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Companies work to place young professionals into board positions

Wyatt Schoeder speaks at B| On Board. Photo courtesy of the Boise Young Professionals.

Wyatt Schroeder speaks at B| On Board. Photo courtesy of the Boise Young Professionals.

Boise Young Professionals is conducting its third annual B| On Board series through May 12 in hopes of placing more millennials into leadership positions.

The participants in this year’s event will receive training on board service skills from companies including Hawley Troxell, Oliver Russel, and the Salvation Army.

About 50 young professionals have signed up for the program already and on the final night of the event on May 12, organizations can meet with the participants to discuss open volunteer opportunities and board positions.

More than 15 organizations including the Women and Children’s Alliance and Joshua Tree have signed up and any organization interested in attending can register by contacting Boise Young Professionals before May 11.

“I think a big part of the appeal is that there is a shift in the workforce we are seeing in the country,” said Beth Beechie, B| On Board chairwoman. “It is still hard for younger generations to get on these boards at times though because they don’t know the positions are accessible.”

Wyatt Schroeder, executive director of CATCH,  participated in B| On Board last year. He  ended up creating an advisory board of young professionals to consult with his board of directors after the event. This year he is creating a permanent position on the board of directors for a young professional.

“We were tapping into the same people every year, but by bringing in the advisory board we were able to increase participation by 75 percent by tapping into the members’ personal networks and into social media.”

The 75 percent increase in participation led to an increase in donations of about $15,000, Schroeder said.

More than 80 participants have graduated the B| On Board  program in the past and many have found positions with organizations such as the Idaho Aquarium, Giraffe Laugh, One Stone, the Learning Lab, Rotary and Zoo Boise.

“It’s not enough to have your voice heard. It has to be heard from the right table,” Schroeder said. “Millennials aren’t doing enough to get a seat at that table.”

About Benton Alexander Smith

Benton Alexander Smith is a reporter for the Idaho Business Review, covering the Idaho Legislature, new business, technology and financial services.