Member Profiles: Michelle Griffin Young
Since joining the Government Relations Division roundtable at the 2008 ACCE Convention in Pittsburgh, Michelle has become an active participant in the Government Relations Division. Last Friday afternoon she took time to answer my four questions
ACCE: How did you get started in chamber work, and what keeps you in the industry?
Michelle: I started in chamber work as a college intern with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. I was a broadcast journalism and political science major. After graduation I stayed on full-time with the US Chamber, working for a separate 501c3 focused on education. In that role I traveled around the country doing video interviews with CEOs on education partnerships. Later I moved into a communications role, and under Tom Donahue, I worked on the Federation Partnership program.
After 10 years in DC, I decided it was time to move back home to Pennsylvania. I worked as a representative for the county for a couple of years, during which time I was frequently in Harrisburg. All along, I worked frequently with the Lehigh Valley Chamber, and when they wanted to expand their public policy and advocacy agenda, I was eager to take on that role.
I firmly believe that business makes the world thrive, and chamber work lets me help businesses grow. Also, I'm a people person, and I think everyone should be proactively engaged. The chamber lets me work with people, and stay active in the community.
ACCE: What policy issues are currently occupying your time?
Michelle: Healthcare, transportation and taxes are the biggest three right now. We also started an energy and environment committee five months ago, and their work is ramping up. I also produce the chamber's weekly television show, Business Matters, and leading up to the election, we've conducted interviews with candidates for state and local office.
Click HERE to see clips from Business Matters, which airs every Monday at 7:30pm on WFMZ 69 in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey.
ACCE: What are the biggest challenges your chamber/community currently face?
Michelle: I think the region's biggest challenge is revitalization of our urban cores. Our chamber foundation has set a goal of reenergizing and attracting residents to our cities' urban cores by 2015. Stronger central cities will help address problems caused by suburbanization such as traffic congestion and sewage, water and other infrastructure expansion. Vibrant urban cores will also help us attract and keep young people trained at the area's great universities
ACCE: Finish this sentence. Never again will I ...
Michelle: Never again will I not follow up on networking contacts. It was my News Year's resolution this year to keep in touch; you never know when folks you meet can be important partners in the future.
This Member Profile was also featued in the October Policy Clearinghouse/GR Division e-Newsletter.