Congratulations Molly Center

MollyCongratulations to EYPN’s Molly Center for winning the Marguerite Henry Award for Communication/Technology at the 33rd Annual YWCA Elgin Leader Luncheon on Thursday, May 12. Molly is the third EYPN member to win the award (Krisilee Murphy, 2012 and Kari Christensen, 2015).

Here is the complete nomination narrative for Molly submitted by EYPN:

In 70 words or less provide important accomplishments that support your nominee being chosen as the 2016 award recipient in their category.

As Multimedia Specialist for the City of Elgin, Molly Center manages and has significantly developed the reach of the city’s extensive social media communications presence, which encompasses 50 different social accounts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn. She also manages content for the city’s website (www.cityofelgin.org) and leads the creation of the city’s visual marketing, branding and messaging graphics for city events, initiatives and communications.

List the significant achievements of the nominee in the named category.

As the manager of the City of Elgin’s social media communications, Molly has a key role in both crafting and delivering a variety of important news from myriad city departments across multiple traditional and non-traditional communication platforms to this diverse municipality of over 110,000 people. She strategically orchestrates a comprehensive communications schedule for 27 different city Facebook accounts, 14 Twitter accounts and multiple e-mail lists. Under her leadership, the number of daily news postings, engaged followers and overall reach of these social accounts has nearly doubled! She also manages content for the city’s website thru their Salesforce database and contributes content to the city’s quarterly Neighbor newsletter and monthly Special Events eblast.

As part of the Elgin Area Chamber’s Enhancing Elgin committee, Molly helped organize a group of Elgin marketing and social media professionals in an effort to more effectively leverage all of the communications resources of the Elgin community. The #Elgin365 Committee, which includes participants from Gail Borden Library, the Elgin Area Chamber, Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Downtown Neighborhood Association and other Elgin groups, meets monthly to discuss ways to collaboratively share positive stories about Elgin, as well as, determine ways to strategically tie Elgin to local and national trending topics on social media. (For example, researching and sharing stories about important women in Elgin’s history for National Women’s History Month.) By integrating and cross promoting the group’s new #Elgin365 hashtag amongst these and other area communications outlets’ online postings, it is the hope of the committee to saturate Elgin’s social media landscape with all the good news Elgin has to offer and thus positively impact the narrative about our great community.

She has also been heavily involved in the rollout of the newest version of the city’s Elgin 311 app, including writing content for the Elgin Today section and analyzing and researching the Twitter presences of local businesses and restaurants for potential integration into a new “Business” section for the app – thus making the app more valuable not only to residents and visitors as a source for local information but to business owners and employees as a driver of economic development.

Molly also has completely revamped the city’s visual marketing and messaging by developing more streamlined, uniform and professional looking branding for print collateral, advertising, logos and online postings. In a way, Molly enjoys the unique role of shaping both the image and voice for the City of Elgin. Not bad for a young professional.

List past or present positions of leadership or responsibility.

Molly currently serves as the Staff Liaison to the City of Elgin’s Sustainability Commission where she runs monthly commission meetings, takes meeting minutes and provides vital communication between city staff and the commission as well as grant and sponsorship applicants. She also manages the commission’s Facebook page where she authors and promotes weekly “Waste Wednesday” tips which describe a variety of sustainable practices for residents, from recycling yard waste to proper disposal of household batteries. Under her leadership, the Sustainability Commission’s Facebook page has grown to nearly 700 likes with marked levels of social media engagement from the community.

She began her tenure with the City of Elgin as a Naturalist for Hawthorn Hills Nature Center, where she organized volunteer clean-up efforts and other events.

Describe qualities of leadership demonstrated by the nominee.

Molly’s leadership is demonstrated by her actions and her work ethic. Quite simply, she leads by doing. Shouldering the responsibility of being the “traffic cop” for getting out nearly all of the City of Elgin’s online communications is not something easily accomplished. It takes tremendous drive, diligence and patience to interface and follow-up with the major city departments on providing relevant and accurate content for their areas on a weekly basis. It then takes a great deal of time management savvy to develop said content and appropriate visual messaging for multiple social platforms in a timely and compliant fashion, and it takes supreme organization skills and a thorough understanding of the social media “tricks of the trade” to then strategically schedule all of those postings. It is these traits as well as her thoughtful listening skills, abundant creativity and willingness to go above and beyond in every facet of her work that make her an outstanding leader and an ideal candidate for this award.

