Two weeks ago we introduced you to our new VP candidates.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll share information about these two – so you can get to know them better before casting your vote at our Cinco Anniversary Celebration on May 8!
Where Are You From: Tacoma, WA
Place Of Employment: North Dakota University System
Job Title: Strategic Analytics Coordinator
How Long You’ve Been In The YPN: Since March 2018
What is your involvement like within the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network (YPN)? I arrived in Mandan, after living in Grand Forks for 10 years, in December 2016. At that time I had very little connection to the Bismarck-Mandan community. Dr. Larry Skogen, whom I work with at the University System, mentioned to me that I should join the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network (YPN). After settling my family in the community, I joined the network in March 2018, and was blown away at how inclusive everyone was. Further, I could see one of the major strengths that still holds true today, great people. There is no substitute for exceptional individuals, young or old, coming together for a common goal in creating a more connected community. Since that time, my mission in YP has simply been to get to know people, develop sustainable professional relationships, and find spaces in the network where I can help others be Career Minded, and Community Focused. That being said, three primary areas of involvement have made a huge impact on me while being in the network so far.
The YPN Mentorship Program process was constructive and encouraging at the same time, Angil Wanner-Kopper and Dave Lehman were exceptional mentors that took hours out of their day to coach and mentor me, providing different perspectives and ideas that I still use to this day. Due to that experience, one of my goals is to be a mentor/coach in this program when I am an alumni. Having the opportunity to serve with the YPN executive team, and other YPN leaders, on the Strategic Planning Committee was truly a pleasure. Having real conversations, creating a vision, and setting goals is an exciting process that I have a passion for, and my hope is to carry that passion into the next three years, if elected. Lastly, every single event (Regardless of category) that I have been able to attend has been exceptional, even if something doesn’t go exactly to plan, I could sense the resiliency and dedication of our members to ensure everyone was included and still had a positive experience. Creating a an environment that fosters genuine connections is critical, not just for a professional career, but for the community as a whole. We have great people in the YPN, they work tirelessly for the other members, let’s continue to strengthen and support their work so we as a collective can strengthen our connection to the community.
What strengths as a leader will you bring as VP of the YPN?
Balance. Having various leadership roles related to Strategic Planning, Artificial Intelligence, Economics, Flood Control, Planning & Zoning, Faith, and being married nine years with three children, requires a delicate balance. Possessing the ability to effectively prioritize and communicate is critical in one’s personal and professional life. This concept is no different in the YPN, which is a dynamic community with many roles and diverse individuals that are passionate about what they do. At times, there can be competing interests, conflict, miscommunication, infusion of new ideas, but in the end, how do we provide balance and make the best decision for the network as a whole? As a member of the executive team, I would provide experience in understanding all perspectives, and be able to make hard decisions as they arise.
Vision. In the Summer of 2018 I had the pleasure of taking part in the biennial YPN Strategic Planning Committee meetings. For the first time, I was introduced to the future potential of YPN in Bismarck-Mandan, and I believe it is bright. There are roughly 30,000 people in the Bismarck-Mandan area between the ages of 20 and 39, and if the YPN can connect just a fraction of those individuals to the community, it will make an incredible difference in the near future. Reaching our goals as a network is a collective effort, and I believe my experience with high level goal setting, tracking, alignment, and accountability will be an asset to the executive team and the YPN as a whole.
Service. The general health of our local community is a high priority to me. This is where we live, work, where our kids go to school, and where we build lifelong relationships. Service is a crucial vehicle to move our community forward, and it can’t be ignored. As a youth leader at the church I attend, creating a positive environment for the junior and senior high can truly impact the next generation. As Chairman of the Morton County Planning and Zoning Commission, using sustainable planning practices, we have to not only look after the general welfare of the individual citizen but the county as a whole. As Vice-Chair of the Lower Heart Water Resource District, we have to ensure that flood control measures are adequate to ensure the safety of all citizens in the City of Mandan, regardless of their income level, or where they live. At the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network we not only have a responsibility to serve our members, but to serve the community we live in every day. Serving on the executive team would be a privilege, and if elected, in the next three years I believe we can continue to build on the amazing work that has been done so far, and find new opportunities for sustainable growth in the future.
Where are You From: Richardton, ND
Place Of Employment: First Community Credit Union
Job Title: Communications Manager
What is your involvement like within the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network (YPN)?
One of the best things about the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network is that it offers countless opportunities to get involved and be active. I’m a firm believer that in life you get out, what you put in, so I’ve tried to be fairly involved. Shortly after joining the network, I became a Marketing Liaison for the Ambassador team. The last two years, I’ve been a Marketing Co-Lead for the network, where I’m currently finishing my last term this spring. In addition, I’ve been a PR/Marketing Co-Lead the last two years on the Epic Impact committee and helped serve on the 2017 Young Professionals Day Committee where we planned a day for young professionals to be fully committed to giving back to our community. Finally, I’ve actively volunteered at several service events, my favorite being a server at Heaven’s Helpers.
What strengths as a leader will you bring as VP of the YPN?
A large strength will be my knowledge of Marketing and PR, having a career in this field. In my career as a Communications Manager, I must be hardworking, approachable and outgoing, all qualities that I consider as a strength for YPN Vice- President. Additionally, being a current co-lead for the Marketing Team and being involved on the leadership team I understand the inner workings of YPN. Finally, outside of the network I’ve held previous leadership roles and currently serve as a Board Member on the Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas, a non-profit 501c3; this is a strength which can be a useful tool for our network. I believe my YP leadership experience and community involvement will be a strong asset for the YPN moving forward.