Young Pros Tillamook off to a great start

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Connecting, growing and engaging: That’s what the Young Pros Tillamook network is all about.

The network has now been active for four months here in Tillamook, and I wanted to share a little bit of information about how things are going. Spoiler alert: Things are off to a great start!

We launched Young Pros Tillamook in February and welcomed nearly 50 people to the launch party. The idea was to bring a group of likeminded young professionals together to grow, connect and engage with each other and the broader Tillamook community. They’d grow with professional and personal development workshops; connect with networking and social events; and engage through community service and volunteerism. All three pieces combined create a dynamic and meaningful experience for our young pros.

After our launch party, we met again in March to “Find Our Y” at a combination networking and growth event. The Young Pros broke off into small groups of five and asked one another questions off of “Ken Cards,” fun yet insightful sets of conversation starters that skirt the small talk and lead to deeper conversation and connections. The Ken Card questions covered everything from mundane memories that made a big impact, to whether someone would be the lion tamer, acrobat or clown in a circus. The idea was that by asking, answering and talking about these questions, each person would get to know more about each other — and reflect inward on the things that drive them.

In April, we partnered with Bryton Dorland and Brett Hurliman, two amazing local public speakers with tons of experience, to host the “Speak Up!” workshop sponsored by Tillamook Rotary Club. The Young Pros got out of their comfort zone to give five-minute-long impromptu speeches in front of each other. Then, the workshop hosts gave them feedback and tips to improve. The attendees all walked away with new confidence about speaking in front of people.

Then in May, we invited the Young Pros to their very first engage event: Downtown Tillamook Cleanup. The group lent a hand as the Chamber and other community members spruced up the sidewalks and signs in preparation for summer. It was so amazing to watch our Young Pros give back to the community where they live, work and play. They demonstrated how much they care for Tillamook and left our city sparkling!

With Cork & Brew and June Dairy Parade scheduled for June, the Young Pros event lineup will take a month off, so our members can enjoy these community events. We’ll regroup in July for more workshops, social events and volunteer days.

If you have an idea for a Young Pros event, please reach out to We’d love to partner with you to learn from your expertise, volunteer with your organization or simply host a networking event at your business.

And if you are a young professional or know of a young professional who is interested in joining the Young Pros Tillamook network, we encourage you to visit There, you’ll find more information and the form to sign up.

P.S. Membership for 2022 is already covered, thanks to a generous donation from the Tillamook County Creamery Association. That means you can get access to training, networking and service events, as well as the Young Pros app (which comes pre-loaded with awesome deals from community partners), all for free! It’s a great way to test the waters and see if this group is a good fit for you.