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February 26, 2014

A Life Changing Experience

Former Member Credits YPW for Success

Heather Bohrer

By Brant Whitelock, American Family Insurance

“Get involved! Allow yourself to experience all the things that this organization can do for you.

I have been a Wichitan most of my life. This community has blessed me with a great place to live and work, great friends, a great family and a pool of people to network with. So if you would have asked me three years ago if I thought YPW could offer me more than I already had, I would have smiled and politely told you no. I have never been more wrong.

What do you say to someone when they ask why you are part of YPW? There are multiple answers to this question, all with a different and personal meaning depending on the individual. I initially joined Young Professionals of Wichita for the sole purpose to network and connect to my peers. The events planned and executed through YPW gave me the opportunity to make these connections and build business relationships. The more people I met and the more events I attended, the more these business relationships turned into personal friendships. These two things  are similar, but the difference is paramount. Friendship brings to the table a concreteness that a business relationship won’t. For me, YPW is about creating memories through these friendships and being a part of something bigger than myself. My goal of networking when I joined has been far surpassed, to say the least.

Both the professional and personal opportunities that YPW has provided me with have  allowed me to grow my career  and because of this, I was offered a promotion in my company. Sounds great right? The new promotion also meant being relocated to Chicago, Illinois. Don’t get me wrong; I was very excited for the opportunity that presented itself and my career advancement. However, the move would also mean that I no longer could be involved with Young Professionals of Wichita, an organization that has given me so much. After weighing this difficult decision , I decided to take the opportunity to move. It is bittersweet leaving an organization and City that has meant so much to me.

It’s funny, I can’t tell you how many people have “thanked” me in the past month for everything that I did while being involved with YPW. But in all reality, it is me that owes the organization, staff and volunteers a thank you. Without all of you, I wouldn’t have made new friends and memories, gained valuable business connections, and grown as a leader; all of which lead me to my promotion. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if I had not gotten involved in YPW. So YPW and all the volunteers and staff…THANK YOU!!

I leave you with this last piece of advice to anyone who is reading this and thinking about joining – it’s simple: JOIN! Get involved! Allow yourself to experience all the things that this organization can do for you. I promise you this; you don’t even know the half of the opportunities that YPW can present you with! You won’t be let down!

So, I say my last farewell to Wichita and to YPW: Thank you again for all the life long memories and friendships that you have created for me! I have been truly blessed and forever grateful! When I sum up my YPW experience only one thing comes to mind – LIFE CHANGING!

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