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Fast Start: A new phase at RYP

Rochester Business Journal
August 1, 2014

Change is afoot at Rochester Young Professionals. President Nate Bank steps down Aug. 1, and Bradley Flower is taking over. Flower, below, has been vice president for the last year and founded RYP’s sports division in 2012.

Now in its 12th year, RYP also has expanded the board with two new positions—vice presidents of administration and operations—bringing the number of board seats to 23. Roles for a combined VP, marketing director and treasurer have become VPs of communication, marketing and finance. The five VPs—along with the president and past president Steve Vogt—make up a new steering committee to help streamline administrative functions for the volunteer-driven organization.

Stepping down
Bank will become VP of communications for the 2014-15 term and help with the transition as immediate past president. As president, he says, he accomplished what he set out to do: “to establish a solid framework to ensure RYP’s continued growth and stability and to forge significant relationships with other community organizations.”

Bank also wants to focus more on refining the systems that make RYP function at a high level.

“I am looking forward to tackling projects behind the scenes that will help make more efficient use of our board members’ time and energy, while Brad leads the direction of the organization and serves as the face of RYP,” he says.

Bank has confidence in Flower’s ability to guide RYP.

“I have been pleased beyond words with Brad’s contributions to the work of this organization, his handling of responsibilities and his constant advocacy of the community.”

A more mature RYP
RYP began in 2002 as a means for organizing YP social gatherings, small in scale and limited in impact. Around 2007-08, the group began a phase of rapid expansion, growing from about 750 members to 5,000-plus in 2012.

“When Nate became president, we had a massive base of membership on our side and traction in the community. Our members were content, but the board wanted to do more than just draw big numbers to monthly events,” Flower says. “Nate spearheaded the structure phase, bringing legitimacy to RYP as a legal entity with a new board structure, defined roles and scalable/repeatable processes.

“These two phases have teed us up for the next phase: impact. I envision that RYP will become a local resource through collaborating with other organizations and movements for Rochester’s renaissance and revitalization,” he says.

“In this phase we’ll inspire our members to become active residents by giving them meaningful ways to participate; we’ll shamelessly wave our flag as the future of Rochester, happily responsible for shaping the city by participating in its growth.”

Three things you might not know about RYP:

1. Membership is not age-specific; members of all ages with an interest in topics that affect the local community of young professionals are welcome.

2. Its socials are legendary, but RYP has events that focus on career development, financial planning, outdoor recreation and volunteering. “We urge members to attend other divisional events to better understand all the energies we encompass,” Flower says.

3. Rochester Young Professionals Inc. is a non-profit corporation under New York law and has applied for recognition as a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt social welfare organization.

8/1/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.



What You're Saying 

Christopher Burns at 11:12:21 AM on 8/5/2014
Unfortunately, this otherwise positive article on RYP casts a negative light on RYP's early years through a combination of factual inaccuracies and the suggestion that RYP's community impact had been limited; nothing could be further from the truth.

As the Founder and...  Read More >
Ben Margolis at 12:14:20 PM on 8/12/2014
I agree with Christopher's excellent points. Without the hard work of founders in the beginning of an organization's presence, there is no possibility of a large impact in its future. I was a regular at RYP events 10 years ago and the connections that were made there still l...  Read More >

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