What is the NYP?

Natchitoches Young Professionals is dedicated to developing our community’s current and future business leaders with membership available to anyone between the ages of 21 and 40 who lives, works, learns or plays in the greater Natchitoches area. A program of the Community Affairs Division of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, the NYP was founded in January of 2015. We’re a young organization. Come grow with us!

 What Are We Up To?

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Meet us at the Cove tonight! Door prizes, food, drink specials and more! Bring your business cards and come Network! ... See MoreSee Less

NYP November Social

November 16, 2017, 5:30pm - November 16, 2017, 7:30pm

Join us for our third Thursday social at The Cove Bar & Grill at Mariner's Restaurant. All of our socials are free to attend, and there will be free appetizers and drink specials for all NYP members! ---------------- Our social events are designed for you to mix and mingle with our young professionals from our area; so come network with us and learn about some new things we have in store for 2018! Want to know more about NYP? Membership is just $35 per year and provides you exclusive access to some of our events. Membership dues help support our efforts to provide more networking events, professional development, and sometimes just fun events/parties for young professionals in our area. Visit natchitocheschamber.com/nyp or follow us on all of our social media Natchitoches Young Professionals @ChamberNYP to learn more.

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Please drop off your gently used professional attire either to the Chamber office during regular business hours before November 30 or you can bring it to our Social on Thursday at the Cove! ... See MoreSee Less

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Don’t forget about our social on Thursday at the Cove! #NYP #social #bethere #orbesquare ... See MoreSee Less

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Join us for our third Thursday social at The Cove Bar & Grill at Mariner's Restaurant. All of our socials are free to attend, and there will be free appetizers and drink specials for all NYP members!
----------------
Our social events are designed for you to mix and mingle with our young professionals from our area; so come network with us and learn about some new things we have in store for 2018!

Want to know more about NYP? Membership is just $35 per year and provides you exclusive access to some of our events. Membership dues help support our efforts to provide more networking events, professional development, and sometimes just fun events/parties for young professionals in our area.

Visit natchitocheschamber.com/nyp or follow us on all of our social media Natchitoches Young Professionals @ChamberNYP to learn more.
... See MoreSee Less

NYP November Social

November 16, 2017, 5:30pm - November 16, 2017, 7:30pm

Join us for our third Thursday social at The Cove Bar & Grill at Mariner's Restaurant. All of our socials are free to attend, and there will be free appetizers and drink specials for all NYP members! ---------------- Our social events are designed for you to mix and mingle with our young professionals from our area; so come network with us and learn about some new things we have in store for 2018! Want to know more about NYP? Membership is just $35 per year and provides you exclusive access to some of our events. Membership dues help support our efforts to provide more networking events, professional development, and sometimes just fun events/parties for young professionals in our area. Visit natchitocheschamber.com/nyp or follow us on all of our social media Natchitoches Young Professionals @ChamberNYP to learn more.

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ChamberNYP @ChamberNYP
Chamber NYP  @ChamberNYP
Fellow NYP Member Meagan Cobb will be headed to the Livingston/ Houston area on Thursday morning… https://t.co/ognko2mlVp 
Chamber NYP  @ChamberNYP
We had a great turnout for our social tonight! Thanks to everyone who came! Find out more about #NYP at… https://t.co/f2Ahj4rJ9M 
Chamber NYP  @ChamberNYP
RT @Haleybelle1:Coach Brad Laird speaking to the Natchitoches Young Professionals @ChamberNYP @NSUDemons #Nvolved https://t.co/BiIKKHh63W 
Chamber NYP  @ChamberNYP
We hope to see you at tonight's social! $5 Blueberry Smash Margaritas, delicious food, great… https://t.co/rxMbu33smx 
Chamber NYP  @ChamberNYP
Don't forget our social this Thursday, August 17th at 5:30 pm at Maglieaux's! We will have giant… https://t.co/KNM8jzgH5S 

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Meet The Board

Vanner Erikson

Vanner Erikson

Chair | Sub Committee(s): Kickstarter Concepts, Public Relations

Van Erikson is the Associate Director of Alumni Affairs at Northwestern State University.  He is a native of Loreauville, Louisiana, and has been living in Natchitoches since he attended NSU.  He attended NSU from 2007-2013, receiving a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations in 2011 and a master’s degree in adult education and continuing education in 2013.  He plans to pursue a doctoral degree in the years to come.  Van is married to Aly, and they have a daughter Landry who is almost 3 years old.

