Category Archives: Develop.

Young Professional Symposium

You are invited to the first ever Young Professionals Symposium and Happy Hour. The Symposium is hosted by the CT Young Professionals (CTYP) and the Future Leaders of Yale (FLY). The Happy Hour will be hosted by CTYP and YEP.

What to Expect
The Symposium will start at 10AM and will include lots of breakout sessions and speakers. Here is the list you can choose from:

That’s right, there is a mini food truck festival for lunch!

Here is the Website and the Facebook Event
ate: 10/24/15
Time: 10:00AM – 4:20 followed by Happy Hour
Location: William L. Harkness Hall (100 Wall St. New Haven)

Happy Hour
Join us on the Happy Hour on the roof of Elm City Social after the Symposium for some free food, discounted drinks, and new friends.

Here is the Facebook Event specifically for the Happy Hour
Date: 10/24/15
Time: 4:30PM – 6:30PM
Location: Elm City Social (266 College St New Haven)

On behalf of the YEP Board, I hope to see you Saturday!

Kayleigh Apicerno
YEP Chair 2015-2016

Lessons From The First CEO Speaks of 2015


On April 14, 2015, I had the opportunity to attend the YEP CEO Speaks event hosted by Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan. The speaker was the CEO of the bank, William Calderara. Right from the start I knew it was going to be an interesting talk and I was not let down.


What is CEO Speaks?

Before I go any further, I want to describe what a CEO Speaks event is. The Young Emerging Professionals hold a variety of events throughout the year. The most well known is the monthly after hours networking events called YEPresents. These events really allow local young professionals to connect with each other. YEP regularly participates in a wide variety of volunteer activities to support the community. These include holding the annual Pinktoberfest during Valley Goes Pink, and Bowl-2-Benefit for BHCare. CEO Speaks and other developmental events are held, on average, once a quarter.


CEO Speaks, in particular, are lunch and learn type events where YEP members get the chance to listen to and have discussions with a CEO or other local business leader. They share how they got to where they are and what lessons they learned along the way. Leadership skills develop over time through practice, learning, and mentorship. Being able to be in a room with a local business leader provides a great opportunity to young professionals to ask a question or two and receive answers straight from a live and in person leader.


Mr. Calderara Speaks

The CEO Speaks lunch and learn was only one hour and that included time for food, which was kindly provided by NVSL. In just this short period of time, Mr. Calderara spoke clearly and concisely on a variety of topics. In the interest of time, I am only going to write about four of them here.


Point 1

CEO_placement_trianglesOne of the first talking points that William Calderara made was the way on the way he described his place in the company. He drew two triangles on the board and labeled them as seen in the image above. His point was that he sees himself at the bottom and it is his job to support everyone above him. This also puts the customer at the top as the most important part of the business. With this as a starting point, it started to become easier to see how he was able to help transform his company into the much more successful one it is today.


Point 2

The second point Mr. Calderara made was something that I have already been trying to do. It was great to hear that I was on the right track and that it will hopefully help me and everyone else that was in the room. Basically, he said learn everyday and learn all you can. Try out different jobs when possible and step outside your comfort zone. Not only will learning a variety of skills help with general professional development, it will also help to prepare you for a position in leadership.Besides actually working in different roles, Mr. Calderara suggested volunteering for different projects. Sit on different committees and work with others gain as much experience as possible.


Point 3

Towards the end of the hour, I heard a phrase that I have heard a thousand times, “Don’t be afraid to fail.” The second half was new to me, “It’s cheaper than a Harvard MBA.” How true is that? Failing and learning from the mistake is, to a degree, very much cheaper than a Master’s degree from an Ivy league school. This is not saying all mistakes or failures won’t cost you or your company a lot of money, but day to day, this holds true.


Point 4

One last point I wanted to make sure to include is the following. Mr. Calderara has made a point of talking to people. This includes employees and customers. He said he likes to hear about the “stupid stuff,” the seemingly trivial day to day items that many employees would usually not want to bother management with. By hearing what is really on the minds of the employees and customers, a manager can see and respond to the little things that usually matter the most. He encouraged everyone who steps into a leadership position to talk to people. Get out of the office and onto the floor or out with the customers.


If you have read this far, thank you and I hope it was worth your time. As mentioned above, CEO Speaks and other events are held by YEP on a regular basis. If you would like to stay up to date on upcoming events, Like YEP on Facebook, follow @CTYEP on twitter, visit, or send your email address to to be added to the email distribution list. I look forward to seeing you at the next event.

Letter To Members From Incoming Chair, Kayleigh Apicerno

me photo YEPHello All!

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Kayleigh Apicerno, and I will be your YEP Chair for 2015.

Over the past 3 years, I have been the Secretary and Marketing Committee Chair along with being the Co-Chair of the sub-committee for Pinktoberfest in 2013 and the Chair of this committee in 2014.

I have many ideas on how to grow and develop YEP during 2015 and cannot wait to get started. I am confident that with a laser focus on our 3 main pillars, ConnectDevelop, and Support, we will be able to build relationships, develop new skills, and support our community.

To those of you who have been a part of the Young Emerging Professionals, thank you for being a part of a great organization. You know how special our group is!

To those of you who are just joining us, on behalf of the committee and members, welcome!

It will take a dedicated team to reach our 2015 goals. Is it your time to emerge? Consider attending the following committee and board meetings. No registration or commitment required.

