Get out. Make friends. Meet people in NJ.
Laura [owner] is the founder and head honcho of NJYP. She loves creating new events and marketing them to all the Members. She feels giddy inside when she hears of an NJYP marriage or baby (not necessarily in that order) and she feels proud when she sees all of the friendships that have been formed over the years. Now, as a full time mom, she works mostly from her dining room table but you can still see her at her favorite events. Laura@NJYP.org
Melanie [marketing and events coordinator] is the newest member of the NJYP team. A recent college graduate from Montclair State and resident of Wayne, NJ her entire life, she considers herself a bonafide "Jersey Girl." Although fist pumping isn't her forte ("Jersey Girl" doesn't translate to Snooki-wannabe) she does enjoy dancing, charmingly singing off-key and being all-around goofy with friends, old and new. As one might assume with hobbies like these, Beyonce is her biggest role model and she dreams to be just like her when she grows up. Expect to see her at many future events and don't hesitate to say hi if you do! Melanie@NJYP.org
Ayanni [event manager] joined the team in the summer of 2011 after responding to the only non-sketchy job posting on Craigslist. A North Jersey girl through and through, she ventured out of state for undergrad (Go Big Red!) and now also has her MA in English from Brooklyn College. As you can figure, she loves to read and write, but places apples as a close 3rd on her ‘favorite things’ list.
Jenna [event manager] spent most of her life in Iowa, from childhood through her graduation from Cornell College. Happily, after short-term residences in Massachusetts, Illinois, Virginia, and even Mexico, she moved to New Jersey in August '08 and loves it! She definitely appreciates all the opportunities available in the Garden State, and the fact that it’s a little warmer. It’s even rumored that she strives to be called a ‘Jersey Girl’, but you didn’t hear it from us. Her dogs Nya and Tonka also like NJ, but mainly for the abundance of squirrels to chase. When she’s not NJYP-ing, Jenna runs her own coaching business.
Kelley [event manager] joined NJYP in Spring ‘08 after moving to NJ from the Philadelphia suburbs where she was born and raised. (And spent most of her days chillin’ out, maxin, and relaxin’ all cool, we’d like to imagine.) A proud 2007 Penn State grad (We Are!), Kelley loves her alma mater and seizes any opportunity to go back and visit. That love hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her MBA a little farther north – she’s is now a graduate from NYU as of 2013.
Jessica [event manager] hails from Northern New Jersey, has been a member of NJYP for 2 years, and enjoys meeting tons of great people. Jessica’s true love however -no matter how much we wish it was NJYP- is theater. Doesn’t matter is she’s on-stage, back-stage, or sitting in the audience. Oh, and you’ll never see Jessica imbibing wine or beer. She’s a Captain and Diet kinda girl. Argg!
Kim [event manger] can be found hosting Speed Dating events or big mixers. Graduating from Rider U in 2000 and nabbing her MAS from Monmouth U in 2007, she’s currently counseling the next generation at the middle & high school levels. Kim’s first NJYP experience was an ever popular speed dating event, and she’s happy to say she’s still friends with her first ‘date’ plus the event host! A woman with ‘champagne taste and beer pocket’, she’s a foodie in love with all matter of Tri-state eats.
Laura L [event manager] was born and raised in Morris County and earned her MS in Computer Science at NJIT after completing her Bachelor's at The College of William and Mary in Virginia. While Laura can't turn down a happy hour, she is also an avid marathon runner, currently pursuing her goal of running a marathon in every state and DC. Wowza!
Colleen [event manager] recently moved to New Jersey from the Philadelphia suburbs, where she was born and raised. But don’t be fooled: although she isn’t a Jersey native, she has spent time every summer in Ocean City, NJ, and loves the beach (even though she sunburns easily). Colleen is a Penn State alum and is still kickin’ it college style through her job at Princeton University. She is an unapologetic book worm and magazine lover. Although she has a habit of botching recipes, Colleen’s newest mission is to learn to cook. In the meantime, she is always up for eating out!
David [hike leader] has been a happy NJYP member since Feb 2007. He started leading hikes for the group in the spring of 2009 and has loved every moment of it! One time he had to carry a fellow hiker out of the woods (true story- you’ll have to ask him about). Love for the outdoors, and a few adventures here and there, are what drive David to be a hike leader, and spend as much time as possible exploring and traveling. Although he does love the outdoors, you will find him enjoying other NJYP activities such as volunteer events, parties, happy hours and game nights.
Maren [hike leader] had the good fortune to join NJYP in early 2013 and enjoyed even more luck when she saw a hike leader position open up shortly thereafter. As a former park ranger, she cultivated her sense of adventure, ability to talk to strangers, and a love of the outdoors. When she's not out frolicking in the woods, you might find her rollerblading (outdoors, yes, but requires pavement), volunteering with AmeriCorps, or hosting a dinner party to try out new recipes on unsuspecting friends and family.