On Wednesday, January 24th, the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals (YPro) will host the YPro Discovered Gala, an evening honoring the best and brightest young professionals—and those with a commitment to support them—in the metro area. Get to know the finalists for the Young Professional of the Year and the YPro Advocates of the Year!
Young Professional of the Year Finalists
A proven leader, Sarah exudes passion for volunteering and being an active community member and change agent with all that she involves herself in. Through her work at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Sarah has found innovative ways to engage new audiences on social media to keep the brand vibrant and fresh. Not shying away from leadership opportunities, Sarah boldly led volunteer groups which ranged in size from 8 to 400 people. She has also set record dollar amounts for fundraising events to better the community. Sarah puts all her heart into everything she does and shares this passion with those around her each and every day.
An advocate for other young professionals, Adam has a passion for helping others grow their professional careers. Adam played a key role in the growth and success of NewStudio Architecture – the team he joined in 2011 working at a coffee shop to one that now has offices in the Twin Cities and New York. Adam’s passion is also played out through his role as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota teaching architecture and at his co-founded organization D.E.M.O. where he instructs coordinated design thinking workshops for students of all ages, parents, and other educators.
As a grant writer and translator at Aeon, Tené is able to help the organization share their story cross-culturally and receive the funding needed to continue to grow. She is able to connect communities not only through translation, but also as a Change Network Minnesota cohort Fellow, focusing on cultural self-study and leadership changes of inclusion and equity. Tené’s biggest achievements include a robust history of volunteerism through Americorps, an adult day care, and in Ethiopia through the Peace Corps Service. Most notably, Tené volunteers at her junior and senior high school to show emerging young professionals of color all they can achieve.
With a passion for making a measurable impact on her community, Miya continually finds ways to help others. Within in her role as a 3M Gives Specialist, Miya leads the grant-making programs for all US based 3M plants and manages 3M’s United Way campaign—both have helped to provide over $4M in support for communities. Miya’s dedication to diversity inclusion has led her to develop POWER (Providing Opportunities with Effective Relationships), a mentoring program to help retain diverse talent by providing a supportive community. Outside of work, Miya continues to set examples. She regularly volunteers in the Rondo Community and actively coaches high school cheerleading at Saint Agnes. It is truly evident that Miya lives her passion daily.
With a passion for service, Lindsay strives to connect and develop relationships to help individuals and businesses in the Saint Paul area grow. As a member of the Minnesota Wild Hockey Club, Lindsay has been the lead generator and team manager of theme nights which have become annual initiatives for the Minnesota Wild. On top of that, Lindsay managed to set the single season ticket revenue record by an individual with $1.3M in sales. Through relationships with military families and organizations Lindsay connected with Military Order of the Purple Heart making the Minnesota Wild the first and only NHL team to be recognized as a Purple Heart Team. Her efforts earned her a spot on the employee values committee with the Leading by Example Award. Lindsay furthers her service commitment by mentoring 4th grade students and guiding fundraising efforts for local non-profits and small businesses in the community.
YPro Advocate of the Year Finalists
Fresh Energy is an independent nonprofit working to speed the transition to a clean energy economy in Minnesota, which will ensure that our region enjoys good health, a vibrant economy, and thriving communities for generations to come. The organization has had a long-standing commitment to nurturing talent and building new energy leaders through policy fellowships, internships, and ongoing growth opportunities to young professionals, all of which help emerging leaders gain professional experience in the often-technical field of energy policy. Fresh Energy invests in young professionals through dedicated staff time and funds to support employees in reaching their own professional development goals.
Mahoney, Ulbrich, Christiansen & Russ P.A.
Since 1989, Mahoney, Ulbrich, Christiansen & Russ P.A. (MUCR) has been offering accounting services to small businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals. Recognized as a top accounting firms in the Twin Cities, employees have excellent work/life balance, access to coaching programs, and an education committee that works to stay in the know about the emerging trends of the profession to ultimately promote and coordinate off-site training and workshops for their employees. With over half of their 60 employees being young professionals, MUCR creates a workplace culture that mentors and encourages their young professionals to succeed.
