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Category: Monthly Member Spotlight

July Member Spotlight

YPC Member: Abbey Stroik

  • Where are you from? Slinger, WI
  • Where do you work? Kindle Communications
  • What is your position? Account Manager
  • Why did you become a member of YPC ? I'd like to meet new people and grow my network of connections in the Chicago Area
  • How do you recharge?  I actually LOVE being at the gym, there isn't any place that I push myself harder and it's definitely my stress relief.
  • What is the most exciting part of your job? Kindle plans and executes corporate meetings so I love seeing every detail of a project come together beautifully, all starting from just a brainstorm. I know that's typical for many industries but it's such a unique experience with my job specifically. I love experiencing something new each day and knowing that the sky truly is the limit.
  • What is the best career advice you've ever been given ? "Don't be so hard on yourself, prepare best you can and go in with confidence." It works every time and helps me relax in those big meetings.
  • Who is your biggest influencer?               This is going to sound very cliché but, my parents! They both own their own businesses and have always taught me to work hard and hold yourself accountable because no one is going to make you succeed. Whatever you want in life go after it with all you have!

June Member Spotlight

YPC Member: Tim Speicher

  • Where are you from? I grew up on a buffalo farm in rural Indiana, but currently live in Pilsen.
  • Where do you work?     Oasis
  • What is your position?  Destination Director
  • Why did you become a member of YPC? It's a great way to make new contacts in a relaxed setting.
  • What is your go to news source? Vox.com, WaPo and Podcasts: The Weeds, Slate Political Gabfest, FiveThirtyEight...any voice in the liberal diaspora, actually.                           
  • How do you recharge?  Nothing better than great music played loud.                    
  • What hobbies do you have outside of work? Nothing better than great music played loud.                        
  • What are your top three personal values? Keep exploring, be nice, and never give up.                 
  • What is the best career advice you've ever been given? 40 hours is too much time to spend doing something you don't enjoy.

May Member Spotlight

YPC Member: Eric Horn

  • Where are you from?
    • Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago
  • Where do you work?
    • I'm the founder of Eric B. Horn, Inc. which provides career coaching, consulting, and training to college graduates, mid-level professionals, and women entrepreneurs owners who have the desire to WIN in their career.
  • What is your position?
    • Founder
  • Why did you become a member of YPC?
    • I became a of member of YPC to build professional relationships with the movers and shakers of Chicago while serving the community through the initiatives of the organization. I now serve on the Membership Outreach Committee as well.
  • Why do you network?
    • I love to network and building relationships with other people strictly to help them to accomplish their goals in life.  One of the biggest lessons I've learned that to achieve anything significant in life you will need people to help.  The core function of networking is helping your fellow man / woman.
  • What is your go to news source?
    • My primary source of where I receive my information is Twitter.  I love to connect with other professionals, so if you are on Twitter you can follow me at @EricBHorn
  • How do you recharge?
    • I'm an introvert, so one of the main things I do to recharge is to relax at home with my wife and daughter.
  • What is the best career advice you've ever been given?
    • One of the biggest lessons I've learned is that you need the help of others to achieve anything significant in life.

April Member Spotlight

YPC Member: Heidi Cochran

  • Where are you from?
    • I’m from Ohio but have lived in Chicago for over 8 years.
  • Where do you work?
    • Mediavest | Spark
  • What is your position?
    • Analytics Supervisor
  • Why did you become a member of YPC?
    • I became a member of YPC to improve my networking skills and to meet other young professionals around Chicago to help expand my professional network as well as meet new friends.
  • What do you believe is the most important issue facing the Chicago business community?
    • I am not sure about the overall community, but I think an issue that young professionals face is trying to relate to their superiors to maintain friendlier work relationships that allow for mentorships. Having a mentor is so important to help your career progress and to learn from someone who has already been where you are trying to get in your career. It can be difficult to find someone at an appropriate level who you connect with and trust to ask to be your mentor.
  • What is your favorite song?
    • I don’t typically have one, but my favorite album currently is Prince Royce’s Five album.
  • What is your favorite activity to do in Chicago? 
    • I love to ride my bike and run around the various paths in and around the city and do open water swims in the summer at the beach, although they are usually in preparation for a triathlon.

March Member Spotlight

YPC Member: Benard Teko

  • Where are you from?
    • I am from East Moline, IL and have been living in Chicago for 8 months.
  • Where do you work?
    • BMO Financial Group
  • What is your position?
    • Valuations  Analyst
  • Why did you become a member of YPC?
    • Get more involved in the community, embrace leadership opportunities as well as meet other people.
  • What do you believe is the most important issue facing the Chicago business community?
    • This probably does not merit being the most important issue facing the Chicago business community.  Perhaps it is an issue everywhere.  Based on what I have observed, I think because of how occupied people are, it is really hard for them to find time out of work to be active.  We all need to be a little activity to live longer and prevent health issues.  Additionally, being active can give the mind a break to be more alert.  I wish there was a way we can alleviate this challenge for workers to encourage them to be more active (bonuses, more PTO, some sort of incentive).
  • What is your favorite song?
    • Favorites vary.  Right now, “81” by Yo Gotti.
  • What is your favorite activity to do in Chicago?
    • Spending time with friends trying new things enjoying this precious life that we have.

