New Young Professionals Group Aims to Create Community Connections

13 Feb 2017

A Sun Theater date night, a St. Patty’s Day party and a local fund-raiser are just a few of the events lined up for the new Holdrege Young Professionals group that is getting into full swing this year.

In 2016, PCDC Project Coordinator Alli Donohue conducted focus group meetings of Phelps County young professionals and discovered that there was a need for leadership education, social and networking opportunities and avenues to connect with local businesses and industries.

As a result of those focus groups, Holdrege Young Professionals has formed to meet those needs.

Tana Fye, a local attorney, attended a focus group meeting last summer, and now she is serving as president of Holdrege Young Professionals.

“My husband and I are transplants to Holdrege,” Tana said. “We know how difficult it can be for new people, and new professionals in particular, to make connections in the community and to feel a part of it. I saw a need in the community for a group where young adults can make connections, both professionally and socially.”

Tana said she hopes the group can provide a place for professionals, whether they are natives to the area or new to the area, to meet other professionals and make connections.

The community connections formed in Holdrege Young Professionals may also impact local businesses.

“It's important for our local businesses that employees feel connected to their community, and our hope is that this can help that occur,” Tana said. “Businesses in Phelps County need young people to work for them to continue to grow and stay relevant. Young professionals are much more likely to come to work in Phelps County and stay here if we have a vibrant community for them to participate in.”

Besides Tana, the leadership team for the group includes Alli Donohue, secretary; Matt Simpson, treasurer; and Allison Fritsche, Chamber of Commerce Liaison.

Committee leaders are Mary McDermott and Grant Erickson, Leadership Education; Kate Markley and Jana Punelli, Social/Networking; Jared Markley, Mark Kraus and Jason Hines, Business & Industry; Chris McQuillan and Allison Fritsche, Recruitment/Welcome.

Tana said they have developed an exciting calendar of events for 2017.

“They are a mixture of social, networking, leadership development, and business development events, so there's really something for everyone,” she said. 

The first official event is a Date Night on February 16 at the Sun Theater. The social hour starts at 6:30 p.m., with a romantic comedy to follow. The cost to participate is $10 per person and includes popcorn and beverages.

The 2017 calendar of events also includes:

  • BD & Beers St. Patty’s Day Party (March 17),
  • Ballfields Fund Raiser (May 5) and
  • Swedish Days Canoe Races (June 17).

Other events include a social in August, local politics speakers in September, Rotary Grocery Grab in October, partnering with the Phelps County Community Foundation’s Future Fund for a progressive dinner in November and a Downtown Late Night Shopping Date Night in December.

To get more information about upcoming events, or to join the organization, e-mail Tana at or Alli Donohue at PCDC at, or "like" our Holdrege Young Professionals Facebook page. There is no cost to join and no dues.