Aiken Young Professionals launches 10th year
The Aiken Young Professionals (AYP) will celebrate its 10 year anniversary in 2017, and it is shaping up to be another exciting and productive year. The theme for AYP’s upcoming year is Get Connected - a launching pad for young people in Aiken to set themselves up for leadership roles throughout the community. This theme aligns with the communitywide Connect Aiken campaign, a part of the City of Aiken’s Strategic Plan. Get Connected also reflects AYP’s desire to reconnect with the organization’s history, previous AYP leaders and alumni.
AYP’s vision is simple- provide young professionals with social and professional opportunities, attract and retain young professionals to the Greater Aiken region and be a voice in the community for the collective young professional population in the area. AYP provides a way to showcase the quality of life, diverse culture, places and opportunities that Aiken has to offer individuals ages 22-39 years old.
One of AYP’s goals in 2017 is to connect with potential new members in different industries. Traditionally AYP has exceled in attracting members that are in businesses that see the value of networking groups. The group would like to see the traditional definition of “professional” expanded. Several industries including manufacturing, education, and construction are significantly underrepresented in the AYP membership.
Author and adviser David Maister says, “…real professionalism has little, if anything, to do with which business you are in, what role within that business you perform, or how many degrees you have. Rather it implies a pride in work, a commitment to quality, a dedication to the interest of the client, and a sincere desire to help.”
If you are an hourly worker, a small-business owner, a corporate employee, or a volunteer and have the traits that Maister lists above, you have a place in AYP.
“As the 10th anniversary year of AYP approaches, there is an excitement in the air for where we started, where we are now, and what we will become,” said 2017 AYP Chair Elizabeth Cahill. “We have an extremely strong and dedicated group of individuals on the Steering Committee. We recognize that anniversaries are always a cause for celebration and look forward to embarking on AYP’s 10th successful year!”
Meet the 2017 AYP Chair
Elizabeth Cahill is the 2017 Chair of AYP and is employed by RSI, Inc. Cahill moved to Aiken in 2013 and joined the organization after being invited to the monthly networking event Third Thursday. Cahill was an active member for the first year and a half, and then served as the coordinator for Supper Club in 2015 and subsequently Events and Vice-Chair in 2016.
Cahill grew up coming to rural Aiken County every summer to visit her grandparents, but never expected to move to Aiken and fall in love with the community as a young professional. Cahill credits AYP with giving her the opportunity to meet and make some of her best friends and also for educating her on all Aiken has to offer with the variety of people, businesses and events.
“Aiken is the first place that I have truly felt at home, and I am proud to lead the organization that had a huge part in that feeling,” said Cahill.