Interview by Andrea Lucas, Communications Manager at the Loudoun Chamber
The LoudounYP Committee in Aug. 2014 volunteering at Boulder Crest Retreat for Military & Veteran Wellness.
Q. How did you get involved with the Young Professionals Committee?
A. I was new to the area and wanted to meet new friends. Tom Toth pushed me to become a regular with the Loudoun YP group. At some point I was invited to a committee meeting and befriended those in the group and it became a fun/regular event for me to be involved in. I’ve met great friends and vastly expanded my network because of it.
Q. What is a benefit for employers to encourage their younger staff to check out the LoudounYP group?
A. I think a benefit that is overlooked is the sense of belonging. It takes time to make friends and create meaningful relationships, but once that occurs the benefit to employers is almost priceless. It keeps young talent here and entrenched into the local community. What more could an employer want than a group that helps to create friendships, and keep that young talent in the area with a sense of community.
Q. What have you learned about yourself through being involved in the YP group?
A. I’ve learned that I really do enjoy connecting and meeting new people. The friendships and relationships that have come from the YP group will last for many years to come. I’ve also re-learned how much I enjoy helping other people; whether that be with connecting business people to others or through community service and helping those that need the help. There is A LOT that has gone well for me and I owe it to the community to give back.
Q. In your time being involved at the Chamber, what have been the most important things you’ve discovered about getting involved in Loudoun?
A. Getting involved in the community has a very warming and welcoming feeling. It establishes a feeling of belonging and ownership to what is around you. It helps to make the experience of living here much more meaningful. I feel as if this feeling will eventually push all people towards finding ways in which they can directly impact the community. Other than the Chamber, this is probably best done through donating time and money back to the non-profits that help the less fortunate out. This helps to perpetuate the belonging feeling to me.
Loudoun Free Clinic is helping just a portion of the identified 16,000 people in Loudoun County that do NOT have health insurance. When factoring in the unidentified, who knows how large this number actually is. Mobile Hope is helping children and teenagers who are homeless or lack a permanent home as most of us know the term. The numbers were truly staggering.
The LoudounYP group has adopted Mobile Hope as it’s non-profit for 2015. The committee has a goal of 150 volunteer hours.
Q. What is the best way for someone in the Young Professional Community to get involved at the Chamber, besides the LoudounYP group?
A. The Chamber has a lot of ways that it’s members can get involved. There are LeadShare groups, state policy events, multiple sub-committees that allow people to help shape events and direct the Chamber’s path. The committees are open and any and everyone is welcome to give insight to help plan future events.