Tagged: Cedar Rapids

Next Gen Summit | Countdown Begins

Next Gen Summit

The Next Gen Summit is just around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited. On Wednesday, October 1st hundreds of young professionals will be flocking the hallways of the newly renovated US Cellular Center, repping their Iowa Pride. This year’s lineup for keynote and breakout speakers is jam- packed with upbeat fresh faces, and some local favorites. With brand new breakout sessions, the addition of an interactive round table discussion between young professionals and executives, and an after party at Theatre Cedar Rapids, this is bound to be the best year yet.

Many current initiatives are focusing on the engagement of college students and young professionals new to the workforce, in hopes that they will find the Corridor is a place to stay and grow their careers. The theme of “Iowa Pride” encompasses the same goal for the Next Gen. Summit. This year, I really look forward to the executive round table portion of the day, where attendees be sitting down in small groups and participating in a conversation with a local executive. The discussions will be focused on workforce retention and strengths and weaknesses of the Corridor area.

I grew up in the Des Moines area, and came to Cedar Rapids three years ago for my husband’s job. At first, I wasn’t so sure about this place. It was hard to see myself staying here long term. I heard about the Next Gen. Summit, and on a whim I decided to go. It was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to know opportunities for volunteering. They had a non-profit fair with tons of organizations to choose from. I was looking to join a board. They had a great breakout session on ways to broaden leadership skills, including joining a local board. I wanted some advice on starting my own business. They provided a great panel of entrepreneurs offering tons of advice on small businesses. The Next Gen. Summit was designed for someone like me, new to the area and looking to know why I should stay.

Companies can also take advantage of this event by sending their employees and encouraging professional development. Executives in the past have found the Next Gen. Summit provided a lot of insight to the minds of their younger workforce. This event really goes beyond networking, and basic leadership training. It is a community wide opportunity for businesses, entrepreneurs, and corporations to take part in a unique professional experience.

As a current co-chair for the Next Gen Summit, I get to know all the ins and outs of the day, which factors in a little bias. But who am I kidding? If I had nothing to do with the planning of this thing, I’d still make sure to have a front row seat. I joined the planning committee because I think it’s a terrific event, and I want to see it grow. If the Next Gen. Summit inspires more young professionals to make the Corridor their home for business and personal life, then we can definitely call this a success. I know I have my ticket reserved. See you there!

Editor’s Note: This post is written by Next Gen Summit Co-chair and ImpactCR Board Member, Tallis Strub.

The Next Gen. Summit 2014 is presented by Kaplan University, with supporting sponsors: UICCU, Van Meter, ACT, and Upper Iowa University. A full schedule of the event and registration information can be found here.

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Young Professional Profile: Casey Ealy

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Our last Young Professional Profile featured our fearless leader, Katie Johnson. Even though we think our board members are pretty sweet, there are other YPs active on our committees that are pretty awesome as well! This week, we are featuring one of our Leadership and Service Committee members, Casey Ealy.

What is your job title, and what are your daily responsibilities?

I am the service manager and chief operations officer at SPS, Inc. My responsibilities are to oversee the day to day operations including accounting, service, sales, purchasing and inventory.

How did you get to where you are today with your career?

Oddly enough I was hired here at SPS 12 years ago to answer the phones. Since then I have moved from position to position throughout the company the where I am today. I never turned down a task or opportunity to excel.

What are your top tips for other young professionals?

Take advantage of opportunities as they are presented to you. You never know what might help you grow professionally down the road. GET INVOLVED!!!!!

How many miles away are you from your hometown?

I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids.

What is your role with ImpactCR?

I attend the committee meetings and assist in setting up nonprofit events such as Habitat Build Days. I am also the interface between ImpactCR and the NewBo Market for the playground build project.

Besides being active with ImpactCR, what are some of your favorite things to do in Cedar Rapids?

I enjoy spending as much time with family and friends as possible. The NewBo Market is one of my new favorites.

