A Letter from our President
To our Members, Advisory Council, Sponsors & Community Stakeholders,
It has been a historic year for YPAL! The 2016-17 board term saw accelerated membership growth, outstanding programming, new community relationships, and improved operational processes. I am happy to report that YPAL’s financials, programs, partnerships, events, and membership benefits are as strong as they have ever been. The future of our organization is very bright! Here are a few highlights of this year’s accomplishments.
My core initiative this year as YPAL’s President was “Engage,” which covers areas of how YPAL is involved with community outreach, philanthropy, public policy, and advocacy efforts. One of our goals was to create strong pipelines of communication and partnership with our community leaders. Over the past 12 months, we have been intentional about meeting with elected officials and business leaders to discuss the valuable resources that YPAL provides to young professionals in their districts and in our city. We have especially maintained close attention to how we can use the influence of our organization to be an indispensable champion to attract young talent to Louisville.
We had the privilege this year to meet with Louisville Metro Mayor Greg Fischer and 24 members of Louisville Metro Council to discuss ways we can engage young professionals across all districts and areas of our community. We also wanted to ensure we are offering opportunities for engagement, connection, and professional development across the river in Indiana. For the first time in YPAL’s history, we met with the Mayors of Jeffersonville, New Albany, and Charlestown, Indiana.
YPAL represents young professionals from all different industries, areas of the city, and walks of life. Knowing our reach, we made it a priority to raise the level of awareness around the importance of young professionals serving on boards and community committees across the city. We paid close attention to increasing the number of young professionals that are appointed to the 80+ boards and commissions in Metro Louisville. The Millennial generation will comprise over half of the workforce by 2020, and we believe that our boards and commissions should reflect young professional perspectives, voices, and insights. We are happy to report that to-date, we have helped seven young professionals get appointed to various boards or commissions. Thank you to our city leaders for recognizing the importance of this.
Historic Membership Growth
YPAL made history in 2017 by reaching and exceeding 900 members! Our organization has continued to grow throughout the years, and we are thrilled that we are seeing accelerated growth from all areas of the community, as well as great engagement in our events and programs.
Emerging Leaders Program
Our core leadership training, the Emerging Leaders Program, shifted class projects this year to focus on “Quality of Life for Young Professionals.” Knowing that talent attraction and retention are a priority for our community, we focused on core areas of quality of life. Our project research focused on parks and recreation, special events and festivals, and professional development. Our spring ELP class dove deep into the project by tackling different elements such as affordability, safety, and accessibility to jobs. This research was shared with the business community and received recognition in both local and regional press.
This year we conducted a listening tour with various community and nonprofit leaders to discuss how YPAL can better engage with the nonprofit community. As a result of these conversations, we launched our first event in our series of community discussions called “CommunityTalks” to allow young professionals to engage in meaningful dialogue with city influencers around topics such as affordable housing, food justice, poverty, and safe neighbors.
This was a planning year for YPAL. We have been hard at work on our next strategic plan, which will provide the direction for our organization over the next five years. I am excited to report that our planning committee and our board of directors passed our 2017-2022 Strategic Plan that will focus on growing and improving our operations, diversity, programming, technology, and membership.
YP Unite Summit
In November, we hosted the YP Unite Summit here in Louisville, where we saw over 150 young professionals representing five-states and over 20 different organizations. The participants engaged in meaningful dialogue on how we can all work together, learn best practices, engage our communities, and be the resounding voices for the young professional community.
Thank you to our board of directors, members, partners, and community stakeholders for an outstanding year!
President (2016 – 2017)
Young Professionals Association of Louisville
Read the full Annual Report here.