Tulsa’s Young Professionals — or TYPros — has been a part of the upwardly mobile landscape since 2005.
But as the organization enters a new decade, changes are on the way.
“We were very event-heavy because in 2005 we were the answer to ‘there’s nothing to do in Tulsa,’” TYPros 2020 Chair Chelsea Kester said during a recent interview at the Tulsa World. “We kind of were an overreaction to that. So we put on all these events and worked on all these projects.
“But now in 2020, Tulsa has a lot more to offer, and we don’t want to duplicate those services. So we’re working on ways to get people plugged in and create new things.”
Among those innovations is a restructuring.
Formerly, TYPros held separate meetings for its seven crews: arts and entertainment, business development, diversity, government relations, leadership and service, sustainability and urbanists.
“In the past, work crews met on different days and there wasn’t really a specific entry point into the organization,” Kester said. “Now for the first time, we’re launching a TYPros monthly meeting.”
She hopes the gatherings, to be held on the second Monday of each month, will “create a shorter pipeline from a new member to an active member.”
TYPros’ first such meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Circle Cinema.
“This creates a place where someone can actually learn about TYPros,” Kester said. “Then, they don’t have to wait to then go to another crew meeting later in the month. We can keep that energy throughout the meeting.”
Founded as an initiative of the Tulsa Regional Chamber in April 2005, TYPros was created to attract and retain young, creative talent to the Tulsa region. Kester joined the organization in 2011 and in 2012, motivated by what she learned in TYPros, established Take Heart Events, her own event-planning business.
Adam Doverspike is a shareholder in the Tulsa law firm GableGotwals and immediate past chair of TYPROS.
“Over our first 15 years, TYPros developed hundreds of young professionals to become some of Tulsa’s top business and community leaders,” he wrote in an email. “For example, since we began our Get On Board program to place young leaders on nonprofit boards, we have helped put in place a good part of the next generation of Tulsa’s nonprofit leadership. Many organizations and businesses frequently leverage our work when actively recruiting young professionals to Tulsa to showcase the thriving community of young talent in the city and to highlight the ease of getting connected in our community.”
Membership to TYPros remains free and open to persons of any age.
“Our bylaws state you just have to be young at heart,” Kester said, adding that leadership team members must be 40 or younger.
Estimating membership at about 1,000, she wants to incorporate better ways to track who is active in the organization, launching incentives to help accomplish that task. Further, Doverspike said TYPros is gathering community input on how best to serve today’s young talent.
“In recent years, we showed flexibility in creating an almost unique-in-the-nation TYPROS Foundation that has helped fund the Tulsa Flag Project, the Outsiders House Museum, the revival of the Great Raft Race and Tulsa’s Art Alley (among much more),” he wrote. “And we re-imaged our TYPROS Ambassadors program and revived our StreetCred festival to showcase underutilized spaces in town.
“We know as Tulsa grows and improves, we need to adapt and continually engage our increasingly diverse workforce. We are excited for the challenge and opportunity the next decade offers.”