The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Young Professionals declare new name for local club


June 18, 2018

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

MEMBERS OF the newly named Gogebic County Young Professionals Club gather for a Saturday afternoon cookout in Ironwood's Depot Park. From left, sitting, are Adam Waite, Adam Little, Charly Loper, Amy Nosal, Richard Jenkins, Eleanor Bolich, John Wills, Matt Baranski and Natalie Prehn; and standing, Christina Hoeft, Morgan Clark, Dustin Filippini and Jacob Vallejo.


Ironwood — Lawn games, picnic fare and lots of casual banter made for a fun crowd at a Saturday cookout of the Gogebic County Young Professionals Club at Ironwood’s Depot Park.

Formerly known as Go-In Forward Young Professionals Club, the members changed the name at the weekend event with a simple hand-raised vote.

“Most people look for groups online nowadays,” said Morgan Clark, one of the group’s organizers. She said the new name will be “easier to search.”

Clark and Richard Jenkins, another organizer, said members usually meet on the third Thursday of each month at different locations.

Clark, who moved here about three years ago from Mount Pleasant, said she is one of several club members not originally from the area.

Hence, she and Jenkins, formerly of Detroit, agreed that creating the club made sense, not only to give new residents a social connection, but also to keep them in the region.

Regarding other young professionals who have left the area, Clark said, “They move because it’s hard to make social connections.”

She and Jenkins said monthly events are casual, with past ones including a game night at Cold Iron Brewery, a tacos and tequilas event, and a pizza social for which each member brought a pizza from a different establishment.

“We’re trying to appeal to a wide range of interests,” said Jenkins, who said winter events often involve indoor activities, such as one that included sake tasting.

For the summer months, they are considering kayaking and hiking.

As for any other club plans, Jenkins said, “We want to kind of leave things open. It’s largely going to be based on what the members want.”

Clark and Jenkins said current members fall within the age range of 21 to under 40.

Members’ professional affiliations, so far, include some entrepreneurs, as well as persons who work for the Ottawa National Forest or the University of Wisconsin Extension Service.

Clark is a counselor at the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco, and Jenkins is a journalist for the Daily Globe. Bessemer city manager Charly Loper also is a member.

“I love the area, but I miss my parents,” said Clark, who admitted she did not intend to remain in this region. She joked, however, about now being “stuck here” because she’s happily engaged to Jacob Vallejo, an Ironwood ads salesman.

Vallejo, another organizer within the group, said his experience with the group has been “positive and productive.”

Because he is originally from this area, he said he likes sharing with other members the inside story on what there is to see and do within the region.


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