By Megan Cronin, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT
Each month for nearly a year, a group of lawyers, artists, accountants, entrepreneurs, designers, and everything in between have come together to socialize, build professional networks, and explore interesting places throughout eastern CT. These people are all members of the Young Professionals of Eastern Connecticut, known as YPECT, an organization devoted to the success of
YPECT is an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT. “These are very
smart, very productive people, and we want to give them a sense that they have a future here,” says Tony Sheridan, the Chamber’s President and CEO. The success of the YP network took off almost immediately, gaining over 70 members in its first 2 months. Now, at almost a year since its inception, membership is over
175 and growing.
Members come from businesses all over eastern CT. The majority represent Groton, New London, Waterford and Norwich, and reach as far north as Agawam, MA and as far east as Providence, RI.
A key component of membership in YPECT is networking. Members come
together at monthly YPsocials, casual afterhours events held at some of eastern CT’s premier venues. YPsocials present an opportunity for members to socialize, make professional contacts, and share news and upcoming events, while hosts get to showcase their business and services. Previous events have taken place at
Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods, Mystic Aquarium, and the Garde Arts Center, to name a few.
YP members also give back to the community. The Tommy Toy Fund received
a donation of toys for children in need last year, collected by YPs at their holiday
event. Members have also served food at the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Norwich, and cleaned up the beach at Bluff Point State Park in Groton. Headed by Chamber staff Megan Cronin and Matt Lipman, and YPECT Chairperson Lauren Miner of U.S. Foods, the group is planning more community events, including a food drive for Thanksgiving.
“YPECT encourages professional growth, and provides a cohesive bond among the
young professional population in our region,” said Miner, who helped initiate the program in 2011. “I look forward to seeing more activities, outreach, seminars, and continued fellowship in the upcoming year.”
Membership is affordable at $50 for a year, and entitles members to free YPsocials and member rates at most Chamber events. Chamber member businesses are eligible to host YPsocials, which generally draw a crowd of 60 to 100 eager attendees. To join YPECT or host an event at your business, visit www.YPECT.com.