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.  Click the link to download a copy of the 2020 Regional Vision Report.

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

My personal information has changed (i.e. e-mail address, phone number, employer, preferences, etc) or 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

Do I need to RSVP to attend an event?
Official event registration is completed through our website and pre-pay for specific events. All of our upcoming events are located on the events calendar, along with the event location, time, and contact information. Please note that RSVPing on a Facebook event is not an official RSVP.
Should you have a question about an event, please do not hesitate to contact the event organizer.

If I join today is my membership only good through the end of the year?
Memberships are good for a year from the acceptance 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.

How can I sign up, but not auto-renew*?
Once you pay for the first year of your membership, you are able to disable auto-renewal inside of your profile settings. Simply log in using your account and navigate to your profile settings.

*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 within 30 days of your renewal date.  Note that if you have attended a YPA-sponsored event since the renewal date or if the 30-day mark has passed, your membership will be renewed.

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 beginning in January each year.  Those interested in applying for a Board of Directors position should complete the online application (it's set up as an "Event" under the "Events" tab) and then email a resume to

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!

2018 FFHHs

Mustache March
Start your Spring cleaning and donate your gently used business clothes and accessories to the Career Closets at Penn Highlands Community College and Pitt-Johnstown. Suits, ties, handbags, etc. will help students be ready for their first professional interviews and jobs. Surplus items may also go to Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies for their Career Closet program.

Funky Sock February
We collected socks and toiletries to support the Fresh Start Soap Pantry, Women's Help Center, and Victim Services.

Jackets for January
We donated new and gently used jackets and coats to two great organizations/projects in our area. Beginnings, Inc. received the children's coats to distribute to clients and families in need, and GJHS Interact Club's "I Am Not Lost" program will distribute the adult coats.

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 - Sherri Rae

Treasurer - Al Clocker

Vice President/President-Elect - Jose Otero

Garrett Bowden

Olivia Bragdon

Jill Skowron Gontkovic

Mike Hruska

Natalie Kauffman

Stephanie Lambert

Stephanie spends her work days writing SQL and C# code to satisfy government clients.  A native of Somerset County, she loves working in downtown Johnstown since graduating from UPJ in 2009.  Stephanie commuted across the Mason-Dixon line to complete her master's in Applied Computer Science at Frostburg State in 2013.

Though she doesn’t have any children of her own (yet… still waiting on prince charming), Stephanie keeps busy wrangling 5-8 year-old 4-Hers and a menagerie of church kids. She bakes a ridiculous amount of pies for church bake sales, and has mastered the art of gourmet cupcakes. Her bookshelves overflow with local history and genealogy books. Stephanie’s been a YPA-er since 2012 and loves spending time with the light bringers, the magic makers, the world shifters, and the game shakers… and normal people, too.

Travis S. Lodolinski

Owner/Marketing Specialist
Traventures Media Group

Born in Johnstown, PA, Travis earned a degree in Digital Media/Graphic Design & Marketing from Waynesburg University. He started Traventures Media Group in 2018 and is an active member of Johnstown Toastmasters as their current president. In his spare time, when he's not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, working out, golfing, and coaching his son's football team. As the current YPA Marketing Chairperson, Travis looks forward to working closely with all of the members to create a buzz around the area, developing opportunities for those in need.

Chelsea Nelson

Ethan Stewart

PO Box 5206 | Johnstown PA 15904

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