Young professionals from across Island attend convention

NANAIMO – Conversation to focus on civic responsibilities, First Nations and transportation issues.

Some of the Island’s best and brightest young professional minds will be converging on Nanaimo next week to inspire, be inspired and discuss some big issues.

Young Professional of Nanaimo are preparing to host about 150 delegates at the Connect V.I. Conference at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre June 14-15. The inaugural convention last year, also hosted by YPN, focused on creating a wider network of young professionals on the Island to address the challenges of generational transition in business, community and politics.

Adam Hawryluk, YPN president, said the 2012 convention spawned a new organization – young professionals in Port Alberni started the Young Professionals of Alberni Valley – to complement young professional groups in Nanaimo, Victoria, Campbell River and Comox.

“We’re trying to get as many people in the room as possible to discuss important issues,” said Hawryluk. “Last year it was neat to see that it wasn’t just us, that we weren’t alone. We’re building on that networking this year.”

The 2013 Connect V.I. will see delegates, along with a variety of keynote speakers, address the subjects of civic responsibilities, First Nations and transportation in an effort to initiate positive change on Vancouver Island.

“Everyone’s level of knowledge is so varied so a lot of what is presented will be a base-level understanding and understanding there are issues there that we need to address,” said Hawryluk. “It’s a lot to take in, so we’re hoping everybody takes some key points home with them and work with communities to address the issues.”

Young professional groups work to improve their respective communities, keep abreast of important issues and take leadership roles as previous generations move toward retirement.

YPN members in Nanaimo focus on professional development, community involvement, business networking and social networking as well as advocating for rail transportation on Vancouver Island and encouraging people in the community to participate in voting – members provided a shuttle service for advance voting.

The not-for-profit organization invites anybody under the age of 40 and living or working in the Regional District of Nanaimo who has a desire to improve their community to join.

For details on Connect V.I., including the list of speakers, visit www.connectvi.me. For more on YPN visit www.ypnnanaimo.com.