Thank you so much Casey! I truly believe that getting involved can lead to some pretty awesome opportunities, personally and professionally. The board, as well as the members of ImpactCR, appreciate your time and dedication to the Leadership and Service Committee.

Do you have a young professional that you think is totally awesome and deserves to be featured on our Young Professional Profile? Leave a comment or send your recommendations to civic@impactcr.org.

Siren Wednesday: Cooper’s Mill

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Summer is (finally) in full bloom – so it’s only natural that our June Siren Wednesday will be hosted at a pub that’s named after one of the oldest flour mills in Cedar Rapids –the Cooper’s Mill

Network with other YP’s and help celebrate the rich history of this locally-owned pub — a newly remodeled establishment following the Flood of 2008. Cooper’s Mill is proud to showcase a new menu with us, offering complimentary appetizers (how lucky are we?)! Drinks specials will be available, too.

This monthly networking event is free and open to the public.  Join us tonight from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Cooper’s Mill | 100 F Ave NW.

We Want You!

There.  I said it.  ImpactCR wants you to join our really awesome group of young professionals!  I’m not going to be shy any longer.  Who doesn’t want to be wanted?  Right?! 😉  Exactly.  Which is why those of you who want to become more involved with ImpactCR should tell us how awesome you are and why you should be on the ImpactCR Board of Advisors.

Do you have a vision of what you think is the ideal community for the Now and Next Generation?  Have you already been working toward that vision?

Are you in love with Cedar Rapids and not care who knows it?  Us too!  Which is why we need to meet, so we can be friends and create a community of young pros who all want to have fun and do some really awesome things together.

If you aren’t quite sure what ImpactCR is, or what we do, then you haven’t been reading our blog long enough.  Just Kidding!  That’s why I’ll tell you where you can can get the best information (here and here).

If you’re interested in applying to be on the board, check out the application and get it back to the awesome Kelly Slaughter at kslaughter@cedarrapids.org by 5 p.m. Friday, November 9th.  Do you have a few questions or want to meet a few of the board members before sending in your application?  No worries!  You’ll be able to find us on Wednesday at Vito’s on 42nd for the last Siren Wednesday of the year.  It’s happening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  What’s Siren?  Check out the deets from the last Siren Wednesday at Dublin City Pub (here and here)!

Stay tuned for details on the Ugly Holiday Sweater Party on December 1st!  You’d better start planning your entry for the “Best of Ugly” walk off!  As always, see you soon!

Come Mingle with Us @ Fieldhouse Downtown

Chances are one, or a combination, of these next three thoughts have been yours…

  • Dude!  My boss keeps bugging me about getting involved in a young professionals group.  I don’t even know what’s out there.  Besides, I don’t want to go by myself, I’m not going to know anyone.
  • I just moved to Cedar Rapids and I don’t really know anyone other than the people I work with.  I’d really like to get involved, but I’m new, I’m not sure where to go.
  • I want to get more involved with my community, but I really want to get to know more people around my age.  I always see people at work, but I really want to expand outside of my work friends.

How many of you have had one or more of these thoughts?   I know I have!  I moved back after college and had no idea why I was here when I had always wanted to live in Chicago or Minneapolis.  It wasn’t until I became friends with one of our current board members that I was encouraged to get involved with ImpactCR.  I have to say, after over a year of being on the board, I’m so glad I did!

I’m sure you’re asking where I am going with this?  You love ImpactCR, we get it.  My point is, I may not have known how to get involved with ImpactCR, if I wasn’t encouraged to apply for the board by a friend.  I had my friends, I was meeting new people, but it wasn’t until someone told me I should, that I did.  So if your boss is encouraging you to get involved outside of work, or if you just moved to Cedar Rapids, or just want to get more involved in our community… join us at our Committee Mingle on Wednesday, October 10th at Fieldhouse Downtown from 5:30 – 6:30!  As always, ALL are welcome!

