A Championship-Worthy CLE YP Week
Picture this: You’re up late on a Sunday night and Cleveland—your city—finds itself a champion for the first time in half a century. Then picture this: you intern for a nonprofit organization that spends the majority of every year planning for one incredible week packed with over thirty events for Cleveland’s young professionals, that just so happens to begin bright and early Monday morning. Engage! Cleveland’s Cleveland Young Professionals Week is a week-long event aimed at getting YPs to experience Cleveland, its leaders, and its networking potential. Needless to say, the week of June 20th will forever be remembered as a week of celebration and new experiences. We had no idea what to expect for our Monday CLE YP Week events. Yet, with some last minute tweaks and coordination, our Monday events were a huge hit. The added excitement of the Cavs win created a unique energy among the attendees, speakers, and volunteers and the atmosphere was filled with a newfound camaraderie. After enjoying a lunch with Cleveland’s own Mayor Jackson and after your choice of Speed Networking or touring the new waterfront development on the East 9th Pier at Peek at the Pier, I looked forward to an even better day two of YP Week!
I think I can speak for everyone who signed up for the sold-out Cleveland Leading Ladies lunch event when I say that I was really impressed by this empowering and enlightening panel that featured Vitamix President and CEO, Jodie Berg; WKYC President and General Manager, Micki Byrnes; and LGBT Center Executive Director, Phyllis Harris. Later that night, YPs had a blast channeling their creativity (check out the pictures on the Engage! Cleveland Facebook page!) by painting the Cleveland skyline, and some spent the evening listening to successful Cleveland YPs share their stories, passion, and inspiration. So, what about Wednesday?
Unfortunately, the parade did interfere with our Wednesday events and created a few obstacles in terms of planning. 1.3 million people will do that! However, we have rescheduled the YP Fair and What’s a Manhattan? event, and we are in the process of recreating our Healthcare in the Land event. All are expected to be just as awesome as they would have been during Cleveland Young Professionals Week!
The CLE YP Week momentum picked right back up on Thursday with a homerun of an afternoon at Progressive Field! This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be in the same room as prominent sports industry leaders was the perfect way to continue the Championship celebration. Later that evening, Cleveland’s young professionals toasted the city at Home Brewed—having a discussion with brewery and distillery owners—and Wine 101. While the week started off a little crazy and hectic, it was rewarding to see that YP Week was better than ever with so many sold-out events, incredibly vocal and excited YPs, and fantastic venues at which to hold all the fun!
In the blink of an eye, it was Friday—it’s crazy how fast time passes when your schedule is packed with YP festivities! We closed out CLE YP Week with our popular Lunch with Leaders event, where YPs had intimate round table discussions with some of Cleveland’s top leaders, and by spending a beautiful evening at FWD Day + Night Club for our Closing Party. From the amazing networking, awesome silent auction items, to the crazy amounts of food to eat, I’d say it was a successful day and the perfect ending to our 3rd Annual Cleveland Young Professionals Week!
Looking back on this week, I can honestly say memories were made, fun was had, and Clevelanders are closer than ever. There is no doubt that next year’s YP Week will be just as inspiring, memory-filled, and engaging. While the Cavs may have won the championship, YPs were the real winners to have experienced such a spectacular 2016 Cleveland Young Professionals Week.-Maria Agostino