Meet YPK Community Outreach Chair and Co-Chair

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Kelly Carpenter, Community Outreach Chair

Kelly was born and raised in Knoxville Tennessee and is a graduate of South Doyle High School and The University of Tennessee. She works as an account manager at John Bailey Company where she specializes in insurance for outdoor and recreational type risk (campgrounds, resorts, outfitters and guides). One of her favorite professional projects is trying to become the first independent insurance agency to have a specialty in Glamping Insurance. In her downtime, she enjoys her dog Ryder, who is a dachshund and black lab mix, mindless television, all things Disney, and traveling in pursuit of the perfect lobster roll - hold the mayo.

What has been your favorite experience with YPK?

YPK has allowed me to meet so many different people that I would have never met if I had not joined. I have lived in Knoxville my entire life and never really knew what amazing people were in the city. YPK has helped me build incredible relationships with other people who are early in their careers. Being a part of the leadership certificate was incredible, I had no idea I had so much to learn. It inspired me to be more active in the community and take control of my own career. Overall with YPK, I think I have learned as much from fellow members as I have from guest speakers and other contributors.  I also really liked the behind the scenes experience at Zoo Knoxville.  

What do you love about Knoxville?

I have lived in Knoxville and grew up in South Knoxville. I really love how Knoxville has grown and changed over the past 10-15 years. Downtown is completely different from what I remember growing up and the city has expanded past West Knoxville. Knoxville embraces being called the Scruffy City and that is really unique. The main reason I stayed in Knoxville was because the majority of my family still lives here. YPK has given an opportunity to see everything to Knoxville has to offer professionally. 

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by my friends and family. YPK has introduced me so many members and local leaders that has made a huge impact on the community. I have been very fortunate to come from a close family that really supports each other.  I come from a long line of hard working and  independent women and I think that is something to be admired.

Name 3 things on your bucket list

  1. Go to Norway

  2. See all the Pandas in North America (hoping to accomplish this one in 2019)

  3. Take a solo vacation


Mal Alder, Community Outreach Co-Chair

A progressive thinker with Southern charm, Mal Alder is the owner and founder of Alder & Co., a digital marketing agency focused on helping small to mid-sized businesses. When not elbow deep in analytics and hashtags, Mal is an avid traveler who also enjoys exploring the many adventures East Tennessee offers in the form of hiking, craft beer, and dog parks. Outside of YPK, Mal is also a member of the Leadership Council with Zoo Knoxville’s Circle of Friends.

What’s one thing folks would be surprised to know about you?

Although quite vocal in social settings, I am actually quite an introvert. It took a lot of practice to feel comfortable talking to a room full of strangers or in a large group setting. If it wasn’t for this lesson, I probably would never have has the courage to start my own company. I was also the captain of my high school golf team. That’s kind of cool, too.

 What is your favorite quote and why?

“Every Saint has a past; every Sinner has a future.” - Oscar Wilde.

For me, this quote is the perfect reminder that everyone you meet is constantly growing and evolving. No one is perfect. It inspires compassion and empathy instead of judgment. I love this quote so much, I have it tattooed on the inside of my right arm.

What has been your favorite experience with YPK?

If I had to pick just one experience with YPK to call a favorite, it would have to be the Leadership class. Not only did we meet and hear from several inspiring members of the Knoxville community, but it was also a great experience to get to know a smaller cohort of YPK members that you may not otherwise have a chance to. We shared our struggles with our current roles, our dreams of our future careers, and everything in between.