By: Maria Landron, Circle K International Trustee

It’s June 2019. I arrived at CKIx 2019 in Disney World. It was my first international convention, and I was excited (and scared) to be running for trustee. My suits were picked out (red, a great color for running for office), and my speeches were printed in Century Gothic (we love our brand guide!) That weekend I was elected by the members of CKI to serve on my first international board. Here are few things that I did to prepare as an international candidate.

    1. Decide to run: This might be obvious but deciding to serve on the CKI board should not be taken lightly. I didn’t see myself as an international trustee until I lost a district board election. I knew I wasn’t done serving CKI, and I wanted to have a platform where I could shape the future of our organization and implement my ideas. When I was deciding whether I should run, I took into consideration things like time commitments and what I could do with the position.
      • Tip: Talk to trusted CKI friends who can guide you through your decision-making process. For me, Immediate Past International President Billy inspired me to run. He gave me the push I needed to serve CKI at the next level.
    2. Set your platform: Setting your goals is important when running for international office. Think to yourself — what does CKI need right now? What parts of CKI need improvement? Once you decide what issues you’d like to tackle, put yourself as part of the solution. What can you do in one year to improve our organization?
      • Tip No. 1: Be specific. When I ran, I wanted to focus on helping our new clubs, and I centered my platform around how I wanted to help clubs that were in the process of chartering. Other candidates have focused on finances or membership growth. You don’t have to base your entire campaign in just one aspect — but the more specific your goals are the better!
      • Tip No. 2: Be realistic about your goals. Talk to CKI board members about the things that you can accomplish in one year and check out the board book to see what type of projects we’re working on.
    3. Don’t be shy: When I ran for trustee, I was nervous to reach out to CKI board members or anyone outside my district. Don’t be afraid to talk about the role with those who are familiar with it or other candidates to discuss your platforms. At the end of the year, everyone’s here for a better CKI.
    4. Know the rules: Like any other election, there are campaign rules. Make sure you review the election process and know what you are allowed and not allowed to do.
    5. Practice: Voters will be asking you questions about your plans, experience and CKI journey. Practice so you’re ready and comfortable answering questions.
    6. Have fun: I know — very cliche — but my first time running for international trustee was a blur! Enjoy the moment and be present every step of the way.

People always ask me about my job and why I decided to run (and re-run). I love being an international trustee because I get to support and connect districts. I knew that I wanted to have the greatest impact possible in this organization and be able to improve the member experience. I felt serving on the CKI board was the best way to do that. I’ve had such an incredible experience on the board and if I had decided not to run, I would have never met some of my closest friends or implemented programs that would shape the future of CKI.

Maria Landron is a two-time international trustee from the Florida District. Maria currently serves the California-Nevada-Hawaii, Colombia, Ohio, Rocky Mountain, and Eastern Canada districts. Maria also serves on the Executive Committee and the Global Development Committee. She is a senior at Palm Beach Atlantic University studying public relations and psychology. In her spare time, she enjoys watching “The Bachelor,” Facetiming her CKI friends and spending time with her sister, who is also her club president. To reach out to Maria or anyone on the CKI Board click here.