YFU Switzerland

Jerry – our new National Director

Jerry

Jerry is 44 years old and lives in Morges together with his partner Jyothi, who works for UNICEF. Jerry loves to run marathons and cook. He speaks French, German, English and Swedish fluently, quite a bit of Spanish and is currently improving his Russian. He is pleased to embark on this new experience with YFU Switzerland. First of all welcome to YFU Switzerland.

What was your motivation to become YFUs new ND?

YFU is an organization with strong values, a vision and mission that I have always cared a lot about and with which I strongly identify. I am convinced that YFU makes a great difference in the lives of thousands and gives young people, families and communities a unique chance to broaden their horizons.

In my view, the role of ND is very attractive because you can have a significant impact on the organization and contribute to its success.

Running an organization like YFU Switzerland is quite challenging, but it is also an opportunity which I am ready to take on.

Also, after having been for almost 20 years in the corporate sector, this is a chance for me to come full circle back to the non-profit world.

What is your professional background?

I have done a bit of a double career. Firstly, I worked as a Human Resources professional and executive in the financial industry. Secondly, as an entrepreneur for an IT company I co-founded some 10 years ago. I am also regularly invited as a guest lecturer to universities and business schools. I have a Masters in political science from the Université de Lausanne and an executive MBA from Copenhagen Business School.

When and on what occasion did you first come in contact with YFU?

It was in 1987, when Stéphane Jeannet made a presentation at the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Neuchâtel where I was studying. After this presentation, it was clear to me that I wanted to spend a year abroad and that I wanted to do it with YFU. What country did you exchange to? I went to the USA (’88-’89), to a small town called Washington in the State of Indiana; a place at the heart of the Amish country, surrounded by corn fields and where high school basketball is a religion.

If you had to choose one memory of your exchange year what would it be?

That is a tough question, there are so many good memories associated with this period of my life. I think that overall it is the experience and feeling of calling another place home, and to have gained a new family and very close international friends.

Now that you had the chance to work for YFU for multiple days. How has it been so far?

Fun and busy. Lots of meetings and quite an intensive introduction to the many different aspects of YFU, some of which are familiar and others new to me (even after having been Regional Director for French Speaking Switzerland from 1991-1994). Getting to know the staff in the office and theboard members has been both enjoyable and enlightening. Now I am very much looking forward to meeting and working together with the volunteers, who play such an important and central role in YFU.

What is your vision for YFU Switzerland?

I understand that YFU Switzerland has had a couple of challenging years and that there is a lot to be done. Simply put, I would like the organization to become more dynamic, successful and cool. My goal is that YFU becomes THE pre-eminent player and THE organization in the field of youth exchange in Switzerland.

Is there anything you would like to say to all the people involved with YFU?

Yes, That this is a great organization, an organization that changes people’s lives and gives them access to the world and a world of opportunities. I am honoured to have been chosen as National Director and I look forward to developing and growing YFU Switzerland together with all the people who care about and are part of YFU. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us to accomplish our goals, but we’ll also have a lot of fun doing it.

Thank you for your interview and good luck in your new position.

The Social Media Team of YFU Switzerland