Young Professionals of the Alleghenies

How It All Started...

YPA was started by four local professionals who were tired of hearing people say there was nothing to do in this town with no way to network and meet new people.  In 2007, Megan Seese Livingston, Jill Skowron Gontkovic, Helene Gleason and Adia Dobbins decided to form a young professionals organization and within a few months the Young Professionals of the Alleghenies was formed and functional.

Over the years, YPA has worked hard to not only provide social and networking opportunities but to also give young professionals a voice in the future of our region.  YPA was a driving force in the 2020 Regional Vision, a research-based study that reached out to thousands or local residents and former local residents.  Among other things, the report concluded that jobs alone are not enough to keep YPs in the area -- quality of life amenities are critical, too -- but attracting former residents back to the community will produce significant economic gains for the region.  While pointing out the significant challenges that the region faces in terms of jobs and educational opportunities, the report also found  that the city is as good as or better than comparable communities in Vitality, Around Town and Cost of Living -- strengths on which we can build.

YPA has also been a key influence in mobilizing community volunteers.  The organization has supported more than 30 different local and national charitable causes through events and donations.  The continued demand for YPA volunteers lead to the collaboration with Lift Johnstown to create a volunteer registry site for all community volunteers, which has now transitioned to Get Connected (a site managed by Lift Johnstown and The United Way of the Laurel Highlands).

YPA always has been, and continues to be, a true catalyst for change in our community. 

FAQs About YPA

What is a Helping Hour?
At the beginning of 2018, the new YPA board wanted to bring back YPA's traditional First Friday Happy Hours, but with a twist! Focusing on helping our community, we re-branded our FFHHs to be First Friday HELPING Hours. We choose a different cause/organization to support each month, and then collect relevant donations at our Helping Hour. For our venue, we pick a different location every month to spread around our support of local business. This provides attendees an opportunity to try something new or visit an old favorite. Come as you are, whether that's in jeans, a suit, or anything in between. It's an informal time of socializing with new acquaintances and old friends. There is no cover charge and no membership requirement. All are welcome, regardless of age, occupation, or education. And mark your calendar, because it's always the first Friday of every month!

How long is a paid membership?
Memberships are good for a year from the purchase date. So if you join on July 15, 2018, your membership is good through July 15, 2019.
Effective June 1, 2015, all new and renewing memberships paid through our website will auto renew for the 2nd year (recurring payments). You will receive emails prior to and after that auto-renewal with the option to opt out if you wish.

I am interested in a Board of Directors position within the organization. What should I do?
The members of our Board of Directors are elected for two year terms which begin in January each year. Please speak to a current board member to express interest. An announcement will be made when we accept applications.

I'd like to update my YPA Profile. How do I notify YPA with this information?
You can update any of your personal information and/or preferences by signing into the website at any time. The log-in button is located in the upper right of the website. A user name and password will be given to you (via email) upon your registration with YPA. If you do not know your password, click here to retrieve it. If you no longer have access to the email account you had on file with YPA, please send as an email at youngproalleghenies@gmail.com

*Automated Renewal Disclaimer
For Members in our Automated Renewal Program: If your membership was automatically renewed and you would not like to renew your membership, please reach out to youngproalleghenies@gmail.com within 30 days of your renewal date.

First Friday Helping Hours (FFHH)

The First Friday of every month we get together for a casual happy hour and a great cause. Each time we choose a different charity or activity to support with donations. Be sure to check our calendar and join us!

2019 FFHHs

Each month we choose a different organization and lend a helping hand by collecting donations to further their causes.  We announce the current month's charity along with our First Friday Helping hour and attendees bring their donations along.  So far in 2019, we've collected

  • Jackets and blankets for Beginnings, Inc. and GJHS Interact Club's "I Am Not Lost" program
  • Socks and toiletries for the Women's Help Center


Jackets for January 2018

Offer An Idea

We're always looking for causes to support in the future. If you would like to submit an idea for us to consider, please contact us.

Meet Our Board

YPA is governed by a board of volunteer members. The board strategically drives the mission of the organization. This leadership position requires community involvement, attendance at monthly board meetings and YPA events, and the desire to grow professionally. Serving on a non-profit board such as YPA is an integral step for many previous and current board members to establishing themselves as a community leader.

President - Travis S. Lodolinski

Owner/Marketing Specialist
Traventures Media Group

Born in Johnstown, PA and transplated back into the area from Baltimore, MD. Travis is the Owner and Marketing Coach at Traventures Media http:trav.media founded in 2017.

As the new President of the Young Professionals, Travis is driven to improve the quality of life of those in the area through commerce development.

In his spare time, you can catch him on his podcast http:LevelUp.buzz or teaching group classess at Vibe Fitness in Elton.

