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.

June EYPN Monthly Meeting at Danny’s Pizza on Douglas

cropped-eypn1.jpgOur next Elgin Young Professionals Network meeting is Tuesday, June 23 at Danny’s Pizza on Douglas, 231 Douglas Avenue in downtown Elgin, at 6pm.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Members Only Social Event
  • EYPN Book Club
  • Volunteer Nights at Food for Greater Elgin
  • EYPN Mentor Program Update
  • EYPN Brown Bag Lunch recap
  • EYPN Movie Night recap
  • 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.

Brown Bag Lunch Series Debuts This Summer

EYPNBBatBBCElgin Young Professionals Network will relaunch lunch this summer.

Beginning in June, EYPN invites the public to join us for our new, informal monthly summer lunch series, where you can get to know our vast network of young professionals better and catch up on all that we are doing in the Elgin community.

Our first EYPN Brown Bag Summer Lunch Series event takes place on Tuesday, June 9 at Blue Box Café, 176 E. Chicago Street in downtown Elgin, from 12-1pm. Blue Box will be offering exclusive lunch specials for all of our guests in an actual EYPN Brown Bag! Tweet, Facebook or Instagram your experience using the hashtag #EYPNBBatBBC.

Please RSVP on our Facebook event page.

It’s in the bag this summer with EYPN.

A schedule of the remaining Brown Bag Lunch Series events will be posted soon. Stay tuned for details.

EYPN’s Kari Christensen Wins YWCA Elgin Leader Luncheon Award

DSC_0609EYPN member Kari Christensen was honored with the Marguerite Henry Award for Communications and Technology at the annual YWCA Elgin Leader Luncheon on Thursday, May 7 at The Seville Banquets in Streamwood.

Kari was nominated by fellow EYPN member Jason Pawlowski for her leadership and communication savvy demonstrated with her roles with the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin, Shared Harvest Food Co-Op, Elgin 360 Photography Club, Downtown Neighborhood Association and Elgin Young Professionals Network.

Kari is the second EYPN member to win the Marguerite Henry Award. EYPN Board Chair Krisilee Murphy was recognized with the same award in 2012.

Here are some excerpts of the nomination submitted for Kari Christensen:

11167687_10200553351751684_5462395648706800365_nList the significant achievements of the nominee in the named category.

Kari served as Chair of the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s 15th Annual Window Wonderland event, where she essentially single-handedly organized, marketed and promoted the event – a task normally handled by multiple paid staff and an entire committee of volunteers. Her dedication and resourcefulness in orchestrating and promoting all aspects of this complex, multi-faceted event – including programming, publicity, and obtaining event sponsorships – all with minimal staff support is a testament to the spirit of the Illinois Main Street model of community development thru volunteerism as well as to Kari’s ingenuity and leadership qualities. Her efforts won her the Individual Volunteer Award at the 2014 Downtown Neighborhood Association Awards Gala.

Thru positive messaging and good old fashioned advocacy, Kari has also helped heighten the profile and awareness of the Elgin Shared Harvest Food Cooperative, a cooperatively owned grocery store that will soon link consumers to affordable, healthy, locally-produced food, foster sustainable agriculture, and contribute to the economic and cultural vibrancy of the Elgin community. As a volunteer board member, she has built a significant community following by leveraging innovative social media and e-mail marketing practices on behalf of the organization. Because of her extensive communication and messaging efforts, the food co-op is fast approaching its goals for shareholder membership.

Her Facebook page and timeline of photos, “check-ins”, “tags”, “mentions”, “shares” and conversations are quite literally a “who’s-who” of Elgin institutions, businesses, organizations and engaged citizens, business owners and local leaders. She is quite simply building a stronger community thru social interaction one communication at a time.

List past or present positions of leadership or responsibility.

After spending over a decade in the corporate realm of private equity as an Accounting Manager as well as a recent stint as a Mission Investment Specialist/Development Assistant for the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin, promoting the positives of and better connecting the community to the organization, Kari has now ventured down an exciting new path of entrepreneurship. She recently started a new communications, design and grant writing consulting company this past year called Trillium Link LLC to support non-profit and for-profit businesses with creative consulting services.

Kari also serves as the Board Treasurer of the Shared Harvest Food Cooperative, where she not only maintains the books for this Elgin non-profit organization but also served as Co-Chair for the co-op’s annual Membership Drive.

She is also the Treasurer for the Elgin 360 Photography Club, a local group of community-oriented photography enthusiasts who meet once a month to discuss techniques and tips as well as to support the arts and local business.

