ABOUT THE AWARDS

The Lincoln Young Professionals Group recognizes the outstanding efforts and contributions of individuals and organizations in the community during its annual Young Lincoln Leader Awards Gala. The ceremony is held annually in September during YP Week. Professionals between the ages of 21 and 40 are eligible to be acknowledged in multiple categories. Applicants are assessed and selected by a diverse panel of community members, in conjunction with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.

Selection Committee Members:

  • Brian Ardinger, Nelnet
  • Adelle Burk, City of Lincoln-Mayors Office
  • Liz Ring Carlson, Ameritas
  • Clover Fredrick, Clover Fredrick
  • Kayla Meyer, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce/Lincoln’s Young Professional Group
  • Eric Mooss, Bryan Health
  • Jay Wilkinson, Firespring
     

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes an individual who is achieving a successful career in any industry, has made innovative contributions to their organization, and has distinguished themselves as a future leader within their industry and the Lincoln community. This award is Lincoln YPG’s highest honor.

Award criteria

  • Between the ages of 21-40
  • Employed in Lincoln
  • Have an affiliation with Lincoln YPG or the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
  • The nominee has at least five or more years of professional experience in a current career
  • The nominee is involved in the community, civic, church, or charitable activities in the community
  • The nominee clearly serves as a role model for others personally and professionally
  • The nominee demonstrates strong leadership skills

YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes extraordinary civic engagement, volunteerism, and public service in the Lincoln community. The scope of impact of the individual’s contribution is focused on local or statewide government.

Award criteria

  • Between the ages of 21-40
  • Employed in Lincoln
  • The nominee has demonstrated significant contributions in advancing equity, civic engagement, or democratic ideals in the Lincoln community
  • The nominee is an inspirational role model for the community

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes an individual whose entrepreneurial vision, innovation, courage, and leadership has created a successful business or organization and has made a positive impact on the Lincoln community.

Award criteria

  • Between the ages of 21-40
  • Employed in Lincoln
  • The nominee’s business or organization has demonstrated success over the past 12 months
  • The nominee demonstrates vision, courage, leadership, excellence, creativity, or initiative in their profession
  • The nominee’s business or organization has added jobs in the Lincoln community
  • The nominee is a role model and encourages others to follow their entrepreneurial spirit

YOUNG NONPROFIT PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes the outstanding efforts of an effective changemaker in Lincoln’s nonprofit community. This individual has helped nonprofits grow their missions, better their organization, or strengthened their community.

Award criteria

  • Between the ages of 21-40
  • Employed in Lincoln
  • The nominee works for a nonprofit organization that helps improve the lives of others in the Lincoln community
  • The nominee demonstrates going above and beyond their role and empowers colleagues

EMERGING LEADER OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional initiative professionally, taken on leadership roles within the community, and acted as a role model to those around them.

Award criteria

  • Between the ages of 21-40
  • Employed in Lincoln
  • The nominee is a member on Lincoln YPG 
  • The nominee demonstrates how their leadership has positively influenced or empowered those around them
  • The nominee has taken a leadership role in the Lincoln community

NEXT GENERATION WORKPLACE

This award is presented to a local business committed to attracting, retaining, and developing the young professional workforce. 

Award criteria

  • Must be a member of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce or Lincoln YPG
  • Demonstrates a history of attracting, retaining, and developing young professionals
  • Demonstrates a commitment to supporting work-life balance
  • Demonstrates a history of commitment to supporting young professionals' organizations in the community through sponsorship, contributions of time, workspace, or in-kind gifts
  • Fosters a workplace culture that values mentoring and cross-generational relationships

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE

This award is presented to a local organization or individual that strengthens the Lincoln community by promoting the goals and vision of inclusive excellence and diversity through policies and practices.

Award criteria

  • Between the ages of 21-40
  • Employed in Lincoln
  • Demonstrates measurable achievements in moving their own business or organization toward being a diverse and inclusive operation
  • Demonstrates emerging or sustained commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism by documented efforts within their business, organization, and/or the community
  • Displays evidence of substantial efforts to promote a community business environment that is free from bias and discrimination
  • Encourages contributions by the individual or the overall business or organization toward advancing diversity and inclusion