7 Ways to Help Young Professionals Engage in Richmond

IMG_2224.JPGThere's a new group in town - H.Y.P.E. Richmond - that is working to "connect and mobilize young professionals to make the Richmond area an even greater place to live, work, and play."  If you're interested in those efforts, you might consider joining in on the brainstorming session they're having tonight at the Firehouse BBQ restaurant, 5:30 to 7 PM.

I won't be able to attend, but as an employer of some younger professionals who gets to hear some of their concerns and struggles "engaging" in life in Richmond, and as someone who has spent my own young professional life in Richmond, I want to offer a few initial ideas about how to help connect and mobilize that demographic.  (This is in addition to the ideas already being submitted and discussed at RichmondBrainstorm.com.)  My hope is that others will add to the list over time:

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A matter of some debate

IMG_1521Tonight I had the opportunity to serve as a moderator for the Richmond-Wayne County Legislative debates for contested seats in Wayne County. I did so under the label of a young adult professional, but also thoroughly enjoyed participating in the process as someone interested in local politics, policy and community-building. It was rewarding to see some of the questions I had helped to craft posed to the current and future leaders in our government, and while there are so many parts of local governing and elections that need improvement or replacement, I am energized by the commitment to service demonstrated by so many of the candidates in one form or another. Thanks to them for that.

Did you watch or attend the debates (or listen to them)? What did you think?

Conversations with Rebecca Ryan

IMG_0636It's an exciting day for those interested in building a better Richmond. Consultant and speaker Rebecca Ryan is in town to talk to business leaders, civic planners, elected officials, community members, and especially young adult professionals about how to move from "Brain Drain" to "Brain Gain" in Wayne County. I'm usually cautious about having outside parties come in to a community to tell it what it needs (and the costs expended to do so). But after meeting and talking with Rebecca at a reception last night and hearing her speak to community leaders this morning, I know that she has some great things to say (and a really engaging way to say them) about the state of our community and how we can be better in ways that really matter for the future. Of course, I'm a little biased in that Summersault is a sponsor of the event and I'm on the planning committee that brought her here, but this is definitely far above the standard fare. In any case, if you're reading this on 2/22 and are interested to hear her speak locally, she's got another gig tonight at the 4th Floor Blues Club at 5:30 PM - e-mail info@richmondyap.com to RSVP. I'll hopefully get a chance to do another post soon with some thoughts on the substance of these conversations.

IU Panel's Business Outlook: Charming and Wretched

Last Monday I had the opportunity to attend the Indiana University Kelley School of Business's "Business Outlook Panel" during their luncheon stop in Richmond to provide a forecast of the national, state-wide and local economies for 2006. Sponsored by Bank One (er, Chase Bank) and Richmond Baking and well attended, it was an interesting event all around:
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