Describe how this person has demonstrated a commitment to excellence.

Though already well-versed in social media communications, Molly felt it was important to further increase her skills through continuing education. Thus in February 2015, she worked with members of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, Elgin Area Chamber and Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, to secure funds for a group of local social media professionals to attend a Social Media Boot Camp produced by nationally acclaimed Ragan Communications. The two-day virtual training session provided the group a well-rounded education on newer social media and marketing trends. This continual search to broaden her knowledge base and experience makes Molly an invaluable resource to the city and demonstrates her commitment to excellence.

Explain how the nominee made an outstanding or innovative contribution in the category.

The City of Elgin recently launched a new website and communications initiative called “Investing in Elgin” (www.cityofelgin.org/construction) to keep Elgin residents informed on capital improvement projects, such as road construction, street resurfacing or sewer repairs. Molly was the lead on developing this new website for the city, which details timelines and costs for each project and integrates a social component to the initiative that pushes site content about each project to residents thru a weekly e-mail blast as well as Twitter, Facebook and the city’s Elgin 311 app for mobile devices. This new proactive, multi-channel approach to engagement with the community helps solidify Elgin as a trend-setting, innovative municipality.

To help reach a broader audience and better disseminate topics discussed by City Council, Molly also live tweets council meetings on Twitter, which serves to expand civic interest from the community on the inner-workings of their local government.

List any achievement which has made improvements in the specific profession, business, or service.

As recently as three years ago, the City of Elgin’s communications footprint was significantly less visible and their online branding identity was disjointed at best. Over the last two years, Molly has worked hard to increase the city’s reach to its citizens thru a diligent, more strategic approach to social media postings including a larger focus on content. By adding or updating over 30 new Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for city of Elgin committees, special events and other municipal branches and nearly quadrupling its social media reach, the city can now more effectively target its communications to a specific audience. Couple that with a more unified, cohesive messaging and advertising brand developed by Molly, the City of Elgin now has a robust, well-oiled communications machine to better engage with a much larger segment of the Elgin community, thanks in large part to the efforts and leadership exemplified by Molly Center.

EYPN Game Night at Chooch’s Pizza

EYPN_Game_NightHave you got game? EYPN does.

On Thursday, May 19 beginning at 6pm, the Elgin Young Professionals Network invites you to join us at Chooch’s Pizza, 64 S. Grove Avenue in downtown Elgin, for EYPN Game Night – our totally tricked-out take on Trivia Night with both a Hollywood Game Night and Minute to Win It-style twist.

Come early for dinner and drinks (at your own expense) and mingling. Then at 6:30pm, we’ll divide up into teams of 3-4 people for a knock-down, drag-out battle of wits, wisdom and wackiness. We will announce the complete list of games and scoring system before the event date so stay tuned!

The overall winning team will receive a prize package of local Elgin goodies.

The event is free and open to anyone of any age who wants to learn more about all that EYPN does for the Elgin community. Bring yourself – or your team - and an appetite for hot pizza and even hotter competition.

Last year’s event was a blast so come out and play. Play for pride! Play to win! Play because…well, it’s a night of play with the cool kids from EYPN!

Let the games begin!

EYPN Spring Cash Mob at Mama Lee’s Gourmet Popcorn

11168464_662657193868839_2317262293570076496_nOn Saturday, May 14 from 11am-2pm, Elgin Young Professionals Network presents its Spring Cash Mob taking place at Mama Lee’s Gourmet Popcorn, 20 S. Spring Street in downtown Elgin.

Stop in for a tin or a couple bags of delicious popcorn. All customers who spend at least $20 and mention EYPN Cash Mob will be entered for a chance to win a raffle prize.

