NEWPORT – The Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network has launched a number of new initiatives and hosted a number of successful events this past year, significantly increasing the numbers of its organization region-wide.
The board reflects the geographic diversity of the region, with Maire Folan, the program manager of the Green Mountain Farm-to-School office in Newport, serving as committee chair.
Patrick Sodums, the YPN vice chair, brings a hospitality background to the group, as he works as the conference and corporate sales manager of the Burke Mountain Hotel & Conference Center in East Burke.
Rounding out the board is Sarah Chadburn, the group’s treasurer, who serves as a credit analyst at Community National Bank in Newport.
“The vision of the NEK YPN is to be a network for young professionals living and working in and around Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom,” Folan states. “We hope to provide valuable leadership, relationship, and education opportunities through collaboration with community partners.”
The group has held successful social events, or mixers, to bring people together.
It hopes to soon roll out some new programs that will welcome new folks to the area and provide more leadership opportunities.
The Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network was re-energized two years ago by Geoffrey Sewake after having been established by then-Northeast Kingdom Chamber President Hannah Manley in 2011.
The main purpose of the group is to serve the needs of young professionals, employees, leaders, and entrepreneurs of the tri-county region, who are hoping to find networking and social opportunities with others in their area.
“We recognize the word ‘young’ to be dynamic, not static, and ‘professional’ to be inclusive, not exclusive,” Folan noted. “We welcome all to this group.”
In the past two years, the NEK YPN has sponsored a number of events in the Northeast Kingdom and partnered with similar groups in northern New Hampshire in an attempt to reach out to more young professionals throughout the North Country.
Such meetings have not only allowed more professionals to network with each other but also helped the committee determine what the needs of young professionals are in the Kingdom.
“An important priority of the NEK YPN is to reach every corner of the Kingdom and help and assist young professionals, as they are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but, in many cases, today’s leaders as well,” said Darcie McCann, executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber. “We as a chamber, as well as other chambers throughout the Kingdom, are striving to work as closely with the group as possible to ensure we give them the support and skills they need to succeed.”