In an effort to recognize the city's up-and-coming talent, the Young Professionals Association of Chattanooga honored professionals, businesses, artists and entrepreneurs in its fourth annual awards celebration.
Saturday's JetSet awards ceremony at Warehouse Row was part of the organization's efforts to create a sense of unity among 20- to 40-somethings in the area, said Vice President Elizabeth Crenshaw.
"We're creating a sense of community," she said. "A sense that even though the odds are stacked against us in the economic climate, we still have the power to work hard and incite change and push this community forward."
Terran Anderson, YPAC event chairwoman, said although there are several award ceremonies in Chattanooga for businesspeople, the Young Professionals awards serve a needed niche.
"It's difficult when you put a young professional who's only had four to five years to grow their business, grow their artwork, grow basically their professional life, next to someone who has been able to excel in Chattanooga for the last 25 years," Anderson said. "I can tell you who's going to win every single time."
Anderson said she hopes Saturday's awards ceremony gave young professionals in the area a boost of encouragement to continue down the paths they're beginning to pave.
"We all thrive on encouragement," she said. "And we want to encourage that growth here in Chattanooga, show that they are an asset in Chattanooga so they will stay in Chattanooga."
THIS YEAR'S WINNERS
Realtor Cara Ables Hicks: Young Professional of the Year
First Tennessee Bank: Young Professional Friendly Business
Sculptor Isaac Duncan III: Young Professional Artist of the Year
Business owner Ethan Collier: Young Professional Entrepreneur of the Year
Nathan Frazier: Young Professional Community Service Award
Contact Brittany Cofer at email@example.com or 423-757-6476. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/brittanycofer.