These are the fine people who make it happen for YPN–the executive team. Our events would not be possible without their hard work and dedication.

Our executive board plans the events, welcomes our members, sends out email and social media communications, secures partnerships to help our organization grow, and looks after our finances to ensure we grow legally! You name it, we’ve got it covered.

  • DeVin Taylor
    DeVin Taylor
    Partnerships
  • Haley Thomas
    Haley Thomas
    Membership Director
  • Jay Boling
    Jay Boling
    YPN Chair
  • Alia Ghosheh
    Alia Ghosheh
    Content
  • Samra Ward
    Samra Ward
    Communications
  • Ryan Hamm
    Ryan Hamm
    Events Coordinator
DeVin Taylor
Partnerships

Name: DeVin Taylor

Describe your position: As the Director of Partnerships, I ensure that YPN-Athens has an effective framework for creating and maintaining key business relationships in addition to securing sponsorships to help fund operational costs, networking events and programming.

Favorite color: Blue & Gold

Favorite food: Chicken Parm

Drink of choice: Sprite and any craft beer brewed in North Carolina (and Georgia too).

Favorite Restaurants in Athens: I have not had the opportunity to fully experience Athens food-scene. So, TBD.

What do you do for a living?: Presently, I am a development officer for development and alumni relations at the University of Georgia. In my role at UGA, I assist in planning and implementing overall annual giving programs for the Georgia Fund – specifically for the unrestricted phone campaign and leadership giving.

What are your interests outside of work?: When I am not cultivating new and old relationships with UGA alumni, parents and friends, you can find me exploring the Classic City, dreaming up my future as a social entrepreneur or watching supposedly unscripted TV shows.

Short history of how you got to Athens (if not from here)?: I recently moved to Athens in February 2018 after accepting a career opportunity at UGA.

What is something unique about you that most people don’t know? During the spring semester of my senior at Queens University of Charlotte, I studied and prepared, along with 18 other juniors and seniors, to join the ranks of more than 40,000 Olympic storytellers. I examined the Olympic movement, its history, goals, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses.Beyond Olympic study, my peers and I continued our work in Rio de Janeiro for two weeks, between Aug. 5 and 21. We took full advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to tell intriguing stories about the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Brazilian culture through digital media and journalism. As a result of turning my passions into a platform to share remarkable stories to the world, many of the multimedia stories I co-produced were published in the USA Today, Charlotte Observer, and picked up by the various networks of NBCUniversal in the United States.

Do you belong to any other organizations?: Yes, I am a brother of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Queens Alumni Association.

Why are you a member of YPN?: I enjoy meeting and connecting with new people, as well as, creating a space for young professionals to thrive and build key relationships.

What is the one thing you hope to accomplish through YPN this year?: Through YPN, I hope to maximize my professional experience in fundraising and development to further develop YPN-Athens’ strategic partnership strategy and increase its support base.

Haley Thomas
Membership Director

Name: Haley Thomas
Describe your position: Director of Membership
Favorite color: Green
Favorite food: Cookies
Drink of choice: Sangria Margarita
Favorite Restaurants in Athens: Taqueria Tsunami, Longhorns & Mama’s Boy
What do you do for a living? I work at The Commercial Bank in loan operations and as a personal banker. I truly love my job and the company I work for.
What are you interests outside of work? Hanging out with my husband Matt, dog Loki & cat Toby. We like to escape to Asheville, NC frequently on the weekends. I like to read, scrapbook, knit, workout, go on walks and cook. I am a bit of an old soul and I love it.
Short history of how you got to Athens (if not from here)? My father was a Marine and got stationed here in Athens.
What is something unique about you that most people don’t know? I am from Anchorage, Alaska, and used to snowboard competitively.
Do you belong to any other organizations? UGA Alumni Association
Why are you a member of YPN? I love networking, socializing, food, drinks and meeting new people. Basically, everything that YPN stands for, I enjoy.
What is the one thing you hope to accomplish through YPN this year? Through YPN, I have connected many people to job opportunities, made friends, met workout buddies, built out my professional network around Athens, and I would love to help others do the same.

Jay Boling
YPN Chair

Name: Jay Boling

What is your position for YPN?: Director of Events

Describe your position: Assist with securing event space for YPN Monthly Meetups; Work with host organization/establishment to coordinate food and beverage for Meetups

Favorite Color? Red

Favorite Food? Homemade Country Fried Steak with Gravy

Drink of Choice? Sweet Tea and any craft beer brewed in Georgia. On occasion I will treat myself to a tall, cool Budweiser.

What do you do for a living? (Profession): I work as a Sales Manager for the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau. I focus primarily on the sports tourism market and help to package city hotel accommodations, sponsorships, athletic venues, and marketing collateral in order to recruit youth and amateur sports tournaments to Athens.

What are your interests outside of work? (Hobbies): Spending time with friends and family, UGA athletics, mountain/road biking, trying different sports, and enjoying many of Athens’ fine restaurants, breweries, and quirky attractions.

Do you belong to any other organizations? Not at the moment.

