Tag Archives: hYPe

Our Under 40’s: Our Community’s Next Leaders.

Almost two years ago, The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce launched its young professional program hYPe: Helping Young Professionals Excel. From its inaugural 2011 event where 125+ young people under the age of 40 attended, to the group of hYPe members who volunteered at last month’s Taste of Bloomington, this has been and is an organization about involvement. Each month hYPe members attend personal or professional development events where they learn new skills and make new connections with peers. As important, the programming of hYPE helps to create a support structure that builds leaders. Always, these young professionals are involved in the learning process – becoming better employees, stronger leaders and forging stronger bonds within their community.

This was exactly the hope when hYPe was launched.

The Chamber‘s Board of Directors recognized the importance of engaging our next generation of leaders to help generate a greater pipeline for talent within our community. To underscore their commitment to hYPe and its mission, the Board’s nominating committee selected the hYPe Steering Committee Chair – Faye Jameson, to serve on the Chamber’s board of directors. For a young professional to play an active role on a board filled by some of the community’s strongest leaders is an incredible opportunity. But, the opportunity to have a “fresh voice” of a young leader on the Chamber Board is equally as important.

You get a very different voice at a table – whether it’s in the boardroom or as part of your leadership team – when there is someone under 40. So many believe that our under 40’s only bring an understanding of technology since most all have grown up in a world where apps, social networks and smart phones are the Millennial generation’s versions of Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. But, this limited thinking is…well, limited. Our under 40’s bring so much more.

A young professional’s fresh perspective, insight as to what resonates with their age group, willingness to try new ideas and out-of the-box thinking can benefit any organization or any board. Our world is changing at a rapid rate and our young professionals are skilled at navigating a rapidly changing world. These are individuals you want to have at the proverbial “table”.

According to one study, less than 2% of nonprofit board members are under 30 years old. In contrast, 57% of nonprofit board members are 50 and over. All they need is a chance to utilize their skills…But first, they need to be asked. I encourage businesses and organizations in our community to look for ways to engage our young professionals in meaningful professional relationships through board service, volunteer task force or committees.

Not certain how to make it happen?

  • The first step is to identify and remove any barriers to engaging young leaders. Sometimes this means you have to “break the mold” of what you usually look for from a person when filling these positions.
  • If you know and can articulate the value they will bring to your organization, you’re half way there.
  • Provide your young professionals with proper expectations and allow them to feel comfortable within your organization.
  • Finally, make a commitment to always find room for a young professional to “be at your table.” They have been reared in a world of constant communication and collaboration, so be prepared for the energy and ideas that can be unleashed.

On July 26, The Chamber and our hYPe program will host the “10 Under 40” Awards at the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center. If you want to see, first-hand, the amazing young talent and leadership we have in our community, please join us. For more information about hYPe or the “10 Under 40” Awards, please visit www.ChamberBloomington.org or www.hYPeBloomington.org.

Exciting Times at The Chamber

What a crazy last couple of weeks. Of course I broke my New Year’s resolution to blog every week the second week of 2011… At least I’m jumping back on the horse and trying again this week.

It has been a bit of a whirlwind these past couple of weeks as The Chamber hosted the first Women Excel Bloomington luncheon of 2011 on Tuesday, January 18, there was a snow storm later that week that delayed the hYPe Launch, but we were finally able to have the launch event on Monday, January 24. Last week we also had the first Business After Hours of 2011 at the Monroe County Building Association Home Show the evening of January 27, and an ABC: About Business Connections that focused on credit card processing with Infintech on Friday, January 28. This week, we host our first Healthy Business Bloomington Breakfast of 2011 on Wednesday, February 2, another ABC on February 8, and the first hYPe professional development event on February 9. Then, on February 23, we host the first BizLink event of the New Year focusing on website optimization.

Whew, just typing all of those events made my fingers tired, but we think it is important to offer a variety of different events so that all business, small and large, for-profit and not-for-profit all benefit from their Chamber membership. We also encourage non-members to attend many of our events, get a feel for what we are all about, and explore the many benefits that come with Chamber membership.

Do you have a suggestion for a new event or ideas to make current events better? We want feedback from you so that we are meeting our member’s needs. If there is something we are not doing, or something we could do better please let us know so that we can discuss as a staff your suggestion and possibly make changes to improve our service.

Chamber to Debut New Young Professionals Program

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the creation of “hYPe: Helping Young Professionals Excel,” a new program for young professionals between the ages of 21 and 40 in Bloomington, Indiana.  Slated as one of The Chamber’s new programs for 2011, hYPe will facilitate professional and personal development while encouraging networking for young professionals who live, learn, work, or play in Bloomington.

“As a community, Bloomington has taken positive steps to define and nurture business growth opportunities, and we see hYPe as a great way to help retain the immense talent that our local universities and organizations produce,” says Christy Gillenwater, President and CEO of The Chamber. “By connecting our young professionals to others and providing paths to continued professional development, The Chamber is actively creating our next generation of leaders.”

The hYPe program officially launches on January 20, 2011 with a special kick-off event at KRC Catering and Banquets from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  The event is free and is open to individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 years old.

The event will feature networking activities and a special presentation by Scott Wise, founder and owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse, who will discuss being a young entrepreneur and share business advice with attendees. Steve Bryant, Executive Director of the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington, will emcee the evening’s activities.  Hors d’oeuvers will be served throughout the event and a cash bar will be available.

“The Chamber plans to hold future hYPe events on the second Wednesday of every month,” explains Gillenwater. “Events will alternate focus on professional development and personal development, and all of them will include ample time to network and meet other young professionals in Bloomington.”

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce extends its thanks to professional development series sponsor Solution Tree, and event sponsor KRC Catering and Banquets for their generous support of this new initiative. More sponsorship opportunities are still available for this year’s calendar of events. Contact DeJohn Rose at drose@chamberbloomington.org or (812) 336-6381 for more information.

To register to attend the first event visit http://tinyurl.com/hYPeLaunch, or sign up to be added to the mailing list by filling out a participant information sheet and returning it to hype@chamberbloomington.org. You can also find more information about hYPe on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/hYPeBTOWN, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hYPeBloomington.