Bringing DSM Businesses to YPC
I first became involved with Young Professionals Connection (YPC) in the summer of 2004. At the time, I was just out of college and looking to get involved in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community — preferably with some “young” professionals who had similar values but weren’t as stuffy as a lot of organizations — having fun was a big requirement! I stumbled upon an ad in the Des Moines Register (yes, they really did advertise that way back before social media existed), to come to an informational session and learn more about YPC. That night, I met Amy Jennings and several other individuals that took me under their wing and showed me all the inner-workings of YPC. My first task was helping with an event called “Tour de Metro”, an annual YPC bike ride to “tour” Des Moines. The event ended downtown with a street party on Court Avenue complete with live music, drag queens, spoof games and relays in the street. It was a huge undertaking, a ton of fun, and I learned how to go out and ask businesses to sponsor the event — my first business relations experience.
Des Moines Evolves, YP's Become More Involved
Believe it or not, Des Moines hasn’t always been as exciting of a place as it is today. It has been really neat to see the evolution from a relatively small group of young professionals back in the early 2000s who were able to get the momentum started and who were really just excited about making “Dead Moines” a more exciting place for young people to live, work, and play. That first business relations experience got me engaged in YPC, but it also helped set the tone for my community involvement ever since. I have evolved along with the organization, and it has taught me to put all my energy into whatever I am working on and challenge myself to take it to a new level.
This past year has been a lot of fun — we’ve collaborated with other YPC committees this year to bring discounts and exposure to various businesses in the region.
New Discounts From Local Businesses
Some of the new discounts added this year include the UrbanCard by Urban515, Kosama, Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines Art Center, Urge Party Bus, Tartine, Dixie's Campus Cleaners, Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines Menace Soccer, and Des Moines Metro Opera. There were also one-time offers from venues such as Ballet Des Moines, Terrace Hill, Business Record events, Greater Des Moines Partnership sponsored events and many others.
YPC along with Drake University and multiple small business owners, came together to share their experiences in the event and follow up luncheon "So, I have an idea and want to start a business—where do I start?" YPC hosted the Do More in the City interns at 801 Chop in July for a fun night of networking on the patio.
In August, we partnered with Wellmark to learn about diversity and inclusion councils. Des Moines Menace Soccer Club and J. Crew at Jordan Creek both hosted YPC members for an evening and provided generous discounts as well.
The highlight of the year came in September with the "Inside the Vault" event, hosted by Bankers Trust. Bankers Trust CEO Suku Radia shared insights about the importance of philanthropy, and YPC members actually got to go inside the bank vault for a hands-on tour.
We are always open to new ideas and partnerships, so feel free to drop me a line if you have any you would like to share!
It was a fun-filled year for Business Relations, and we have a lot more in store for 2013! Keep your eye out for brand-new entertainment discounts, “inside the business” events and spotlights, nonprofit board opportunities, and YPC-only events hosted by some very cool local businesses.
Goodbye to a wonderful 2012, and Cheers to a fabulous 2013!
YPC Business Relations Chair