Much like a Flash Mob, a Cash Mob is where shoppers are invited to show up en masse to “mob” the local business on a set date and time frame to shop, socialize and spend. Participants are also encouraged beforehand to spread the word to their spheres of influence thru their social media channels and word-of-mouth to effectively deliver one huge day of sales to these local businesses.

To date, our EYPN members have successfully mobbed:

Elgin Books & Coffee
SpaceTaste Gallery
State Street Market
Downtown Elgin Harvest Market
Herb’s Bakery
Tinsel Holiday Pop-Up Shop
The Flower Wagon, South Elgin
Brittain’s Express Oil & Lube

Join us on Saturday, May 14 to support this local business!

 

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Administrative Assistant

Alignment final logo cmyk ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Alignment Collaborative for Education – Elgin IL.

Alignment Collaborative for Education (ACE) is a collective impact nonprofit organization whose mission is to align community resources in support of public school strategies to raise student achievement, improve the health and happiness of our children, create responsible, productive and contributing members of our society, and advance the economic and social well-being of our community. Position Summary: We are seeking an energetic and flexible individual who can provide efficient and professional administrative support to the Executive Director and the Governing Board, as well as other office members in a variety of administrative and office tasks. Candidate must have an appreciation for working within a diverse community. This is a 24-29 hour a week Non- Exempt position. The schedule is set from Monday -Friday. Employee May be required to work late evenings or weekends when necessary.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Maintain up-to-date contact lists for Governing Board, Operating Board, and all A-Teams.
  • Maintain email databases.
  • Prepare and distribute materials for all meetings of the Operating Board, Governing Board and A-Teams.
  • Facilitate communication with Executive Director, Governing Board, Operating Board, and A-Teams, and provide them first-level administrative support for their activities, including generating meeting agendas, taking minutes and notes at Board and A-Team meetings, and creating written communications.
  • Coordinate meeting details involving Executive Director, Governing Board, Operating Board, and A-Teams.  Set meetings, coordinate calendars, and work with outside community partners where meetings are held.
  • Assist in development of team implementation plans, assessment plans, and continuous improvement plans.
  • Maintain management plans (timelines, milestones, etc.) for team work.
  • Ensure active and ongoing participation of A-Team and Governing Board members, including attendance record-keeping.  Assist in succession process of A-Team chairs and vice chairs and Governing Board members.
  • Train and provide technical assistance to team members on ACE website and other technical tools.
  • Answer inquiries, take messages, and provide support for community members who call with inquiries about ACE.
  • Organize and update filing.
  • Assist with financial reports as required.
  • Prepare invoices and financial statements as directed.
  • Any other activities as determined by the Executive Director.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems, such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Strong understanding of the structure and content of the English language.
  • High level of accuracy, professionalism, and self-motivation.
  • Efficient organization, project management, and multi-tasking skills with demonstrated ability to manage expectations and deliver results required.
  • Ability to prioritize and execute on multiple, simultaneous, and complex projects with an acute attention to detail.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Associates Degree with administrative experience or Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • Advanced application/usage of electronic equipment and computer hardware and software, including but not limited to: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, QuickBooks, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Experience with non-profits a plus

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Comfortable communicating on the phone, through e-mail, and having face-to-face discussions daily.
  • Requires sitting for long periods of time.
  • Majority of tasks and projects will be performed indoors in environmentally controlled conditions with a moderate noise level.  However, there is some walking, standing, bending, and carrying of light items under 10 lbs.  Also, the employee must have manual dexterity, visual and auditory acuity.  Some repetitive motion is involved.

NOTE: This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties as negotiated to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

To apply for this position, please send your resume and cover letter to Raquel McCormick – Executive Director Mccormickace@gmail.com Office : 224-227-7534

EYPN Professional Development: Job Safari – The Search for the Elusive Job

EYPN1 (4)

Been bogged down in the swamp too long? Looking for a new adventure? Then pick up your safari hat and travel with Professor Scott Gardner of Rock Valley College as we learn about the secrets of finding that elusive job/promotion on Wednesday, April 27 from 6-8pm at United Way of Elgin, 1750 Grandstand Place, #5 in Elgin.

