All posts tagged FLEX

March 2020 Young Professional Profiles: Jamie Stack & Juliet Hilburn

Jamie Stack grew up in the area and graduated from Oil City High School in 2017, then went on to earn her associate’s degree in Physical Therapy Assistance from the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville.

She’s currently waiting to take her Board Exam, and is working at two local, young professional owned businesses—Core Goods and Eckert Chiropractic.

“I enjoy how personable the jobs are,” she said. “The coworkers and employers are very invested in their employees. I love much I have learned and how much I know they care about my growth.”

At Core Goods, Jamie helps customers, cooks, keeps the store stocked, and more, and at Eckert Chiropractic, she helps with childcare and various office tasks.

Jamie recently got engaged and is excited to marry her fiancé, Devon. Other future plans include pursing a more full-time job.

She’s not certain exactly where or in what field, but told us: “I am not limiting my future to what my degree is in. I want to achieve happiness in whatever life throws at me and wherever I am in the next few years.”

In her free time, Jamie can almost always be found with Devon, usually outdoors biking, walking, hiking, kayaking, and basically anything else outside.

In Venango County, she enjoys experiencing the history and learning facts about how this area was created. She also appreciates the beautiful nature and close-knit community, and related it to Cheers—”You want to go where everybody knows your name.”

Jamie is enjoying working in Venango County and is also excited to see where her future takes her.

Juliet Hilburn recently joined the team at the Northern Pennsylvania Regional College as Student Success Specialist. She graduated from Mercyhurst University in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in history and earned a cumulative 4.0 GPA. In high school, she also graduated as Valedictorian.

Juliet was born and raised in Titusville, and continues to live here, though her position takes her all over Forest, Crawford, and Venango Counties.

She enjoys her new position and, looking to the future, hopes to continue as a higher education professional helping students succeed in their post-secondary careers. She also looks forward to continuing her own education by pursuing a master’s degree in Communications or a related field.

In the community, Juliet serves on the Board of Directors for the Titusville Council on the Arts and plays flute in the Oil City volunteer ensemble Mostly Brass. She can also often be found reading and is a part of the Benson Memorial Library book club.

In college, Juliet had a minor in film studies, so she enjoys watching movies, especially at The Movies at Cranberry. She’s a fan of local events, too, like BridgeFest in Oil City and AppleFest in Franklin.

“I very much wish to remain in the area where my family is located,” Juliet told us. “Venango County is so scenic and beautiful at all times of the year.”

Like many, Juliet loves the wooded hillsides and gorgeous historic architecture, as well as the people here. “It’s nice to be greeted with a smile everywhere you go,” she said.

Congratulations on the new position, Juliet, and welcome to FLEX!

These articles were published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) February 2020 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

Why Recognize Young Professionals?

As we are in the middle of planning our annual FLEX Presents event, recognition is on our minds. Why do we spend time and effort to recognize young professionals?

Giving to the community can be tireless. Spending hours volunteering and helping others includes large amounts of time and energy, but our communities depend on people being willing to do things they are not necessarily compensated for.

We recognize young professionals at FLEX Presents to provide:

  • Encouragement: It motivates those recognized to continue working hard and lets them know their efforts have not gone unnoticed.
  • Inspiration: It inspires other young professionals to follow in the footsteps of those being recognized, and can provide great examples of how to balance work, family, and community.
  • Acknowledgement: It not only inspires others, but shows that there ARE young people making a difference and being successful in our community. We often hear negative talk about young professionals leaving the area, and this event is a perfect example of how that is untrue.
  • Awareness: Recognition isn’t only about the individual, it sheds light on the causes or organizations that nominees are involved with, helping others to learn more about them and hopefully inspiring more people to get involved with local organizations.

Recognition is about coming together to inspire and uplift individuals, organizations, and the entire community.

We hope you’ll join us in recognizing young professionals at FLEX Presents on Friday, April 17, at Clarion University – Venango.

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) March 2020 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

Professional Development Tip of the Month: Stress Management

By Kathryn Thompson, FLEX President & Talent Engagement Facilitator at PA CareerLink

Stress is your response to something happening in your life – a stressor. Up to a certain point, stressors can act as motivators, but each of us has that point when the stressor starts to decrease our motivation or energy.

