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Three years ago, a group of ambitious young professionals were planning the HBA of Metro Denver’s Young Leaders Council’s very first board meeting. So much has changed since that time, but the goals are the same: to provide an environment where young professionals in the home building industry can develop leadership skills, build relationships, and have some fun.'

2019 officially kicked off for member events in February with the Grub Club. The guest speaker was Krista Trofka, Trofka Communications Arts who discussed skills and techniques for overcoming the fear of public speaking. The YLC hosted two additional Grub Clubs this past year, both featuring top notch HBA Member speakers and YLC Board Members, Kevin Johnk and Sarah Kaplan as hosts. The July Grub Club featured a panel including Chris Presley (Gen X), Epic Homes, Gilda Zaragoza (Millennial), Invalesco Real Estate and Chris Grady (Boomer), KEPHART who discussed leadership values and perspectives in the workplace for their respective generational group. The final Grub Club of the year featured a storytelling session on ‘How I Built Colorado’ with special guests, Joel Cox, Strategus, Lita Dirks, Lita Dirks & Co. and Gene Myers, Thrive Home Builders. Also at the final Grub Club, Erin Hurley was recognized as the Young Leader Volunteer of the Year for her role as Chair of the Events Committee. Her team successfully organized 9 YLC events in 2019 and it was always with a smile, positive attitude and ‘can do’ spirit.

All these wonderful events and programs wouldn’t be possible without amazing sponsors. The YLC is incredibly grateful for their event sponsors, KGA Studio Architects, Heritage Title Company and Invalesco Real Estate. And a very big thank goes out to their YLC annual sponsors Whirlpool, Oakwood Homes, CVL Consultants of Colorado, Brookfield Residential and Ferguson/BAC for their generosity and support.

While Grub Clubs provided an opportunity for professional growth, YLC members also like to have some fun. In August they hosted their 3rd Annual Cornhole Tournament. As you can imagine, an afternoon playing cornhole, sipping a Breckenridge brew and hanging out with your fellow YLC and HBA members is a great way to spend the afternoon. A big thank you to ASR, Colorado Security Company and Core Consultants who sponsored the event. And of course, a shout out to the 2019 champions, Kevin Lovelace & Boston Blake.

2019 was also a year of collaboration between the YLC and other HBA Councils such as the Professional Women in Building (PWB) and Custom Builder and Remodeler Council (CBRC). YLC and PWB hosted three Coffee & Connections events, where members mingled and networked over breakfast. And of course, the year wouldn’t be complete without some fun and libations. YLC and CBRC hosted a happy hour event at Top Golf in May, as well as Builders, Brews, and Brats in November. These collaborations provided an opportunity to meet new people and provide higher quality events for members.

Speaking of beer…. Well, beers and books that is. This past year the YLC really kicked their book club into high gear with over 20 participants throughout the year. Kevin Johnk hosted three discussion sessions at Grandma’s House Brewery and the groups read the Go Giver by Bob Burg and Dare to Lead by Berne Brown. ‘It’s not your Grandma’s book club’ said YLC Chair, Stephanie Graham. And thank you to Redland for sponsoring the beers and the books!
Mentoring is also a high priority for the YLC. They continue to partner with PWB to provide mentorship opportunities for their members. Both PWB and YLC members can participate as a mentor or a mentee. The Mentorship Committee pairs individuals based on their goals, interests, skill set and experience.

YLC Members volunteering at Denver Rescue MissionWhile leadership, professional growth and fun are all cornerstones to the council, YLC members are also passionate about giving back to the community. They volunteered 107 hours of community service in 2019 and assisted 4 Colorado non-profits. The activities included packing 1,000 sack lunches at IMPACT Humanity, assisting HomeAid Colorado during their Builders for Babies diaper drive, building a ramp with Home Builders Foundation and serving 400 breakfasts at Denver Rescue Mission.

The YLC is thriving - and plans for 2020 are currently underway. The 2020 YLC Board of Directors met in January for their annual ‘retreat’ where they collaborate on the council’s activities and programs for the year. In 2020 you can expect to see many of the same great events and programs as in 2019, but of course the Board works hard to make sure the content is fresh and relevant and you can expect to see some new twists. February’s Grub Club – now called Eats & Inspiration is open for registration and will feature a timely presentation on The Art of Networking, and January’s Book Club just started! Hope to see you at an event in 2020!

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