All posts tagged young professionals

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.

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.

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.

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

FLEX Looks Forward to a New Year


When FLEX, the young professionals group of the Venango Chamber, started in 2007, no one could have predicted the growth we would see. Thirteen years later, we have 128 members, and we continue to add and improve our programs and events.

Rather than look back at 2019, we are excited to look forward to 2020 and begin creating a vision for what the year will look like and make a plan to make those things happen.

“What excites me heading into 2020 is the blend of seasoned leadership and experienced professionals,” said Rachel Stiller, outgoing FLEX President. “Everyone on leadership has had involvement with FLEX and are passionate about the mission of the organization, which will benefit us as we move forward with those projects we started in 2019.”

Rachel also added: “We are all equipped to maintain our current level of energy as a young professional group and I anticipate we’ll continue to see FLEX make leaps and bounds this year through the hard work and dedication of our incoming leadership.”

Kat Thompson, incoming FLEX president, added: “Serving as VP this past year under Rachel’s presidency has been an amazing learning experience. Seeing up close her passion and knowledge has inspired me in my involvement with FLEX and in my own professional development.”

“As the incoming president, I look forward to continuing the trajectory of growth and development established by 2019 leadership under her guidance and with the support of the Chamber,” Kat said. “I, along with our seasoned chairs, am excited to welcome two new faces to the leadership team. With continued involvement in our communities, I hope to see FLEX become a household name across Venango County, and be an accessible and valuable resource for young professionals.”

We invite you to get involved with FLEX in a new way this year! Whether it’s coming to an event, joining one of our committees, or volunteering, we hope to see you as we continue to grow.

Meet the 2020 FLEX Officers

President – Kat Thompson
VP/Secretary – Saxon Daugherty
Membership Chair – Laura Ordaz
Marketing & Community Partnerships Chair – Tessa Byham
Events & Fundraising Co-Chair – Ashley Smith
Events & Fundraising Co-Chair – Rachel Stiller

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

Want to be Happy? Be Grateful


We hope you’ve had a great holiday season! During this time of year, it’s especially important to recognize what we have and to be grateful. Our last TED Talk recommendation is all about the connection of gratefulness to happiness, and speaker David Steindl-Rast tells us: “It’s not happiness that makes us grateful, it’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”

It’s not just about grateful experiences, but grateful living. How do you do that? “By experiencing, by becoming aware that every moment is a given moment, as we say. It’s a gift. You haven’t earned it. You haven’t brought it about in any way. You have no way of assuring that there will be another moment given to you, and yet, that’s the most valuable thing that can ever be given to us, this moment, with all the opportunity that it contains,” he said.

We can’t be grateful for everything, but we can aim to be grateful in every given moment for opportunities we are given. Listen to Steindl-Rast’s TED Talk at bit.ly/SteindlRastGrateful.

2020 Tip of the Month: Professional Development

We hope you enjoyed our TED Talk recommendations this year! In 2020, we plan to share monthly “Professional Development Tips” in each newsletter, on various topics including personal branding, networking, work and life balance, and mentorship.

We want to share these tips FROM young professionals. If you have a tip or advice you’d like to share, please email Tessa at tbyham@venangochamber.org.

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) December 2019 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.