This year, President Kay asked me to shine a spotlight on some of our senators this year to get to know them better. For each quarter, I will post a profile on a Senator for the newsletter and web site. John Seaborn #51281 was chosen for the first profile. I sent him several questions and the answers are very enlightening. John has been active with the Virginia Senate for the past few years but how well do you know him?
· How would your closest friends describe you?
I took a big chance and asked Lisa what they would say. She said loyal and honest. Whew, could have been a lot worse. My best friends have been my friends since college, or from my early Jaycee days. My dad used to say “your reputation is the most valuable thing you have”, so I’ve always tried to be honest and treat everybody fairly.
· What do you do when you aren't (working, volunteering)?
Lisa and I both retired at the end of last year, so we are enjoying life. We took our first cruise and have taken some smaller trips. We are plotting additional travels. I have a long list of places I’d like to go. I’d like to visit all 50 states and all the Major League Baseball Parks. I have a ways to go on both but making progress. For now, we have the Pirates Rookie League team here in Bristol. Lisa and I have season tickets, so spending evenings watching future big leaguers (maybe).
· Tell me how you first got involved in with the Jaycees.
I moved to Bristol, in 1984 for a new job. A few months later, I was invited to a Jaycee meeting. I wanted to get involved in my new community and meet other young people. Back then, the Bristol Jaycees was a 200 member chapter with 50 or 60 people at every meeting. I was hooked right away. We ran so many projects back then it really kept me busy. And those road trips to state meetings gave me the opportunity to make friends from all over the state.
· What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?
I feel that we all have an obligation to do what we can to make our communities better and to help others who are less fortunate. Besides the obligation, it is fun! I have had so many great experiences and met so many great people who have become lifelong friends as a result of getting involved in Jaycees and other organizations. You really do get more out of it than you could ever give.
· What else can you tell me about your involvement in the Jaycees?
I met my wife, Lisa, in Jaycees. One of her co-works invited her, so she could fix her up with somebody else. We just celebrated our 28th anniversary, so I guess it worked out pretty well.
· As a result of your involvement in the Jaycees, what have you done outside of the Jaycees that is a direct result?
After we moved back to Bristol in 2010, one of our past Bristol Jaycee Presidents asked Lisa to join the Board of Directors for the Children’s Advocacy Center for Bristol and Washington County. She said she knew if she got one of us she would get both. Lisa went on to be President of their board. Sure enough, I’ve tagged along to fundraisers and work days.
· Outside of the Jaycees, did you get involved in other civic organizations and if so, what did you accomplish?
I’ve been involved in some other groups over the years. I’ve been in the Kiwanis a couple of times for brief periods. I have been active in my local Republican Committees first in Campbell County, then in Chesterfield and now in Washington County, where I just finished a term as County Chair. It’s interesting how many old Jaycees I run into at events. I have been a member of the Bristol Evening Lions Club for about 5 years and became President last month. During our time in Lynchburg, Lisa and I were active in the Emmaus Community and did several Epiphany weekends, where we did ministry at the Natural Bridge Juvenile Correctional Center. I was Lay Director of one of these weekends. Chairing projects and holding leadership offices in Jaycees gave me confidence that I could lead in these other organizations.
· Tell me about some of your hobbies/interests/travel you’ve done outside of your volunteering.
I am sort of a history buff and enjoy reading history related books, especially biographies of presidents and other leaders. I enjoy visiting historic sites. I collect political buttons, so enjoy going to shows and antique markets to search them out. I like music, travel and sports (especially Tennessee Lady Vol’s Basketball). Last year we took a trip to Costa Rica with some old Jaycee friends who had bought a condo for a week at a charity auction. I had never thought of Costa Rica as somewhere I’d like to go, but these days I tend to focus on reasons we can do things instead of reasons we can’t. Generally, all you have to say is “go” and I’m in.
· If you weren't (volunteering, using their services, etc.), what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
It’s hard to imagine not being involved. I gained so much from my involvement in Jaycees and other organizations - experiences, memories, friendships. I’d be missing out on a lot.
· What else can you tell your fellow Senators about yourself?
I have been greatly blessed. Of all the places Lisa and I have lived, Bristol was always our favorite and we were able to move back. We’ve had the opportunity to take early retirement, while we are still young enough and healthy enough to enjoy it. Our daughter, Madison is here in Bristol and doing well. She’s going to ETSU (where I am an alumnus) and working at the Virginian Country Club. I’m looking forward to more travel and to see what the next few years has in store.
John, thank you once again for your answers!
Troy Anderson #67983
Historian, VA JCI Senate