Meet ystark! YP: Annie Yoder


Annie Yoder



Occupation/Title/Place of work:

Receptionist, Belden Village Mall (Managed by Starwood Retail Partners), Mall Management Office

Why are you interested you in Stark County’s Young Professionals initiative?

I've been a part of y!Stark since 2012 and I believe that it can be beneficial for individuals to participate in counties that provide young civic leadership opportunities. As we continue through the Information Age, I believe that by being invested in our young professionals, it will help our county grow through innovative ideas, fresh perspectives, and increased opportunities.

What would you share to encourage other people to join?

There's so much opportunity in Stark County. y!Stark gives members the chance to meet new people and utilize each other's strengths for the betterment of our community. You never know who you're going to meet!

Did you grow up in Stark? If so, where? If not, where did you move from and why?

Yes, I've been a lifelong resident of Stark County. When I was small I lived in Hartville then moved to Canton when I was 4 and have been here since. For a brief stint, I lived in Portage Lakes, but returned shortly after.

Why do you stay in Stark County, from both a personal and professional point of view?

Professionally, our county has several trades available to make a living and to see Downtown Canton's innovation district come to life is inspiring and will prove to provide even more jobs and options to others who stay here or want to move here. Personally, I stay mostly to be around my family and friends, but it's also heartwarming to see the generosity of others throughout our community as well.

What do you like MOST about Stark County?

I believe that Stark County has a family-friendly atmosphere and the cost of living is also better here than in some areas of Ohio, but it also gives us many options to have fun such as utilizing our parks (Stark Parks is great!), public Chamber events (Light Up Downtown, Canton Blues Fest, Vintage Canton just to name a few!) and gives individuals the opportunity to volunteer with several non-profit charities such as with y!Stark, the North Canton Jaycees, United Way's Young Leader Society, Canton Kindness Coalition, YMCA/YWCA, Compassion Delivered, Simply Give, Stark County Hunger Task Force and SO much more. It's also great to live in a city that is nationally recognized each year through the Professional Football Hall of Fame's Enshrinement Festival and to be here while the festivities are happening to kick off the football season.

What would you change about Stark County if you could?

I would help more with organizations that specialize in revitalizing underprivileged neighborhoods and focus more on beautification, so that our county is an even better county to live in, but there's a lot I love about Stark County as well. I've grown up here, and it's a fantastic place to be!

What do you see as valuable opportunities for YPs in Stark County when it comes to career opportunities, cultural access, leadership or community involvement opportunities?

For career opportunities, With leadership and community involvement opportunities, I'm extremely invested in the Junior Chamber movement provided by our North Canton Jaycee chapter and that gives me access to other opportunities with other chapters in our state and nationally as well.

What would attract more YPs to Stark County?

I think if we keep up more options for entertainment and continue to provide/promote ways in which new young residents can get involved in their community for its betterment, then we will see more YPs attracted to this hidden gem we call Stark County. I believe that having more employers attracted to our county and supporting small businesses will provide a reason for others to want to move here as well.

What do you do in the evenings or on the weekends for fun in Stark County or NE Ohio?

I love hanging out with my friends and listening to live music at local breweries and wineries. I enjoy the non-profit organizations I'm involved with for volunteer experience and participate in their many events also. I'm a huge Cleveland Indians fan, so I like going to games up in Cleveland when I can.

Could you see yourself spending your lifetime in Stark County and if not, what would cause you to leave?

Yes, if I ended up marrying within Stark County and being near my family I could definitely see myself putting down roots here. If not, the only thing that could cause me to move would be a better job opportunity.