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Waxahachie Younger Professionals searching for large issues in 2023

Chris Roark,

A gaggle of younger professionals gathered on the house of Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Energy final week.

They shared tales of their skilled and private progress, and so they talked in regards to the native group that helped make it occur.

Then Stephanie Reyna, sharing a motto that is anticipated to information the group going ahead, inspired the group to “go and develop.”

The Waxahachie Younger Professionals (WYP) kicked off its subsequent part Nov. 17 with a mirrored image of what it has achieved because it started in 2019 and the place it hopes to go in 2023.

Like most issues, the group was hampered by the pandemic over the past two-plus years. However with the pandemic beneath management and a bunch of native professionals bursting with concepts WYP is able to get again to work and develop within the course of.

“We’ve got such an superior array of individuals in management with entrepreneurs and high-level high executives,” stated Reyna, chairwoman for WYP. “We’re all beneath 40, and that is unbelievable. Let’s stand up collectively.”

The beginnings

WYP is an extension of the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce. Its purpose is to supply younger professionals with alternatives to develop professionally, individually, socially and civically. These are performed by way of networking occasions, volunteer alternatives, fundraiser initiatives, management initiatives, visitor audio system and different occasions all year long.

WYP is the brainchild of chamber member Sandy King, the group outreach coordinator for Waxahachie ISD, and Travis Smith, whose present roles embody serving on the Waxahachie Metropolis Council.

Smith credited King for seeing a necessity for a program like this.

“The groundwork she laid on the chamber for us to have the ability to construct that bridge … Sandy acknowledged the void, and we had that void that did not have anybody who wished to step up in that 50-35 vary,” Smith stated. “Sandy put the stress on us as younger professionals to cross that bridge and transfer into roles the place we are able to lead.”

Smith and King have been honored on the re-launch occasion for founding WYP, which started with eight members in 2019 and has grown to 50.


One space WYP has made the most important affect is offering connections for native professionals. It does that by way of numerous applications akin to Espresso & Join, in addition to Networking After Hours. There are additionally skilled and private growth seminars obtainable.

“That is what it is all about, serving our group collectively, rising up and studying from our leaders and determining how we are able to exit and symbolize Waxahachie within the larger DFW space and right here at house,” Reyna stated.

On the re-launch a number of members of the group mentioned how WYP has helped them. Neli Ruiz, who joined WYP quickly after opening her enterprise in Waxahachie, stated the group gives a platform for professionals to study from one another.

“I wish to be with the most effective,” Ruiz stated. “I wish to sit in a room and have a look at individuals and say, ‘OK, they’re doing it. I can do it. They did it, so I will do it.’ These individuals who increase you up when you are doing it, as they are going after their targets and you are going after your targets, they’re desirous to go to the extremes that can assist you.”

She stated the Espresso & Join is a chief place for that.

“One of many issues that I like most about our espresso chats is we sit down and ask, ‘what do you want from this group?’ What are your targets and your struggles?’” Ruiz stated. “From individuals from completely different backgrounds and completely different industries having the ability to share these issues, on the finish of the day quite a lot of these issues come right down to emotional intelligence. And that is what this group does. It is about having the ability to speak about struggles and realizing all of us have them and all of us can do higher.”

Tyler Jones, who heads the membership committee for WYP, stated after leaving the company world after 10-plus years and beginning his personal enterprise in Waxahachie he joined WYP, which he stated was an necessary first transfer.

“This is without doubt one of the first issues I received concerned with,” Jones stated. “The assist that was given, and the friendships I’ve made and the enterprise connections I’ve had, too.”

Jones stated numerous members of the group helped him out with concepts to assist launch his enterprise.

“Everybody right here has been so useful, serving to me get that encouragement,” Jones stated.

Different advantages

Neighborhood service is one other key element to WYP’s mission. All year long members volunteer their time to assist different organizations or people in want.

Final weekend WYP members served as “buddies” to the athletes of the Miracle League of Ellis County, an excellent baseball league.

Just lately members went to a house owned by a retired veteran who’s disabled and spent the day working in her yard.

“It was a extremely fulfilling factor we received to do,” stated Von Aday, WYP vice chair.

WYP additionally hosts 40 Beneath 40 occasions, together with an annual awards presentation, to showcase the work being performed by younger professionals in the neighborhood.

“Getting to acknowledge individuals all through Ellis County for our main professionals all through the county,” Reyna stated. “Homegrown expertise for certain.”

WYP additionally helps strengthen the Chamber of Commerce, and vice versa. Reyna stated Shanna Dunn, director of membership for the chamber, typically finds younger professionals to affix WYP, and in flip they find yourself being key members of the chamber.

“Our purpose is to assimilate younger professionals, not solely with our programming however into the chamber at massive,” Reyna stated.

Energy stated he has seen how profitable WYP has been and that it is in step with a purpose the chamber has had for some time.

Energy stated roughly 12 years in the past the chamber and the town started discussing methods to reinforce the alternatives for younger workers in Waxahachie.

“All of us felt like we have been sending all these children to highschool and spending some huge cash, (however) you possibly can’t come right here to make six figures,” Energy stated. “So you are not going to come back again. However our primary purpose by way of the strategic plan and economic-wise was to convey you again to boost your loved ones.”

He stated WYP and the chamber helps make that occur.

“We would like you to be welcome right here, and we would like you to develop right here,” Energy stated. “And that is my job as president is to see that you just do.”

what to know

The management staff consists of Reyna, Aday, Ruiz (treasurer), Garrett Thomas (secretary) and Kyle Vescey (applications).

Members additionally lead a number of committees – Jones (membership), Kenzie Parks (social), Liz Smith (volunteer), Garrett Thomas (advertising and marketing), Ryan Pitts (legislative) and Reanna Gerkey (occasions).

Espresso & Join takes place from 8-9 am on the primary Wednesday of every month at Three Rivers Espresso.

Community After-Hours takes place from 5-7 pm on the second Wednesday of the month at numerous areas.

The WYP month-to-month assembly runs from midday to 1 pm on the final Wednesday of the month on the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce.

WYP additionally hosts a e book membership from 1-2 pm Mondays at Mint Exteriors/Photo voltaic.

Anybody fascinated about becoming a member of WYP can go to or e-mail

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