Making it their way: After slow years, Steamboat’s Young Professionals Network on rise |

Making it their way: After slow years, Steamboat’s Young Professionals Network on rise

Members of the Steamboat Young Professionals Network pose for a photo at the 2014 Best of the Boat party at the Steamboat Grand.

Making it their way

Making it their way

Casey Earp

Kate Elkins

Steph and Glen Traylor

Lindsay Dillenbeck

Steamboat’s Young Professionals Network on rise

A few years ago, Steamboat’s Young Professionals Network was almost ready to disappear.

Membership dropped off. Events were poorly attended.

“It went into the black-hole phase,” former advisory board chairman Tyler Goodman said.

So, Goodman and leaders of the club regrouped and started focus groups to chart out a better direction for the club.

It was a grueling and difficult process, board members said, but they came up with three-pronged focus. The club would be about networking and socializing, philanthropy and professional development.

The new drive appears to be working.

“People like what we have been putting out again,” Goodman said. “It’s really on its way to being a very powerful organization.”

Today, the Young Professionals Network has more than 100 members, new leadership and fresh ideas including a mission to get the organization more involved in the community.

YPN hosts monthly happy hours, and the most recent one at Vaqueros drew more than 20 people.

Goodman credits board members like Reed Jones for the recent boosts in membership and energy.

“YPN kind of serves to connect people who want more for themselves and their community and gives them an outlet to do so,” Goodman said. “It’s taken a lot of work, and it has been painful in the beginning, but we got it right, and we got a foundation.”

Matt Eidt, a local Realtor who is now the vice chair of the board, said YPN also has served as an outlet for members to make new friends they otherwise may not have made in Steamboat.

He described how YPN events recently drew several people to someone’s living room to watch a Denver Broncos game.

For others, YPN is a way to get involved in their community or do volunteer work. In the first three months of 2010, when the club was new, it contributed more than 800 volunteer service hours.

It continues that track record today through a variety of volunteer efforts.

YPN’s Table of Ten event allows members to talk with leaders of Steamboat’s business community on a quarterly basis.

There also are professional development opportunities.

Started in 2009, YPN is a committee of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.

Who exactly qualifies as a young professional?

Goodman, the executive director of Bike Town USA, said the upper tier of the group is 40- to 45-year-olds.

“But it doesn’t matter what your driver’s license says,” Goodman said. “It matters what’s in your heart and how you feel. Being young and identifying yourself as young is a stage where you don’t know it all and there’s more to learn.”

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