HYPE stands for Helping Young Professionals Emerge and is the centralized way for YPs in the Northern Miami Valley to meet new people, have fun with creative social events, and volunteer together to make a difference in the community. I spoke to HYPE chair, Doug Eakin to get the scoop on this “new” YP group. Doug grew up in Columbus, but spent most of the last 10 years in Indiana. A job opportunity as a Business Banking Representative for Unity National Bank brought him to the Miami Valley.
There was no HYPE for a long time. Doug was contacted by the Executive Director of the Piqua Chamber of Commerce and invited to get involved with this new initiative. In January 2009, the EDs from Covington, Tipp City, Piqua and Troy invited a group of young people together to come up with a way to represent YP interests in the Northern Miami Valley. Eakin dove as the chair of this new organization in and started planning. In May 2009, the group launched with their official kick-off and have been going since then. According to Eakin, “HYPE is a group developed for and by young professionals who are dedicated to Social Opportunity, Professional Development, and Community Involvement, and have a shared interest in promoting the Northern Miami Valley as a place to live, work and play.” And they have grown substantially since the beginning – social events (like monthly happy hours and a successful canoeing collaboration with Gen D), volunteer opportunities, and really creative networking events (like their wine education series) have helped them gain momentum.
But although they are growing quickly and getting more people involved, one of their greatest opportunities is in the newness of the organization. According to Eakin, “Given that we’re still such a young organization, people still have the opportunity to get on at the ground floor and really have an active role in shaping the organization.” And it’s in the leadership opportunities that Eakin has found some of the greatest rewards. He says being in a leadership position give him “the chance to make a difference. It lets me see how my ideas and thoughts play out to the members of the organization… it’s very rewarding.” And beyond Eakin’s leadership role, just being a part of the organization has “absolutely” helped him professionally. He’s a big believer in the tried-and-true argument that “success in the business world relates directly to the people that you know.”
Similar to the downtown Dayton region, the Northern Miami Valley struggles with some negative stigma about what’s available for people. Eakin is adamant about where it comes from; he says, “I don’t think for a second that this negative stigma comes as a result of lack of opportunities. Some of the bad feedback we’ve gotten about our organization has come from people that show up at an event and take no personal responsibility for involving themselves in what’s going on. Getting involved is an attitude – you have to make the decision to do it, it’s not going to happen if you’re not open to the possibility.”
Final words regarding his mission with HYPE and involvement? Eakin shares that “The world doesn’t stop at I-70; there’s plenty of things to do and places to see up north.” HYPE doesn’t cost a penny to ‘join.’ So, for any YPs who are interested in learning more about what’s going on – check it out! If you want to know more, visit www.hypenmv.org.