By: Sarah Whitaker, Chair of the Hopkinsville Young Professionals Engage Group

For a newly established group, one of the most beneficial things that could happen to them is to be surrounded with successful organizations that can serve as a mentor of sorts to help them grow. The Hopkinsville Young Professionals Engage (HYPE) group was able to do just that recently. On our recent trip to Louisville, we were able to connect with fellow young professionals from groups around the state (and beyond) at YPAL’s two-day YP Unite Summit.

Of course there were plenty of networking opportunities and chances to have fun, but the most beneficial part of the YP Unite Summit was to connect with groups with a similar mission to HYPE’s – to give YP’s professional development opportunities, to be a welcome space for newcomers and boomerangers, and just generally be a resource for young professionals. No matter whether it is a group from a large city like Louisville, a corporate-driven YP group like Brown-Forman’s, or a fellow smaller town Western Kentucky group, our groups are all tackling the same issues and offering similar programming for our YP’s. In the YP Group Leadership session, we were able to share best practices amongst the different groups and learn how to make our groups stronger.

Prior to that, we kicked off the morning with an entrepreneurial perspective from the panelists in the “How We Can All Be More Entrepreneurial (And Badass)” session, where we got tips for career growth whether or not you’re out on your own. During the keynote address, we heard from 21c’s founder and CEO Steve Wilson, a man finding extreme success in the hotel and tourism market with a niche offering. After a bourbon and beer break in the afternoon because, Kentucky, we went on to learn from YP’s in local and state office. They spoke about politics, issues facing our state and nation, and gave us the opportunity to ask questions about issues important to young professionals.

What made it worth the drive? The people. To be able to connect with fellow young professionals trying to achieve the same goals as we are made it worth our while to attend. To learn what works in their group, what improves the experience for their city’s YP’s made it all worth the weekend away to be able to bring some of those tips home to make our group stronger. Here’s looking forward to 2017’s YP Unite Summit and the growth it will mean for young professionals around the state.

About Sarah

Sarah Whitaker is the Chair of the Hopkinsville Young Professionals Engage Group.  When she’s not doing all things YP, she runs the Marketing division for Williams Advertising and is responsible for the growth of the Promotional Products division.