It is rare for a downtown area not to have a networking organization for its young professional workers. Almost every urban center of a decent size has one or two and the absence of one in Downtown Tempe was unusual.
So why not start one?
It began with a happy hour gathering in the conference room of Silicon Valley Bank last November. Over 70 young professionals were in attendance (of all ages I might add; including the 65+ attorney from Davis Miles that prefaced his introduction by “young people need attorneys too”. Love that guy!) Large sheets of poster paper lined the conference table asking those that showed up what they want to get out of a young professionals group (answers: community, leadership opportunities, fun, connections, fun, meet new people); what sort of volunteer opportunities interest you (answers: animal shelters, food banks, homeless services, Habitat for Humanity, kittens); what their favorite downtown was (answers: Boston, Chicago, Austin’s live music, Denver); favorite happy hour place in Tempe (answers: Postino, The Yard, Pedal Haus, Zipps).
TYP in September at Revel Systems
Several happy hours and several months later, I am happy to report that TYP (short for Tempe Young Professionals) is on its way to being a formal, professional group for the young professionals of Tempe. TYP is a free-to-join organization for young professionals in Downtown Tempe. TYP’s goal is to build community amongst young professionals in Downtown Tempe by hosting its own events, informing young workers of community events, and enabling them to engage with one another. A board of directors has been established (Executive Committee includes Chad Hassell, COO, Genius Monkey; Randy Keating, Tempe City Council member; Rose Baronovic, Community Liaison, Juut Salon Spa and yours truly) as well as four working committees: Civic & Community Engagement, Membership, Social Engagement and Professional Development. TYP’s social media accounts will be live in the new year.
Revel Systems TYP mixer in September
The board and committees will be meeting over the next several months to recruit new members, solicit sponsorships and plan a signature kick-off event for spring of 2017. Every other month, TYP will host mixers and invite the young professionals in Tempe (any age – but most are in 20’s through 40’s, and any profession) to come meet other professionals, have a drink, learn about the organization and meet people. So far, the mixers have given access to some of the coolest offices in downtown: Silicon Valley Bank’s grand conference room at Hayden Ferry, Revel Systems’ colorful ‘garage’ office, Juut Salon’s upstairs studio and in October, we’re meeting in the penthouse & outdoor patio of Genius Monkey at Hayden Ferry Lakeside. We’ve held a donation drive for Tumbleweed Youth Center through the Tempe Mission Campaign and are compiling a list of volunteer opportunities and organizations to help.
TYP in April at Juut Salon Spa
Fashion Show at TYP in April at Juut Salon Spa
It’s going to be fun.
The committees are lining up professional development opportunities like round tables and speakers for lunch and learns, access to city and business leaders and outings for nothing but pure fun (dinners, yoga, trips to sporting activities). The group is full of young people who work hard and want an opportunity to build an organization serving the professional workers of Tempe as well as an opportunity to meet people, build connections and plug into community.
La Bocca catered the TYP in April at Juut Salon Spa
Care to build something with us?
Sign up to be along for the ride. And bring a friend or two. We’d love to have you build something with us.
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