We recently caught up with our resident awesome guy Zach Yentzer to talk about Tucson Young Professionals!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what TYP does.
I moved to the Tucson area in 2002 with my family, to take care of an aging family member. I’ve been here ever since, except for 3 years away at college. My wife Charlotte and I have 3 kids; 5, 3 and 1. I think Tucson has the opportunity to be a world-class city, and I’ve dedicated the last 10 years of my life and the foreseeable future to making that happen.
Tucson Young Professionals is the largest network of young working professionals aged 21-45 in the state, (nearing 1,000-strong!) dedicated to retaining, attracting and promoting young people in our community. We hope to create the most inclusive, prosperous and innovative Greater Tucson Region, through being a platform for connection, professional growth and advocating for community good.
What made you decide to take on your leadership role at TYP?
I was looking to take on a professional role that would allow me to be more involved in the Tucson community and its future. I was on the Board of TYP at the time (early 2019), and when board leadership decided to try growing a staff, I decided to come off the Board and pursue that. The rest is history!
What are some of the beliefs and focuses of TYP that align with your own beliefs?
TYP’s focus on retaining and attracting talented young people in their careers has been a focus of mine for a while. The prospects of what happens when, together, we commit to growing professionally and impacting the community excites me. And, a focus on educating ourselves on the issues that impact us, so we can educate our community leadership on what we want to see in the community, are a few things that align with what I’m passionate about.
What is your favorite type of event TYP does and why?
The CEO Roundtable! An amazing hour and a half monthly where we get to connect with, hear from and speak to a C-suite leader in the community, from the public, private or education sectors. Nowhere else would we get the chance to learn from leaders at that level, in this up-close and relational way
What are some benefits of becoming a member of TYP and who can join?
TYP Members gain access to all of our mixers, CEO Roundtables, professional development trainings and offerings, our big annual events like the ignite520 conference; access to our Board and Committees to work on issues like Philanthropy, Arts and Culture, etc., our incredible TYP Mentorship program with top-flight leaders and more!
If people are a little older or younger than the cutoff age for TYP, what are some organizations they can get involved in that do similar work?
Tucson has some great organizations like chambers of commerce, industry-specific networking associations, a large nonprofit community, and more that are great places to get involved during/after TYP!
What did you do before TYP and how did it lead to your current position?
The path was winding! I worked with and for faith-based churches and nonprofits for a while, was the co-manager of the largest coffee company in Tucson (Savaya Coffee Market), and was a local radio talk-show host. Overall, community engagement and networking led to my current position (as is often the case in Tucson!)
You’re running for mayor! Did TYP have something to do with wanting to get more politically involved?
In part. Getting to hear from 21-45 year-old professionals in Tucson the last few years, about the opportunities and challenges they’re having growing families, careers, etc. in the region was certainly an education! Learning about the things that make people want to come and stay, or leave, communities was another that made me think more carefully about what Tucson’s opportunities and challenges are and what I might be able to do personally to make it a great place.
What do you think young people are missing out on if they don’t join TYP?
Relationships that root them here, professional development that helps them grow, and community involvement opportunities to thrive!
What is something you care deeply about that you want to see TYP and the Tucson community generally do more of?
Tucson has some incredible assets when it comes to space technology and exploration, mining and biosciences/bio tech. And yet, our economy lags the state, region and nation, while many of our young people have difficulty finding good-paying work. We need to get more laser-focused on our New Economy strengths and making those work for us.
What is some advice you’d give to young professionals who just moved to Tucson?
Your success is dependent on your investment in relationships and community here. Period. For better or for worse, you will not be able to just parachute in without getting involved, and be successful. On the other hand, 6-12 months of intentional engagement in community and you will have all the relationships and networks you need to do really well! It’s a great community in that way.
What advice would you give your younger self?
One’s professional life will not be linear, it will take twists and turns and you have to be open to going with those twists and turns and exploring what it all means for your next steps of professional and personal growth!
Common Workspace is located right downtown, and it is so convenient for attending TYP events and other great networking events happening all the time. Now that you know more about TYP, we encourage you to check out some of their roundtable events and meet other awesome movers and shakers like you! You never know what connections may lead to. Being a part of the Common community keeps you involved with local networking events and happenings in downtown and beyond.