Young Professionals Council provides foundation for entrepreneurs

By Kathleen Chambless For Clay Today
Posted 5/11/22

CLAY COUNTY – Although business is thriving in Clay County, it can be hard to understand if you are unfamiliar with the inner workings of networking, marketing and permits.

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Young Professionals Council provides foundation for entrepreneurs

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Although business is thriving in Clay County, it can be hard to understand if you are unfamiliar with the inner workings of networking, marketing and permits.

For first-time business owners to young adults breaking into a career, the unknown things often outnumber the advice others have given you throughout the years. Even the Chamber of Commerce or entrepreneurship groups can feel daunting – if not outright exclusive. The Clay County Young Professionals Council hopes to ease that with its unique approach to networking and learning.

Created in part by young professionals Brittyn Perkins and Gabrielle Gunn. They hope to bring the mentorship and guidance they learned in their careers to a new group of career-focused entrepreneurs.

“There are plenty of networking groups out there, and while that’s important for building your career or going into business, that’s not what we want to focus on,” Gunn said.

Perkins and Gunn both agree that they wouldn’t be where they are if they didn’t have their mentors. Whether it’s members of their own company taking them under their wing, or a fellow nonprofit executive reaching out to provide help, both women say that relationship has been invaluable.

“I had someone helping me grow, pointing out people I should talk to and development opportunities I should take. Without that, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am,” Gunn said. There is always room for multiple mentors, something Perkins emphasizes.

“You wouldn’t go to your financial mentor with personal relationship issues, and you wouldn’t ask your mentor for HR about budgeting,” she said. “It’s important to have a team, a circle of people supporting you in different ways, and that’s what the CYPC wants to create.”

The CYPC is having its initial kickoff at the end of this month, but that’s not the only thing prospective members can expect.

“We want to bring the one-on-one aspect to this, rather than just panels and networking socials,” Perkins said. “We’re also planning coffee meetings and workshops. Different things that appeal to smaller groups of people. Our members can pick what they need and attend these events.”

This aversion to the “one-size-fits-all” mentality is what Perkins and Gunn hope makes the CYPC unique from other organizations in Clay. “We want to reach out to these young people like us. We want to set them up with the tools that they need to succeed,” Gunn said. “There are hundreds of different opportunities, and not everyone needs the same thing. We want to cultivate these relationships and partnerships that bring every individual growth.”

The YPC now needs help to grow, especially as a young organization.

“The biggest goal right now is just bringing people in,” Gunn said. “We want to do these events, and we want this organization to reach the people it needs to reach the most.”

The Clay Young Professionals Council will kick off on Tuesday, May 31at Top of the Tee, next to the Hibernia Pub at the Fleming Island Golf Course. The launch party will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will include a free round of TopTracer range, one free drink ticket, networking opportunities, introduction of the Chamber’s leadership team, list of upcoming events for Young Professional members and a goodie bag.

The two want to emphasize that anyone can take part, regardless of age or experience. If you’re interested in personal growth, mentorship, and making connections beyond exchanging business cards, RSVP for the Clay Young Professionals Council kickoff at the Clay Chamber website, or on the Clay Chamber Facebook page.

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