Feel free to say hi to Travis, as he is always happy to meet new people.


Treasurer - Al Clocker

Originally from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Al moved to Johnstown in 2016.  He attended Wilkes University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.  He is currently employed as a Supervisor at Wessel & Company.  Al has passed the CPA exam, and is currently pursuing a Master of Professional Accounting degree from The Pennsylvania State University.   He is currently serving as the treasurer for the YPA.  Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family and dogs, playing sports, and spending time outside.


Angela R Godin

Angela was born in Pasadena, California. Eventually, she moved back to the area as a resident of Somerset County. Ms. Godin develops and navigates the Community Arts Center of Cambria County through new programming, special events, fundraising campaigns and grant funding. She is a Cum Laude graduate from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts. Godin worked as an independent contractor in art related fields for over eleven years. This experience included directing over twenty plays and musicals, performing in close to forty productions, as well as vast experience in choreography, teaching dance, stage-managing, lighting design, sound design and production administration. Her repertoire comprises of directing theatre festivals, studio theatre projects, acting camps, training seminars and teaching theatre courses to all ages. In her spare time your can find Ms. Godin directing plays and musicals, choreographing or stage-managing productions. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to grow the Arts Center and keep the Arts Alive in Cambria County.


Olivia Bragdon

Since 2006, Olivia Bragdon has been working in the destination marketing industry as Communications & Group Tour Coordinator for the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Olivia works to attain media coverage, group tour travel and a social media presence for area tourism efforts. She attended the University of Pittsburgh where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Olivia has been a part of YPA since their inception and currently serves on the Social Committee. She also serves on the boards of Cambria & Somerset County’s Outstanding Young Woman Scholarship Program and the Sandyvale Wine Experience. In addition, Olivia works as an advocate for infertility and miscarriage awareness.


Vice President - Alexis Freoni

Alexis was born and raised in Johnstown, PA. After living in Ohio for five years, she relocated back to her hometown.She graduated from Geneva College with her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources. Alexis is also very actively involved with the Conemaugh Township Fire department and ALS Western chapter. Alexis is an avid Pittsburgh fans, except for baseball, she is a Cincinanti Reds fan. In her spare time, Alexis enjoys cleaning, working on diy projects, spending time with family and friends, watching sports, attempting to work out, cooking, and watching movies. Alexis enjoys meeting new people and helping out in any way she can. For that reason, she has joined YPA to promote her community and meet new people.


Natalie Kauffman

Natalie Kauffman was born and raised in Johnstown. After living in the Baltimore and Annapolis Area for 5 years she recently relocated home to shift her career into the nonprofit sector. She had previously had a successful 16 year career in cosmetics retail management and is now the current Coordinator for the Cambria County Backpack Project which supplies weekend meals to children facing food insecurity. Natalie joined the YPA 7 years ago and loves to connect with other YPA members through volunteering. Her biggest hobbies include golfing, riding motorcycles and refinishing antique furniture. 


Ethan Stewart

Founder/814 Worx
Centennial Financial Group LLC/CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

Originally from the Northern Virginia area, Ethan moved to Johnstown PA 3 years ago. Coming into town to work at Centennial Financial Group LLC he had every intention of coming in, getting his licensing, then going somewhere else. However he stayed because he saw the Immense potential this area has, specifically for creating and entrepreneurship. Following his passion he works with business owners through financial planning, investment and also by founding the first co-working space in town, 814 Worx, to help prove that business can be started here in town.

Using this platform he is heavily involved in helping the entrepreneurship scene evolve and grow. Either through financial planning, workshops, or just sitting down to talk about business, he is passionate in helping someone with an idea and a drive to build their business. Giving back is important to him, so he is involved in the community through Richland Rotary club, the JAHA board, and the YPA for 2 years now. He is a shark at UPJ helping young entrepreneurs to develop their business and supports Vision 2025 and various initiatives in the area.

When not working on business, he tries to find time to enjoy the outdoors through hiking and camping. He also enjoys working with his hands, woodworking, getting good food, cooking, and enjoying a good book. Although he will always go talk business ideas over a drink anytime he can.


Jill Skowron Gontkovic

Jill Skowron-Gontkovic is one of YPA’s founding members.  She saw a need in the area for like-minded individuals to have a place to come together, do good things, and have some fun!  Jill is a graphic designer with an Associates Degree in Multimedia from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelors Degree in Visual Communications from AIU.  She worked as a Digital Artist/Animator at Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) for 13 years. She is currently a freelance Graphic Designer, Marketing Director at DB Homes, and operates Coal Tubin’ in the summer with her husband.  In her spare time she loves to do crafts, laugh at memes, enjoys CrossFit, Yoga, and spending time with her 4 beautiful children.


PO Box 5206 | Johnstown PA 15904

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