THE SHIAWASSEE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS NETWORK (SYPN) is planning an introductory meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17 at the Wrought Iron Grill. Shown during the SRCC Chamber AM on Tuesday, Jan. 8 are SYPN organizers (from left) Kelly Schluckebier, Amy West and Annie Ludington – all from Owosso and sharing the hope of creating an assembly for networking opportunities. Oh, and to have a good time, as well.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
“Where are all the young people?” Annie Ludington, who is currently a Sales Professional at Young Chevrolet Cadillac, recently asked in describing how she and two of her friends felt after moving back to Owosso – where all of them had collective roots. The three include Ludington, Amy West and Kelly Schluckebier, and they creatively decided to bring the young professionals to themselves by forming a network representing a younger Shiawassee County demographic. So begins the Shiawassee Young Professionals Network (SYPN). A first meeting is planned for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17 at the Wrought Iron Grill.
The concept involves encouraging a group of young professionals to “regularly meet, to network, grow professionally and have fun.” The plan involves offering helpful networking tools to “provide emerging leaders with a platform for community impact, leadership and professional growth.” SYPN is directed at 20 to 40-year-olds. A $35 annual membership fee will include free and/or discounted professional social events along with the regular meetings, which are planned for the third Tuesday of every month. Young of Owosso is sponsoring the first event with a $10 per person fee that allows for appetizers and one drink.
Schluckebier is an Owosso High School grad who went on to MSU and now is working as a financial advisor with The Schluckebier Hood Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. West is an OHS grad who continued on to Albion College and is now employed as the human resources manager at Young in Owosso. Ludington also graduated from OHS before going to Central Michigan University with a double major in finance and international business – and is now at Young in Owosso.
After an informal meeting between the three friends after they had moved back to Owosso, the three were inspired to develop the networking idea. In a press release, Schluckebier shared, “I realized pretty quickly that there was a big opportunity that our community was missing out on. We have several great organizations, all with different missions, but there is nothing that is catered to the young professional population. I’m a big believer in the saying ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’. So, I knew if I wanted this group to come to fruition I’d have to seek out some like-minded individuals to help me create it.” West discussed how they were excited to “see such positive change and collaboration in the community,” and also how she believes that “a good network is key to increasing collaboration.” Ludington supported their thoughts, stating, “We were all hanging out one night talking about how much Owosso has changed since we all left before moving away for college. The downtown area has grown so much, all the new updates to old buildings. We could just feel the growth and potential in Owosso.”
A number of future events are in the planning stages. The women would like to visit various businesses throughout Shiawassee County to highlight opportunities that are particular to this area – opening those doors to continue to draw in much needed professional talent.