Thursday, March 27, 2014

Student and Alumni Outreach Committee: Bringing new YPs to TC

As the Traverse City Young Professionals group continues growing, we're building up our committees and expanding our reach in the community. One group that really takes this to heart is the Student and Alumni Outreach Committee. These great folks are welcoming and recruiting future YP generations to Traverse City as well as helping to connect homegrown talent to local employers. Interested in learning more about what they do? Read on to find out!

On Thursday, March 6th, a few members of the TCYP Student & Alumni Outreach Team attended the Annual NMC Career Fair at the Hagerty Center. Numerous attendees inquired about the TCYPs. It was good exposure and a great way to let job seekers know how we could help them network in their respective fields. Since the job fair was not limited to patrons under 40, they were also able to promote the TC Chamber, the networking opportunities offered by the Chamber and the job portal on the Chamber website.

The YP Student & Alumni Outreach Program connects with both prospective graduates and current Young Professionals in the area. Colleges and universities can use this program to help provide education to potential graduates on the opportunities Traverse City has to offer. The program is also designed to continue the college spirit for alumni’s through various civic involvement and community events. They also foster professional relationships, as well as build awareness of the resources available to young professionals considering a move to Traverse City.

If you're a current YP, contact Josh or Courtney to learn more about how you can participate in the committee. Let them know if you're an active member of your alma mater's alumni association in would be great to have you on board to attract recent college graduates to our beautiful region!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone...and keep thinking spring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guest Blogger Michelle Elliott: Run, Walk, or Leap into Spring!

We're halfway through March and itching for warm weather, but still stuck with plenty of below-freezing temperatures. Still, it's no reason to stay cooped-up inside! YP Michelle Elliott shares her St. Patrick's Day weekend festivities, where she hung out with over 700 green-clad friends having a great time at the Leapin' Leprechaun 5K race. Check out those great costumes!

St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. I know what you’re thinking; it’s because of all the pub-crawls, shamrock shakes and green beer right? Well, not totally. For me St. Patrick’s Day has always been that sign that spring is right around the corner. In the past it has been warm and it has snowed, but regardless, there is typically a party and everyone is having a great time. 


This year, I got to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend by working. Yes, working. It’s the nature of the beast if you’re in the event industry. Most of the time you are working while others are playing. I love it. It is rewarding to see all your hard work pay off and witness hundreds of people laughing and joking.  

I work for the National Cherry Festival which organizes the Fifth Third Bank Leapin’ Leprechaun 5K. This fun 5K is held annually on St. Paddy’s day weekend. This year was chilly but we still had over 700 people wake up early to race around town. They definitely dressed to impress in their Irish best.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a St. Patrick’s Day celebration without a gold Guinness at the post-race party. We had a heated tent set up so everyone could warm up and listen to local favorites Don Julin and Billy Strings. It was a brisk morning, but those who came out had a good time.  

There were plenty of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around town this past week. If you are ever curious about what to do visit the Ancient Order of the Hibernians website.  They have an entire event calendar dedicated to all the Irish festivities in Traverse City. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"What is Art, Anyway?" Lecture Series at The Box

When I was moving back to Traverse City after attending college in Ann Arbor, I was wary about what kinds of "academic" opportunities would be available, if any. Lucky for me, TC has grown in all kinds of ways since I was in high school, and there are plenty of learning activities and speaker events out there. 

As a History of Art major, I was thrilled to hear that the Art Center of Traverse City was hosting a six-week lecture series called "What is Art, Anyway?" They have different panels slated for each week to discuss what art is, and based on some of the speakers they have lined up (graffiti artists, gallery owners, and even this past years' ArtPrize winner!), it is geared up to be a great series.

The other part of this series that was particular exciting to me was the location: The Box. Back in its day, The Box was a cigar factory. Much later in its life, and just prior to the major renovations that converted it into a beautiful event space, it was the gym I went to for years. I'd not been inside The Box yet, and I was itching to see how the space was converted from a place where I took Spinning lessons and read way too many magazines on elliptical machines.

