Shires Young Professionals names Beth Wallace chair, adds new members, becomes nonprofit

Vermont Business Magazine The Shires Young Professionals is proud to announce Beth Wallace as the new chair of the organization’s board. Wallace currently serves as the Family and Community Partnership Manager of United Counseling Service in Bennington, as well as the Bennington County Head Start/Early Head Start. She was recently named Vermont Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Rising Star’s Class of 2021. Wallace has also served as president of the Bennington Rotary Club.

Beth Wallace, new advisory board chair of SYP, was named a VermontBiz Rising Star last November. (provided photo)

“As I assume this exciting new role as Chair for the Shires Young Professionals in 2022, I’m looking forward to focusing on a few key objectives,” Wallace said. “Some of those areas of focus include establishing systems consistent with our new 501c(6) status, growing membership with an existing specific focus on actively engaging and new corporate sponsors, building our events and opportunities calendar, incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion work in all that we do, and identifying, applying and managing grants that meet the mission and vision of Shires Young Professionals.”

New Board Members Join The Shires Young Professional Board

The Shires Young Professionals also announce two newly appointed board members to begin their terms in February of 2022. Sarah Krinsky and Carolyn Gilbert, both residents of Bennington, were nominated by current members and voted in during the January board meeting to serve on the young professional board for 2-year terms.

Krinsky is the owner of My Generation Vintage and co-owner of W. Collective located on Main Street in Bennington. She currently sits on various committees and local boards including the Better Bennington Economic Vitality Committee, Bennington Area Arts Council, CAT-TV Board, Bennington Historic Preservation Committee and others.

Gilbert is an eighth generation Vermonter hailing originally from Thetford. After attending college and spending years in Albany, London and Washington DC, she relocated to Southwestern Vermont in 2021. She currently works remotely for an international non-profit development.

“We’re proud to see the momentum continue with this powerful group of young professionals in the region,” said Matt Harrington, executive director of the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce which reinstated the group in 2018. “Vermont is at a crossroads with this pandemic and a declining, aging-out-of-work population. We need to find ways to encourage new, young workers to try out Vermont as a place to live, work and play. Organizations like the Shires Young Professionals are one way we can better connect, develop and empower the area’s young Vermonters.”

The advisory board, comprised of eight volunteer seats, currently oversees group membership retention and expansion, event and social planning, advocacy efforts, volunteer activities, community partnerships and additional organization development. The Southwestern Vermont Chamber’s executive director Harrington, as well as event manager Mikaela Lewis participates in board meetings and partner with the board members to counsel, guide and support the group.

The mission of the Shires Young Professionals is to connect, develop, and empower young Vermonters (21-40yrs old) in the region and help them to emerge in their professions.

Shires Young Professionals Becomes a Nonprofit Corporation

At the end of 2021, the Young Professional group also became a nonprofit corporation with the State of Vermont. “It was always the plan for this group of young professionals to form their own legitimate organization,” explains Harrington. “Part of our regional vision for the Chamber was to create a group that would mature into an organization that could service and support the growing need for young workers in the region. The catalyst to move quickly on this was all the federal relief money coming from the pandemic. We want to make sure this young organization is well positioned to capitalize on the massive amount of funding and support that is currently available.”

Harrington continued, “In Governor Scott’s recent State of the State a major theme was enhancing workforce development efforts. We believe by supporting and growing the Shires Young Professionals group we can come alongside the state, employers and our community. Our vision is to help young professionals in the area create deep roots in our region that encourages them to stay and build a prosperous life in The Shires of Vermont.”

Wallace added, “2022 is going to be a big year for the Shires Young Professionals! I am enthusiastic about working with our new board and the varied experiences and expertise each board member brings. I also look forward to engaging with SYP members and discovering the talents and interests we have within our community. If any member has an idea for an event or initiative, an advocacy question or passion they’d like to share, I encourage members to reach out to me by phone, email or social media, and by visiting the website ”

The Shires Young Professionals kick off the New Year with a handful of digital programs including “State House Check-In 2022” with Representative Whitman and Nigro on February 7th and “LinkedIn for Young Professionals – Why It Matters & How To Make It Happen” on February 8th.

Shires Young Professionals group at a business social last Fall (courtesy Southwestern VT Chamber)

2.1.2022 (Bennington, Vermont)

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