Heading back to school? It’s a great time to get involved in your community and bolster your personal network. Alumna Kerrie Aborn serves as the President of the Madison County Young Professionals Group and shares about this organization.
Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you get started with the Madison County Young Professionals Group?
I graduated from the MBA Program in 2007, and I work for AU—I’m the director of marketing at the School of Adult Learning (SOAL). I’ve been involved with the Young Professionals Group since it started in 2009.
What’s the purpose of the Young Professionals Group?
The mission of the Young Professionals Group is to attract and retain young professionals in Madison County.
What types of things does the Young Professionals Group do?
We host many social events for young people. We hold educational events and community service events. For example, we’ve held “brown bag lunch series” which are free seminars on the lunch hour that emphasize something educational. We recently hosted a “netlancing” networking event with Kyle Morey, President and CEO of the Madison County Chamber. All of our educational events are business-focused, but they range in price and type.
Who can be in the Young Professionals Group?
Anyone can be a member of the Young Professionals Group. There are no fees or age requirements; anyone who cares about attracting and retaining young people in Madison County is welcome.
What’s next for the Young Professionals Group?
Maybe in the future we’ll emphasize mentoring, but right now, our immediate agenda is a partnership with the Madison County Chamber of Commerce. Also, in October, we’re giving our annual Great Expectations Award, along with the local Boy Scouts of America. It goes to an outstanding young professional who works and lives in Madison County.
How did this become a passion for you?
I’ve been in Anderson for the past 11 years, and when I moved here, I saw a community on its way up. The median age in Madison County is higher than the state average, which is a community issue. This is an exciting place to be, and things are happening—but we need to keep young professionals here to continue.
You’ve watched the Young Professionals Group grow for the past few years. What are you proudest of?
First and foremost, I’m proud that we’re still going and we’ve hosted many successful events. We’ve even started some buzz in Madison County! We’ve been asked to speak at events, like the Anderson Noon Exchange Club. And we continue to offer low to no-cost programming.
In 10 years, what accomplishments do you hope you’ve achieved?
I hope by then we’ve had a huge impact. In 5-10 years, I hope we can show that the number of young professionals in Madison County has changed measurably. In the last few years alone, we’ve grown our mailing list to over 250 people—and it was all grassroots efforts with no money spent on marketing.
What events are coming up soon?
We have a social event at Cooper Cosmic Bowl on August 20 from 8:30-10:30. It’s open to anyone, but we’d like RSVPs.
We will also be at the Mad9 Mixer on August 25 in Edgewood from 4:30-6.