{Siren Wednesday - Members & Mixers}

{Siren Wednesday – Members & Mixers}

We’re always looking for new people to help bring creative ideas to the table.  So if you’re looking for a chance to get involved and want learn which committee suits your style, come mingle with us!  It’s super informal, open to everyone, and totally free!  (Need a refresher of our three committees?  Click here.)

There’s no obligation to sign up for a committee, but don’t be surprised if you do! 😉  There’s so much fun to be had!  If you have specific questions for our committee leaders before Wednesday, please feel free to send them an email directly at one of the emails below!   See you Wednesday!

Civic & Community Action | Mike Butterfield | civic@impactcr.org

Members & Mixers | Katie Johnson | social@impactcr.org

Leadership & Service | Amber Mussman | service@impactcr.org

5 W’s (and H) of the Next Gen Summit

October is a very exciting month for ImpactCR!  Why you ask?  BECAUSE WE ARE FINALLY CO-HOSTING OUR VERY FIRST NEXT GEN YP SUMMIT!  Whew.  Sorry to yell, but I’m so stoked for this event.  Not only is this event the first of it’s kind for our organization, but we are collaborating with EPIC (Empowered Professionals of the Iowa City area).  Don’t worry… I had to ask too.  They’re like ImpactCR, but in Iowa City.  Awesome, right!?  That’s what we thought, so when they said that they’d send some brain power our way, we got even more excited.  I’m not sure how much more excited we could be… but you catch my drift.

Moving on… So you know I’m pumped, but I’m sure you would like to know why.  Of course…. let me tell you about the Next Gen Summit.  We’ll start with the remaining W’s (because I already told you What) and the H.

WHO… is this for?  YOU of course!  If you consider yourself a young professional, don’t care how old you are, we want you to be there.  If you’re a CEO, BigWig, executive, leader within your company or simply interested in the development of our future professionals, we want you there too!

WHERE/WHEN… do I need to be there? The Hotel at Kirkwood on October 15th from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.. CEO’s/BigWigs, etc. you have a special time to be there.  Don’t fret.  I’ll get to that in a moment. 😉

WHY are you hosting this cool AMAZING event that I simply must attend?  Because the Iowa City group said it right… we want to help empower the young professionals in the creative corridor.  This half day event features workshops that touch on professional communication skills, starting your own business, diversity and how to become the next top dog.  We want to help you connect with others in the corridor who are just like you and what better way than all in one place, with those who have quite possibly gotten it right.

HOW… do I get signed up? Click this link and complete the registration form.  There is a charge of $75, but tell your boss you want to go and see if they’ll buy if you fly.  Yeah, that one was pretty lame, but you get it.  Tell them how awesome this event is, or wait for the next post where I’ll give you 10 reasons to tell your boss why you  should need to be there!

Don’t have a typical employer who can pay your admission? Perhaps you’re an entrepreneur or start-up with a tight budget. Don’t fret! We have two full and six partial scholarships to give away, thanks to the generosity of University of Iowa Community Credit Union. Applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on October 1.  (Follow the registration link above to download the application.)

OK… I have one more H. 

HOW… can we put on an event like this? With the help of volunteers from ImpactCR and EPIC, along with some amazing people from the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, we were able to make this event possible.  Not to mention our sponsors from Kaplan University, Van Meter and Corridor CoWorks, as well as our other business and media sponsors.  A huge round of applause goes out to all of these individuals… and your boss who is going to not only make sure you get there, but they attend as well.

            

On to you CEOs, executives, BigWigs and other organizational leaders!  You have your very own session with Rebecca Ryan from Next Generation Consulting with the important topic –  Will they love you or leave you?.  There is limited availability, so don’t wait to register!  It’s free with lunch which is only $35 or $300 with a 10 top.  Interested?  I knew you would be!  Click this link to register yourself and a few of your best and brightest!

Keep checking back for more on the Next Gen. Summit and don’t forget to ‘Like’ Next Gen. Summit on Facebook!

{Have you signed up for the Next Gen. Summit yet?  If not, are you going to? Why/ why not?}