AYC Announces President and 8 New Directors to Board

AUSTIN, Texas—(March 2, 2012)—The Austin Young Chamber of Commerce (AYC), Texas’ largest young professional organization, recently announced Blake Absher will serve as President of the AYC Board of Directors for 2012Absher, Vice President and Business Services Officer at BB&T Bank, has been an AYC member for 3 years and was most recently Chair of AYC’s Community Committee.

“Being actively involved in the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce has been an incredible experience,” says Blake Absher, 2012 AYC President. “I’m honored to lead such a talented and vibrant group of young professionals.”

AYC also adds eight new members to the Board for 2012-2013 who will each begin two-year terms in 2012. A.J. Bingham, Jodi Fernandez, Michelle Graham, John King, Gordon Moore, Ali Putnam, Lindsey Tyner and Chelsea Woodhead join eight returning board members this year.

“Under the leadership and direction of the new Board, we look forward to another successful year of providing central Texas’s young professionals with a variety of opportunities for professional growth and development,” says Melanie Plummer, executive director of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce.

Board of Directors, 2012-2013:
Blake Absher, President, Community Committee– Blake is the Vice President, Business Services Officer at BB&T Bank. Blake previously served as the Chair of the Community Committee and will lead the Board of Directors and provide direction for strategic growth in 2012.

Tommy Belton, Chair, AYC FAVE Awards- Tommy is the Group Sales Manager for the Driskill Hotel. He chairs the AYC Favorite Austin Ventures and Enterprises (FAVE), an annual awards gala honoring Austin area businesses that cater to young professionals.

A.J. Bingham- Fundraising Chair- A.J. serves as a legislative aide and registered lobbyist with McWilliams Governmental Affairs Consultants, a full-service government affairs firm. He will provide support for individual and event fundraising efforts for AYC.

Jodi Fernandez- Chair, Imagine Committee- Jodi is the owner of Silver Cake Studio, a custom cake bakery. She chairs the AYC Imagine Committee, which provides AYC members the opportunity to connect to the local Austin arts and culture scene.

Michelle Graham, Communications Chair- Michelle is the CEO of Bounce, a full-service marketing-communications agency. She will lead all communications initiatives for AYC programs and events.

Nathan Green- Chair, Apprentice Austin- Nathan is co-founder of campus2careers and AYC.  He serves as the Chair of Apprentice Austin, a city-wide mentoring program that pairs up top local college students with a young professional in their area of career interest to develop tomorrow’s leaders of Austin.

John King, Chair, Energy Committee – John is the Senior Associate with Focused Advocacy, a public affairs firm. John will oversee AYC’s Energy and Sustainability Committee, which focuses on the energy industry in central Texas.

Gordon Moore, Chair, Government Relations – Gordon is an account executive with Public Strategies, Inc. He will launch and oversee AYCs government relations committee, including voter registration drives, candidate forums and other public policy initiatives for young professionals.

Jonathan Peters, Chair, Poker Tournament- Jonathan is the Director of Business Development at Southern Pan Services. He chairs the Poker Tournament, an annual event featuring No Limit Texas Hold’em Poker that benefits the AYC.

Colin Pope, Vice President, Education– Colin is the Editor at the Austin Business Journal. He is Vice President of the AYC Speaker Series, monthly luncheons designed to develop and educate Austin’s young professionals. Past speakers include Mack Brown, University of Texas Men’s Football Coach, Tim McClure, Co-Founder of GSD&M and Clayton Christopher, Founder of Sweet Leaf Tea.

Ali Putnam, Chair, Tailgate Committee- Ali is the Media and Community Relations Manger for Circuit of the Americas, the purpose-built Formula 1 facility. She chairs the AYC Tailgate, an annual tailgate for a University of Texas Football game.

Jonny Rodgers, Chair, Ambassadors Commitee– Jonny is a Partner Agent at DEN Property Group LLC. He is one of the original founders of AYC and served as President in 2010. Johnny will chair the Ambassadors Committee, which welcomes new members to the AYC through new member happy hours, coffee and networking.

Lindsey Tyner, Website and Branding – Lindsey is the owner and founder of Alt Creative. She will lead all branding initiatives and oversee the AYC website and digital communications.

Chelsea Woodhead, Chair, Community Committee  – Chelsea is the Senior Manager of Culture and Communications for BuildASign.com where she manages all organizational philanthropic efforts. She serves as the chair for the Community Committee, which partners with local non-profit organizations throughout the year to provide AYC members the opportunity to give back to the Austin community.

Ed Kargbo, Immediate Past President- Ed is the General Manager of Greater Austin Transportation Company (dba Yellow Cab). As Past President, Ed will continue to help AYC grow its membership base and provide support and direction to the board.

Melanie Plummer, Executive Director– Melanie serves as the chief executor for the overall vision and direction of the AYC. She is responsible for the general growth and branding of the organization as well as the management of everyday operations.

About the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce-
The purpose of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce (AYC) is to develop and connect young professionals in Austin to create business, community and individual success. Work hard. Play hard. That’s our motto at the AYC. As young professionals in the Austin area we know that you work hard to develop yourself both personally and professionally. We also know that in a city like Austin there are countless ways to play hard. The AYC is where you can do both with other young professionals in the Austin community.
Find us online:
www.austinyc.org         www.facebook.com/austinyoungchamber        http://twitter.com/austinyc
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