I have had the privilege of serving as the Young Professionals of Iowa board president for the last two years. During that time, YP Iowa has gone through an organizational revamp. A few years ago, the organization switched from an individual membership-based model to an organization-based membership model. Over the last two years, we re-created our membership structure to ensure that we are providing the best value.

We are focused on on connecting emerging young professional leaders to each other. To that end, this year began hosting quarterly presidents' phone calls. On these calls, convene the board presidents of our member organizations to get to know each other and learn from each other. Our hope is that young leaders from across the state can continue to improve their YP organizations and their communities by learning best practices. We are also in the process of developing a best practices manual with tips from organizations throughout the state. There is a tremendous amount of YP activity happening in our communities, and we want to work together to make sure our state is as attractive as possible for YPs to live and work.

Our advocacy efforts ramped up in 2017. In March, we hosted more than 30 YPs at our Day on the Hill where we heard from the governor and other state elected officials. We also released a survey of chamber leaders and young professionals around the state to determine the current levels of engagement YPs have in their communities. Read results of the surveys here.

We increased our communications efforts this year as well by increasing the frequency of our newsletters from quarterly to monthly. This allows us to more consistently communicate with members and help share their events.

Finally, our YP Iowa Conference in September drew nearly 100 people to network and develop professionally. Keynote speaker Mitch Matthews taught us all how to dream big.

2017 was a year of growth. We have continued to build the framework to be successful in the future and continue to grow. I am confident we can grow our membership numbers in 2018 under incoming president Joe Benesh's leadership. I can't thank the YP Iowa board enough for their dedication, and I am also thankful to the members who have taken a chance and made the investment to join our organization. Together, we will make Iowa a premier state for YPs and develop as future leaders of our communities.   

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