Hillsboro Chamber to launch Young Professionals organization

People between the ages of 18 and 39 who are interested in connecting with their peers and their community are invited to consider a new organization intended just for them.

Hillsboro Young Profes­sionals is planning a kickoff event Sept. 29 at Bluejay Lanes.

“The purpose is kind of multifaceted,” said David Vogel, president of the local Chamber of Com­merce, which is the umbrella organization for HYP.

“It’s getting people invested in the community,” he said. “I don’t know if younger generations feel more freedom to do other things outside of town, but this gives them something in town. There’s networking with other people in a similar stage of life, maybe sharing professional goals and that kind of thing.

“Also, it’s going to present opportunities for building relationships but also doing some service for the community. So there’s a lot of potential in this, I think.”

Vogel said the inspiration to start a Young Pro­fession­als organization in Hillsboro was launched in Newton when a group of local Chamber board members attended a Kansas Sampler Foundation called “Big World Brainstorm.”

“Throughout the day you had to sit with different people, and so you had to talk to people instead of people just presenting at you,” Vogel said. “You got to talk to people about what they were doing in their towns, what was working, what wasn’t.

“It was a really good day, but at the end you were supposed to get back with the people you came with and come up with at least one action step when you go home.”

This group’s action step was launching Hillsboro Young Professions.

“We came together, and thought that might be one of the things we could accomplish,” said Vogel, who is working alongside two other young professionals in the community, Courtney Boehm of Cottonwood Law Group and Rob Scott of Scott Catering.

Vogel said the local organization will be modeled after other Young Pro­fe­s­sionals groups in the area.

“Newton is the one we’re most familiar with,” he said. “So we’ve looked a lot at what they’ve done.”

Officially, the organization is open to anyone in the identified age group who “lives, works, learns or plays in Hillsboro.”

“We’re going to really focus on getting students from Tabor involved, too,” Vogel said.

Hillsboro Young Profes­sions is intended not just for young business owners, but also the peers they employ.

“We are going to encourage employers to cover the dues,” he said. “They can give employees an opportunity to be involved without the extra expense.”

Dues currently are $40 a year, but $15 for students.

“If they want to join at the event later this month, the rest of the year is free,” Vogel added. “The dues won’t start until 2017.”

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