By: Christopher Davis | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: February 2014
Isaac Rocha, TYPros Chairman, and Shagah Zakerion,TYPros Executive Director.
Tulsa’s Young Professionals (TYPros) is a nonprofit organization that works to attract and retain young talent in the Tulsa region. They also strive to establish Tulsa’s next generation of business and community leaders.
The group was founded in 2005 as part of Tulsa Regional Chamber’s economic development plan and as a direct response to the region’s challenges with “brain drain” – a phenomenon where new graduates and young professionals move to other regions. TYPros is serving its purpose, partnering with major business and charities, inspiring Tulsa’s upcoming leaders, and raising money and awareness for community entities.
The TYPros annual Community Partnership program has raised $78,000 over five years for five different nonprofit organizations. TYPros Chairman Isaac Rocha is clear that the credit for such hard work goes directly to the many volunteers who have invested their time and talents. “We can only thank our passionate volunteers for this success. These are young adults who care about the community so much that they are raising money for nonprofit organizations,” Rocha. He is quick to extend the credit and gratitude to the community partners, too. “They understand that attracting and retaining young professionals is important.” Without such partnerships, Tulsa would have a difficult time developing the type of opportunities that encourage young professionals to stick around.
Last year, the TYPros’ Community Partner was the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa. Volunteers typically give more than 3,000 service hours annually, including but not limited to the community partner. “We donated a little over $12,000 that our volunteers collected throughout the year from event partners and fundraising efforts,” says Zack Stoycoff, communications manager.
Recently, TYPros announced their selection the Tulsa Zoo as 2014 Community Partner for 2014. TYPros wants to support the Tulsa Zoo’s 20-year master plan for modernization. The plans include remodeling the exhibits, so children can experience the animals up close. “The return on investment for the city and for the zoo is very big, which is exciting,” says Rocha. He points out that the success of the zoo is connected to the community’s success. The zoo interacts with the city on many levels, from educational outreach at schools, to serving as a field trip destination and attracting tourists from all around. “Part of the reason we picked the zoo is because of its regional impact. A lot of people come from Arkansas and Kansas to Tulsa,” he says. Rocha and his cohorts are excited to put plans into action for 2014.
TYPros’ first quarter fundraiser, CharityOkie, is just on the horizon. “It’s karaoke for a cause,” says Rocha. The organization will meet at Fassler Hall for drinks, singing and fun. “There is a twist,” says Rocha. “You can gong someone off the stage, or jump in front of the line.” For a price, donor contestants will be given special privileges, such as skipping to the front of the line or ringing a gong to chase someone off of the stage. Rocha and Stoycoff are enthusiastic about the event. “It really brings people together in a fun environment to increase awareness for an organization,” says Rocha.
But if one is interested in getting involved with TYPros, they do not have to wait for CharityOkie. Monthly Pub Clubs are regular informal meetings put on by TYPros. It is an easy way for potential new members to get acquainted with the organization, and a welcome opportunity for current members to catch up and let off some steam. These evening social events are a fun way to mix a little business with pleasure. They occur the last Tuesday of every month at local bars and restaurants, and hosts donate a portion of their sales from the evening.
Follow TYPros on Twitter (@TYPros) and like them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TYPros) to keep up with this fast-moving group.
For more information, contact
Christopher Davis is an educator and musician, as well as a writer. A California native, he resides in Tulsa with his wife, two sons and a modest menagerie of pets. When he isn't inspiring young minds, you will most likely find him spending time with his family or playing drums and percussion with Project Huckleberry or the Movetet. In addition to Value News, Davis also writes for Currentland. You can view his work at https://seedavis.wordpress.com.
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