The Young Professionals Group gives the under-40 crowd a voice in business dealings in Flagler County.
To Palm Coast Young Professionals Group Chairwoman Harmony Henry, starting YPG with three friends back in 2008 wasn’t just about business or networking. It was about proving to other young people that there were, in fact, other young people in Flagler County.
“There are young people here, and we want more for Flagler County,” she said. “We want more business, we want more jobs, and we want more fun things to do.”
Three years of independent operations later, and with more than 40 paying members all under 40 years old, YPG has been unanimously adopted by the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce & Affiliates, legitimizing the group — as well as Flagler’s 20-to-40 age demographic — by offering it a seat on the chamber’s voting board.
“(YPG) is about showing older people that we’re here, and that our voices need to be heard, and that we are a force to be reckoned with.”
The YPG-chamber merger was made official June 25, when Henry attended her first chamber meeting.
Aside from hosting monthly socials and organizing athletics, YPG participates in volunteer opportunities and fundraisers. Members worked on Habitat for Humanity homes and worked in shelters. The group also sponsors a yearly Jingle Ball, then chooses an organization to which to donate the proceeds — the Rotary Christmas fund was the recipient in 2009, Christmas Come True was last year’s recipient.
The group hosts luncheons, as well, featuring guest speakers who, according to Henry, tailor their talks around local growth opportunities.
The chamber now has a total of four affiliates, including YPG and the Bunnell, Flagler Beach and Palm Coast chambers. Working under the county umbrella, each affiliate offers focused and specific insight into segments of the community, according to Rebecca DeLorenzo, chamber executive vice president.
“The Young Professionals Group has been a strong organization for the past three years,” DeLorenzo said. “We saw it as a win-win, because (they) are the backbone of our community, and our future leaders.”
The chamber will now handle YPG’s administrative and financial aspects.
“We need to encourage our young professionals to get involved in our community,” DeLorenzo said. “By getting involved, they can help make a difference.”
YPG socials are held every first Wednesday of the month. Current employment is not required.
For more, visit www.flaglerchamber.org, or www.pcypg.com.