My first YNPN National Conference was an eye opening experience. The network has had a big year of growth and a great deal of time and energy has been spent to create a collaborative process for local chapters and our national organization going forward.
My biggest take away from our time in Portland is the power of seeing the collective network in one place. Meeting chapter leaders from across the country was fantastic. It is incredibly energizing to talk to other YNPN folks. To hear what they are doing well and what are their opportunities to grow. Their challenges and successes are powerful learning opportunities. It is also a substantial reminder that our organization is a large advocate for the members we serve and has the potential to enact change in our sector.
It was also really wonderful to meet national board leaders and national YNPN staff. As our board's national liaison, the majority of my first eight months on the board has been spent talking through the affiliation agreement, listening to network wide chapter calls, and engaging with folks I hadn't ever met on equity, diversity, inclusion and sustainability issues. To put faces with names and get in some hugs makes the work ahead feel more tangible and in a way, easier.
I'm still feeling excited and energized by the things I learned and the people I was able to meet during #YNPN16. Now to plan out how to best utilize the experience gained to make a impact for our board and our members.
Jessica Griffin is YNPN Triangle NC's National Liaison. Read more about her here.