EYPN 2014 Year in Review

EYPN1 (4)2015 promises to be an exciting year for the Elgin Young Professionals Network but before we look ahead, let’s look back upon what was a very positive and productive year of programming and progress for our young professionals:

- EYPN launched its official website, www.ElginYoungProfessionals.com, on January 10. The site features EYPN news, event listings, article links, and job and volunteer opportunities for area young professionals. The site averages 253 visitors and 511 views per month. Our network’s reach is also amplified to over 400 followers and subscribers thru the EYPN Facebook, Twitter and e-mail blast. Kudos to board members Krisilee Murphy and Jason Pawlowski for so diligently managing EYPN’s marketing and communications.

DSC_0577- In the spirit of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, our New Member Mix-and-Meet: Let the Games Begin event in January at Nick’s Pizza & Pub brought in over 20 new and current EYPN members to compete in a series of fun and engaging Minute-to-Win-It style games, such as Stapler Luge and Speed Tweeting, to see who would bring home the Gold. Congratulations to Krisilee Murphy, Aaron Cosentino and Christina Pearson for taking the gold, silver and bronze respectively and shout out to Andersen’s Trophies for providing our EYPN Let the Games Begin medals.

- This past year EYPN launched a new series of professional development seminars to help young professionals build skills and experience. The first seminar titled “Marketing Yourself Thru LinkedIn” was lead by Sam Madan, Director of Special Events and External Relations for Pillars. Held at Judson University in March and attended by almost 20 individuals, the seminar focused on tips for building a strong LinkedIn profile and creating and cultivating a new professional network to aid in job search and career development. At the seminar, local photographer James Harvey also provided free headshots for attendees to use as their new LinkedIn profile picture.

HulaforMoola- Our Hula for Moola Scholarship Fundraiser in April at Chooch’s Pizza in downtown Elgin helped raise more than $1,500 for EYPN’s scholarship program supporting Elgin High School’s Clumsy Chefs culinary students entering Elgin Community College’s culinary arts program. The Clumsy Chefs program is spearheaded by U-46 teacher and EYPN member Ann Leider. EYPN members also supported the Clumsy Chefs at their annual Thanksgiving Luncheon at Elgin High School.

EYPN YWCA Elgin- In May, EYPN Board President Becky Hardekopf was awarded the Young Professional Friend of Tourism Award by the Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at their annual Mayor’s Luncheon. EYPN member Kari Christensen was awarded the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin‘s Volunteer of the Year Award at their annual Awards Gala in October. Hardekopf, Christensen and EYPN member Ann Leider were also nominated by their peers for YWCA Elgin Leader Luncheon Awards. Board Vice President Krisilee Murphy was honored by her alma mater Western Illinois University as a distinguished alumni. She was also nominated for an Elgin Image Award earlier this year.

10357754_548910101885938_462718589515232118_o- In June, EYPN conducted its second professional development series entitled “The Benefits of Being Part of a Board” at Al’s Café. The seminar featured a panel discussion and Q&A with Kimberly Bless, CEO/President – Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau; Karin Jones, Board President – Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin, and Sharon Bush, Elgin Program Director and Senior Program Officer – Grand Victoria Foundation, and concluded with a dynamic presentation about developing board leadership and chemistry by Denise Baretto – Managing Partner of Relationships Matter Now.

- For the third straight year, EYPN organized a series of Cash Mobs to support Elgin area businesses and promote buying local. Much like a Flash Mob, a Cash Mob is where shoppers are invited to show up all at once to “mob” a local business on a set date and time to shop, socialize and spend a minimum of $20 per person. 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. This year more than 60 cash mobsters shopped Herb’s Bakery in June and the Tinsel Holiday Pop-Up Shop in downtown Elgin in December.

- As part of EYPN’s community service mantra, several EYPN members worked with the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin to serve as volunteer judges at events such as the City of Elgin 4th of July Parade and Downtown Elgin Window Wonderland.

10313124_571038499673098_5272885607440949448_n- In July, EYPN painted the town “RAW” with rhythms, art and wine at our first ever RAW Night at Ola la Ijorere. More than 20 EYPN members came out to enjoy an evening of painting, networking and good times while supporting a burgeoning local arts business in downtown Elgin.

10606132_621654237944857_2109299508190327828_n- In November, EYPN members participated in and served as an event sponsor of the Annual Elgin Youth Scholarship Challenge at The Centre of Elgin. After a competitive series of physical and mental challenges and events Team EYPN took Second Place overall. Thanks to participants Kari Christensen, Mary Kay Frankel, Becky Hardekopf, Barb Keselica, Elissa Kojzarek, Elaina McCalmont, Chad Meyers, Krisilee Murphy, Mike Murphy, Jason Pawlowski, Christina Pearson and Shalina Wozny.