February Member Spotlight

YPC Member: Cody Czmyr

  • Where are you from?
    • I am originally from Connecticut, but have spent a good part of my life in Illinois, in particular the South Suburbs.
  • Where do you work?
    • I work at The Executives’ Club of Chicago, Chicago’s premier professional membership organization and business forum.
  • What is your position?
    • I am the Senior Membership Specialist.
  • Why did you become a member of YPC?
    • I became a member of YPC because I was looking for an outlet to connect with other like-minded, young professionals. For me it is extremely important to learn from others, outside of your organization, and grow your personal brand. The structure of the YPC allows for meaningful networking and personal/ professional development.
  • What do you believe is the most important issue facing the Chicago business community?
    • I believe that the one of the most important issues  is the role of culture in the workplace. It is imperative to create a culture that allows for creativity, comradery and productivity therefore creating work environments that allow employees to be themselves and work collaboratively. With millennial's being the largest working demographic in the workforce today, it will be very important for companies to adjust to the current trends of social media, work-where-you-want and baristas!
  • What is your favorite song?
    • Currently, I am listening to anything by Johnnyswim. They are an American folk, singer-songwriter duo that, as cliché as it sounds, speaks to me. Their song Take the World is currently on repeat.
  • What is your favorite activity to do in Chicago?
    • My favorite activity in Chicago would have to be Second Friday’s at the Fine Arts Building.  The artists open their doors to the public on the second Friday of every month from 6:00pm-9:00pm and you can walk around, eat, drink and meet the artists.

January Member Spotlight

YPC Member: Mollie Foley

  • Where are you from?
    • I'm from Westchester, NY and have been living in Chicago for six months.
  • Where do you work?
    • WeWork Kinzie in River North.
  • What is your position?
    • Associate Community Manager
  • Why did you become a member of YPC?
    • I became a member of YPC in December 2016 after attending a YPC Social Connect event. At WeWork, we're always looking to meet professionals and get to know organizations in Chicago therefore I saw YPC as an ideal group.  In addition to providing beautiful offices and event spaces, WeWork helps individuals and companies make meaningful connections and use the power of community to grow their business. We're looking forward to collaborating with YPC on various events this year, starting in February! As a fairly new resident of Chicago, I'm excited to meet new people and be a part of a group of driven, social young professionals.
  • What do you believe is the most important issue facing the Chicago business community?
    • I think one of the major issues facing the Chicago business community is trying to develop solid relationships and stand out in such a large city during a time of economic uncertainty.
  • What is your favorite song?
    • I Wanna Dance with Somebody - Whitney Houston
  • What is your favorite activity to do in Chicago?
    • I love to run along Lake Michigan (when the temperature is a bit warmer than it is now!)

December Member Spotlight

YPC Member: Heather Lane

  • Where are you from?
    • I grew up around New Jersey and Boston, and moved to Chicago 10 years ago
  • Where do you work?
    • Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and Niles Township District for Special Education
  • What is your position?
    • Clinical Supervisor/Interventionist
  • Why did you become a member of YPC? 
    • The field I work in is relatively small therefore I wanted to expand my professional network throughout Chicago.  Learning about other industries/professionals is exciting, and the possibility to meet new people and to learn more made joining YPC a no-brainer.
  • What do you believe is the most important issue facing the Chicago business community? 
    • The most important issue facing the Chicago business community is variety.  Chicago is known for specific business professions and needs to open itself up to all different types of industries and niches.  Collaboration and integration are innovative ways to look at Chicago business and how to best serve each other within.
  • What is your favorite song?
    • Klingande - Jubel
  • What is your favorite activity to do in Chicago?
    • I love going to stand-up comedy shows at Zanies, and even better if the comedian is at Chicago Theater.  I also really like checking out new restaurants that come to town and Chicago never runs out of new places to check out.  Music is my muse therefore going to shows and experiencing live music in a variety of Chicago's venues is one of my favorite things to do.

November Member Spotlight

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YPC Member: Brennan Hollenbeck

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  • Where are you from?
    • Originally from Batavia, IL but have lived in downtown Chicago area last 8 years.
  • What is your position?
    • Financial Advisor in their wealth management division.
  • Why did you become a member of YPC?
    • To network outside my already established group of friends, create business and personal contacts, and I like to meet new people.  I am very social.
  • What do you believe is the most important issue facing the Chicago business community?
    • The most important issue I would say is making your business or profession stand out in a massive environment like Chicago.  Competition and how you differentiate yourself in business is always key but even more so in a vast community like Chicago where so many people could be doing your exact profession.  The best businesses in Chicago thrive because they not only stand out but are the absolute best in their respective niches/industry.
  • What is your favorite song?
    • You Might Die Trying (preferably a live version) – Dave Mathews Band
  • What is your favorite activity to do in Chicago?
    • Trying new restaurants/bars.  I have lived downtown for a while and it seems I am always hearing about some new great restaurant or local bar that I want to go explore.  There never seems to be a shortage of places I have found despite living downtown for quite some time.  My girlfriend is a bit of a foodie too so that helps.
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