On July 22, 2011 CAYP celebrated its fourth anniversary on the rooftop terrace of Taste restaurant in downtown Albany. The evening amassed 104 guests – an even mix of familiar faces and networking novices. As Albany’s finest professionals entered the event’s penthouse location, they were greeted with a photo opportunity in front of Albany Alive’s signature red carpet. Photographers Dan VanWagenen and Stephen Calhoun kept busy all evening capturing guests against day and night views of Albany’s sparkling skyline. While mingling over eggplant crostini and seafood tacos, CAYP members and guests discovered new connections and caught up with former ones.
Petrone then presented the annual Friend of CAYP Awards to three members whose support for the organization helped fuel its success over the past year. The first recipient was Patrick Honda, owner of P&C Promotional Printing, who received the Spirit Award for his enthusiasm and dedication to CAYP’s mission. Ed Baker, CEO of Albany Alive, took home the Contribution Award in recognition of his generosity in capturing each event on film for members and guests to view and share. Jessica Collette, branch manager at Capital Bank and newly appointed CAYP Board member, took home the Advocate Award for her ongoing efforts to introduce business professionals to the organization.
The mood turned bittersweet as Petrone announced that Wesley Slyke, branch officer for Legacy Banks, would be stepping down from CAYP’s Board of Directors. Slyke was a founding board member and served as the organization’s treasurer for the four years since its inception. He was presented with the President’s Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to CAYP.
Adding to the celebration, two guests in attendance were welcomed to the stage after being pulled in the business card drawing. Raffle prizes included box tickets to the Tri-City ValleyCats donated by W.B. Mason and a $50 gift certificate to Taste, the evening’s generous host.
The evening’s presentation came to a close with a look toward the future. Petrone announced that thanks to the support of its members, CAYP was ready to go beyond its original mission of enriching the lives of young professionals to enriching the community. Over the past year, the organization experienced an incredible growth in membership which will allow CAYP to begin giving back to the Capital Region. Starting with a campaign managed through its Facebook page, CAYP will provide up to $1,000 to the Northeast Parent & Child Society and their mission to protect children, preserve families, and strengthen communities. Through the combined efforts of their members, supporters, and volunteer Board of Director, CAYP plans to contribute $12,000 to community organizations in the Capital Region.