Following an extensive search, Cape Cod Young Professionals has announced Lauren Barker as its new Executive Director, effective October 9. Unanimously voted to the position by the Board of Directors, Barker succeeds Ann Van Vleck who stepped down in June to become the Chief Development Officer at the Housing Assistance Corporation.

The second Executive Director in CCYP’s 12 years, Barker will lead the 1,000+ member organization at a critical point, taking on the task of connecting, engaging and advancing the lives of young professionals on Cape Cod.

“Lauren was identified as our leading candidate by every stakeholder group we engaged as part of the search process,” said Matt Cronin, president of CCYP. “Her ability to understand the issues facing our members, our initiatives and our community put her on top of the list.”

Most recently acting as Administration Manager for the City of Denton, Texas, Barker brings more than 15 years of experience in the public and nonprofit sectors. During her time in Denton, she successfully managed significant growth of the Keep Denton Beautiful program, which operates under a unique public-nonprofit partnership, and works with 6,000 volunteers each year to offer community programs that enhance the livability and viability of the city. She has a Master’s degree in Applied Anthropology from the University of North Texas and is currently completing a second Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.

CCYP’s mission to advocate for young professionals on Cape Cod has deepened over the last several years to begin tackling the issues that prevent young professionals from staying on, moving back, or relocating to the Cape. Barker has deep connections to Cape Cod and has been a regular visitor with her family throughout the years.

“As part of our initiatives aimed at attracting and retaining more young professionals on Cape Cod,” continued Cronin, “the Board felt strongly about hiring someone who can bring a deep level of experience and leadership to the organization and who can take CCYP to the next level by offering a fresh perspective.”

“I’m energized about this opportunity as CCYP has a tremendous foundation with a great group of volunteers and funders,” said Barker. “Cape Cod is a truly special place and I’m very fortunate to find an opportunity to relocate my young family to such a wonderful community.”

Barker and her family have been searching for a way to move full-time to Cape Cod. They will be residing in a family residence on the Lower Cape.

“I look forward to applying my experience in local policy, nonprofit management and community programs to advance the lives of young professionals on Cape Cod,” continued Barker, “and help boost our economy by attracting and retaining young talent on the Cape.”