She served as Chair of the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s 2013 Window Wonderland event, where she basically single-handedly coordinated nearly all aspects of this cherished annual Downtown Elgin event including programming, marketing, publicity, and obtaining sponsorships.

She also served as a member of the Elgin Junior Service Board, a volunteer organization that works to enhance and support health, education, and well-being of women and children in Elgin and the surrounding communities.

Describe qualities of leadership demonstrated by the nominee.

At her core Kari is extremely selfless and very giving of both her time and of herself. When she first signed up as a member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association in 2013, she won an iPad as part of a membership drive raffle promotion we were conducting. Upon hearing this news, she immediately asked the organization to donate the iPad to the students at the YWCA Elgin.

She has proven to be extraordinarily entrepreneurial and resourceful, which are two absolute necessities in the non-profit world that she makes her living in and gives so generously of her time and efforts.

She is also not afraid to take risks. In 2013, after more than a decade in the corporate world, Kari elected to cast off the corporate shackles, without a net mind you, all in the hopes of pursuing her passion of helping the people and businesses of her community.

Her positivity, boundless energy and dedication to Elgin are traits we should all aspire to. Since returning to town, Kari has hit the ground running as a staunch supporter and promoter of all things Elgin. Despite the long commute to-and-from her former office in Chicago, there was nary a night of the week that Kari was not out supporting local businesses, partaking in local events, volunteering her time for local causes or building connections in the Elgin community. Now making her professional home in Elgin as well, she is able to dedicate even more time to enjoying, supporting and advocating for our great city.

Describe how this person has demonstrated a commitment to excellence.

Kari’s commitment to excellence is demonstrated by the sheer number of community commitments she undertakes. In addition to her work with the Boys and Girls Club, she has invested significant time volunteering for Elgin Junior Service Board, Cinderella’s Closet, Little Angels, Suicide Prevention Services, Have a Heart Community Dinner, Citizens for Debbie Miller, Side Street Studio Arts, Elgin Fringe Festival, Shared Harvest Food Cooperative, Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin, Elgin 4th of July Parade, Downtown Elgin Pub Crawl, Elgin International Festival, Art & Soul on the Fox, Art on the Eighth and City of Elgin Special Events.

She is also a tireless networking pro and continues to advocate for and communicate the positives of Elgin thru a variety of local groups including the Elgin Young Professionals Network and Elgin 360 Photography Club, as well as, at networking events thru the Elgin Technology Center, Downtown Neighborhood Association and the Elgin Area Chamber.

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

Kari’s savvy social media marketing and communication efforts have helped build a sizeable following for the Shared Harvest Food Co-Op, Boys & Girls Club of Elgin and other vital organizations. Furthermore her willingness to go above and beyond and actually “walk the walk”, by putting a smiling face to that positive messaging she so adeptly sends out online into Elgin’s business community offline, makes her an invaluable community development asset for this city.

Kari’s grant-writing prowess also lead to some notable financial support successes for the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin during her tenure.

April 2015 Meeting Minutes

cropped-eypn1.jpgEYPN April Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, April 28, 2016 6:00pm
Elgin Public House, 219 E. Chicago Street, Elgin

Board Members Present: Megan Ault, Aaron Cosentino, Marissa Garza, Jason Pawlowski

Members Present: Andrea Fugitt, Olivia Vlahos, Brooke Wardle, Molly Center, Emily Tyler, Andrew Block, Justin Budd, Angela Carlson

Introductions

Jason Pawlowski, Board Treasurer, facilitated the meeting and welcomed the group at 6:01pm.

Coffee with EYPN

The April Coffee with EYPN event at Domani Café was well attended. Domani has been a great host for the last two coffee events. The question was raised about whether we should consider rotating these events to offer other coffee shops in town the opportunity to host. Another question was raised about if the events could be rotated to another day besides Fridays. It was decided that our next Coffee with EYPN, tentatively scheduled for mid-July or August, should rotate to Blue Box Café in downtown Elgin and we will look at the feasibility of scheduling the event on a different day of the week.

EYPN May Volunteer Event

Our next volunteer event will be a Clean-Up Day at Hawthorne Hills in Elgin on Saturday, May 16 from 9am-12pm. A Facebook event will be created and cross promoted thru the EYPN website. Sign-up will be coordinated thru Elissa Kojzarek and Molly Center.

