Leader of the Quarter Q1 2021: Kristy Craig
Congratulations to Kristy Craig, our Leadership Member of the Quarter for PYP’s first quarter! Each quarter, our Board of Directors reviews nominations for outstanding members of PYP and selects a member of our leadership team that goes above and beyond the call of duty within PYP and in our community. Last quarter, our Board of Directors selected Kristy Craig!
Kristy was born and raised in Pensacola but has been a member of Pensacola Young Professionals since March 2021 and immediately took on a leadership position. Learn more about Kristy and why she joined PYP.
Where do you currently work?
I currently serve as the Program Director for ReadyKids! (formerly ECARE), where we focus on helping children and their families prepare for day one of kindergarten and beyond. Shameless plug – we’re currently seeking volunteers who want to be Pre-K mentors! I officially joined ReadyKids! in October 2019 but have served in partnership with them since 2017 during my time as Volunteer & Education Outreach Manager at United Way of West Florida.
Have you had other jobs in Pensacola?
Oh dear – you probably don’t want to know about my unintentionally long list of professional jobs, but since you asked…
In addition to the two listed above, I’ve also dabbled in HR for a local government contracting company (GBSI), marketing and client relations for a Gulf Breeze real estate company, marketing/special events for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and public relations/events for Capstone Adaptive Learning & Therapy Centers. I also held internships with Pensacola Little Theatre and the American Cancer Society.
What are some of your favorite things about Pensacola?
I know most people say the beach (which I agree with on a nice spring day), but my favorite thing about Pensacola is the proximity to my family. I also love our multiple options of locally-owned coffee shops, the artistic offerings at the Palafox Market, being a product of the same public school system that I now support professionally, and the heart of our community with their passion for so many worthy causes.
How long have you been in PYP?
I joined in March 2021, so only four months, but I dove in headfirst by becoming a member and joining the leadership team at the same time.
Why did you decide to join PYP?
I was looking to become involved with a professional networking organization that would help boost my confidence as a young professional. There are lots of opportunities to network in Pensacola, so I was specifically seeking something that would allow me to meet other professionals AND offered opportunities as a group to give back to the community. PYP offered all the above and more.
What is your favorite thing about PYP?
I love how welcoming every single person I’ve met has been. I meet new people at every PYP function I attend, but at the same time I see a lot of familiar faces and have developed true friendships because of that. I also love how versatile it is and how they offer something for everyone. Networking, professional development, volunteerism, quality of life, evenings, mornings, weekends – seriously, something for everyone.
What other organizations are you involved in?
I of course serve as a Pre-K mentor through the ReadingPals program I lead, having mentored five students since 2017. I also serve as the Co-Chair on the United Way Day of Caring committee. Throughout the year, I also support events like Stuff the Bus and Fill the Mayflower.
What do you like to do in your free-time?
I love to bake (I’m really into scones right now) and I love sipping on an iced hazelnut latte in one of our many local coffee shops. I also love traveling with my husband. This year we’ve taken short trips to nearby cities including New Orleans, Montgomery, and Tallahassee, and we had a big trip to Seattle, WA, where we got to explore Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park. In a few weeks, we have plans for a whitewater rafting trip in Georgia and most exciting of all, we have a bucket list trip to ALASKA planned for November. I cannot wait to see the Northern Lights!
What do you feel YPs can do to be a catalyst for positive change in our community?
I think the most important thing anyone can do to be a catalyst for positive change is to be kind to others. Be a champion for someone else’s dreams, provide encouragement to someone who may be experiencing self-doubt, give back to a cause that’s dear to your heart, or simply offer an ear for listening.
What are your dreams for Pensacola and PYP?
My dream for Pensacola is for it to continue growing in its appeal as a place for people to want to live, play, and work – truly. I don’t say that because it’s the vision of PYP, but because I think it’s important for attracting new people and keeping those who are already here. For PYP specifically, my dreams are for young professionals to take advantage of the multitude of opportunities this organization offers. Come check us out, love it, and tell your friends.
Meet other awesome leaders like Kristy by joining PYP!
Kristy is only one of our fabulous leaders in PYP! If you’re looking to be inspired by other young professionals in the Pensacola area, consider joining us! We would love you meet you.