Erin Burd and Pauleen Vacca, co-presidents, Rochester Young Professionals
RYP recently went through a mission/visioning process. Tell us about it.
A committee of all voting and nonvoting board members, plus many steering committee members, met monthly for six months. We finalized the mission and vision this summer.
Our new mission is to work to enrich the Rochester community by engaging and empowering young professionals. The previous mission was more about connecting young professionals socially and professionally. We are moving to become more action-driven in the community. Through this, we will provide YPs with access to experiences.
RYP envisions Rochester as a premiere destination for young professionals to live and grow their careers in an integrated community that serves to enhance business, philanthropy, leisure and civic engagement.
We have three goals:
to improve our event offerings with a focus on signature events and collaborations with other organizations and community leaders;
to enhance our membership by learning more about our members and concentrating on opportunities for new and diverse growth; and
to increase the organization’s viability by building on successful relationships and processes.
These goals are now a focus of our monthly board meetings. We want to create a YP culture where individuals can co-author the future of our city. Our focus is to create a seat at the table where YPs can be a part of the dialogue and drive decision making.
What is RYP really good at?
We know our strength lies in connecting people and communities, and we are ready to take that to the next level.
What can RYP do better?
We are working to diversify, retain and grow our membership to include more recent college graduates, young professionals with families, young professionals with diverse vocations and underrepresented people from different areas of the city and the county. We are working on initiatives that will retain members from ages 20 to 40.
Number of members: Estimated at more than 6,000
Your leadership styles: We lean on each other for support. We have the kind of relationship where one can fill a need before the other has a chance to ask.
Pauleen is the most organized person I have ever met—she can orchestrate an event, program or initiative from start to finish with ease. She is very strong at creating structures for people to plug into and do great work. Pauleen has a unique understanding of the details that make a project successful. She is also always looking at the future and what we can do better. She has a way of finding areas for improvement and growing them into huge successes.
Erin shines in creating working relationships among board members. She fosters successful dialogue among a board of 25, which can be a challenge. She successfully orchestrates conversations that drive consensus and decision. She works very hard to keep board members excited about the work we are doing and to build individual strengths through projects. She is the point person for our organization to check in with, voice concerns and express new ideas.
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