Regarding the ongoing monthly EYPN volunteer nights with Food for Greater Elgin, we will work with Sue Ericson and her staff to coordinate another volunteer night in June. We will then continue to promote and offer the ongoing monthly FFGE opportunities to anyone who is interested and look at setting a goal for the year for total FFGE volunteer hours as an organization.

2015 Mentor Program

Past Chair Becky Hardekopf was unable to attend the meeting so discussion on the specifics of the “kick-off” event for the 2015 Mentor Program was tabled.

Discussion did take place on potential mentor candidates. We will confirm which candidates Becky has already lined-up and then reach out to those other potential mentors discussed this evening.

Discussion also took place on current EYPN members serving as mentors not just for our membership but for college students as well. Several members expressed an interest in serving as mentors. Additional discussion on the logistics and integration into our existing mentor program is needed.

It was suggested that our members perhaps consider serving as presenters for more Professional Development Series this year with topics/presenters such as Learning Adobe InDesign (Jason Pawlowski), Social Media tips (Marissa Garza, Molly Center, Krisilee Murphy, others), etc.

Tweet Night at the Symphony

The EYPN Tweet Night at the ESO will be Saturday, May 2 beginning with a wine tasting at Solo restaurant & wine bar at 6pm followed by the concert at Hemmens at 7:30pm. We have a total of 11 EYPN members and their guests attending. EYPN will prepay the ESO by check on Wednesday, April 29 and collect remaining outstanding funds from attendees by Saturday night.

Mother’s Day Cash Mob

Our spring Cash Mob will be Saturday, May 9 from 9am-1pm at The Flower Wagon, 989 W. Spring Street in South Elgin. The Facebook event went live earlier this week and over 350 people have been invited from both EYPN and the owners of The Flower Wagon. For every “cash mobster” that spends $20, they are entered into a raffle for a planter of flowers valued at $50. Winners need not be present to win. Also, each mom in attendance that day will receive a single flower as a gift.

Upcoming Community Events/Volunteer Opportunities

Downtown Elgin Art Hop (5/1) is looking for volunteers to help with registration and check-in at nine different venues in downtown Elgin. Contact Paige Roeber at the DNA at proeber@downtownelgin.com or call 847-488-1456.

Strawberry Festival (5/2) takes place at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Elgin and benefits local non-profit organizations.

City of Elgin’s Public Works Open House (5/2) is a family-friendly event that takes place at the Public Works facility at 1900 Holmes Road.

EYPN member Kari Christensen has been nominated in the Communications category for this year’s YWCA Elgin Leader Luncheon (5/7) at the Seville in Streamwood. Several EYPN members are attending to support Kari. Tickets are $55 and can be purchased at www.YWCAElgin.org.

City of Elgin’s Fox Trot is seeking volunteers for packet stuffing during the week leading up to the race (5/19-5/21). Shifts are from 9am-12pm, 12pm-3pm and 3pm-6pm. They are also in need of pre-registration volunteers (5/22) and race day volunteers (5/23) for check-in and other duties.

Bikes and Bites on the Fox (5/30) will be a bicycle-friendly event on Riverside Drive featuring food trucks, farmers market, kids activities and more. EYPN is organizing the bags activity for the event. We will post this as a volunteer opportunity for EYPN members and we need at least 2-3 people. We are also looking into prizes for a potential bags tournament at the event. Angela Carlson will promote Bikes and Bites on the Fox on her 7 for the Weekend segment on 95.9-FM The River.

Other Discussion

Marissa Garza has agreed to organize a new EYPN Book Club, where different members will pick a book each quarter that they like for other participating members to read. Then we will host informal quarterly meetings to discuss.

The group was definitely on board with doing another EYPN painting night. We will decide on an appropriate night for sometime this summer and work with Ola la Ijorere to schedule. Several members expressed interest in doing the Riverside Drive painting.

Brooke Wardle will be joining as a new EYPN member thru Judson University. Brooke will only be in the Elgin area until late summer. We will give the option to Judson to send another representative in her place after Brooke leaves.

Andrew Block has also expressed interest in joining and volunteering at some of our upcoming EYPN functions.

The group was in favor of conducting the next meeting at Prairie Rock Bar & Grill in downtown Elgin in their outdoor beer garden. We will confirm this with Christina Pearson just in case a May venue has already been confirmed.

Next Meeting: Thursday, May 21st at 6pm (location TBD)

Meeting Adjourned at 6:45pm

Coffee with Elgin Young Professionals Network

10393917_649969791779968_5999506741398909227_nOn Friday, April 3 from 8-10am, EYPN invites everyone to stop into Domani Café, 109 E. Highland Avenue in downtown Elgin, to 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 for the community.

