Dozens of local young professionals eagerly joined their “well-seasoned” counterparts at a launch party of the northern Westchester chapter of the Hudson Valley Young Professionals (HVYP) at last week.
The chapter is an effort to encourage young members of the region’s business community to play more active roles with the Chamber and local organizations; and to form professional relationships. Young people between 21 and 40 can join for free if their employer is already a member of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce, or pay a $50 annual fee. The group will hold networking events, business forums, community outreach events and participate in larger community gatherings like the Dragon Boat races at Peekskill Celebration.
The founders of the HVYP believe that this will help members grow professionally and personally; will keep them living and working in the Hudson Valley, and will help give young people more influence on the region’s future.
“Last year, I was attending one of the local (Chamber) events and noticed a significant lack of a participation of young professionals within the chamber and taking a broad look, noticed that same thing within the community as a whole,” said Luigi Manente, 29-year-old co-chair of the Hudson Valley Young Professionals (HVYP), and sales development manager for Cartwright & Daughters Tent and Party Rentals.
The HVYP looks at the “well-seasoned,” (as Manente referred to his older counterparts) leaders of the business community as role models who can offer insightful advice, guidance, and connections.
Manente explained that he wants the group to prepare the young to take the helm and help drive the growth and development of the region, as their elders retire.
“"This is what it's all about, to expand and grow and keep our people here; keep our young professionals here in the Hudson Valley," said Frank Castella, Chairman of the Dutchess Chamber of Commerce Chairperson and former HVYP chair. The HVYP in Dutchess has been active for the last five years and has thrived in that time. Castella and other members of the Dutchess HVYP helped Westcester County group get started and many attended the launch party last week.
The Westchester chapter functions under the umbrealla of the . They have five subcommittees to plan events pertaining to social networking, education and professional development, public policy perspectives and community outreach opportunities.
Their slogan is to Live, Give, Work and Play in the Hudson Valley, explained Aisha Kutter, co-chair of the HVYP and President of the Kutter Group LLC.
“Live, recognizing that the unique character and wonderful assets of our area makes the region the ideal place to establish one’s roots;
Give, the local community thrives with non-profit entities dependent on the support of the professional outreach and the HVYP works diligently to give back to a community that gives us so much;
Work, embracing regional career opportunities because of the economic success and strength of the region;
Play, enjoying the Hudson Valley’s recreational, natural and historic resources,
Stay, understanding the Hudson Valley is ‘home.’ It is the place where young professionals will want to remain for generations to come.”
HVGCC Director Deb Milone welcomed the crowd of business people, thanked Castalla for his help getting their HVYP started and told the group, “this is going to be big, this is going to be great.”
People ages 21-40 interested in joining can get more information on the Gateway Chamber website.