As a young professional in Austin, I love to keep my eye on organizations that can help me with self-development. Austin Young Chamber of Commerce has been on my radar for a few years, especially since it’s one of the major general purpose membership associations in Austin.
What Exactly Is Austin Young Chamber of Commerce?
Austin Young Chamber of Commerce is a membership association that provides an avenue for young professionals to connect and empowers them to create success for themselves. The core values are things we feel strongly about in Austin: openness, inclusiveness, and community. The organization started in 2009 and welcomed all young professionals in the Austin community to join, regardless of industry or specialty.
By 2014, Austin Young Chamber launched several programming committees: arts and culture, volunteerism, civics, economic development, and member engagement. Members also plan and manage some of the most popular events in Austin.
What Are the Benefits of Joining Austin Young Chamber?
Austin Young Chamber has a variety of cool benefits, including leadership opportunities in member committees, networking, educational sessions, and volunteering. Basically, there’s practically any opportunity you might be looking for.
Here’s more information:
- Membership Committees – There are seven different committees members can join, all with functions that are important to the organization as a whole: creating opportunities for young professionals to develop and connect through monthly programs, planning major fundraising events, and identifying ways to attract and retain new members. The members of these committees are directly creating an impact on the Austin community through their efforts.
- Let’s Talk: A New Way to Network – This bimonthly event gives people the chance to develop quick connections with other young professionals in a fun format: group speed networking. Attendees are assigned to random tables and have 10-minute conversations on a unique topic before moving to the next group. If you haven’t networked like this before, then you are missing out. It’s a ton of fun!
- Signature Events – Austin Young Chamber has several signature events that happen annually:
- Casino Social: Austin Young Chamber’s largest fundraiser and one of the biggest events for young professionals in Austin. The next Casino Social is June 8, 2018, at Brazos Hall.
- FAVE Awards: An award ceremony recognizing awesome local businesses that cater to young professionals in the Austin community. The next FAVE Awards is Nov. 10, 2017.
- ChangeMaker Luncheon: A luncheon where the organization recognizes and pays tribute to all the stellar Austinites doing extraordinary things to make our community better. The next ChangeMaker Luncheon is Feb. 16, 2018.
- Lunch and Learn Speaker Series – These speaker series are great ways to get inside knowledge and wisdom from local business and community leaders. Events are usually limited to no more than 40 attendees. Austin Young Chamber has had some interesting speakers in the past, including Amy Simmons (Amy’s Ice Creams) and Tim League (Alamo Drafthouse).
- Service Projects – Austin Young Chamber uses service projects as ways for members to learn more about nonprofits and our community’s needs. Last year, organized events contributed to a whopping 1,460 hours of service involving 303 volunteers! The chamber most recently worked on a Habitat for Humanity build and also has an upcoming opportunity to mentor Junior Achievement students on their business pitches.
- Cultural Gatherings – The Imagine Committee plays a big role in cultural gatherings, working to connect young professionals with Austin’s arts and culture scene. They’ve done some really awesome activities, like an art gallery crawl and sushi-rolling class. Did someone mention sushi? Sign me up!
- Advocacy – Austin Young Chamber also works to educate young professionals on key issues the community is facing. It’s hosted events for education and engagement, such as a panel presentation on the upcoming AISD Bond. The Economic Development Committee also plays a role in endorsing a variety of policy issues.
What Is Austin Young Chamber’s Next Big Event?
Austin Young Chamber is deep into preparations for the 8th Annual Favorite Austin Venture or Enterprise (FAVE) Awards Gala, which will take place on Nov. 10, 2017. Over 350 business and community leaders, and young professionals, are expected to attend. It’s also one of the top two fundraisers for Austin Young Chamber.
FAVE Awards Gala has 16 different award categories, including FAVE Community Minded Company, FAVE Innovative Company, and FAVE Night Out. All of the businesses that receive an award are local companies supporting Austin young professionals. You can see a list of the 2017 FAVE Finalists online.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a member to attend all of the events. If you want to join in on the fun, explore a career transition, or practice leadership skills, hop on over to the Austin Young Chamber website to learn more. Who knows, it might just end up being your new “FAVE” young professional organization in Austin.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Which events or organizations do you rely on for professional networking in Austin?