The Muscatine Young Professional Network celebrated their tenth anniversary earlier this year. The group’s mission is to create a place for young people to network and find other professionals in Muscatine who may be in a similar place in their life. The organization has several committees, including Community and Professional Development (CPD), Social, Membership, and Public Relations. Each committee serves a vital function. CPD is in charge of programming a lunch-and-learn series on topics ranging from real estate transactions to resumé development. The membership committee oversees recruitment and member relations, while PR is the communications voice of the organization.
The social committee is in charge of one of the more popular YPN events, Third Thursday. The Third Thursday events are designed to be a fun, social get-together where the organization programs announcements so that the members know what is going on in the organization and in town, but there is also a fun mixer activity to encourage camaraderie and social networking. This past week, the May Third Thursday took place at the Missippi Brew for their annual bean bags tournament in The Brew’s beer garden. Seth Munier of Bridgestone Bandag and Ruhl and Ruhl Realty, who serves as the chairperson of the social committee, said, “These events are important because it is a fun, relaxed way for YPN members to hang out and have some fun.”
YPN identified that these structured, activity-based events are great, but at 7:30 the event ends. YPN has now decided to begin a program called Third Thursday: After Dark. This program is an organized way for folks to continue networking throughout the evening in a more relaxed and less structured setting. “It will be a way for us to get together and play cards or do something else without the structure of the Third Thursday meeting. Everyone will already be together, so it’s a way to get some more participation,” Munier said.