By Leslie Doenges
In our first column, board president-elect, Steve Peters, shared with you who the Rutland Young Professionals are, what we are about and a little bit about what we do. As we are fast approaching one of our signature events, the RYP Gala, I invite you to read more about what this celebration is and what it means to our organization.
On Friday, April 20, the Rutland Young Professionals will host its second annual Gala at the Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Chittenden. This event was conceptualized as a way to bring our membership and supporters together for a dynamic evening and celebration. Although on the surface it may appear to be just a big party (which it will be!) the significance of the Gala is much deeper.
As an organization we strive to bring the young professionals of our community together through our networking opportunities. We also work to connect local businesses with our demographic and create strong relationships from which we can all benefit. The Gala is the perfect avenue to bring all these people together in one place for an evening of fun and entertainment.
When many people hear “Gala” they think of a benefit, silent auction, or a fundraiser of some sort. While this is often this case, the Rutland Young Professionals Gala is unique in that this event is a celebration highlighting the accomplishments of the year and gearing up for our annual meeting. Most importantly, we use this opportunity to thank all the local organizations that support our mission. We also give recognition to those who have stood out over the past year in propelling Rutland to a place that attracts and retains young professionals to the area.
During our inaugural year the board of directors and past-president Sara Gilbert presented Heritage Family Credit Union with our Workplace of the Year award. HFCU is exemplary in its commitment to working with young professional groups both internally, in the greater Rutland Area and statewide. These efforts have not only created employment opportunities, but also retention and upward mobility for young pros within the credit union.
This year we will honor another local business with the same criteria and appreciation for their commitment to the YP demographic. Stay tuned for the announcement! In addition, the committee has decided to award an individual with the Young Professional of the Year award for 2018. This new accolade aims to bring recognition to a young professional who works in Rutland County and is an active participant in the community. The winner was selected from a list of very strong candidates that were nominated by their peers. It was exciting to see so many nominations come in and read about some of the amazing work these individuals are doing on a professional level as well as within the community. The Young Professional of the Year will be announced during the awards ceremony at the Gala.
What else can you expect to see? Cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast sponsored by Hannoush Jewelers, dinner buffet, and DJ Big Handsome helping us light up the dance floor. Vibe Portrait Art will also be providing a photo booth with professional photos. Above all, we are spending time coming together, continuing to lift each other up and build a stronger Rutland.
Whether you are young or young at heart, you are all encouraged to buy a ticket to this special event and join us for another great celebration of our community!
Leslie Doenges is a RYP board member as well as the Gala committee chairwoman and events committee co-chairwoman.