Van is very involved in the Natchitoches community.  In addition to serving as the Chair of NYP, Van is the Vice President of Community Development for the Natchitoches Area Jaycees (a men’s service group, and junior chamber), Board Member of the  Cane River National Heritage Area, and the NSU Commissioner for the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission.  Van also serves as the Development and Marketing board member for the Northwestern State Demon Regiment and the Chapter Advisor for Theta Chi Fraternity at NSU.

Kenneth Ellzey

Kenneth Ellzey

Sub Committee(s): Social Committee (Chair)

Kenneth is a native of Natchitoches and owner of Blue Frog Technology.  He graduated from Bossier Parish Community College with an Associate’s in Computer Information Systems and holds several industry specific certifications.

Samantha Bonnette

Samantha Bonnette

Subcommitee(s): Kickstarter Concepts

Samantha Bonnette, Main Street & Public Relations Manager for the City of Natchitoches, is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans. She began a career in marketing and event planning with Harrah’s New Orleans Casino in 2003, and relocated to Cleveland, Ohio in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina to continue a casino marketing career. After seven years in the casino industry, Samantha decided that she needed a career change and looked for a way to give back to her community. She returned home to Natchitoches and began working with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for children). In April 2013, Samantha took on the role of Main Street and Public Relations Manager for the City of Natchitoches and manages several programs for the City including the Natchitoches Main Street Program, Cane River Green Market, Keep Natchitoches Beautiful and Beau Jardin.

Corbin Covher

Corbin Covher

Corbin Covher is the Art Facilities Manager/ Adjunct Professor for the Art Department at Northwestern State University. He is also the Art Director for the Neo-Renaissance Collective, a group of polymaths hoping to enrich the community with creativity. He recieved his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois in 2002. He recieved an M.A. from NSU in 2011and an M.F.A. from the University of New Orleans in 2014. He was recently married to Natalie Covher who is currently the Lifestyle Editor of the Natchitoches Times.

Rodrick McIntosh

Rodrick McIntosh

Sub Committee(s): Public Relations

 

Haley Blount

Haley Blount

Chair | Sub Committee(s): Public Relations

Haley Blount is the Assistant Athletic Director for development and marketing at Northwestern State University. She attended Northwestern State University from 2002-2007 while competing four years as a member of the NSU track & field team. She earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 2006 and a master’s degree in sport administration in 2007. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Louisiana Tech University. Haley is very involved in the Natchitoches community.  In addition to serving as the Chair for NYP, Haley is currently serving as the president of Les Amies Service Organization of Natchitoches (a women’s service group) and the vice-president of the Kiwanis Club of Natchitoches.  Other notable contributions to the Natchitoches community include volunteering with Natchitoches Hope for Paws, Relay for Life, and the Natchitoches Parish Special Olympics. “I am thrilled to be a part of this new and enthused group of young people and eager to continue working on making Natchitoches an even better place to live, work and grow, both professionally and personally.  I’m very thankful for the opportunity to serve as your 2015 NYP Chair.”

 

Stewart Carnline

Stewart Carnline

Sub Committee(s): Pub Crawl

Stewart is a native of neighboring Many, Louisiana.  After spending a few years in Baton Rouge, Stewart and and his wife, Erin, decided to make the move to Natchitoches, Erin’s hometown.  Stewart and Erin have a son, Cole, and are currently expecting a baby girl in March 2016.  Stewart is currently an account manager with CP-TEL Network Services.  In addition to NYP, Stewart is also actively involved in the Natchitoches Area Jaycees as well as the Many Lions Club.

Danielle Rhine

Danielle Rhine

Sub Committee(s): Social Committee, Philanthropic

Danielle Rhine is a native of Natchitoches’ sister city Nacogdoches, but the City of Lights holds a special place in her heart. She is a graduate of Northwestern State University, where she received her B.A. degree in Criminal Justice. During her time at NSU, she was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and was very involved in the community with various service organizations. Danielle enjoys being involved in the Natchitoches community. In addition to her position on the board of Natchitoches Young Professionals, Danielle is a member of Les Amies Service Organization of Natchitoches (a women’s service group) and the Natchitoches Historic Foundation. Danielle has grown to love the small-town atmosphere of Natchitoches and enjoys promoting the city to potential new members of the community!

Justin Rhodes

Justin Rhodes

Sub Committee(s): Lunch with Leaders (Chair), Dirty Dozen

Justin graduated from Mississippi State in 2007 with a degree in Civil Engineering. In 2006, he married his wife Ashli and they have three girls, Ady, Anistyn and Charlee. Justin is a member of Jaycees, a board member of Natchitoches Young Professionals, and is on the Executive Committee for the NSU Athletic Association.

