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Yang named Young Professional of the Year

By Josh Staloch
Staff Writer

GREEN BAY – In recognition of her numerous contributions to the community – both professional and personal – Tara Yang, owner of Main Oriental Market in downtown Green Bay,  was named Young Professional of the Year at an awards event held Feb. 24 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center.

Each year, Current Young Professionals Network, a program of the Greater Green Bay Chamber, recognizes the accomplishments of talented young professionals (ages 21-40) making an impact within the community.

Yang said her parents, Bruce and Kao Shoua Yang, instilled in her early on, the philosophy that the more one gives to one’s community, the more they’ll get back in the long run.

“The knowledge I’ve gained, through everyone I meet and the experiences they share with me, it’s, I guess, uplifting for me,” Yang said. “(The award) means so much to me. But I think what I want more, is for it to be eye-opening for the other professionals in the Asian community. I want them to understand that, ‘Hey, there’s not a lot of us but people see you and they know that you’re doing great things. So come out and participate.”

Yang said that she hopes the work she and the other young professionals in the Future 15 class of 2022 do will help pave the way for not only aspiring Asian professionals but professionals from any marginalized group.

Yang, who was appointed by Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich to be the chair of the Equal Rights Commission and helped form a Brown County initiative to declare racism a public health crisis, said that one of her biggest struggles along the way has been overcoming what she refers to as “imposter syndrome”.

“You’re sitting at the decision-making table, but you don’t feel qualified,” she said. “You feel that way, even though you have all the qualifications. I think it comes from growing up in certain societies. I used to feel like I was always competing, never good enough.” 

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Mallory Cornelius, owner and founder of VaryAbility, LLC, a service dedicated to connecting individuals with disabilities and area employers, was selected as Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

To date, Cornelius said VaryAbility has helped 63 jobseekers find employment.

“The success I’ve had is a direct reflection of the connections and relationships I’ve been able to make in communities throughout my career,” she said. “So thank you to all the employers and managers who have embraced diversity whom I have been able to work with who embrace diversity and who have hired individuals I’ve supported.”

Cornelius said she has big goals for the future of VaryAbility.

“I’ve always advocated for a more diverse workforce and for the hiring of individuals with disabilities,” she said. “I will continue to do that and the level of awareness and recognition that this brings to them  is just so huge. So, just for that, I say thank you because it helps me and my mission.” 

Next Generation Best Place to Work


The 2022 award for best place to work goes to Immel Construction.

“Over the last 60 years, Immel Construction has truly grown alongside the Green Bay Community,” Brian Wetzel, vice president of operations, said after accepting the award. “We couldn’t be prouder of our table of employees sitting here today, the ones supporting us from at home tonight and the ones at job sites across the midwest. It’s personally a privilege to be in the position to see first hand Immel Construction’s growth, to both teach, and be taught by our next generation.”

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