1483441_822133597806813_9077784208465731995_n- For the second straight year, EYPN members helped organize the Elgin Home for the Holidays program. This year’s initiative united 23 Elgin area not-for-profit organizations in collaborative promotion of nearly 50 of our non-profit community’s holiday events to help brand Elgin as a destination for holiday tourism. The Home for the Holidays Kick-Off event at Gail Borden Public Library on November 8 drew more than 2,300 people and featured horse-drawn carriage rides, non-profit expo, bi-lingual reading activity with Mrs. Claus sponsored by United Way of Elgin, holiday photo booth manned by the Elgin 360 Photography Club, and musical performances by Elgin Children’s Chorus, Elgin Master Chorale, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and Heartland Voices. A huge thank you goes out to our Elgin Home for the Holidays co-chairs, Elaina McCalmont and Brittany Mitchell, as well as our Kick-Off Chair and board member liaison Stacy Michel for all of their efforts in pulling together this year’s program.

How can we top 2014? Join EYPN in 2015 to find out.

Elgin Home for the Holidays: Dec 8-14

ehfth14Elgin Home for the Holidays, presented by Elgin Young Professionals Network and Gail Borden Public Library, is in full swing so join us and be sure to add this week’s slate of events from our Elgin area non-profits to your shopping list:

Christmas Toy Drive
Boys & Girls Club of Elgin
Donation Drive

Help make the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin holiday celebration a little bit more merry for a child with your donations of unwrapped toys geared for youth between 1st – 12th grade. Donations can be dropped off at the Boys & Girls of Elgin Clubhouse located at 355 Dundee Avenue.  All donations will be distributed to Club Members at our December holiday celebration.

Holiday Wish List
Elgin Area Chamber
Donation Drive

Many area non-profit organizations are in need of essential, basic necessities from office supplies to equipment while others could benefit from financial donations or simply the gift of your volunteer service. You can find a complete list of items needed as well as the organizations in need by visiting the Elgin Area Chamber office, 31 S. Grove Avenue in downtown Elgin, during regular business hours. You can also contact them at (847) 741-5660 for more information.

EYPN Cash Mob at Tinsel Pop-Up Shop
Tinsel Pop-Up Shop, 13 Douglas Avenue, 2nd Floor

Free Event

This year’s Tinsel Pop-Up Shop will feature multiple vendors and artisans offering unique handmade crafts and other holiday gift ideas and décor and Elgin Young Professional Network is asking interested Cash Mobsters to join them from 4-9pm 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. 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.

Tinsel Time with Dave Herzog’s Marionettes
Gail Borden Public Library
Free Event

Enjoy Frosty’s Winter Wonderland, a variety show featuring puppets that sing and dance to celebrate the holiday season. Mrs. Claus will join the fun!

Holiday Open House
YWCA Elgin
Free Event

Please join the YWCA Elgin Board and Staff as we celebrate 113 years in the Elgin community. We look forward to our lobby being packed with friends from near and far who share in the festive spirit of the season, while meeting with neighbors and enjoying the home- baked holiday treats, warm apple cider, holiday music and the YW’s Tree of Thanks!

Downtown Neighborhood Association Annual Holiday Mixer
Martini Room, 161 E. Chicago Street
Free Event

Celebrate the season as well as another year of service to the downtown Elgin community. This is a cash bar event, however, delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared by Eventastik will be served. RSVP in advance to info@downtownelgin.com.

Christmas Luncheon
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Ticketed Event

Enjoy a festive, homemade Christmas luncheon while flower arrangements are being made. The flower arrangements will be auctioned off after lunch. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at the church office through December 8th.

Christmas Posada
Gail Borden Public Library
Free Event

Bring your family and friends for a Christmas celebration ‘posada-style.’ There will be crafts, stories, Mexican punch, candy, and traditional Christmas carols in Spanish with the St. Joseph Church choir. No registration. Meadows Community Rooms.

ESO Magical Holiday Concerts featuring Elgin Master Chorale
Elgin Symphony Orchestra at Hemmens Cultural Center
2:30 & 7:30PM – Saturday
2:30PM – Sunday
Ticketed Event

A truly magical experience awaits you at the ESO holiday concerts with the Elgin Master Chorale.  Featuring your favorite holiday music, the concerts are perfect for the whole family.

Live Read Series: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Side Street Studio Arts

Ticketed Event

Side Street Studio Arts Live Read Series flips the script, literally on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. With the help of local artists and actors, we will create live script-reading sessions of this modern American cinema masterpiece. $5 Suggested Donation at the door - $1 from every donation will go to Food for Greater Elgin.

