To show our appreciation for our volunteers, we turn the spotlight on them from time to time and learn what drives them day in and day out. Today, we meet volunteer Jamie Briesemeister, of Integration Controls in St Louis, MO.
A volunteer since 2012, Briesemeister currently volunteers in support of CEDIA training, including the Business Xchange, and is a CEDIA Groups leader.
Why do you volunteer?
I believe we need to be the change we want to see in the world (thank you, Gandhi!) and I enjoy influencing people towards positive change and togetherness. Teamwork makes the dream work!
What’s your favorite CEDIA memory?
I don’t have one specific favorite memory. It’s more a culmination of experiences. For example, the first few days in Chicago when the Professional Development Committee was being developed was an eye-opening experience. For the first time, I got to see how CEDIA worked from the inside out and it fueled me to know how passionate CEDIA employees truly are. Being a part of the Business Xchange
committee, however, has been the most rewarding.
What’s your advice for new volunteers?
There are a lot of relationships and history among some of the CEDIA volunteers, which can make new volunteers feel as if they need to hold their tongue. Don’t! Be kind about it, but speak freely and raise awareness or objections, as needed. Also—if you are good at what you do, CEDIA will ask you to keep volunteering! Know that you will likely be in it for the long haul and be prepared to say "no" if you simply don’t have the time.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
Triumphs and Tribulations of a Red-Headed Step-Child
What songs are on the soundtrack to your life?
Three Little Birds, by Bob Marley
Just a Ride, by Jem
Hayling, by FC/Kahuna
Joyful Girl, by Ani DiFranco
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
I started babysitting at 11 years of age and got my first job when I was 14. First major purchase: ½ of a plane ticket to visit my aunt in England when I was 14 (she paid the rest).
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Condiments galore, leftover Mexican food, and organic fruits and vegetables.
What is your favorite color? Why?
Love the color red—so many variations and full of passion!
What phrase do you use the most?
“I love you.” Most people don’t hear it enough…
What is your all-time funniest prank?
I’m not much of a prankster, but in high school, I had ornery moments. I removed keys from keyboards in a computer lab when at a speech and debate tournament. Hard-core, I know!