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A Group for Young Professionals: Join the UVYP

Jan 26, 2018 07:23PM ● By Linda Ditch
In an area like the Upper Valley, it can be challenging for people starting their careers to make the types of professional and personal connections that are easier to find in big cities. That’s where the Upper Valley Young Professionals organization can help.

Attorney Markell Ripps, who served on the Board of the UVYP for five years, being Co-Chair and then Chair of the group for several years, answers a few questions about the group and its benefits:

Q: Why did you join UVYP?

A: I initially joined UVYP in 2012, the year of its founding, because I wanted to meet other people my age in the Upper Valley. I had just started working as a professional in the area the year before, and I wanted to meet others in different professions and with different backgrounds to better set down roots here and feel connected to the community. I also wanted to find ways to volunteer in the community and to learn about the area’s nonprofit organizations as a way to learn about the community and its needs.

Q: How has being a member helped you professionally and personally?

A: Professionally, I have made connections with local bankers, real estate agents, accountants, and financial advisors that now help to serve my clients. I have especially enjoyed being able to provide professional development seminars to the group on topics like buying a home and estate planning, and being able to assist fellow young professionals with the same. Personally, I have met just about all my closest friends through this group, and many of them joined at about the same time I did. I feel that I owe a lot of my success and happiness here as a resident of the Upper Valley to UVYP, so I’ve tried to give back to the group to help provide the same opportunities for others.  

Q: What are some activities the group participates in?

A: One of my favorite events that the group has participated in annually since 2012 is staffing a water stop in front of my law office in Norwich (Grossman & Ripps PLLC) for the CHaD Half Marathon. I have the honor, as volunteering as the water-stop captain, to organize the event. We set up speakers to play music for the runners, provide food for our volunteers, and really enjoy helping to make the event a success. The runners are so appreciative to all the volunteers, and it is always a joy to see everyone in costume and making it fun for the kids.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

A: Working in a rural area is much different from working in a city center, where everyone congregates around a central location during each workday. Here, people commute from one town and state to the other, and there isn’t as much of an opportunity to cross repeated paths with others, especially when working in often smaller work environments and professional fields. UVYP aims to centralize a young professional’s community and to help build connections between residents that may not happen naturally. The group began with a few dedicated individuals and has grown to attract approximately 75 people at its last social event. It is an exciting time to become involved with the group.

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