Learning what to pack and what tools you might need on your journey will serve you well. We’ll focus on two of your most important tools of the trade—resumes and cover letters. It doesn’t have to be a jungle out there—learn simple but important rules for writing these essential employment documents. So what are you waiting for?

You’ll learn…

1. About the role of the job description in the employment search
2. How to assess and correlate your skills to the position you seek
3. The importance of the story telling in the job hunting process
4. Paragraph by paragraph writing techniques
5. Strategies for improving your resume

Bring your hat (if you like) and a job description (optional) for a new adventure you might like to pursue.

The event is open to everyone. No membership is required.

 

Coffee with EYPN at Domani Cafe

13781_695489747227972_5848559768241270615_nWe would like to invite everyone to stop into Domani Café, 109 E. Highland Avenue in downtown Elgin on Friday, April 1 from 7:30-9:30am, and have a cup (or two) of coffee with us. This event is open to both young professionals and established professionals. Come learn who the Elgin Young Professionals Network is and what we do!

This is a great opportunity to come together and support one of the wonderful coffee shops we have in downtown Elgin. You buy your coffee and we’ll provide the conversation and company.

Stop in on your way to work!

February EYPN Meeting at Chooch’s Pizza

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UPDATE (2/24): Due to the weather expected tonight we are cancelling the meeting that was scheduled for 6pm at Chooch’s Pizza.

Our next event is the EYPN Mixer with the DYPN Hosted by the Family Service Association (Facebook Event Page) on Wednesday, March 9.

We will send out an email tomorrow with the full schedule of EYPN events thru June. Have a wonderful night and get home safe!

October EYPN Meeting at Dog’s Paw Brewing

cropped-eypn1.jpgOur next Elgin Young Professionals Network meeting is Tuesday, October 27 at Dog’s Paw Brewing, 74 S. Grove Avenue in downtown Elgin, at 6pm.

Topics to be covered include: Recaps of Coffee with EYPN, Professional Development Series and Tweet Night with ESO, sign-up for our new Salvation Army Angel Tree holiday giving campaign, brainstorming ideas for next year and more!

This event is also open to anyone interested in joining or learning more about the leadership building and community service opportunities available with EYPN.

Help EYPN Support Salvation Army Angel Tree Program

angel-tree-6This year EYPN is partnering with the Elgin Salvation Army on the organization’s annual Angel Tree program to help spread joy and cheer to the less fortunate during the holidays.

At our next EYPN meeting on Tuesday, October 27 at Dog’s Paw Brewing, 74 S. Grove Avenue in downtown Elgin, you can pick up an Angel Tag, which represents the holiday wish of an area youth. If you are unable to make the 10/27 meeting, you can also contact Elissa Kojzarek at ekojzarek@uwelgin.org to have an Angel Tag sent to you.

Participants should then purchase the item listed on the tag and bring it to the November EYPN meeting on Thursday, November 19.

Let’s make 2015 a warm and joyous holiday experience!

EYPN Cash Mob: Brittain’s Oil & Lube

brittainsOn Saturday, September 26 from 8am-3pm, Elgin Young Professionals Network presents its Fall Cash Mob taking place at Brittain’s Express Oil & Lube, 1572 Larkin Avenue in Elgin.

Stop in for a car wash or an oil change that day and register for a chance to win a raffle package of 10 car washes or another raffle prize of a free oil change.

Much like a Flash Mob, a Cash Mob is where shoppers are invited to show up en masse to “mob” the local business on a set date and time frame to shop, socialize and spend. Participants are also encouraged beforehand to spread the word to their spheres of influence thru their social media channels and word-of-mouth to effectively deliver one huge day of sales to these local businesses.

To date, our EYPN members have successfully mobbed:

  • Elgin Books & Coffee
  • SpaceTaste Gallery
  • State Street Market
  • Downtown Elgin Harvest Market
  • Herb’s Bakery
  • Tinsel Holiday Pop-Up Shop
  • The Flower Wagon, South Elgin

Join us on Saturday, September 26 to support this local business!