Short history of how you got to Athens (if not from here) ? I moved here in 2012 with plans to start graduate school at UGA. I enrolled in the Sport Management and Policy program at UGA in August 2013 and graduated with a Master’s in Kinesiology in December 2014. Luckily I got a job at the UGA Athletic Association and was afforded an opportunity to stay in Athens. I moved into my current position in August 2016 and serve a growing tourism market in the country’s (and South’s) finest college town.

What is something unique about you that most people don’t know? I threw out the first pitch of a UGA baseball game dressed in full Chewbacca costume as part of “May the 4th” day in 2014. It was a change-up right down the middle of the plate. Unfortunately no MLB scouts were present to witness this amazing feat of human achievement.

Why are you a member of YPN? I joined to meet new people in a similar stage of life who all have a vested interest in seeing Athens support and retain a talented young workforce. The networking events are always a great opportunity to meet interesting people and form beneficial relationships between other professionals or colleagues in a similar field.

What is the one thing you hope to accomplish through YPN this year? Participate in a community outreach program that will provide tangible benefits to the organization we serve and Athens as a whole. Additionally, I would like to help grow membership through other avenues such as group outdoor expeditions, attending sporting events, and volunteering with local civic groups.

Favorite Restaurant? Dawg Gone Good BBQ

Favorite Thing to Do in Athens? Pretty much any outdoor activity in the Fall – Georgia football, tailgating, walking through Five Points, Go Kickball and the softball league at Bishop.

Alia Ghosheh
Content

Describe your position: Director of Content

Favorite color: Aqua

Favorite food: Pizza

Drink of choice: Cranberry juice

Favorite Restaurants in Athens: Mediterranean Grill, Siri Thai

What do you do for a living? I am a comedienne and a pet sitter.

What are you interests outside of work? I like going to the park, volunteering, and gardening.

Short history of how you got to Athens (if not from here)? I moved to Athens in 1998. We wanted to be closer to my oldest brother who went to UGA. He left as soon as he graduated, we decided to stay.

What is something unique about you that most people don’t know? I love to sing.

Do you belong to any other organizations? The Athens Writers Association

Why are you a member of YPN? I love networking and making new friends.

What is the one thing you hope to accomplish through YPN this year? I hope to get people motivated and excited about networking and growing their businesses.

Samra Ward
Communications

Describe your position: I provide the updates and content for our YPN Athens’ website. In addition, I am responsible for all email communication for YPN Athens.

Favorite color: To quote Steel Magnolias, “Pink is my signature color.”

Favorite food: Cheese fries–if you need a list of all the best fries in Athens, I’ve got you covered!

Drink of choice: Jack Daniels or a French 75

Favorite Restaurants in Athens: Bone Island Grill, The Peasant, South Kitchen

What do you do for a living? I work as a senior coordinator at the University of Georgia’s Disability Resource Center, primarily with students with chronic illnesses and psychological disabilities.

What are you interests outside of work? When I’m not at work, you can find me taking pictures, watching SEC football, swimming, reading, baking, or traveling to a new place.

Short history of how you got to Athens (if not from here)? I moved to Athens in May 2016 after finishing my master’s degree at Ole Miss to take a job at the UGA Disability Resource Center. Hotty Toddy, and Go Dawgs!

What is something unique about you that most people don’t know? I’m a high school quiz bowl champion who dreams of making it big on Jeopardy! If I ever do make it on Jeopardy and win big, I’ll use the earnings to open a gluten-free bakery and travel the world.

Do you belong to any other organizations? I am an advisor for my sorority and belong to their alumnae chapter. I am also involved with HOBY, a youth leadership organization for high school students, and a local church community.

Why are you a member of YPN? When I went to my first YPN meetup in July 2016, it was the first time I felt like I was at home in Athens. Everyone has been so welcoming, and I have made some of my best friends through YPN! It’s also given me a chance to learn a lot about and to get involved in the Athens/Clarke-County community.

What is the one thing you hope to accomplish through YPN this year? I hope to connect with more businesses this year to provide them with awareness of YPN in hopes of getting some of their younger employees out to represent them in our community. I also hope to help young professionals who are new to Athens find their place.

Ryan Hamm
Events Coordinator

Name: Ryan Hamm

Describe your position: Director of Events

Favorite color: Brown

Favorite food: BBQ – Ask me for the definitive ranking of Athens BBQ joints.

Drink of choice: Bourbon neat or Bourbon Ginger

Favorite Restaurants in Athens: Last Resort, White Tiger, Cali N Titos

What do you do for a living? I help people buy, sell, and invest in real estate.

What are you interests outside of work: When I am outside, you will find me walking, hiking, exploring, sitting in the outfield at Foley Field watching UGA baseball. When I am inside, you will find me watching sports or binge watching sitcoms.

Short history of how you got to Athens (if not from here)? I moved to Athens in 2012 to work with a non-profit at the UGA.

What is something unique about you that most people don’t know? I have part of my leg in my ear. Ask me…. you know you want to know.

Do you belong to any other organizations? I am a member of several REALTOR Associations and the Jaycees.

Why are you a member of YPN? I love connecting with people in the city I love. I have found no place better to connect with young adults for friendship, networking, encouragement, and idea growth.

What is the one thing you hope to accomplish through YPN this year? Help foster environments where folks can connect and be friends.