1st Board Meeting of 2015 
Monday, January 5, 2015
Meeting starting at 5:30PM
To be held at GVCC office
10 Progress Dr, Shelton, CT 06484

YEPresent @ Red Lotus
Thursday, January 8, 2015
5:30 – 7:30PM at Red Lotus
872 Bridgeport Ave, Shelton, CT 06484 (Stop & Shop Plaza)

I look forward to seeing you in 2015.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments either through email, or on or Twitter @CTYEP. I personally check all of these contact points and will return your message.

Kayleigh Apicerno
2015 YEP Chair

The Young Emerging Professionals is a networking group for people in their 20s and 30s who live, work, or play in the Valley. Our goal is to Connect with each other, Develop professional and personal skills, and Support the community.

Open House / Board Selections

YEP Open House

Want to get involved or know someone who would make a good addition to our organization? Join us at Vazzy’s on December 3rd at 5:30PM.

This is your opportunity to join the board and/or a committee. Our Board terms run from January through December. We need to fill a few positions for the upcoming 2015 term.

Food will be provided. We look forward to making things happen next year, and we need you in order to meet our goals!


Vice chair
Marketing Committee Chair
Events Committee Chair
Sponsorship Committee Chair
Community Outreach Chair

The Young Emerging Professionals is a networking group for people in their 20s and 30s who live, work, or play in the Valley. Our goal is to Connect with each other, Develop professional and personal skills, and Support the community.

YEPresent Networking Crawl

Our next monthly after hours will be a networking crawl. Earn tickets along the way for a chance to win some really awesome prizes!

Here is what we know so far:
-We will meet in the post office parking lot in Shelton at 5:30. Registration will be from 5:30-6:00.
-Bring non perishable foods to earn tickets right from the start.
Certain items will get you double tickets, so stay tuned for details.
-We will visit 3 local bar/restaurants on Center Street. Once they are confirmed, we will announce which ones.
-We will end at Bricks & Barley for some extra chances to earn tickets, share what we have learned, and announce winners.
-Ari will be hosting us at our final stop!

Details will be coming soon and preregistration will be highly encouraged for this event, so hit JOIN to make sure you get all the announcements.

Pinktoberfest 2014

The Young Emerging Professionals are excited to announce details for the 5th Annual Pinktoberfest.

Event Details
Date: October 9th
Time: 6:00PM to 9:00PM
Location: Molto Bene Italian American Kitchen
What to expect: food, drawing, games, contests, networking, photo opps, and more!

Pinktoberfest is YEP’s biggest fundraising event of the year, with over 100 people expected to attend. Proceeds from the event benefit the Hewitt Center for Bread Wellness at Griffin Hospital.

The Young Emerging Professionals (YEP), a committee of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, created Pinktoberfest four years ago, and the event’s reach and success has grown each year.

Pinktoberfest is one of the many events that will take place as part of The Valley Goes Pink, a grassroots, community-wide effort throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley to create awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection; support the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital; and showcase partnering organizations.

Tickets will be available now. Click Here

For questions and sponsorship opportunities,   contact us at or (203) 925-4981.

Your Time To Emerge? Leadership Greater Valley

Leadership Greater Valley is a 9 week course (8 classes and a graduation ceremony) that combines leadership skill building with community education…and it is gearing up for the next session now.

Many Young Emerging Professionals (YEP) leaders have gone through the program over the years. Read what some of them had to say about the program below:

Leadership Greater Valley was an excellent experience.  In the eight week course, I was blown away from the history and sense of togetherness the people of the Greater Valley have.  I am not from the Valley area, but by taking this leadership course, I have been able to be a better part of this welcoming community. -Fernando Solis (2013)

Getting involved in Leadership Greater Valley was not an easy decision to make.  The time spent away from work and the cost of the program were two factors that I had to personally weigh.  Upon completion of the program, I was able to see personal growth that I knew would have a far greater impact in my personal and professional life than any other investment I could have made.  Since my Leadership graduation, I’ve gotten involved as a board member of local organizations, become more actively involved in dedicating my time and energy to worthwhile causes, and made lifelong friendships that, truthfully, I didn’t expect to make when I first made the decision to sign up.

I’m so thankful for the encouragement from the Chamber staff to participate in the program.  I’d strongly encourage others looking to find the inner leader within themselves to participate in Leadership Greater Valley! –Chris Hill (2011)

I have had many opportunities to be involved in my community, and I can attribute so much of this to the LGV program.  Through the knowledge I gained about the Valley’s history and local businesses that I visited during the sessions, political figures that I was able to speak with one on one, and most importantly, the leadership skills that I left with, I have become the leader that I never knew I could be and have had so many wonderful opportunities. 

I strongly encourage anyone that works or lives in the valley to participate in the outstanding program, which would never be as successful as it has been  for many years without the very close and mutually beneficial collaboration of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce staff and the Valley United Way Staff. -Tom Steeves (2012)

One of my favorite experiences in my career so far has been going through the Leadership Greater Valley program. I learned so much about my community and what it takes to be a great leader. Not only do I have new perspectives on leadership and the community, I also made new connections and lasting friendships. 

I recommend this program to anyone who lives, works, or spends time in this community. To go through this program will only serve to boost your community pride, make you want to get involved, and hone your leadership skills. -Kayleigh Apicerno (2013) 

The Leadership Greater Valley program is a joint effort of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Valley United Way, and The Valley Council. To learn more about Leadership Greater Valley and how to get one of the coveted 15 spots, visit the website: