Sharing, Learning, and Growing at the 2015 YP Workshop

Sharing, Learning, and Growing at the 2015 YP Workshop 


The staff of Engage! Cleveland are going to fill you in on our YP Workshop. Abbey Geib, EC Program Intern, is going to discuss the morning and Ashley Basile Oeken, President, the afternoon.

Engage! Cleveland held its 4th Annual YP Workshop on Saturday, October 24, 2015. It was an amazing day of learning for all of the attendees in each of the four tracks. The tracks included: Employer, Non-Profit, Affinity YPO, and Young Professional. We started off the day sitting at round tables getting to know one-another. Then Richey Piiparinen from Cleveland State University spoke about the research he is doing on young professional migration/growth in the city of Cleveland.


Richey’s presentation was insightful and included details on the economic growth of the city, the history of its dwellers and projections for what Cleveland could become in the near future. It was very interesting to say the least and many of our attendees had questions about job growth and economic projections at the end. We all want to see this city thrive.

After Richey’s presentation, all of the attendees split off into their respective tracks. Each group had a facilitator and speakers. I sat in on two groups and was thoroughly impressed with the knowledge from the speakers. All of the speakers had a very unique take on the day’s topics.

The first group I sat in on was the non-profit track. I heard Trisha Vaughn give her presentation on the Cleveland Zoological Society and the many events they hold to raise money for the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo and the animals that they protect. Trisha gave excellent examples of things that non-profit groups can do to recruit and engage members and non-members to help an organizations cause.

The next track that I attended, affinity YPOs, had a lively and energetic group of YPO leaders. I heard the tail-end of Jason Estremera’s presentation on the Young Latino Network and his take on recruitment and engagement. One thing that stuck out the most was his emphasis on meeting with new members to welcome them to the group. It’s so important to make sure that new members identify with the organization and feel welcome right from the start.


Lauren Welch from Cleveland Young Professional Minority Women’s Group spoke next and emphasized member engagement through events. She also stressed diversity in an organization because diversity helps to grow the organization and further its vision and causes by having unique perspectives.

Many of the other leaders in the room talked about membership models, which both speakers touched on. The room all agreed that clear membership models help to grow the organization, which also helps with engagement.

After hearing these two groups speak, I could feel the energy and excitement for their unique organizations and I know that YPs are in good hands if they ever want to join a YPO in Cleveland.

I unfortunately had to leave at lunch to get to a friend’s wedding, so as we transition into lunch, Ashley is going to share her perspective.

The rest of the day went off without a hitch. We all had a boxed lunch while Evan Ishida from Engage! Cleveland and Thrive@Work led us in a lunch activity. Evan discussed how when networking everyone always asks who you are and what you do. Our activity was to ask each other questions that are scientifically pr12046638_1058155527542379_1673106237347957248_noven to make you more happy than answering the question where do you work for the umpteenth time. The best part was that these questions were tucked away inside a fortune cookie so they doubled as a dessert.

The next two sessions were very insightful and included topics like strategic planning and management of boards. I stopped in all of the rooms to briefly check-in and the presentations were great. The Young Professionals were hearing from Sarah Gray The President of the Cleveland 20/30 Club when I entered the room. Sarah did a great job selling young professionals on why they should join a YPO.

From there, I headed into the employer session, where they were working in small groups and had heard from some awesome speakers. Emily Nicholls of American Greetings was receiving some praise for handing out a gift card as a prize.

12043144_1058155600875705_3613025457650699943_nNext, I stopped into the affinity YPOs where there was some great discussion in a small group setting. I didn’t want to ruin the mojo, so I visited the non-profit track.

Being that I have worked almost my entire career in the non-profit sector, this one caught my ear. The attendees were discussing how to integrate Associate Boards and Boards of Directors. I came in on the tail end and stayed for the best practice session. There were so many great questions and answers flying across the room and overall I think people might have felt that they got an opportunity to vent and share in an open forum.

While the other groups had wrapped up and moved on to networking at Pizazz, the non-profits were still going strong. Soon, they joined their colleagues and everyone enjoyed pizza, beer and continued dialogue.

Overall, the day exceeded our expectations and we cannot wait until the next time we get to learn with Cleveland YPs.