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In late 2017, the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce prioritized
the revitalization, rebranding, and reorganization of its professionals’ program. Under that effort, the program formerly called “Helena Chamber YP’s” became Helena Leaders Network (HLN). The program aims to capitalize on the opportunities offered by the Helena Chamber’s wealth of knowledge, business connections, and social networks to empower aspiring leaders to grow and make positive changes in the Helena community.
HLN’s main objectives are:
• To encourage and empower new leaders in Helena to grow personally and professionally through mentorship and learning opportunities;
• To attract, retain, and develop young talent by showcasing Helena
as a dynamic city where young professionals can live, work, and play;
• To embrace diversity and inclusion to foster connections in
our community.
After the kick-off in August of 2018, HLN hosted its  rst event, Pubs & Public Administration, where members had an evening of microbrews and appetizers with Dr. Sara Rinfret from
the University of Montana’s Masters of Public Administration Program at the Brewhouse Pub & Grill to learn ways to catapult their careers to the next level.
Last November, HLN hosted a delicious dinner for the Special Olympics Basketball teams from Butte, Bozeman, and Great Falls. HLN was also a proud sponsor
of Montana Business Assistance Connection’s (MBAC) Accelerated Startups Demo Night. The
event included demos from the  rst participants in MBAC’s
Accelerated Startups program, a
new program designed by MBAC, to provide resources, accountability, and mentorship for new startups.
HLN kicked off 2019, partnering with Helena Young Professionals (HYP), to host Legislative Voices. HLN and HYP members engaged with current young legislators to better understand the political process, including how to run for o ce. The evening ended with an informal social.
In February, HLN hosted its  rst speed networking event at Snow Hop Brewery. Attendees met new friends and built new business connections. Attendees were so pleased with the program that we were asked to add more speed networking opportunities to our event program.
In its latest endeavor, HLN launched a discount program and membership card designed to encourage members and their families to locally dine, shop,
and play. Chamber business members partnered with HLN to offer exclusive discounts.
In March, the group hosted two nights of basketball and networking fun at Bert & Ernie’s as part of NCAA March Madness 2019. One event kicked off the tournament, while the other celebrated the championship.
Looking ahead, HLN is working to keep its events calendar robust and diverse. In April, HLN will launch a three-part professional development series to include tips and best practices around resume-building, personal branding, interviews, and salary negotiations. The series will culminate with nationally renowned author and productivity expert Robby Slaughter.
For more information about HLN, its leadership and upcoming events, visit its website at helenaleadersnetwork. com or follow the group on Facebook and Instagram. ■

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