YP Summit in Covington, Kentucky

YP Summit in Covington, Kentucky

Written by: Lauren Chapman

Continuing with our professional development theme for October, we are featuring Lauren Chapman, Chair of Medical Mutual’s Young Professionals Business Resource Group.

The trip down 71 south was a very familiar one; as a graduate of Miami when I wanted to take a different route I would go this way through Cincinnati. However, this time was different. I wasn’t rushing back from Canton to school before class on Monday; this time I was heading to a conference for my role at Medical Mutual as the Chair of our Young Professionals Business Resource Group (aka YPBRG). Aside from being a Corporate Recruiter & Sourcer, I also lead the company affinity group focusing on retaining and educating our young professionals. I first learned of the YP Summit from Ashley Basile Oeken, the President of Engage! Cleveland at a Collaboration Council meeting. After learning Ashley wasn’t able to attend due to being honored with an incredible, well-deserved award from the Girls Scouts of America in Northeast Ohio, I was at first hesitant to go alone. My fellow officers were tied up with other events for the remainder of the year and unable to attend. However, I knew that I wanted to learn more about how young professionals are doing things in other areas and also thought this was a great to get away to a cool city for the night. With that I stepped out on faith and initiative in the hopes to bring the valuable tips and lessons I learned back to the group.

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When I got off the elevator onto the 19th floor of The Metropolitan Club I couldn’t believe the view. It was overlooking the Ohio River and the bridge I had just nervously gotten off. Did I mention I don’t like bridges? The morning started off with a casual networking breakfast prior to the first speaker Nick Jackson. He is a well-known motivational speaker and coach who focused on community growth and empowerment. He was very captivating and the lessons he presented can transition a great deal in to the various groups in Cleveland. Just a few of those include:

  • As a community we are one; trying things alone causes one to fall in a big way.
  • Embrace YOU! Be happy with your uniqueness and embrace your creativity.
  • Drink better beer! Just give me a second to explain. When he said this, my thought went directly to the fact that it’s 10:00am on a Saturday morning. I could barely wake up this early to drive here, let alone think about beer. But, yes there was a point and message. As young professionals in college we were trying to make it, living off our meal plans (if we were lucky) and enjoying the cheap beers they had at parties. Now, we areblessed to be in our careers where we can be a bit choosy and occasionally have the top shelf. It’s awesome and we should be thankful for that. So, drink better beer!
  • Focus on the Now. Everyone is in a hurry to get to the next level, and what is going on now has a tendency to falter. In other words, we aren’t necessarily giving our best self or effort. We should do our best job no matter the task; whether it be making copies or writing a full report.

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Next, was our first breakout session where you could choose between two options: Breaking the Ceiling or The Importance of Diversity for Community Success. I chose the latter and was able to take a few tips not only for the YPBRG, but also for my role as a recruiter. The day continued through a presentation related to politics and civic responsibility from major names in Kentucky’s political scene, along with a working lunch with the President of Northern Kentucky University Geoff Mearns discussing the role of universities in successful communities. It was very interesting hearing his story since he was previously a lawyer and Cleveland State University alumni.

The afternoon commenced with a well-known Cincinnati based company presentation from Tom+Chee. They are a company that had great success, but it was taken up several notches when they appeared on the hit show Shark Tank grabbing an investment deal from one of the sharks. The founders Jenny Rachford and Jennifer Quackenbush presented first on being the wives behind the business and how they spearhead the logistics of the business. Also they mentioned how to gain respect being a woman in a male-dominated industry. Lastly, the husbands and other two founders of Tom+Chee presented their entire story, from the beginning including the ups and downs. It was very inspirational to see two All-American couples realize their dream and the time they took to reach the ultimate plateau. Before I knew it the day was over and I headed to walk down to the parking garage. I left the building, but before getting on the road I had to stop in front of the lake to take a few selfies.

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And then the trip was over,- I left Kentucky crossing the bridge, drove through Cincy, and headed back up 71 north. I learned that there is a much larger population of young professionals in Ohio other than Cleveland that truly care about the community they live in and want to continue educating each other. Also, not only can we make an impact at our companies, but through civic engagement and entrepreneurship. It’s important to utilize the platform we have to empower our peers and neighborhoods to show a positive image of how proud we are of our town and those that live here. The miles increased and the Cincy/Kentucky skyline became a distant image., I left the conference having a stronger knowledge base and connecting with a great group of people. And yet I’m still not a fan of bridges.

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