Local woman named Jackson County Young Professional of the Year

Co-founder of Sugar Coated Events, Sugar Coated Candy and Pink Wagon Market.

Event and marketing coordinator for the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.

Coordinator of Jackson County Young Professionals.

Sasha Norman holds these titles and now can add one more to the list: Jackson County Young Professional of the Year.

During the chamber’s recent drive-in annual dinner at the Aerial Farmer hangar at Freeman Field, the Seymour woman received that award from chamber President Dan Robison.

Norman said Robison told her she was nominated by a couple of her JCYP peers.

“I was very surprised. It really means a lot,” she said. “I work hard every day to make sure this group stays relevant, so getting recognized was extremely exciting.”

Norman is a 2003 Seymour High School graduate and a 2007 Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in tourism, conventions and event management.

She then worked as an event planner in Columbus, worked in billing at a doctor’s office and did project management for Lannett Co. Inc.

In 2012, Sugar Coated Candy (handmade women’s and kids jewelry and original bracelet keychains) and Sugar Coated Events (event planning for baby/bridal showers, birthday parties and weddings) came about after she and friend Kristina Charlton each had their daughters.

“We wanted to make some extra play money on the side,” Norman said, noting Sugar Coated Candy can be purchased via Facebook or Etsy.

Two years later, Pink Wagon Market started. It’s a pop-up vendor market conducted on the first weekend of November every year. Small businesses sell handmade items, vintage items and boutique clothing. Sugar Coated Candy also has a booth at the event.

“I love all ventures — working with my best friend and business partner, Kristina, with all three ventures, meeting new people and shopping,” Norman said.

In December 2018, she started at what was then known as the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce handling marketing and event planning. Earlier this year, the organization’s name was changed to Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.

“I’ve enjoyed meeting new people, networking and of course, planning all of our events,” she said.

While working at the chamber, Norman said a lot of people called asking if there was a young professionals group in Seymour.

After she learned the original one had dissolved, she said she worked hard to get another group started. She met with some key people who were involved the first time around, and the group returned in June 2020.

“I think it’s very important to provide a welcoming environment for young professionals to build and cultivate lasting relationships both socially and professionally,” Norman said of why she made restarting JCYP a priority.

The group is able to promote connections with community leaders, business owners and other Jackson County professionals to encourage new opportunities for young professionals, she said.

The group is open to people ages 21 to 40 who live or work in Jackson County.

“Right now, we have 60 members,” Norman said. “We are always looking for more young professionals to join. If you are interested in networking with other young professionals and enjoy learning/growing your professional career, we would love to have you.”

She said it’s important to have young professionals in a community making an impact in various ways.

“The purpose of JCYP is to be a staple in Jackson County young professionals’ lives by offering opportunities for education, improvement and the betterment of the professional areas of their lives,” Norman said. “When communities thrive, everyone benefits.”