Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Getting to Know…New International Director Jon Tehven

A member only since 1996, John Tehven from Iowa in District One, has quickly rose to the recently elected position of International Director. Let’s find out a little more about this motivated man.

Q: Compared to some of our other officers, you’re a relatively new member of Sons of Norway. What drew you to the organization?

A: My job was training director for an insurance company, so I was on the airplane and traveling all the time. I didn’t belong to much besides church and I had friends that kept saying you need to join Sons of Norway. When my traveling stopped, I did.

Q: What positions have you held besides district president?

A: Lodge vice president, lodge president and then zone director. After that, district secretary and then district president. I had some significant encouragement.

Q: And why did you get involved after just a few years with district leadership?

A: I have never actively sought office; others have come to me and said, “You should do this.” I had some very good mentors.

Q: What has the transition been like from district president to international director?

A: As district president, there is a huge amount of functional things that have to happen, and the international board will be more visionary.

Q: What would you like to see for Sons of Norway in the next decade?

A: I think we need to have greater insurance participation, need to grow and retain our membership and keep building the Foundation.

I’m very encouraged by the proactiveness of the Sons of Norway and the strategic planning committees of the board. I think that they’re very effective and a good way to build our organization.

I think that we need to continue workshops that train our leaders in the many parts of the Sons of Norway.

Q: What is a characteristic of our fraternal benefit society unique to Sons of Norway?

A: I think that there are some parts here. I think that what happens here at the international office, that the leadership here is individually and collectively as good a leadership experience as I’ve had anywhere.

And in our lodges, I think we have, as a volunteer organization, exceptional leaders. We ask a lot of them and they respond because they think it’s important.

Q: Favorite Norwegian food?

A: My mother’s lefse, but I like rommegrøt also.

Q: Favorite skol?

A: Every year at our house we have a Superbowl party, so that’s our favorite party. Go Bears!

Q: Most amazing experience in Norway?

A: It was visiting my cousins in the Lofoten Islands. We stayed with them, and they came and stayed with us.

Q: Favorite convention memory?

A: Solglimt lodge getting Lodge of the Year; I’m very proud of it. We celebrated at our lodge.

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