When I moved back to the Great Bend area (I’m a Claflin kid) in 2011 after living in metro areas for six years, I experienced a bit of culture shock. The rural area pace was enjoyable and the people were friendly, but much was left to be desired in terms of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, avenues for social engagement with other young people and young families, and it was hard to know how to get involved and plugged in from a civic engagement standpoint, even having grown up in the area. Barton County Young Professionals changed that in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
The Tot Spot at Brit Spaugh Park, tons of food gathered for local food banks, educational opportunities for children, bike racks installed in all the cities in Barton County and health- and family-focused events along with regular networking mixers are all a direct result of Barton County Young Professionals, and I know I’m missing something.
I’m #BCYPproud to have been part of the initial steering committee that rebooted Young Professionals in 2011 and I was honored to serve as the Vice Chair and Chair. It was a privilege to watch this group grow from a few people gathered around a table at Charlie’s to hundreds of active members who volunteer their time and energy for the good of the community.
I enjoy serving with the movers and shakers who have both a love for what this county is and a common vision for what this county can be, but this is the last year of my second term as a steering committee member, which is bittersweet; I am looking forward to having more time for my wife and daughter.
Much progress has been made and there are many challenges ahead as the group continues to grow, requiring more time and resources to keep pace. The steering committee is composed of some incredible human beings with the community’s best interest at heart, so I can’t wait to see what else BCYP accomplishes in the coming years.
You can bet I’ll still be out there supporting its mission of Lead, Network, Volunteer in some capacity, because I am #BCYPproud!
Brandon Steinert, Founding Member, Barton County Young Professionals
Barton County Young Professionals operates under the auspices of the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development and is dedicated to leadership, volunteering, and networking for professionals who live or work in the Barton County area. Learn more about BCYP by liking their Facebook page, following them on Twitter, or visiting www.bartonyp.com