It can be something positive like moving to a new house or starting a new job, or something you’re nervous about like a big project or deadline. But you don’t have to let it overwhelm you. Here are some tips to help you manage the stress in your life:

  • Overcome decision fatigue. We make around 35,000 conscious or semi-conscious decisions every day. This constant call on our energy is called “decision fatigue”. To alleviate some of this fatigue, create a routine for your mornings and evenings to decrease the number of little decisions you must make. Try to schedule harder tasks for earlier in the day to keep yourself from feeling burnt out. Simplify your wardrobe, meal planning, apps on your phone, and your daily schedule.
  • Your attitude is your steering wheel. Having a positive outlook can make your stressors seem manageable, whereas having a negative outlook makes every worse. So strike a power pose. Turn up your favorite pump up music. Try to see the silver lining and know you’ll get through whatever is causing the stress.
  • Develop stress-relieving habits. Write a list of what you can control and make an action plan, giving yourself simple rewards as you accomplish tasks, and then let go of the things you can’t control. Regular, attentional physical activity helps your brain rest and is proven to decrease stress (turn off your music or tv show while you exercise – focus on breathing and the world around you). Meditation is also a great practice to stay mindful and centered.
  • Use tools to help in the moment. Utilize breathing techniques to physically rebalance when the stress feels like it is taking over. Take a break or a short walk to remove yourself from a stressful situation. Trick your brain into calming down by visualizing a peaceful place. Calm your environment by engaging the senses in your home or work space with herbal teas, candles or essential oils, meaningful photos or trinkets, soothing music, and/or worry stones.

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) February 2020 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

February 2020 Young Professional Profiles: Josh Lewis & Lainey Pilewski

Josh Lewis is originally from Lancaster County, PA, and moved to Franklin with his wife, Emily, after college.

Josh graduated from Slippery Rock University with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and went on to earn a master’s degree in Environmental Sustainability from Chatham.

He is now employed as conservation coordinator at the French Creek Valley Conservancy in Meadville. Josh says his favorite work event of the year is the French Creek Clean Up. “I like knowing how excited everyone gets about getting outside and cleaning such a great waterway,” he said.

Outside of work, Josh enjoys backpacking, cycling, and going outdoors with Emily and their dog, Bo.  They love hiking at Two Mile and relaxing in their quiet neighborhood. He is also a youth ice hockey coach for a travel team of 9 and 10 year-olds based out of Meadville.

Josh noted one of his favorite things about living in Venango County is the great trails and roads for biking. “If I turn left out of my driveway I can ride my bike for over 40 miles without hitting a stop light,” he said.

Josh would love to see more sports facilities in our region and wishes he could practice his love of ice hockey without having to travel. Josh’s goals for the future include enjoying his new home with his family and seeing what opportunities present themselves.

Lainey Pilewski feels lucky and honored to have been given the opportunity to work as Executive Director at the Venango Area Riding for the Handicapped Association (VARHA). She enjoys watching the program grow and looks forward to sharing the experience with the community.

Lainey earned her bachelor’s degree in Science from Morehead State University in Kentucky. She grew up in Wellington, Kentucky, and moved to Pennsylvania in 2017 with her husband, who is originally from Oil City.

Lainey loves animals and feels lucky to have the opportunity to work in a place that surrounds her with animals all day, and then when she goes home, she has four big pups that love to play.

In Venango County, Lainey enjoys spending her time outside working, hiking, or canoeing when it is not raining or snowing. Two of her favorite past times, since moving to Pennsylvania, include walking the bike trails and canoeing down the Allegheny River.

The people and the community are what Lainey loves most about working in Venango County. Though she hasn’t been here long, she has been welcomed in by so many people who have been willing to help.

In the next five years, Lainey’s goal is to become rooted into the community. She was heavily involved in the community in her hometown and would love to gain that sense of involvement here in Venango County.

She desires to help others, as they have helped her. Professionally, Lainey would love to grow into a better leader and role model for the younger generation.

These articles were published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) February 2020 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

Young Professional of the Year Nominations Now Open

Nominations are now open for our 2020 Young Professional of the Year! All nominees will be recognized at FLEX Presents on April 17, an annual event that celebrates the achievements of local young professionals who contribute to their community through civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

Nominees must:

  • Live and/or work in Venango County
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 39
  • Participate in activities outside of work that make a difference in the well-being of others
  • Have exceptional ethical qualities and strive to improve and preserve the community

Forms are due by Friday, March 6.

Friday, April 17 • 6:30 – 8:30PM
Clarion University – Venango (Suhr Library)