PLATTSBURGH - The Adirondack Young Professionals - a nonprofit organization which focuses on creating networking opportunities for young professionals in the North Country - will host its fourth annual economic forum Thursday, Feb. 10, at Olive Ridley's, 37 Court St.
Keri L. Mack, president of the ADKYP board of directors, said the forum will feature a panel of community leaders who will discuss various topics relating to quality of life issues as they pertain to young professionals in our region.
"The purpose of the forum every year is to provide an outlet for young professionals in the community to talk about issues relating to the economy that directly affects them," said Mack.
The focus of last year's forum was on green issues and their relation to economic development, said Mack. That was timed with the focus of President Barack Obama on green initiatives following his election in 2009.
"This year, we decided to focus more on quality of life issues," said Mack. "We decided that is an area that a lot of young professionals are very interested in and that's why people are moving here. We want to know why people are moving here, if people who live here are happy with their decision to live here, what makes people stay here."
The featured panelists this year will speak to their own experiences of being drawn to or beginning a business in the North Country. Sharing their experiences and fielding questions about quality of life and economic development will be Rick Leibowitz, director of the North Country Small Business Development Center; Erin Hynes, economic developer for The Development Corporation; Kerry Haley, executive director of the Foundation of CVPH Medical Center; Nikki Wright, director of lending services with the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation; and Josh Kretser, owner of pod studio.
This year's forum will be moderated by Jeremiah S. Papineau, senior editor for the Plattsburgh office of Denton Publications.
"I think that this year's format, and with Jeremiah Papineau as our moderator, it's going to be more interactive," said Mack. "Before, we had more of a question and answer format. Now, we'll have more of an open discussion, but will still have time for questions and answers."
"I'm looking forward to this year's economic forum," said Papineau, who oversees production of the 'burgh and North Countryman, two weekly newspapers for Denton Publications. "It gives members of the community a chance to hear from those really active in the local business community and to have their questions answered. Open dialogue like this is important to recruiting and retaining qualified workers in our region."
The forum will begin at 5:30 p.m., ending at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.
For more information, call 335-8125.