I wasn't the least bit disappointed: The Box is gorgeous. It's an open layout that doubles as a living and entertaining space. The space is modern but intimate, and the tone is very cozy and warm. I loved the high ceilings, wood floors, and magnificent kitchen. I'll look for any excuse to visit The Box again!

I went to the first art lecture, which included three artists: Ann Loveless (the 2013 ArtPrize winner), Del Michel, and Bob Purvis. There were a ton of people there, and even though I was among the younger attendees, I would highly recommend the lecture series to people of all ages and educational backgrounds. The audience actively participated and lots of great questions and conversations were thrown into the mix.

 It was great to get the perspective of three different (and successful) artists from our area. They talked about the growth they've made as artists, the moments they first knew they were artists, and took questions from the crowd about their work, vision, and what art means to them as artists. Plenty of folks from the audience had their own opinions about art, too, but it did make for engaging dialogue. All in all, it was a really enjoyable lecture and I'm looking forward to attending another one before the end of the series (plus, it means another visit to The Box).

If you're looking to attend this lecture series, you can learn more about each week's lecture here. Personally, I think their graffiti, street art, and tattoo art lecture looks really interesting, and it's definitely geared towards a younger generation. Keep your eyes peeled for other great speaking events in our area...if you're an academic, you'll find plenty of opportunities to keep your mind sharp in TC!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Guest Blogger: Kelsey Lauer Visits Ice Cave Wonderland

The last time I can remember West Grand Traverse Bay freezing over was in 2009. This year, about 90% of all the Great Lakes are frozen, and I am thrilled to experience winter the way I remember it as a child. While it's unsafe to go explore them now, the Lake Michigan ice caves will live on in legend. Never before have we Michiganders seen something like this, and hundreds of people visited these magnificent natural beauties. Lucky for us, YP Kelsey Lauer and her boyfriend took the trip out and snapped some incredible pictures. Read on to hear about (and see!) their adventure. (All photos by Colin Johnstone.)

By now, most of the people in Northern Michigan have heard about the spectacular ice caves that formed on Lake Michigan in Leelanau County near Northport.

I was alerted by these amazing pictures that were popping up all over my social media news feeds, and after hearing someone call them a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” I decided I had to go check them out along with boyfriend Colin and his camera on a sunny but FRIGID afternoon.

A once in a lifetime opportunity was a total understatement. I've never before seen such majestic jagged ice sculptures that stretch towards the sky, looking like a giant hand had reached down and sculpted the ice.

A rugged, frozen landscape set off by the icy blue sky looked as if it could have come from another world.

We weren’t alone in our adventure, either; it looked as if a few hundred other people had accompanied us out onto the ice, complete with one very small dog wearing a hooded coat and bright pink booties. The huskies, on the other hand, looked right at home.

The very texture of the ice was fascinating, with bumps and divots where spray from the waves had frozen. An occasional handy foothold or handhold made climbing some of the slippery slopes quite irresistible (although that is not recommended!).

Some of the caves were quite small, hardly large enough for a person to stand upright in.

Others, however, offered a myriad of nooks and crannies to explore—including some skylights!

After spending a wonderful couple of hours exploring the caves, however, the sun started to set and we decided to head back to shore while we could still see.

Saying farewell to the ice caves was almost bittersweet—especially now that the ice conditions are no longer safe to check them out. It was truly an honor and a privilege to see them while they were accessible, something far more than a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.

The caves are a stunning reminder of the power and beauty of Lake Michigan and Mother Nature in all seasons—even in the frozen depths of winter, there is still amazement and joy to be found by going outside.

I challenge you to head outside this winter, try out a few new winter activities to see which strike your fancy and most of all, have FUN.  Let’s make the most of our nearly 17 feet of snow this winter while we can!