Thursday, March 28, 2013

New TCYP Blogger - Mo Stych

Greetings! Welcome to the Traverse City Young Professionals blog, which John Stocki (also an awesome name) and I recently inherited from Meaghan. Our goal is not to blab about ourselves but to bring to you a wide scope of the Traverse City area from the perspectives of many different people exploring, dining, creating, hiking, swimming, biking, networking, playing, living and growing in this place we all call home. John and I are happy to host these viewpoints and compile them here for the world to see and ogle over. Expect lots of great things moving forward! 

But, just to give you a sense of who I am, I'm going to take a moment to blab about myself. I promise this is the only time!

I was raised but not born in TC. My family moved up here from Hyde Park, IL when I was 3, and I've hardly left since then. I made my first friends, first sandcastles, and first face-plant downhill skiing in this area. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in History of Art and moved back home to start a life of my own in the town I grew up in, which is not as easy as it sounds.

Still, I was lucky to find a boy (who I'm marrying in September of this year) that is also from TC and wanted to start a life here, too, so together we are navigating these grounds and building our own world in the town we think we know. Turns out this small town keeps getting bigger, and that's not a bad thing at all.

I work in Marketing | Communications at Northwestern Bank and love experimenting with visual design, namely typography. You'll find me outdoors every spare second I have--when I'm not lost in a good book, making up recipes in my much-too-tiny kitchen, traveling around when I can afford it, or thinking of the next goal I want to accomplish.

I am a proud vegetarian and tree-hugger. I dream of the day I can have my own yard with chickens, ducks, and dogs running around in it, and I work hard to make that dream a reality. I also LOVE giraffes.

Enough about me...let's talk about you!

Hopefully you were drawn here because you're interested in the TCYP. Well, you're in luck, because we are always looking for people like you (and if you're in the TCYP already, then you know we like people like you). If you want to  learn about job opportunities in the area, make new friends and expand your business networking reach while having a great time, then you've found the right community.

For more information about the TCYPs, come to our monthly meetings (the third Thursday of every month, 8 a.m. at the TC Chamber building downtown) or visit our website and Facebook page. The video, below, also explains what the TCYP lifestyle is all about.

We would love for you to be apart of it.

- Mo

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New TCYP Blogger - John Stocki

Hey there folks,

As you may have heard/read, I am lucky enough to be one of the new bloggers for the Traverse City Young Professionals along with Mo Stych (Sweet name btw). So for the next year or so, you’ll be able to listen to my ramblings and general non-sense about all the cool things to do in Traverse City.

A little about myself to start though… 27/M/Traverse City (AOL throwback lingo). I’ve been living & working overseas since graduating from Grand Valley State University in 2007, including Australia (1 year), United Arab Emirates (3 years), and China (1 year). I decided to move back to the US to be closer to family and friends, and to have a better work/life balance. I grew up in a small town around an hour south of TC, (Brethren) and am very happy to have the time to enjoy all the amazing activities that TC and the surrounding areas provide. I really enjoy hunting and fishing, yet appreciate good wine and cheeses just as much. Cooking & entertaining is a big passion of mine and love making a big mess in my kitchen. I also enjoy exploring all of the different and equally amazing restaurants we have in this area (a true foodie destination). I’m an avid photographer and really am happy when I’m behind the camera and get that really great shot. One day, I hope to take photography further into the professional realm, but we’ll see how that goes.

During the day I’m the Digital Marketing Specialist at the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau (mouthful, I know). At night, I also own my own marketing consulting company and also design e-learning programs. Other than that, I try to be outside as much as possible and enjoy as many activities as I can during each and every season!

So now for some cool stuff, check out some photos of me doing random things.

You want to be a guest blogger and share more cool things about Traverse City you say? I do declare (in the voice of an old southern man) that we should chat about this. I don’t really want to write every single blog post, because that would just be boring. So the more the merrier. Email and we’ll figure it out! Great. Super. Awesome. Fantastic.

Did do like this blog post? If so, you should click share and all that stuff. Let’s show everyone how sweet TC is and get some more amazingly talented people to come here!

Stay tuned for Mo's intro blog post real soon!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodnight.

I am ready to admit it: I am comfortable enough in Traverse City to start referring to myself as a member of the Traverse City community. While Florida still has a huge part of my heart, Traverse City is now somewhere that I can call my home. I've adjusted. I've accepted that I will be grocery shopping at Meijer instead of at Publix (aka the world's best grocery store chain). I automatically leave my apartment 3-5 minutes early in winter because I realize that I will need to remove the snow/ice from my car before attempting to drive to work. I know the drink & food specials at local restaurants and I can even give out of towners advice as to where they can chow down on the best local grub.

With that said, it is time to pass the TCYP Blog onto some fresh faces. My story has been told and it is time to introduce you to some other pretty fantastic members of our community and let them tell you how they came to live here and how they are adjusting. I'm sure that they will have plenty to say as far as the goings-on of Traverse City, their new experiences, as well as new TCYP events that occur.

We will still be featuring a guest blogger the first Wednesday of each month, but your new regular bloggers will be John Stocki and Mo Stych, who will be introducing themselves next week. I'll miss my weekly blogs and having the chance to explain the differences in lifestyles between Michigan and Florida (and mention how much snow throws me off guard...often), but I'm excited for you to have the opportunity to get to know some new TCYPs.

