SI Damansara has been instrumental in delivering an impactful programme called ‘Life Skills for Youth’ which involves preparing underprivileged youths to be ready to go to work. Working with five vocational schools, SI Damansara delivers an eight-day training programme which includes resume writing, communications skills, interview skills, goal setting, leadership training, financial fitness skills, safety and health and labour laws to underprivileged young women and men. The programme is a collaboration with Education Development Corporation of USA and JP Morgan Chase Foundation. The intangible results of the programme are improved confidence of the youths and positive attitudes in pursuing their life goals. In addition, SI Damansara assists with the placement of these young men and women in jobs and has seen at least 82% of youths getting jobs within three months of graduating with the vocational certificates. To date, over 1,800 underprivileged youths have graduated from the ‘Life Skills for Youth’ programme”.
Q: Would you tell us a little about yourself?
“I am an Investment Banker by training and an Investor Relations specialist. I love to take on and manage projects which impact women and children and to travel with friends and family”.
Q: What is the most thrilling part of working on the Convention Committee 2019?
“As Local Co-Chair of Operations and Protocol, the team and I manage individual aspects of the entire Convention programme, such as registration, opening and closing ceremony, the logistics of the plenary sessions and workshops, friendship night and gala dinner. We also take care of the speakers, including their accommodation, flights, stewardship and individual needs, the collaterals of the entire Convention and the production of conference bags, convention brochures, signages, backdrop, publicity materials, digital communications, the protocols and the management of floor arrangements for the Convention programmes. It is wonderful to work with such a great bunch of Malaysian and overseas Soroptimists and put my talents to good use. I am really looking forward to showcasing Malaysian hospitality and organising a most memorable Convention”.
Early Bird Registration begins on 20 July 2018. For further information:
Interview with SI Convention Chair, Puan Sri Siew Yong Gnanalingam
Visit the SI Kuala Lumpur Convention Website HERE