Valarie Handy has been selected as the incoming Chair of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals program for 2018 and 2019.
“I am ecstatic to take on this increased level of leadership and responsibility within a program that I have been dedicated to for nearly a decade,” said Handy. “The TCYP program is a valuable resource in our community. It fosters the growth and connection of young people and prepares them to become thoughtful, educated leaders of our community.”
Handy began her involvement with the YP program shortly after its inception, and served for over five years as the Chair of its Volunteer Committee. She’s been a familiar face to YPs and the community at large. She is an active volunteer in the Traverse City Community and has professionally supported measurable impacts in rural communities across Michigan through her position as the Statewide Community Development Specialist for USDA Rural Development-Michigan. Handy is also the current Vice Chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission for the Charter Township of Garfield, an election Precinct Chair for the City of Traverse City, a Venue Manager for the Traverse City Film Festival and a Content Producer for UpNorth Media.
As Chair, Handy will lead the program’s Executive Committee and serve on the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as an ex-officio board member.
She replaces outgoing YP Chair Lauren Harris, who served in the position for the past two years.
“As my second and final year as YP Chair comes to a close, I wanted to share my humble appreciation and thankfulness for the generosity of those who have helped to continue to take the YP program to new heights. With the help of all of our rock star YP committees, the TC Chamber, and its members, we made it happen,” said Harris. “I hope many have been positively impacted as a result.”
When Harris took on the role as program Chair in 2015 she set ambitious goals to provide a new level of opportunity and influence for those looking to make northern Michigan home. The YP program currently offers five different formats for involvement as well as an online component that connects young professionals to each other and the community at large.
“The best part is – we’re not done,” Harris said. “Valarie Handy is the perfect person to continue the current momentum and provide new opportunities for us to enhance the quality of life for everyone who wants to live, work and play in northern Michigan.”
For more information about the Traverse City Young Professionals program please connect with us on Facebook or Instagram and visit http://tcchamber.org/programs/tcyp/ as we continue to update the site with new program features in 2018. Mark your calendars for the January 18, 2018 YP Morning Brew session from 8 – 9 a.m. at the Chamber where updated goals and a vision for the future of the YP program will be discussed.