EYPN’s “Halfway Thru” Year in Review

cropped-eypn1.jpg

We’re barely midway into 2015 and already Elgin Young Professionals Network has accomplished great things for ourselves, our network and for the Elgin community this calendar year.

Here are some of the highlights:

Membership Has Its Privileges

DSC_0211To help strengthen our network, provide value to our stakeholders and take our programming to the next level, EYPN instituted a paid membership program for 2015. We launched our member drive in grand style at our EYPN Game Night at Chooch’s Pizza in January. In addition to enjoying free food and sweet treats from the Elgin High School Clumsy Chefs, Game Night attendees divided into teams and enjoyed a knock down, drag out, game show-like competition emceed by EYPN board member Jason Pawlowski. More than 20 new members joined as a result of our membership drive.

New Leadership

10930528_663790847064529_1244879242878038856_nBecause one of our mantras is leadership development, we were happy to see Krisilee Murphy (Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Director of Marketing) elevated to the position of Board Chair and Christina Pearson (United Way of Elgin Office Manager) to the position of Vice Chair of the Elgin Young Professionals Network.

We also welcomed two new board members to the organization in 2015 - Megan Ault and Marissa Garza.

 

 

Something Old…Something New…

We continued to offer valuable professional development and community service opportunities to our members while rolling out progressive new programs and events as well.

11204978_711766162266997_6293313723201230155_nOur May Cash Mob brought more than a dozen motivated Mother’s Day mob shoppers to The Flower Wagon in South Elgin accounting for a record day of sales for this area small business. Also our first Professional Development session in March 2015 at Judson University covered Personal Finance for Young Professionals and was led by Keith Rauschenberger of Rauschenberger Financial Advisors.

13781_695489747227972_5848559768241270615_nWe also unveiled some new, more social opportunities for EYPN members including our Coffee with EYPN events in January and April at Domani Café; our EYPN Brown Bag Summer Lunch Series, which premiered in June at Blue Box Café; EYPN Night at the Movies at Marcus Elgin Cinema in June; and our exclusive EYPN Tweet Night at the Symphony, featuring a wine tasting at Solo Restaurant & Wine Bar followed by an elegant evening of Beethoven paired with social media, all courtesy of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.

At Your Service

1907569_677156172394663_1399499874258519008_nEYPN also continues to connect our members to volunteer opportunities with non-profit organizations. This year alone our members have already volunteered their time with City of Elgin Special Events’ Elgin Valley Fox Trot, Downtown Neighborhood Association‘s 4th of July Parade, Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau‘s Bikes & Bites on the Fox, City of Elgin and Gail Borden Public Library‘s VolunteerPalooza, and at Food for Greater Elgin.

Image is Everything

ImageAwardsIn March 2015, Elgin Young Professionals Network was honored with an award from the Elgin Image Advisory Commission at the 23rd Annual City of Elgin Image Awards Ceremony. EYPN won recognition in the Organizations/Business category for its community service and professional development efforts in 2014.

Member Kari Christensen was also honored by the YWCA Elgin with a Leader Luncheon Award in the Communications & Technology Category this past May.

And we’re far from done with making our mark in 2015. Among the programs and events we still have to look forward to include:

So, how are we doing?

Here’s to finishing strong in the second half of 2015. Go EYPN!

EYPN Volunteer Night at Food for Greater Elgin

FoodForGreaterElginElgin Young Professionals Network is proud to announce we are now spending the first Thursday of every month volunteering at Food for Greater Elgin, 1553 Commerce Drive in Elgin.

Our August volunteer event takes place on Thursday, August 6 from 5:30-8pm. Volunteers will perform a variety of duties from sorting food donations, organizing aisles, assisting clients with shopping and more.

We will cap each month’s volunteer night at a maximum of 8 volunteers – first come, first serve. EYPN’s volunteer events are open to anyone, whether you’re currently a member or not, so please join us to see first hand the impact we can have on our great community.

If you are planning on attending this month’s Volunteer Night, you can “join” the Facebook event but also please e-mail Elissa Kojzarek at ekojzarek@uwelgin.org by Monday, August 3 to confirm your attendance.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Special Events Marketing Coordinator (PT)

elgin-300x180

APPLICATION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED FOR THIS POSITION

 

 

 

 

POSITION: Special Events Marketing Coordinator (part-time)

ORGANIZATION: City of Elgin

SALARY: $10.00 – $14.00 Hourly

OPENING DATE: 06/26/15

CLOSING DATE: 07/10/15 11:59 PM

GENERAL DEFINITION OF WORK:

Under the direction of the Special Events Department in the City Manager’s Office, this position will be responsible for developing marketing materials and assisting with administration tasks for a variety of events.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS/TYPICAL TASKS:

Assist with administrative duties of special events, such as:
* Assist with designing posters, distributing fliers, writing press releases and developing program forms.
* Manages Special Events website/Facebook pages, create blogs and place ads in all forms of media.
* Create a special events newsletter using Constant Contact
* Assists with permitting festivals, parades and block parties by sending out letters, following up with missing paperwork and setting up meetings.
* Attend Community Engagement Committee meetings, take minutes to distribute to committee members and update the Special Events Monthly Calendar.
* Liaison with City departments, outside agencies, volunteers, and citizens to ensure overall safety and an effective presentation of events.
* Answer and return phone calls and messages.
* Follow and implement City ordinances and regulations.
* Ensure the proper care of City equipment.
* Perform other tasks as assigned.
* Work with businesses and foundations to attain sponsorships for special events. Work closely with sponsors to ensure their marketing needs are met.
* Recruit and assist in the management of volunteers for special events
* Attend and contribute to special events planning meetings as requested

OTHER:

* Experience working with special events and volunteers.
* Must possess strong organizational skills.
* Must possess exceptional interpersonal skills
* Must have strong customer service skills.
* Must have a High School Diploma/GED, with college credit or degree a plus.
* Fluency in the use and application of MS Office Suite and electronic mail systems
* Ability to work weekends and extended hours when necessary.
* Must be physically capable of lifting boxes up to 50 lbs, setting up tables and pop up tents, hanging banners and other similar duties

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Hours:
* 15 hours per week, with potential for additional hours during busy periods.
* Requires working flexible day, evening and weekend hours

Apply online at www.cityofelgin.org.

 

EYPN Member Only Event

1435262521482The event you have been waiting for is finally here…the Member Only Event!

We will be celebrating all of our wonderful members on Thursday, July 16 from 5:30-7:30pm at Plank Road Tap Room, 39W149 Plank Rd. in Elgin, in the lawn.

All EYPN members will receive a ticket for a complimentary first drink from the EYPN and light appetizers will also be provided by the EYPN Board. (Significant others and spouses are welcome but will not receive a complimentary drink)

We will have bag sets for everyone to play and door prizes you will not want to miss! We also encourage everyone to bring a chair to sit on and if you would like to bring a dessert to share.

Parking is very limited at Plank Road Tap Room so we will announce some more details on carpooling next week.

RSVP on our Facebook Event Page.

This event is rain or shine!

EYPN Brown Bag Lunch at In the Neighborhood Deli

EYPN_BrownBag2

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 next EYPN Brown Bag Summer Lunch Series event takes place on Friday, July 17 at In the Neighborhood Deli, 185 N. Edison Avenue in Elgin, from 12-1pm. ITN Deli will be offering exclusive discounts on their entire menu for all Brown Bag attendees that day.

Please RSVP on our Facebook event page.

We’ve got lunch in the bag for you this summer 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.

EYPN Night at the Movies: Jurassic World

EYPN_Movie_NightOn Tuesday, June 16, EYPN invites members and their spouses/significant others to join them for an EYPN Night at the Movies at Marcus Elgin Cinema​, 111 S. Randall Road, for a screening of the upcoming summer blockbuster Jurassic World. Specific show time will be announced the week before but we anticipate the movie start time to be between 6:30-7:30pm.

Tickets are only $5 and we will have special reserved seating for our EYPN group. Marcus Elgin Cinema is also offering a concession combo option for an additional $5.50, which includes a 20 oz. soda and a 46 oz. popcorn – about 50% of retail price!

We will need a head count in advance to reserve our seats so if you are attending please RSVP by no later than Thursday, June 11.

If you’ve never seen a movie in Marcus Elgin Cinema’s beautiful theaters – complete with leather reclining seats – here’s a great chance to experience it for the first time watching THE movie of the summer with your EYPN colleagues.

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.

May EYPN Meeting at Prairie Rock Bar & Grill

cropped-eypn1.jpgOur next Elgin Young Professionals Network meeting will be Thursday, May 21 at Prairie Rock Bar & Grill, 127 S. Grove Avenue in downtown Elgin, at 6pm. Weather permitting the meeting will be held outside in Prairie Rock’s beautiful outdoor patio also known as the “Rock Garden”.

Topics to be covered:

  • 2015 Mentor Program
  • Recaps of Tweet Night at the Symphony and Mother’s Day Cash Mob
  • New EYPN Programming including the EYPN Book Club and Brown Bag Summer Lunch Series
  • Volunteering at Food for Greater Elgin
  • And much more!

RSVP on our Facebook event page!

Our monthly meetings are informal. Come for the meeting and stay for dinner or drinks as well as some friendly conversation with our fabulous young professionals.

And if you are not a current EYPN member, we invite you to join us for the meeting and learn more about what EYPN is all about. If you like what you hear, membership is only $30.

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.