When I moved to Ardmore four years ago, I didn’t know anyone other than my husband. I had left my friends and professional network behind in Texas, and I had no idea how to go about growing those in a brand-new area. I struggled to adjust to the differences between the big cities I grew up in and the laid-back, smaller town atmosphere. I wondered what there was to do in Ardmore and how to go about developing relationships as a newcomer.
I first learned about Ardmore Young Professionals when I began working at the Chamber of Commerce. They always seemed to have something fun going on or to be serving the community with passion and excitement. After witnessing and admiring the efforts of the AYP school supply drive that first summer, I joined the organization as a member.
What started as a way to make a few new friends quickly became an investment into my future as an Ardmoreite. Social events, game nights, athletic teams, professional development, and community service – AYP helped me grow as a person and made Ardmore my home.
I’ve been proud to witness the growth of the organization over the past four years. The community has never hesitated to support our service drives and our sponsors are passionate about allowing AYP to grow and develop every year. And 2019 is unfolding into an exciting time for the Young Professionals!
Although AYP has been a completely volunteer-led organization since its creation in 2006, the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce began exploring the expansion of the Ardmore Young Professionals following a recommendation from the 2018 Annual All Boards Retreat. They saw the need for added support and reliance on an organization that provides networking, quality of life, professional/leadership training, and other recreational opportunities in order to attract and retain new talent to the community and for those who are starting their careers and trying to find a place to belong in the community.
To make this goal a reality, the Chamber took the lead and agreed to provide funding for the position of Ardmore Young Professionals Program Manager. In November of 2018, Casey Huff was selected to fill this position. “I am so excited to start 2019 as the AYP Program Manager and look forward to many successes as an organization,” said Casey. “This organization is working towards serving out community and developing the next generation of Ardmore leaders, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it all.”
In order to help introduce the expanded mission of AYP, Casey will be introduced to Chamber members and area HR professionals at a Come & Go Coffee on Thursday, December 20, 2018 from 8:30-10:00 am at main street coffee. Come meet her and hear more about AYP’s goals for you, your young employees, and the community as a whole.
As 2018 comes to a close, AYP has also elected a new executive board. Bregan Heitz, our 2019 AYP President, is ready to ring in the new year. “I’m very excited to start my term as President of AYP,” said Bregan. “We have so many great growth opportunities this year, especially with the addition of our new Program Manager, Casey. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish in the next 12 months.”
Ardmore Young Professionals is designed for professionals from 21 to 40 years of age in the Ardmore area. If you seek to broaden your professional and social connections through networking, social, and volunteer opportunities, we may be a great fit for you! Please visit our website at ArdmoreYP.com or call Casey at 580.223.7765 for more information.