By Catie George, Manager, Communications and Storytelling
The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) hosted its Young Professionals (YP) General Membership Meeting Tuesday, Sept. 12, at DRC headquarters. The meeting connected young professionals and provided insight into how to make the most of a DRC YP membership.
“YP is made up of over 300 emerging leaders from many different industries, and we contribute to the DRC’s mission to improve the quality of life in our region by providing monthly programming that’s focused on topics that are relevant to our young professionals,” said Olympia Newman, Managing Director of Leadership Programs at the DRC. “We also encourage service through volunteerism, civic engagement, and local advocacy, and we facilitate relationship building and collaborative partnerships.”
Attendees heard from three established YP members and the 2023 YP Chair Mark McKendrick, Employee Health & Benefits Advisor at Marsh McLennan Agency, about their YP experiences.
“What attracted me to YP and the Dallas Regional Chamber is that I wanted to learn more about business in Dallas,” said McKendrick. “In the last twelve years, there’s been over 250 businesses and headquarters that have moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There’s so much opportunity out here.”
Danielle Reynolds, Business Development Manager at Whitley Penn, highlighted the value of plugging into the DRC through YP.
“What kept me with the Chamber is it really is an organization that grows with you as your career progresses and grows,” said Reynolds. “I think it’s an organization that’s intentional with the work that they do. I think the access they give young professionals is huge.”
In addition to professional development, YP promotes community service through service days. In May, YP members partnered with Tango Charities for Feed the City to make meals for unhoused individuals.
“Why I’m a part of this organization is because we’re not just making connections within these four walls, but we’re stepping out and we’re doing things to impact our communities,” said Erika Leigh Nobles, Lease Administration Manager at Colliers. “Even though we may not ever see the homeless people that we made sandwiches and chips for, we still were a part of something big that day.”
The panelists agreed fully committing to YP activities and opportunities is key to maximizing membership.
“You really can get a lot out [of YP] based on what you put in,” said Gene Mance, Jr., Senior Project Program Manager at AT&T. “It’s not only for career advancement, but you can make a lot of friends. It’s about establishing real and authentic relationships, and I think that’s very important,” said Mance.
The young professionals at the meeting were assured that they had already started their professional development journey and were encouraged to keep going.
“Y’all showing up here tonight is the hardest part. You have to show up, you have to go for it,” said Reynolds. “You have to be all in on what you’re doing, or else you’re not going to get the most out of it.”