EYPN’s “Halfway Thru” Year in Review

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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.

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.

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

February 2015 Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:00pmcropped-eypn1.jpg
The Village Squire
480 Randall Road, South Elgin, IL 60177

Board Members Present: Krisilee Murphy, Marissa Garza, Jason Pawlowski, and Christina Pearson

Members Present: Justin Budd, Kari Christensen, Elaina McCalmont, Amber Phillips, Cass Skoflanc, and Emily Tyler

Introductions
Krisilee Murphy, Board President, facilitated the meeting and welcomed the group.

Recap of Membership Drive
We had 28 people sign up during the event on January 29, but since then more people have reached out to Krisilee wanting to discuss the membership.

2015 Dues Program
Anyone who didn’t receive their t-shirt, should get them by March 18 at the professional development session or the March meeting. If you have not signed-up yet then here is the link. http://elginyoungprofessionals.com/become-a-member/

EYPN Volunteer Event
EYPN is scheduled to volunteer at Food For Greater Elgin on Thursday, February 26 from 5:30-7:30. Currently 9 members have signed up but they can take up to 12. Justin Budd and Emily Tyler stated they possibly could volunteer as well. We will plan to do one to two more throughout the year.

Professional Development Session: Financial Planning and Investments
On March 18th we will be having our first professional development session of 2015. The presentation will begin at 6:30 at Judson University’s in the Eagle Lounge inside Lindner Tower, 1151 N. State Street in Elgin. Keith Rauschenberger will provide a brief overview of financial and retirement planning followed by an introduction to investment management and portfolio development. This session will not be super technical but rather presented in a way that everyone can understand. Professional Development is a member benefit so we will continue these in 2015! More information on this session: http://elginyoungprofessionals.com/2015/02/09/financial-planning-and-investment/

Elgin Image Award
EYPN has been nominated for an Elgin Image Award.  The award ceremony is on March 19 at The Centre of Elgin. Cocktails are from 6-7:00 and the ceremony begins at 7:00. A free dinner is also included. We would like to get as many EYPN members to attend as possible. We will be getting there early to save a table or two so please let us know if you are coming by March 11th. Email Krisilee Murphy to save your seat, kmurphy@northernfoxrivervalley.com.

Social Event: Night Out with the Symphony
The Elgin Symphony Orchestra is doing a special event for EYPN members. ESO is providing EYPN with 30 “tweet seat” tickets to their season finale concert on Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 for only $20. Included in this package is a Solo wine tasting beginning at 6:30. This is an EYPN member only exclusive opportunity, but of course you are welcome to bring a guest. We will have more information regarding the concert and how you can purchase your ticket in the next couple weeks.

Mentor Program

Anyone who wanted to sign up for a mentor but didn’t have an opportunity to sign-up at the January 29 event, please let Becky Hardekopf know. We will be rolling this program out in March. Becky’s email, bhardekopf@girlscoutsni.org.

Volunteer Opportunities in the Community

  1. 2015 Women’s Big Ten Basketball Tournament (March 3-8): They are looking for volunteers to help out at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates during this event. It’s open to all ages. Here is the link to register. https://2015bigtenwomenbbtourvol.my-trs.com/
  1. YWCA’s Cinderella’s Closet (March 21): They are looking for volunteers to help on the Tuesdays before the event from 5-8PM to organize the dresses and help set up. They are also looking for fairy godmothers for the day of the event to help the girls pick out their dresses. Here is the link to register to volunteer. http://www.ywcaelgin.org/site/c.8qLOK6MCLeI0F/b.8346225/k.63E2/Volunteer_Application/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=8qLOK6MCLeI0F&b=8346225&en=5oJzGIOjE4KIKSMmG3KFJOPwFfKHKXPvH8LKL0NELsG
  1. City of Elgin’s Fox Trot (May 23): The city is looking for volunteers to help the week of, the day before and the day of the race. There are a lot of different volunteer opportunities at this event. If you are interested please reach out to Amanda Moody with the City of Elgin, moody_a@cityofelgin.org.

Announcements

  • Girl Scout cookies are now on sale. The booth sales begin February 27 and go through March 26.
  • The Annual Hablamos Española Expo is on March 7 from 10:00AM-3:00PM at The Centre of Elgin. The Expo will feature entertainment from various cultural, dance and performing arts groups, a Hispanic art showcase, a sampling of food from area restaurants and local vendors.
  • The YWCA of Elgin, I Heart Prom Expo will take place on Friday, March 13 from 6-9:00PM at Elgin High School. The expo will feature a Prom fashion show, interactive safety exhibits, safety tips in a fun and informative way. Also available will be Prom-related vendors such as limo services, hair salons, florists, and dress shops.
  • Razors Edge is having a makeover contest. People are asked to submit a video about their worst hair disaster/experience.
  • The Human Race 5k in McHenry County will take place on April 26. If you are interested in participating Little Angels asks that you select their agency to benefit from your registration.
  • The Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau has a new website.

An idea was brought up that when an EYPN member is at an event or are doing something in the community we should use the hashtag #IAMEYPN so we can show people what we do.

Meeting adjourn at 6:40PM

Volunteer Event at Food for Greater Elgin

FoodForGreaterElginThroughout the year, EYPN will organize volunteer efforts at various Elgin area non-profits and events. This is a great opportunity to help give back to our city while adding valuable community service experience to our resumes.

On the evening of Thursday, February 26 from 5:30-7:30pm, EYPN members will be lending a helping hand at Food for Greater Elgin, 1553 Commerce Drive in Elgin. This volunteer opportunity is limited only to the first 12 people to sign-up. If you are interested in participating, please RSVP now at elginyoungprofessionals@yahoo.com.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Board Member – The Literacy Connection

Literacy_ConnectionThe Literacy Connection, a 501(c)(3) organization in Elgin providing free, accessible, and customized one-on-one tutoring to adult learners, is currently seeking volunteers to serve on their Board of Directors.

Purpose: To provide leadership, advice, and policies to The Literacy Connection staff and volunteers by working together with other board members and the Executive Director to ensure effective and fiscally sound programs and operations.

Hours: Board meetings are held the fourth Monday of each month, usually at the Gail Borden Public Library, beginning at 7 p.m. Board participation is expected at our largest annual fundraiser, Trivia Bee, typically held in April, and our Tutor/Learner Recognition held in June.

The organization is currently specifically seeking board members with legal or financial expertise, but indiviudals with any background or experience are welcome to inquire. Please email Karen Oswald, Executive Director, at koswald@elginliteracy.org to learn
more about this opportunity.

For more information about The Literacy Connection, visit www.ElginLiteracy.org.