Who says Young Professional Networks are only for big cities?

Northeast Michigan has future leaders taking an active role the setting the tone for the future.

Who says that Young Professional Networks, otherwise known as YPN’s are only for larger, metropolitan areas? Not the leaders for the newly formed YPN known as LIVE Iosco, created in partnership with the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce. LIVE Iosco’s mission is to “Attract, Involve, and Retain Young Professionals and Future Leaders in the losco County Area.”

This group held their first organizational meeting in May 2012 and has grown to over 30 members in its first year. Demographics for the Iosco County, Michigan, according to 2010 census data collected by the United States Census Bureau, illustrates the success this small group of leaders has overcome. With an overall county population of less than 26,000, the median age is approximately 51 years of age. Most YPN’s focus on the mid-20’s to mid-40’s age category. Therefore, it is a reasonable assertion that an organization like this would never get off the ground, but it has.

In consult with local business leaders, as well as Michigan State University Extension Educator, Mark Hitchcock, who has over 15 years of managerial and leadership experience to draw from, this group established a leadership structure, and has set itself up to be self-sustainable with its own budget, bylaws, programming and membership

For many of the founding members of this group, this has been their first experience in a leadership position and the establishment and formation of an organization. This process should serve as a great practical exercise for them to employ throughout their careers.

Now that the group has established itself, it is actively taking part in various community and regional efforts. LIVE Iosco will be a key partner in a future mentorship program to align with work taking place in establishing a Youth Entrepreneurship Program in Iosco County, led by Develop Iosco in close partnership with Michigan State University Extension.

For more information about LIVE Iosco or how to establish a Young Professionals Network in your Northeast Michigan community, contact Mark Hitchcock, Extension Educator at hitchc27@anr.msu.edu or by phone at (989) 984-1059. For more information about any Leadership based questions, feel free to check out the MSU Extension Website and search for Leadership.

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