This is also 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.

EYPN Game Night Games, Rules and Scoring

EYPN Game Night2Tonight’s the night! And we’re not playing around either…oh wait, we are! :)

It’s Game On at Elgin Young Professionals Network’s Elgin Game Night and New Member Drive. After you’ve enjoy some free appetizers (5:30-6:30pm), network with our board members and decide to join our network in 2015 for the low yearly membership price of only $30, we invite you to stay and get your game face on with our EYPN team at Elgin Game Night.

Modeled after NBC’s popular Hollywood Game Night show, we will split our attendees into teams of four (or possibly more) and each team will compete in four different games:

- Take the Hint
- Mono-Tunes
- Show “Bid”-Ness
- Celebrity Name Game

Here are the detailed game explanations, rules and scoring for each:

TAKE THE HINT

The team is given 90 seconds to convey a series of 10 random, general terms to their team captain. Each team member can give a one word clue for each term after which the team captain can either guess or pass. Only one guess per round of clues. If the team passes on an answer, the team can go back and give three new clues after going thru all of the other terms. Team members cannot use any parts of the word itself as a clue (example: you cannot say the word “burger” if you are trying to give a clue about “Burger King”). Team members can also not use hand gestures or sound effects – to convey clues. ONLY ONE WORD CLUES. Each correct answer is worth 1 point and a bonus of 5 points will be awarded if all 10 are answered correctly without any passing.

MONO TUNES

The team will receive 5 sets of lyrics from popular songs (80s-Today) read in monotone by our host and board member, Jason Pawlowski. After each lyric is read the team will have 20 seconds to discuss as a group and guess the song title. Only the song title is needed – not the artist. Only one guess per song lyric read. There is no passing. Each correct guess is worth 1 point and a bonus of 5 points will be awarded if all 5 songs are guessed correctly.

SHOW “BID”-NESS

The team is given 90 seconds to convey a series of movie titles thru a good old fashioned game of charades. Each team will nominate a team captain to deliver the non-verbal clues. Before the team begins, they will bid on the number of answers they think their team can successfully guess (minimum of 6). Each correct answer is worth 1 point. If the team exceeds their answer goal, each correct answer after their goal is worth 2 points. However, if the team does not exceed their answer goal, a total of 3 points will be subtracted from their score. The team captain can pass as often as they want but will only be given a maximum of 12 movies to choose from.

CELEBRITY NAME GAME

The team is given 90 seconds to convey a series of 10 celebrities from the world of entertainment, politics and pop culture. Each team will nominate a team captain to deliver the clues. Captains can use whatever kinds of clues they like as long as they do not use the celebrity’s first or last name in their clue. Each correct answer is worth 1 point. If the team gets all 10 correct they will receive an additional 10 bonus points. The team captain can pass at anytime but will only be given those 10 names. No additional names will be substituted on passes to hit the 10 correct answer threshold.

Prizes will be awarded to each of the members of the winning team.

Here’s the evening’s schedule:

5:00-6:00pm – Networking, membership drive, cash bar (free apps for EYPN members 5:30-6:30pm)
6:00pm – Welcome and introductions
6:10pm – Pairing of teams, game rules/how to play
6:15-7:30pm – Elgin Game Night competition
7:30pm – Announcement of winners, awarding of prizes

Join EYPN in 2015! Are you game?

Game On at Elgin Game Night/EYPN New Member Drive

EYPN Game Night2This is not your typical family game night. This is an in your face, knock-down, drag-out competition!

On Thursday, January 29 beginning at 5pm at Chooch’s Pizza, 64 S. Grove Avenue in downtown Elgin, get your game faces on as Elgin Young Professionals Network has come up with a series of challenging and engaging games for what should be a fun evening of team competition as you meet and mingle with all of our EYPN members.

Elgin Game Night will also serve as EYPN’s Annual Membership Drive. Membership benefits for 2015 include:

- EYPN t-shirt
- Access to the EYPN Mentoring Program
- Access to the EYPN Professional Development Series
- Priority access to job postings
- An exclusive EYPN member only event in the summer
- And much more!

Members receive all of this for the low annual fee of only $30!

Those that sign-up for EYPN Membership on Thursday, January 20 will also receive a complimentary beverage ticket for that night.

More details about the games and rules will be announced soon. RSVP today on our Elgin Game Night and EYPN New Member Drive Facebook Event page.

It’s GAME ON in 2015 with EYPN!

