Sarah here. HYPE stands for Hopkinsville Young Professionals Engage. And did they ever engage today at the kickoff lunch meeting for the new Christian County Chamber of Commerce initiative aimed at Hopkinsville’s young professionals! Well over 100 people attended the lunch meeting, meaning at least 100 young professionals that live or work in Christian County under the age of 45 made a point to get involved today. That is SO exciting.
As we organized this launch event, the HYPE Board discussed attendance and thought it would be great if we had 50 people show up at the event. When the numbers on our Facebook event climbed to over 100 interested or attending, we still didn’t believe it. When at 11:15 today, 15 minutes after the event was to begin, we still had attendees standing in line waiting to come in and try to find a seat (many thanks to those of you that stood or squeezed in at the side bar!), we knew we had started something special.
The Hopkinsville Young Professionals Engage mission is to focus on five areas.
- Growth, meaning that HYPE hosts speakers and mentors that will discuss subjects pertaining to professional and personal growth.
- Economic development, encouraging community growth in Hopkinsville & Christian County by creating a welcoming atmosphere for new entrepreneurs and business owners.
- Engagement, both with the community and each other – a portion of our time spent together will be spent giving back to our community.
- Newcomer guidance and engaging new young professionals to the area and creating a welcoming atmosphere.
- Networking with each other to develop our businesses.
I lived in Hopkinsville my entire life until I went to college. Then I moved to Evansville, Indiana for five years, but kept in touch with many Hopkinsville friends. Today, I recognized about half the people in the room at our launch event. To me, that says a couple of things. I need to get out more, apparently. And also, that we have a real opportunity here. We can have HYPE be the space that allows all of us that don’t get to interact in our day-to-day businesses to get to know each other. We’ll learn more about Hopkinsville and what it has to offer. We’ll learn more about each other and make new friends and business contacts. All while having some fun with these planned events!
A huge thank you to Mayor Carter Hendricks, a young professional himself, who was the perfect speaker to engage with our group. He enthusiastically spoke to the young professionals about leadership and goals, and what’s to come for Hopkinsville. He encouraged involvement in the community. HYPE will begin to facilitate that involvement for our young professionals.
I know there were many faces I expected to see today but did not. For those young professionals that still want to get involved, here is more information. And we promise to believe our Facebook RSVP’s and have a better seating arrangement next time!!
- HYPE will hold monthly lunch meetups. Our schedule for the year is on our Facebook page. The cost of lunch will be outside the membership fee unless we can get sponsors that would be willing to feed our group (thank you Holly Hampton for sponsoring our food today!!). Email any HYPE Board member for more details on that.
- HYPE will hold givebacks quarterly. This is just a chance for us to get together and use our time to give back to the community.
- We’re going to have some just for fun events throughout the year. Our first is in our Behind Hopkinsville series, a backstage tour of the Alhambra + screening of the Cats game on February 9. More details coming soon on Facebook.
- We’re getting involved not only locally, but statewide. On February 4, the Hopkinsville young professionals will be traveling to Frankfort for YP Day at the Capitol. All members are invited, contact any of us for more information!
- And fees. Membership for HYPE is $50 for individuals, $90 for couples. For our undergrads, we’d like them to come get involved whether they’re in Hopkinsville visiting or they’re here full-time. Keep that money for books instead! The first visit is free for any YP.
- To join, click here.
We are so happy that this group came out today! For more information about HYPE, please visit our Facebook page or the Chamber page. Contact any of the amazing HYPE Board members, (none of this would be possible without their hard work, and I appreciate each of them so much!!) – Candra Barnett, Brooke Jung, Amy Frogue, Rachel Diuguid Smith or Cody Noffsinger. I hope to see you next month!