Chanukah Bazaar
Congregation Kneseth Israel

Free Event

The annual Chanukah Bazaar features items for sale related to Chanukah and Judaism.

Latke Lunch
Congregation Kneseth Israel
Ticketed Event

Family lunch featuring traditional latkes (potato pancakes) and hot dogs in celebration of the holiday of Hanukah.  Open to all ages.  Reservations a must. Call 847-741-5656 or go to www.ckielgin.org

Our friends from the Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau want to remind you again that this year you can turn your holiday trip to Elgin into an affordable weekend getaway! Holiday Inn Chicago Northwest ($84 per night) and Hampton Inn Chicago/Elgin ($79 per night) are offering special room rates for the holiday season when you mention “Elgin Home for the Holidays” when you book. Stop in between all the holiday events to recharge, escape from the cold or relax in the pool. Restrictions apply. Not applicable with any other offer or discounts. Based on availability and must call ahead to make reservations.

Elgin Home for the Holidays features 23 area non-profit organizations cross promoting nearly 40 holiday events.

For a list of all 2014 Elgin Home for the Holidays events as well as a complete list of participating Elgin area non-profits, visit www.ElginHomefortheHolidays.com.

Elgin Home for the Holidays 2014 Registration Deadline Extended!

ehfth14The deadline for Elgin area non-profit organizations, neighborhood groups and places of worship to register for the 2014 Elgin Home for the Holidays program has been extended until Friday, September 5. Interested organizations can register online at www.ElginYoungProfessionals.com.

Elgin Home for the Holidays is a collaborative marketing and promotional effort to promote all of the wonderful holiday events, fundraisers and volunteer opportunities Elgin’s non-profit community has to offer.

1459264_644824345537740_1988261367_nThe program includes a kick-off extravaganza on Saturday, November 8 at Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Avenue in Elgin, featuring a non-profit expo, Ecker Center’s Festival of Trees, and a variety of holiday programming and family-friendly activities.

For an upfront $75 buy-in fee, all Elgin Home for the Holidays participants’ events are cross promoted thru a printed calendar of events as well as via social media and at the soon-to-be-released EHFTH website: www.ElginHomefortheHolidays.com.

For more information about Elgin Home for the Holidays, please contact Elaina McCalmont at Elaina@little-angels.us or Brittany Mitchell at bmitchell@padsofelgin.org.

Sign Up for Elgin Home for the Holidays

ehfth14Elgin Young Professionals Network is again looking forward to working with area nonprofits on the annual Elgin Home for the Holidays  – a collaborative community partnership that brings together many Elgin area non-profit organizations to collectively promote all of the wonderful holiday activities, attractions and events the Elgin non-profit community has to offer.

The Elgin Home for the Holidays Kick-Off event will be hosted by Gail Borden Library, 270 N. Grove Avenue, on Saturday, November 8 from 1pm to 4pm.

To participate in the collaborative marketing effort and the kick-off event, please use the link below to submit your organization’s information.  A PayPal invoice for the EHFTH buy-in in the amount of $75 will be sent to you after your form is submitted.


We encourage you to pass this information along to any organization that would be interested in participating in this effort.  The more nonprofits that participate, the bigger and better this year’s Elgin Home for the Holiday program will be!

Elgin: Home for the Holidays 2014 Introductory Meeting

ehfth14For the second straight year, Elgin Young Professionals Network is excited to present Elgin: Home for the Holidays, an endeavor which brings together dozens of area organizations in a collaborative effort to promote all of the wonderful holiday events Elgin’s non-profit community has to offer.

We invite representatives from all Elgin area non-profit organizations to join us for our EHFTH 2014 kickoff meeting on Tuesday, June 17 at 2pm at Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Avenue in the Elgin Room.

The meeting will be lead by our two new EYPN co-chairs for EHFTH 2014, Brittany Mitchell of PADS of Elgin and Elaina McCalmont of Little Angels Center for Exceptional Care. The purpose of the meeting will be to brainstorm new marketing and promotional ideas for the 2014 campaign as well as potential new programming and attractions for the 2014 EHFTH kickoff at Gail Borden Public Library in November, which annually attracts thousands of visitors.

Elgin Home for the Holidays is a shining example of how organizations working in collaboration can unite and strengthen each other as well as the Elgin community.

To RSVP for our June 17 meeting or for more information about how you or your non-profit organization can get involved with Elgin: Home for the Holidays 2014 or the Elgin Young Professionals Network, please e-mail ElginYPN@yahoo.com.