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Harvest Market Manager

2013_HM_Logo

POSITION HAS NOW BEEN FILLED

Position:  Downtown Elgin Harvest Market, Market Manager

General Description:

The Downtown Elgin Harvest Market began operating in 2000 as an event of the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin.  It is a seasonal market held weekly on Thursdays from the first week in June through the first week of October (18 weeks) and is located outdoors in a City of Elgin parking lot at 200 North Grove Avenue in Downtown Elgin.

The market offers and encourages locally grown and sustainably produced food, provides an outlet for educational opportunities on sustainable practices and healthy living, supports local artists, community organizations, and Downtown businesses while cultivating a welcoming and entertaining public space atmosphere in Downtown Elgin. During peak season, more than 20 vendors of raw and processed agricultural local products participate, selling their goods to over 500 or more customers and visitors a week.

The market manager is a part-time position who will work closely with the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Event Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. The person filling this position will need to have the following skills to successfully operate an urban farmers market including:

  • Vendor recruitment and relations
  • Market application process
  • Volunteer recruitment and management
  • Market promotion and outreach
  • Collaboration with city departments, local businesses, and other organizations
  • Market day logistics and execution
  • Financial record keeping
  • Understanding/operating EBT program

Qualifications:

A strong candidate for this position will have a demonstrated passion for local, sustainable food production and/or community building and civic engagement as well as excellent communications skills.  This is a physically demanding role, requiring the ability to work in all weather conditions and to lift and carry up to 50lbs.  Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and legally eligible for employment in the U.S.

Other desired qualifications are:

  • Highly self-motivated and able to work independently
  • Familiar with Downtown Elgin and/or Downtown Districts
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite
  • Basic understanding of social media, online communications
  • Experience in customer service and/or event planning
  • Agricultural background
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with diverse populations
  • Ability to learn on the job and multitask
  • Conflict resolution and problem solving skills

Position Responsibilities:

The 2015 Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Harvest Market outdoor season will operate on Thursday’s from June 4 through October 1, 9am – 2pm, at 200 North Grove Avenue, Elgin, IL. The Market Manager will be expected to arrive at 7am and stay through tear down (approximately 3pm).  During that time, s/he will work with volunteers, etc. to set up the Market, coordinate volunteers, interns, sponsors, vendors, community partners, kid program partners, special activities, and tear down of the Market.  This is a physically and mentally demanding role that is best filled by someone with enthusiasm and a positive, resilient attitude. The Market Manager will also have regularly scheduled office days to focus on such tasks as enrolling farmers/vendors, collecting fees, creating and maintaining the Harvest Market budget, overseeing the Harvest Market Committee meetings and other duties as assigned. The DNA office is located at 10 N. Spring Street, Elgin, IL.

How to Apply:
Submit a cover letter, resume and salary requirements to the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin, IL at info@downtownElgin.com. In the subject line, please enter “Harvest Market Manager Position”.

Join the Holiday Cash Mob at Tinsel Pop-Up Shop 12/10

felt-handmade-christmas-crafts-holiday-decorations-1Still have stockings to stuff or last minute gifts to grab? Then you need to “join the mob” this holiday shopping season with Elgin Young Professionals Network.

On Wednesday, December 10, EYPN invites you and yours to their Holiday Cash Mob from 4-9pm at the Tinsel Pop-Up Shop, 13 Douglas Avenue, 2nd Floor in downtown Elgin above the brand new Solo restaurant and wine bar.

This year’s Tinsel Pop-Up Shop will feature multiple vendors and artisans offering unique handmade crafts and other holiday gift ideas and décor.

Cash Mobsters are asked to attend and spend at least $20 to support the local businesses. Soulful Sparrow, 10 Douglas Avenue, and Elgin Knit Works, 8 Douglas Avenue, will also be open across the street that evening to fulfill all of your holiday shopping needs.

NEWLY ADDED! As an additional Christmas bonus, Solo restaurant and wine bar will offer an exclusive Holiday Wine Tasting - taste 15 different wines for only $15 – as well as discounted appetizers to all participating EYPN Cash Mobsters from 5:30-8:30pm. Here’s to making your shopping day merry and bright with a Solo wine tasting flight!

EYPN coordinates and promotes these Cash Mobs throughout the year as a way to recognize and support the local businesses that provide Elgin with its character, economic partnerships and genuine customer service.

Be sure to tell your friends and family to join us for a night of shopping small with EYPN in downtown Elgin.

For more information or to RSVP for the EYPN Holiday Cash Mob, visit our EYPN Cash Mob Event Page on Facebook.