Founded in 1997, Spare Key is a 501(c)(3) organization, focused on providing financial assistance to families during a time of need in which a child is critically ill or has been hospitalized due to a serious injury. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, Spare Key is proud to have served over 3,500 families in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. Dedicated to the development of its Young Professionals, Spare Key invites their Young Professionals to participate in Board Meetings and in their strategic planning, all in an effort to prepare them to advance into higher positions. Along with this, Young Professionals are encouraged to seek passions outside of work to promote a healthy and rewarding work-life balance.
SPIRE Credit Union
SPIRE Credit Union has maintained competitive quality services to customers in Minnesota and Wisconsin since 1934. Committed to improving lives, SPIRE emphasizes the safety and respect of its member-owners and employees. The company actively invests in its young professionals, providing opportunities for development through internships, professional development courses and tuition reimbursement, all aimed at helping maximize their potential. With a workforce of over 50% young professionals, SPIRE believes in a culture of building talent from within, providing mentorship and an environment for growth for its emerging leaders.
Sunrise Banks is a family-owned national chartered bank with a long history of serving inner city communities in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Their innovative spirit launches the bank nationally through various initiatives in four primary business lines: Commercial Lending & Leasing, Relationship Banking, National Products, and Government Lending. At Sunrise, young employees are encouraged to continue their education by seeking out conferences, lectures, and training events that support their professional growth. In addition, young professionals at Sunrise can pursue mentoring opportunities through their supervisors and management of the bank. For Sunrise, the growth and development of young professionals keeps the innovative spirit of the organization alive.
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
For over 30 years, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has partnered with low-income homebuyers, homeowners, and the metro community to make decent, affordable housing a reality for those in need. Through the Habitat Young Professionals Network (HYPN), young professionals are given ample opportunities to develop both professionally and personally into the next generation of leaders for Habitat. HYPN hosts networking events, seminars, and fundraisers that attract over 400 local young professionals each year. Habitat employees are encouraged to be continual learners and are consistently involved with the planning and execution of events and mentorship programs in partnership with external stakeholders. The organization also offers scholarship opportunities that allow young professionals the chance to further their professional growth.
Andersen Corporation, headquartered in Bayport, MN, manufactures and markets window and door products and employs over 13,000 people in North America and Europe. They believe in developing all members of their workforce through professional networking, internship programs, developmental programs, and exploration in order to allow each employee to reach his or her full potential. With leaders at all levels prioritizing time with their young professionals, Anderson Corporation believes that building a culture that respects and supports individual differences with the use of teamwork helps establish them as an employer of choice.
Royal Credit Union
Royal Credit Union is a Member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative with more than 180,000 Members and 600 team members. Royal is committed to "giving back" to the communities they serve through donations, sponsorships, and volunteerism. Through succession planning, high performing team members are identified to career path and leadership positions to create an Individual Development Plan which identifies why they want to be a leader, strengths, and opportunities for growth. Young professional team members successfully created and maintain membership for Royal YP, which is a professional organization whose mission is to grow young talent within Royal through events and resources that encourage industry education, leadership, and advocacy through service excellence.
Securian Financial Group
For more than a century Securian Financial Group has been helping people and businesses achieve financial security. They take a long-term approach to insurance, investment and retirement solutions and have a respected presence in the insurance and financial services industries. Securian is deeply committed to the development, growth and success of young professionals. They provide a well-defined internship, career track and leadership programs and encourage continuous learning through classroom training, external education, tuition reimbursement and ongoing career coaching and mentoring. Securian also supports an internal Young Professionals Network that provides young professionals opportunities to develop socially, professionally and civically with events like networking happy hours, volunteer opportunities, and Lessons from Leaders, a lunchtime seminar series where senior leaders provide advice on career development.