Who is a leader you admire?
A local leader I greatly admire is Elle Benson. She is a former YPK President and serves the community as a member of the Alliance for Better Nonprofits staff (among a thousand other volunteer positions). Elle has the perfect balance of being strong and authoritative while also being warm and approachable. She sets goals and gets stuff done! Our YPK Leadership certificate program was her brainchild, and she assembled a stellar team to make it an exceptional program that has lasted years past its inception. Elle is one of the people who originally got me involved in YPK, so I am eternally grateful to her!
How do you think Young Professionals of Knoxville contributes to our community?
Young adulthood is a really odd time in life. You are making decisions that will impact your whole life and gain more independence daily. I think YPK gives YPs a support system that helps them better navigate this time in life. Being surrounded by other people striving to develop their careers, get involved in the community, and just frankly trying to make new friends gives a sense of relief that we are not alone. I've been given so much support through YPK that has helped me gain confidence, propel my career, and make lifelong friends I greatly cherish.
What has been your favorite experience with YPK?
I joined a local kickball team by meeting my now great friend Rob Petrone at a YPK event. I've now been playing kickball for 4 years, and every season is filled with wonderful friends and a ton of fun. It's a couple of hours each week we are just goofy and don't take ourselves too seriously.
What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?
I love documentaries, so just finished and loved "Dirty Money" on Netflix. I am also a huge swimming fan, so I've been watching a lot of swimming (SEC championships, with NCAAs in a few weeks). I also just finished reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr. It was turned into a TNT show, but the show doesn't do the book justice. Best nonfiction book I've read in the past year is Blindspot by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald. I think I've recommended it to everyone I've talked to :)
When you're not at work where can people find you?
Oh man I'm all over the place! Love walking my two fur babies at our local parks, but when my shoulder isn't bothering me I am usually at the UT aquatic center swimming a few days a week. I also love our local restaurants and bars, so I'm downtown on the weekends having a drink and some delicious food!