Lauryn Sharplin

Lauryn Sharplin

Sub Committee(s): Philanthropic (chair)

Raised in Baton Rouge, La, Lauryn moved to Natchitoches in 2002 to attend Northwestern State University where she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management Tourism. Since its opening in 2011, Lauryn has been the general manager of Comfort Suites Natchitoches. In addition to NYP, Lauryn also serves on the board for the Les Amies Service Organization and the Coastal Conservation Association Natchitoches Chapter. Lauryn is also involved with the Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission and the American Cancer Society.

Jennifer Sheffield

Jennifer Sheffield

Jennifer Sheffield was born & raised in Plano, TX until she left the great state…to find a much greater state.  Jennifer attended LSU and received a B.A. in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. After working in NYC and Dallas for several years Jennifer moved to Natchitoches in 2006 to get married & where she also begin working at Sabine State Bank as the A.V.P./ Director of Marketing. Sheffield worked in marketing for the bank for nine-and-a-half years  before making a career shift, or leap rather. Sheffield completed a Yoga Teacher Training in New Orleans to become a Registered Yoga Teacher and opened Spark studio, a yoga, pilates & wellness studio, in Natchitoches in February of 2016. The shift began with her own yoga practice and wanting to share its benefits with the community.
Jennifer has served on various boards in the community such as Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club of Natchitoches, Les Amies Service Organization, Boys & Girls Club of the El Camino Real. Jennifer also has been involved with the Service League of Natchitoches, the American Cancer Society and teaches Tai Chi at the Council on Aging.
Jennifer is married to James Sheffield, an NYP member and co-owner of Sheffield & Sheffield, LLC; they have two children, Gannon & Avery Katherine; two dogs, Harley & Fancy and some chickens.

You!

You!

Have a passion for helping strengthen Natchitoches? Our Board consists of 11 members, but we are constantly searching for new talent that can keep the organization fresh. Get in touch. Get involved!

Our Chamber of Commerce Oversight

Tony Davis

Tony Davis

President/CEO, Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce

Tony Davis, Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, has served as President/CEO since October 2010.   He is also President of the newly formed Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation, Inc., a position created in January 2015. He is a native of Natchitoches, Louisiana and graduate of Northwestern State University where he received his BS in Business Administration. Tony is a licensed real estate broker (inactive) and served as the 2014 President of the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Executives (LACCE).  He currently serves on the Center for Chamber of Commerce Excellence (CCCE) Board and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) Board. He is active with the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association (LIDEA) and is currently pursuing certification as a Louisiana Economic Developer (LCED). He has served on several other boards in the past, including the Jaycees, D.O.V.E.S., the Board of Realtors, and the Natchitoches Parish Children and Youth Planning Board.

James Rhodes

James Rhodes

Chamber Board Liaison to NYP, Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce

James graduated from Louisiana Tech in 2001 with a degree in Civil Engineering. In 2008, he married his wife Ali and they have twin girls, Kaylie and Kendall. James is on the board of directors for the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce and is also on the board of directors for the NSU Athletic Association.

Get Involved

Lunch with Leaders

The goal of the committee is to coordinate six (6) lunch events annually (one every other month), unless otherwise directed by the board o Each lunch will highlight one or two local “Leaders”—successful members of the community that have managed to incorporate their passion into a successful career o NYP members will be able to listen to and converse with these “Leaders” to learn from their experiences o The size of the audience should be appropriate to keep the event intimate, with easy access to the speaker(s) and message

Third Thursday Socials

The goal of the committee is to facilitate networking opportunities for our members in a social setting This committee is responsible for organizing the following:

  • Ten (10) “3 rd Thursday” Monthly Socials per year (one of which will be in conjunction with a Chamber After Hours Event)
  • A signature event that will take the place of a “3 rd Thursday” Monthly Social
  • Casual get-togethers as needed, unless otherwise directed by the board
  • Recognizing that many business relationships can begin as friendships, these events should provide a venue where friendships and networking can be fostered

Kickstarter Concepts

  • The goal of the committee is to facilitate group projects among NYP members by providing support to project leaders
  • This committee is responsible for helping stand-up groups to satisfy demonstrated “wants” in the community
  • Projects should always add to or accentuate the positive quality of life in and around Natchitoches for young professionals and families while exploring new ideas and concepts

Philanthropy

The goal of this committee is to offer philanthropic opportunities. These opportunities are ones that are geared toward goodwill and improving the welfare of others in and around our community. They are not about fundraising, but for us to give back to our community. o The events should be causes in which our members can spend quality time enhancing the community. They should be causes that one can believe in and feel good about helping with and promoting in our community.

Get in Touch!

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