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Happy New Year!

My name is Sarah Betzer and I am the chair of EMERGE Lakeland’s Steering committee for 2021.

I have been involved with EMERGE for the past four years, serving as the Volunteer committee chair for two years and most recently as the Steering committee vice chair. I joined EMERGE because I wanted to meet other young professionals, volunteer in the community, and attend professional development courses. I didn’t plan to serve on the board, but I accepted the position when the opportunity was presented to me. I am thankful that I accepted a leadership role as it has taught me many valuable lessons—and I have made many new friendships along the way.

In 2020, we took some time to reflect and reorganize—and now we are re-energized and ready to re-engage with our members! We love hearing from you, and took the feedback we received from last year’s survey to shape our events for 2021 Be on the lookout, as we will continue to have surveys after events, and annually, to make EMERGE even better for its members.

We are looking forward to CONNECTING with our current—and potential—members this year. If you are new to EMERGE or have been a long-time member, we are thankful that you hung in there with us in 2020. If you are new or interested in joining, we hope you will be interested in attending our safe and socially distanced events. (One of my favorite EMERGE events is a six-week program called EMERGE Serves. This program teaches one how to become an effective board member. Stay tuned for more details on this one.)

One of our goals this year is to develop deeper relationships with our members. We want to create a COMMUNITY of young professionals and provide our members networking opportunities with each other and the Lakeland Chamber. We also have planned social events, professional development events, and philanthropic activities. Our partner, the United Way of Central Florida, and their partner agencies, provide us with a great deal of volunteer opportunities.

EMERGE is a great resource to young professionals in Lakeland. We hope our members find value through meeting new people, training for board service, learning from local experts at professional development events, meeting community leaders, and making meaningful friendships and connections with others.

If you recently joined EMERGE or have been a member for years, we want to encourage you to consider joining a committee. Serving on a committee gives you the opportunity to make stronger connections with other EMERGE members while also giving input in planning our events. We have five committees to choose from. You can learn more about serving on a committee, committee chairs, meeting dates, and locations on our website. Please reach out to the committee chair if you are interested in joining a committee.

We hope that you enjoy the events we have planned this year and we look forward to connecting and serving with you.

Best wishes,

Sarah Betzer

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