Welcome to the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Southern Nevada, and a rather late welcome to 2021!

I’d like to discuss first about what 2020 meant. It was our 10th anniversary, a milestone which we can be proud of. It was also a year that will last long in memory. From the reckoning of deep-rooted injustices with the Black Lives Matter movement, repeated political crises, devastating climate events, the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the personal losses so many of us have experienced, it has been an incredibly difficult year for all of us.

Given all that was going on, I am extremely proud of what our board has accomplished. Facing a pandemic which deprived us of the opportunity to conduct our traditional networking and programming events, we huddled, experimented, and delivered more than 20 events, most of which were virtual, continuing to add value to our 150+ members and many more in the community. Taking in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, we reflected on our role and mission, had deep conversations about our core values and what we really stand for, and developed, in the process, a comprehensive strategic plan, a living document that will hopefully guide us for years to come. Best of all, we recruited seven fantastic new board members who will join the seven returning members for what I am confident will be an impressive 2021.

These achievements are a testament to the dedication and service from YNPN SoNV’s board and members. Whether they have left the organization or are returning, their contributions are at the heart of what we do and who we are. We owe our success, moreover, to the incredible leadership of our departing co-chairs, Liza Golikova and Page Patten, who steadfastly held us together and who will always remain our inspiration as members of the YNPN family.

I would like to lay out, then, a personal vision for YNPN SoNV in 2021, not just as a co-chair, but also as a young nonprofit professional in an irrevocably changed world. The COVID-19 vaccines promise to bring an end to the pandemic, but they will not bring an end to the other challenges at hand: the reckoning with broken promises for a multiracial American democracy, the grave poverty facing millions whose struggles will continue long past the last vaccination, the deep divisions cleaving us apart — and the role in which the nonprofit community can and must play in facing down these monumental challenges.

We must, therefore, step up; it begins now, and it begins by cultivating our own potential as people and as leaders. I see 2021 not only as a year of healing, but also a year of hope, a year of progress, and of hard work to come. I am excited about the passions displayed by our board members both new and returning. I am also excited about the programming that we will deliver, the partnerships we will build, the skills we — board director and members both — will help each other develop, and the friendships and connections we will make. I very much look forward to partnering with my fellow co-chair Noelle to make this vision a reality.

I am confident that we will all see each other in person once more before 2022 arrives. Until then.

With hope and love,

Seth Wongsavit

Dear Community,

I want to start by welcoming you to what I am encouraged to believe will be a much brighter year ahead.

Before diving more into that, a bit of exciting news–in 2020, YNPN Southern Nevada reached a milestone. As an organization, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary! While we have yet to plan a celebratory event to commemorate our organization’s legacy, our board of directors did respond to the events of 2020 in a different way–we reflected on our organization’s history, on the state of the world, and on current events, which inspired a journey several months long of strategic planning for YNPN’s path forward.

At the start of 2020, and inspired by the leadership and vision of one of our board members, we took a deep dive into our organization’s history through the stories of board alumni as well as through narratives of prior events, programs, and partnerships. Our Whovian time travels of sorts would allow us to get better acquainted with our organization’s roots, lessons learned, and opportunities, to inform our future goals. Shortly after this work began to develop, our lives were turned around by COVID-19 and by an account of police brutality that struck all of us to our very core and ignited the Black Lives Matter movement worldwide.

As a board, we engaged in important and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about how we want to serve our community in light of these events. We took a deep dive into our organization’s work and developed a strategic plan that centered heavily on meeting the needs of our members and community presently and responsively. We reevaluated our values to more closely reflect what inspires our work and how we operate, including strengthening and sustaining partnerships, creating more opportunities for connection and collaboration with members and the community even in a virtual context, and committing to advocate for racial justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are proud of the vision we have ahead to empower and work alongside our peers– fellow emerging nonprofit and social sector professionals.

Carrying on the legacy of YNPN’s founders and board alumni and our organization’s mission is an honor. I’m inspired by our 2021 board members, both new and returning. The level of passion all of our team members have to serve you, our community, is inspiring. We’re so excited to bring engaging events and programming forth in a virtual space until we can safely meet again in person.

I cannot end this letter without a note of love, first for our 2020 team, who, despite a year navigating challenges impacting our community and challenges both personal and private, continued to show up to board meetings with a heart to serve. And finally, for our amazing 2020 Co-Chairs, Elizaveta “Liza” Golikova and Page Patten, who lead our organization through a very tough year with tremendous grace, empathy, integrity, and vulnerability.

Here’s to a new year full of possibility, light, and hope, and to reaching our personal and professional goals. We got this!

With warmest wishes,

Noelle Jefferson

P.S. We would love to connect with you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about YNPN.

Seth Wongsavit:
Noelle Jefferson: