2016 YNPN President Message

2016 YNPN President Message

Thom.jpgOn the evening of October 22, 2014, a vigorous group of young professionals came together at Sun Up Brewery in Central Phoenix. It was an unusually cold day in October and noticeably, most of those gathering showed excitement in sporting their winter coats that had been tucked away in their closets for the past eight months. Despite the excitement that consumes Phoenicians when the weather drastically changes, this group was motivated by something else entirely. November 2014 was quickly approaching, as were the mid-term elections, and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Phoenix had astutely organized an evening program called “Beers and Ballots.” This program created an opportunity for young professionals to come together in a town hall setting to discuss the impact our upcoming votes would have on the nonprofit sector.   

This event was one of the first few programs I attended with YNPN Phoenix. A Phoenix native, I was anxious to discover how committed this group was to discussing real issues that affected the city to which I have grown a deep connection. Indeed, I witnessed thoughtful, passionate, and devoted young people openly discussing critical issues in a collaborative effort. And although at times in disagreement, everyone connected on a deep level. I was eager for this type of engagement with fellow young professionals, and I could not have been more enthusiastic about the experience. Whoever started the rumor that our generation is disconnected, lazy, and disengaged was quite mistaken. This was engagement. These were young people. This was Phoenix.

Now, more than ever, our communities need active and engaged young leaders. For the past 8 years, YNPN Phoenix has provided robust and quality programming to connect young people and help them grow their professional skills. Our organization is committed to the development of young professionals through exceptional programming and networking events. We offer young people the necessary tools and resources to create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive nonprofit sector in Phoenix. In 2015, we hosted over 100 first-time YNPN attendees and 100+ members at 17 events with 25 engaging speakers. 13 board member and 5 committee members volunteered over 550 hours, and YNPN Phoenix hosted its first signature event that gave 6 members the opportunity to pitch their passion to more than 70 people in the Phoenix community. With a board composed of professionals from both the public and private sectors, we are excited to continue our momentum into 2016 and nurture the many young professionals committed to creating social change.

The energy throughout this city is felt far and wide. The future of Phoenix will be determined first and foremost by the level of engagement of young people. I urge you to keep a keen eye on YNPN Phoenix’s work in 2016 and send every young professional our way. We are growing an extraordinary army that will carry the torch of Phoenix forward. This is engagement. These are young people. This is Phoenix. 

Please take a moment to review our 2015 impact report!

Thomas Barr

President, YNPN Phoenix