Coming of Age - Young Professionals Society Helps Its Members Plant Roots

September 29, 2008

Originally conceived roughly two years ago, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield has made great strides since a get-together staged to gauge interest in such an organization wildly exceeded expectations and convinced organizers that there was both a need and an important mission to carry out.

That mission is broad, but boils down to three prime directives: to engage, involve, and educate a demographic group that is vital to the region's future.

Michelle Sade says she has a number of qualitative and quantitative measures for the relative success of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, or YPS, with regard to its mission and various efforts to meet it during its nearly 18 months in existence. One of her favorites, which falls into both categories, really, is the tally (unofficial, but, in her mind, impressive) for the number of people who have said, 'I wish there had been something like this when I was your age' -- or words to that effect.

Sade, 31, operations manager for United Personnel in Springfield and the society's outgoing president, hears this from the leaders of area companies and nonprofit agencies who address YPS members at the group's regular CEO luncheons (more on those later) and also from co-workers and colleagues at chamber of commerce functions and other business gatherings. Such comments, heard and logged away by just about every member of the society, verifies the notion that this group is doing something right.

Actually, a number of things. Summing them all up, Alyssa Carvalho, membership manager for the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and YPS's incoming president, says they help young professionals (defined as those under 40) "put down roots."

And by that, Carvalho, 25, meant that the society helps people in a wide range of professions gain a real connection to this region, one that might facilitate use of their talents and energy to help improve overall quality of life in the Valley, while also providing some impetus for them to stay here. And that's a major concern among employers wondering how they will fill tens of thousands of vacancies over the next few decades as Baby Boomers retire.

"One of our slogans is 'live, work, play, and stay,'" ...

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by: George O'Brien

BusinessWest
September 29, 2008

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