Group forms for young professionals

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

SIDNEY — Young professionals, 21-39, in Shelby County and the surrounding area will have a new networking opportunity beginning March 16.

YPconnect will launch as a social gathering with an initial meeting from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in Brew Nation, 110 E. Poplar St. All young professional people are welcome to attend.

The initiative is a program of the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, but people do not need to be employed by a chamber member business to participate.

Amanda Anderson with Fifth Third Bank, Ashley Himes with State Farm Insurance, Justin Spillers with Faulkner, Garmhausen, Keister & Shenk, and Mark Hoge with McCrate DeLaet were the catalysts behind the effort to organize Ypconnect.

“Late last year the chamber was approached by several young professionals employed at chamber member companies who had an interest in organizing a young professionals group in Shelby County,” said chamber President Jeff Raible in a release. “We jumped at the idea. For some time, we had contemplated forming a group such as this to strengthen the bond between young professionals working in and around Shelby County and the community itself. Knowing that attracting and retaining the best and brightest is always a challenge for our members, we wanted to devise what we hoped would become an additional attribute in the area that would add to the professional and social satisfaction of YPs employed here.”

The group will meet monthly on the third Thursday of the month. Most meetings will be from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., but in March, June, September and December, the meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. Organizers call the meeting days “thirsty Thursdays.”

Himes told the Sidney Daily News that there are no fees and no agendas.

“This will be a member-directed group. We decided to stay away from agendas to see what the group wants to do. We’re open to what the group can achieve,” she said. “Our mission is simple. Connect. Inspire. Invigorate. We want to help young professionals in the area get to know each other and build a new network within this community of awesome individuals who like to work hard and play hard too.”

Anderson has some familiarity with other chamber-sponsored YP groups and thought having one in Sidney-Shelby County would be a real benefit. She said, “This is what Sidney needs. A way for young professionals to connect.”

Ypconnect is open to young professionals, living or working in Sidney, Shelby County and the surrounding area.

Additional information about the group can be found on Facebook, @Ypconnectshelbycounty.

“Area YPs are invited to join us on the third Thursday each month for a beer, a coffee, a conversation, a connection,” Himes said.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.