Catalyst for community: Young Professionals grow with MYPros

Young professionals in the region have banded together for community, positive change, insight and mentorship through one local group. MYPros, short for Midland Young Professionals, is a group run through the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce devoted to professional development and networking for Midland locals. Seeking to engage a broad, diverse audience, MYPros hosts a variety of networking events, leadership luncheons, social gatherings and community events year round. All of these events work together to provide opportunities for relationships with peers and leaders across the city and state.

Grant Murschel, Midland’s Director or Planning and Community Development is the Chair of the MYPros Steering Committee and is responsible for advising on matters related to the types of events that the group hosts and the programming offered. He comments on MYPros as a whole, “It fills the role of providing a community for professional development, social interaction and community engagement. We focus all of our efforts around those three things to engage local young professionals in our region.”
Grant Murschel, Chair of MYPros
Events typically fall under one of two categories, Networking and Professional Development. While ‘networking’ and ‘professional development’ can come with stuffy stigmas, MYPros takes a communal approach through hosting events at comfortable, casual locations.

“For networking, we do a couple different events, MYPros Unwind events and MYPros Perk Up events,” say Melissa Farley, Director of Special Events with the Midland Chamber of Commerce. “Unwind events are in the evening where the group meets around happy hour for drinks and morning Perk Up events are held at several local coffee shops.”

Melissa Farley with the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce

Each month MYPros either hosts an Unwind or Perk Up event around town. Both events are free and open to anyone to attend. “We don’t have a program or schedule because the whole point is to get young professionals together to hang out and meet each other,” says Farley. “Every month we meet at a different location. Being that MYPros is a Chamber of Commerce organization, all locations involve Chamber members as well.”
An upcoming MYPros Perk Up event

Additionally, the group hosts MYPros Socials that offer community engagement and sometimes a challenge. “Besides the Perk Ups and Unwinds we also have four MYPros Socials a year,” says Farley. “So far this year we had a social event at the Dow Tennis Classic and also a MYPros Escape Room social at Northwood, which were both super fun and a great way to get to know people.”

MYPros branches out to other regions as well, notes Farley. “We will also be having a regional social, where we invite the Young Professionals groups from Bay City, Saginaw and Mt. Pleasant at Eastman’s Forgotten Ciders in the fall, and in December our annual MYPros Young Professional Awards event. Our fourth event has not yet been decided.”

MYPros also also connects with local leaders at three different types of professional development events. These events give members the opportunity to hear from area leadership across a variety of industries in a way that allows for candid conversation and an open forum for questions.

MYPros members gather at a recent event

Farley continues, “Luncheons are typically hosted four times per year. Our first one is scheduled for March 28, and we will be discussing the topic ‘Sitting is the New Smoking’ and also hosting a yoga class.”

“In May we are planning to have a luncheon about the beer culture that’s growing in Midland with a panel made up of people in the industry,” says Farley. “Later on this year we will discuss, ‘What to Expect in 2019 in Midland’, where we have the city and local businesses talk about what developments are happening in 2019.”
An upcoming MYPros Unwind event
Additionally, the group connects with local leaders for development, Q&A and shared experiences. MYPros aims to host at least two Learn with Leaders events where the group hosts a small get together, typically around 25 young professionals, over lunch with a local leader. In the past, MYPros has hosted Learn with Leader events with Attorney General Bill Schutte, Mayor Maureen Donker and City Manager Brad Kaye. The next Learn with Leaders lunch is scheduled for April 11, and will feature Renee and Aaron Deckrow, the owners of Live Oak Coffeehouse.

MYPros Idea Nights are also hosted two times a year because the organization learned that local agencies and nonprofits wanted to connect with young professionals to get their opinion on things like programing and events. For each idea night, MYPros partners with an agency and they can ask the group for thoughts and input towards different things that the organization is working on over casual drinks and hors d’ourves.

Lastly, the group hosts the MYPros Business Exchange Luncheon once a year. Attendees arrive for a three-course meal. They sit at a table with seven other people, changing tables with each course, stating their name and business “need.” Attendees then have conversation over their meal about how each individual can help solve those business needs presented by each person. This event is currently open to all Chamber members and is scheduled for April 26, with a MYPros specific event scheduled in July.
Daniel Strong, a MYPros member
Daniel Strong is a financial analyst and MYPros member. On the organization’s events, he says, “The Learn with Leaders luncheons have been very interesting but I think I enjoy the Unwind events the most. It’s always interesting to meet new people and nice to catch up with old friends!”

With so many opportunities to get involved, are you wondering where you should begin and what you might expect to take away from becoming a member?

Murschel explains, “Because MYPros is a part of the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce, anyone can join at anytime through our website. The biggest thing I hope people walk away with is knowing there is a community of young people out there that they can relate to.”

Murschel’s favorite event that has represented this was the Annual Awards Night hosted last December. He affirmed, “It allowed us to showcase people who have really been hustling.”

With all these options for connection and interaction, MYPros proves to be a platform for achievers and go-getters to connect and accomplish big things together.

Strong adds, “MYPros is a great way to get out in the community and experience more of what Midland has to offer. Being a member allows you to connect with other people in the surrounding area in a fun yet professional setting that you normally couldn’t find anywhere else. It is not uncommon to run into someone you haven’t seen in years and are able to catch up but at the same time you’re always meeting new people and building new relationships.”

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