Besides, you can always catch me at Business After Hours...or Half-price sushi Tuesday at Firefly.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

TCYPs are Taking Initiatives

The Traverse City Young Professionals are implementing some new programs to recruit, retain, and help new young professionals to become well-adjusted and familiar with the Traverse City community. Moving to a new area, especially right out of college, can be frightening. That's why we're trying to make the readjustment process a bit easier and far less threatening.

A few of the groups that we have formed are as follows (there are many more details involved, but for the sake of giving you a good general idea of what our YPs are involved with, I've kept it simple):

College Alumni Group: This group's purpose is to act as a resource for college graduates looking to tap into Traverse City. They will set out to attract college students at college trade shows and other opportunities. Traverse City is a wonderful place for college graduates (I would know) and we need to keep 'em coming!

R & R Group: This group is all about helping to recruit new YPs and show them all the reasons that they should stay. The Chamber fields inquiries to the R & R group, which connects the newcomer with a YP who represents the job area they're interested in pursuing. For instance, if I was part of this group and there was a newcomer who was interested in event planning, TCYP would send that person my way so that I could help out. The R & R group will be there to meet with the incoming YP, connect them with other people in their industry, show them around the area, assist with finding them an apartment...the list goes on and on. They are the ultimate host.

Wingman Group: Helping new YPs to get involved and network in the Traverse City community is what this group's main goals are. The Wingman group will meet new YPs at the door of whatever networking event they're attending and make sure to introduce them to a plethora of Traverse City locals. This group will also be present at each and every Business After Hours event.

Marketing Committee: While the marketing committee is by no means brand new, we are always on the hunt for fellow YPs to join up and assist in the management of the website and blog. Contact Lindsey Dickinson at for more information.

Well, that's a pretty good sneak peak into our new committees and focus. For more information, make sure to attend the TCYP meetings (3rd Thursday of each month. 8am at The Chamber).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Guest Blogger: Taryn Miracle

I have yet to meet someone who isn't a fan of Taryn Miracle, and she definitely has a good amount of wisdom and information to share with us. Enjoy this guest blog by Taryn!

                  I’ll be honest - I’m a first time blogger at the upper end of the YP age group – almost an OP.  When I was invited to be a guest blogger, I struggled with what might keep everyone interested. What kind of fabulous wisdom could I possibly impart that would keep people on the edge of their seats?
I guess before I dive into this whole blog thing, I should share a little information about myself.  I’ll celebrate my 8th annual 30th birthday this year. I have 2 children, a husband and a dog…I’m the only female in the house. J
In my work life, I both fell into and fell in love with the hospitality industry. I’ve worked at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa for almost 10 years. I started out as a receptionist and have worked my way up to my current role as Associate Director of Sales. I lead a team of six sales professionals and we are responsible for about 70 percent of resort business each year.
For my YP Involvement, my first event was the very first YP Education Conference. I knew right then that I wanted to be more involved with the educational aspect and served as Chair for the last three YP Education Conferences.

OK, let’s do this – here are the top eight things I’ve learned along the way and things I wish I would’ve known:

1.     Take care of your own professional development. The more you learn and the more you surround yourself with other intelligent people, the more you’ll be able to give back to your team when you’re a leader.
2.     Try to see the good in people. I know, it sounds very Disney of me and I’m not a “rose-colored glasses” kind of girl. But we all have bad days, rough starts, and things going on at home that affect our day. Try to see past that when someone is taking out their bad day on you and just give your biggest smile…what can you do to make their day better? You could make someone’s day!
3.     Work/Life Balance. That’s funny. Really, what I’ve learned about balance is this: Discover your ability to say “no.”  You don’t have to go to every cocktail reception, volunteer for every event and sit on 52 boards.  You’ll end up spreading yourself thin and not making a difference anywhere. Choose the one or two organizations that will better you as a professional and individual and then pour your heart into it. Your family will thank you and your career will be better off.
4.     Support the people around you. In general, be nice. Positive attitude is mandatory.  Good leaders don’t claw their way to the top. They’re taken to the top by the team that carries them there.
5.     Be the new guy.  Not the “I’m lost, where’s the bathroom?” new guy.  What I mean is, never lose that excitement you had on the first day. Important for any job ­- especially important in the Sales and Marketing world.  If you’re not excited about what you’re doing, neither are your customers.
6.     Treat people as individuals. I’ve learned it’s not possible to be fair to everyone treating them as a lump sum group. Each person has their own unique traits, or life things that are important to them. Recognize and value what makes your team members individuals and you’ll function better as a team.
7.     Take care of your health, mind and body. Step away from your desk, work out, take a vacation.  Make working 70 hours a week the exception and not the norm. Respect yourself and value your own time.  Your family will thank you and you’re showing your children, our future YPs,  the respect they should give themselves before they can take care of others. Your co-workers will thank you too. They’ll thank you for being able to make a clear decision because your mind isn’t foggy from sitting at your desk for 10 hours straight. You’re refreshed and ready to conquer the day.
8.     Understand your own limitations and recognize that some people are better at certain things than you. It’s OK to not be able to do it all.  It’s OK to ask for help from your team. It’s OK to not be the very best at everything. It comes back to the recognizing individuals item above – we all have our strengths. The strongest teams recognize that and capitalize on the strengths of the individuals, ultimately leaving their weaknesses behind.

I know, a Top 10 is typically the “norm” for lists. But I learned that as a blogger, you should never go over one page which I’ve already done here.
See? Learning things and still breaking the rules! J