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Will the West defend itself? -10/3/2014, 10:01 AM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Taking a closer look at the Hays Area Young Professionals

Published on -5/27/2012, 12:12 PM

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By MATT STUCHLIK

Hays Area Young Professionals

Hays Area Young Professionals is a dynamic and growing organization benefitting its membership and the community is a variety of ways. There are 122 members in the organization fitting within the membership age guideline of 21 to 40 years old. Any young professional in the Hays area can join who meets the membership age requirements.

The mission of HAYP is to promote the development, recruitment and retention of young professionals in the Hays area; to build a bond between the business community and young professionals; and to help make the Hays area the best place to live, serve, work and play.

HAYP members meet their mission in a variety of ways. Led by an advisory council made of up elected members who serve three-year terms, the organization has continued to evolve in order to better serve its membership. One way in which this has been done is to implement four committees: social/networking, leadership/personal development, civic/volunteer and media/technology.

These committees provide opportunities such as connecting young professionals to other young professionals as well as veteran professionals who can provide guidance, advice, and resources in helping the individual grow personally and professionally. They also help to promote goodwill, understanding and confidence in the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce among young professionals in the area. They also provide opportunities of developing leadership skills and service to the community.

The Leadership/Personal Development committee has development new opportunities including Leadership exchange lunches where a small group of HAPY members can meet with area professionals in an intimate setting in order to truly get to know the movers and shakers in Hays and learn about these leaders both personally and professionally. Each quarter, HAYP has partnered with Eagle Communications to provide the Eagle Services Luncheons, held on the Fort Hays State University campus. Some of these guest speakers have included Jack DeBour, chairman at Consolidated Holdings; Bob Schmidt, former owner of Eagle Communications; and Ed O'Malley, CEO of Leadership Kansas.

Other specific opportunities HAYP members have include monthly membership luncheons where the member can meet in fellowship, get caught up on organization happenings, and hear a meaningful speaker that relates to the mission of the organization.

The Social/Networking Committee has provided meaningful social opportunities including the annual Casino Night. The HAYP had another successful casino night in April with more than 181 attendees. To top off a great April, the Civic Service Committee created the tree-planting project for the newly opened sports complex. Area businesses helped sponsor trees and the HAYP members worked with the city of Hays to plant these trees on April 21. More than 70 trees were donated and planted. A plaque soon will be going up at the sports complex sponsored by HAYP recognizing area businesses that supported the tree-planting project.

The Hays Area Young Professionals continue to build momentum and provide a meaningful experience to members to grow both professionally and personally.

Matt Stuchlik of Boy Scouts of America is chairman of the Hays Area Young Professionals. www.haysyp.com

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