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Meet Iowa's Sister State!

Young Professionals Connection Sister State Program

YP Conference Map of YamanashiOn April 13 four young professionals from Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan will spend 5 days in Iowa participating in the Young Professionals (YP) Conference hosted by Iowa Sister States.  The YP Conference is the first of its kind in Iowa.  During the conference, young professionals from Iowa’s Sister State of Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan will participate in events that will show them what it is like to be a young professional in Iowa.  

Local Business Connection

While in Iowa, the group will work with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Des Moines Social Club, Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, Principal Financial Group, Central Academy, and the Young Professionals Connection (YPC) to learn about business climate in Des Moines and exchange ideas about networking techniques.

International YP Summit Reception

One of the events of the conference where both young professionals from Yamanashi and Iowa can network together is during the International YP Summit Reception. It will be Wednesday, April 15 at 5:30 – 7 p.m. at The Continental. This is a great chance to make connections with our friends from Yamanashi. We would love to see you there!

 “The overall goal of the conference is to give both sides the opportunity to exchange ideas on how to create spaces that are young professional friendly,” says Chuck Safris-Chair of Iowa Sister States’ Yamanashi Committee.  “Both Iowa and Yamanashi know that retaining a young professional is essential to local economic growth, and both states are developing programs that address the expectations of young professionals.”

History of the Sister State Program

Iowa Sister States LogoIowa and Yamanashi officially became Sister States in 1960 — the first Sister State relationship between the United States and Japan. The friendship between Iowa and Yamanashi began in 1959 when a typhoon raged through Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. It caused great losses to human life, houses, livestock, and farm ground. When Iowa Sergeant Richard Thomas (who had vacationed in Yamanashi while stationed in Japan) heard about this disaster, he reacted strongly to the news and asked the people of Iowa to help the people of Yamanashi. As a result, Iowans donated thirty-five breeding hogs and 100,000 bushels of corn to Yamanashi to encourage their recovery. This act of humanity and goodwill began the first of many exchanges between Iowa and Yamanashi. Since then, Iowa and Yamanashi have participated in countless exchanges in fields such as education, art, music, aging, agriculture and sports.

Kassi Wheeler
International Program Manager for Iowa Sister States

Young Professionals Connection (YPC)

The Young Professionals Connection (YPC) promotes an environment that attracts and retains young professionals in Greater Des Moines (DSM). YPC connects young professionals to each other and to the community through social, civic, charitable and professional development endeavors. YPC members have unique opportunities to grow personally and professionally and forge lasting relationships. They engage, connect and form a foundation for their future in DSM. YPC is an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.