Portland introduces local chapter of Young Professionals in Transportation

April 08, 2013

The board members of the newly formed Portland, OR chapter of Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT) are united in their goal of creating fun, dynamic networking and knowledge sharing opportunities geared toward developing professionals. YPT Portland will be hosting its first Happy Hour on Thursday, April 11, at 5:30pm at The Picnic House in downtown Portland. This event aims to introduce the vision of YPT, to gauge the interest of the transportation community, to collectively brainstorm future events for the chapter, and, most importantly, to gather as transportation professionals.

The YPT Portland board is currently comprised of six members—Jeff Owen of TriMet, Heather McCarey of the Westside Transportation Alliance, Evan Corey and Brie Becker of Nelson Nygaard Consulting Associates, and Anais Malinge and Jesse Boudart of Kittelson & Associates, Inc. The group is in the process of brainstorming upcoming events, which so far could include a trivia night, presentations and open forum discussions with established transportation professionals, and even a “speed networking” night.

“We thought it might be fun to do a play on speed dating,” says Jeff. “One of the main reasons you join a professional development organization is to meet new people and network. This way, with speed networking, you would be guaranteed some face time with a number of different people and leave the event knowing what they do in case you want to follow up later and get to know them better.”

A major focus of YPT Portland’s early efforts will be engaging professionals from all aspects of transportation, including railroad, trucking, aviation, ports, and more. Many of the board members have a special interest in active transportation, but, as Heather notes, it is easy to get hedged in to a particular niche field. In fact, the ability to plug in to the larger view of the transportation industry is what initially interested Jesse in YPT.

“It is nice to have a national chapter to help you get off the ground,” he says. “While YPT is less formal than many professional development organizations, we’ve been able to align our goals with a larger agenda, which is really just establishing a support system for people early in their careers.”

The group is quick to point out that there are no restrictions on who can join.

“We don’t want people to get caught up on the definition of young,” Heather says. “We welcome anyone who is energetic, interested in figuring out how to approach the same problem in a different way, and who wants to bring new tools and ideas to the table.”

While the purpose of the event is to network and learn about YPT, opportunities are available for those who would like to become more involved.

“There are still board positions waiting to be filled,” says Anais. “Since this is an emerging chapter of YPT, we need to establish some institutional knowledge so that this organization prevails beyond the first board. We are looking for people who want to run with it, but we also understand that it’s important for people to be flexible in their involvement.”

Given the abundance of young professionals in the area, the YPT Portland chapter is hoping for a good turnout for their April 11 debut.

Details on the event are as follows:

YPT Portland ’Soft Opening’ Happy Hour
Thursday, April 11 at 5:30 PM
The Picnic House
723 SW Salmon St
Portland, OR 97205

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