Category Archives: Member spotlight

Member Spotlight – Corey Wicks

coreyMeet Corey Wicks:

Employer: RBC Bearings/ Self-Employed

Title: Manufacturing Engineer/ Independent Business Owner

YEP: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do:

CW: My day job consists of supporting the manufacturing floor of an industrial/aerospace components plant. We sell over 30,000 different parts but primarily manufacture gears within my particular plant (PIC Design, Middlebury, CT). I do everything from fixture design to process improvements (5S, 6Sigma, Kaizan).

In the evenings, I recently started my own business which consists of two things: First and foremost – Being a mentor for those trying to establish their own small business. I help with everything from start up to website creation to creating a customer base to produce cash flow. Secondly, building my a clientele base in which to sell product.

YEP: How did you find out about YEP and why did you want to get involved?

CW: I found out about YEP through my roommate. I wanted to get involved originally to meet other professionals in my age group and potentially learn about other opportunities in my field of engineering. Now I’m focused on finding individuals with entrepreneurial type minds wishing to start their own businesses.

YEP: Which YEP event has been your favorite so far?

CW: I’ve enjoyed all of the events! I just like getting to know people in our area and learning about others’ career paths and ways of life. Learning is a passion of mine!

YEP: Tell us more about you. What are your future aspirations?

CW: In 10 to 15 years, I plan to be financially stable enough to retire through the work I put into my business. In the meantime, I’ll be continuing with the engineering career path. Whether that means getting into upper management or cultivating my technical skill to become an expert in a specific field, I haven’t decided.

 

YEP: Any fun facts or most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?

How about we play “a truth and two lies”. If you meet me, you can guess which one was the truth.

  1. I went skydiving into a volcano.
  2. I witnessed my own funeral.
  3. I used to sell sea shells by the seashore.

Member Spotlight – Rebecca Walkinshaw

Rebecca WalkinshawMeet Rebecca Walkinshaw, Insurance Coorinator at Commerce Park Children’s Dentristry and Orthodontics, and YEP Board Member!

Employer: Commerce Park Children’s Dentistry &
orthodontics

Title: Insurance Coordinator

YEP: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do:

RW: I have been with my office for the past 6 years. I have worked throughout the office, face to face, over the phone and now in the insurance and billing side of things. I really love my job and the people I work with. I spend most of the day collecting payments from insurance companies and speaking with them in order to get the patient the most benefits possible.

YEP: How did you find out about YEP and why did you want to get involved?

RW: My office manager, Allison, introduced me to YEP. Once I attended the information session, I realized that I wanted to be involved with the events that were going on. I think there are some great ideas and am excited to help get the YEP name out into the community.

YEP: Which YEP event has been your favorite so far?

RW: I really enjoy the board meetings actually. I think it is a great place to brainstorm as to new ideas and helping revise existing plans that have been done. I’m looking forward to the future events, especially getting involved with the mentoring program in Shelton schools.

YEP: Tell us more about you. What are your future aspirations?

RW: I was just accepted to SCSU grad program for my MBA in finance, which begins in September, so that is an exciting and nerve racking road that I will be going on. I always loved school and I am ready to further my education to be more well versed in the finance aspect of things.

YEP: Any fun facts or most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?

RW: This will be my 3rd year riding in Smilow’s Closer to Free bike ride on September 9th. I will be riding 62.5 miles in memory of my mom Diane. I love that I can help raise money for a great cause and be able to enjoy the ride with family and friends cheering me on the whole way.

Member Spotlight – Shawna L. Vallillo

Shawna L. Vallillo
Name: Shawna L. Vallillo
Title: Realtor at Keller Williams Realty,
YEP Events Committee Chair

YEP: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

SLV: I am a residential realtor who represents clients looking to buy, sell, or invest in real estate in Fairfield and New Haven counties.
YEP: How did you find out about YEP and why did you want to get involved?

SLV: I found out about YEP from Veronica Parsloe. We met at Shelton Day and talked about all of the amazing things the group does, and I knew I wanted to be involved.
YEP: Which YEP event has been your favorite so far?

SLV: I have only been to a few. I really enjoyed meeting everyone at December’s Pizza Party at Vazzy’s Cucina.
YEP: Tell us more about you. What are your future aspirations?


SLV: I would like to meet people who share the same values and enjoy working to make our community a better place to live.

YEP: Any fun facts or most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?

SLV: Fun fact – I am very artistic; I can do calligraphy, draw, paint, and enjoy crafts.

To read move, visit CTYEP.com or click HERE.

Member Spotlight – Peter Gerardi

 

peter-gerardi

Welcome to the Young Emerging Professional’s Member Spotlight, where YEP sits down with one of our members and sees what they’re up to. These folks are the heart and soul behind our events and our mission.

This month we’re proud to present Peter Gerardi:

Employer: Newtown Savings Bank in Shelton

Title: Branch Manager, Assistant Vice President, Newtown Savings Bank in Shelton

YEP: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do:

PG: Back in Mid-April this year, I joined Newtown Savings Bank managing the Shelton Branch located on Bridgeport Ave. My responsibilities cover all areas of retail banking, including sales, service, operations, and staff supervision. I enjoy my direct interaction with the local customers and advising them with their
banking needs. Business development and community involvement are included in my responsibilities, however I do have personal enjoyment fulfilling those duties.

YEP: How did you find out about YEP and why did you want to get involved?

PG: I was attending a Greater Valley Chamber event, Schmooz-a- Palooza (love the name), where I met Nancie Gray. During our conversation, I explained how I was looking to get involved with a local social/networking group but also have an interest in community involvement and volunteering. With no
hesitation, she suggested I investigate joining YEP. After meeting with Kayleigh, it was clear, with her leadership, this group has significant benefits to be affiliated with.

YEP: Which YEP event has been your favorite so far?

PG: I have not yet attended too many events however I’m really looking forward to upcoming Mystery on Main. Sounds like a good time trying to figure out the “who done it” with an interactive murder mystery. I grew up playing Clue!

YEP: Tell us more about you. What are your future aspirations?

PG: I sincerely enjoy working with individuals and businesses with their financials goals and plans.Hearing their stories and how they arrived where they are today is so personal. Where ever my future takes me, I am sure it will be using my experience and knowledge to help others.

YEP: Any fun facts or most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?

PG: My family has been getting into bicycling now that my youngest, who is 5, is ready to take the training wheels off. For our family vacation this summer, we did a road trip visiting friends and family we don’t get to see often. We visited Washington DC, Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA, and Oak Island, NC. We took bike rides at each stop along the trip but my favorite was riding to around DC seeing the monuments. It was a memorable experience for all of us.

Member Spotlight – Ken Feldkamp

Ken Feldkamp

Welcome to the Young Emerging Professional’s Member Spotlight, where YEP sits down with one of our members and sees what they’re up to.

This month we’re proud to present YEP’s Ken Feldkamp (2016 Board Member):

YEP: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
KF: My name is Ken Feldkamp. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay with a Bachelors in Business Administration in May 2014 and began working as a Customer Service Representative at Paper Transport Inc. In July 2015, I moved up to the role of Account Manager for a dedicated fleet of CNG trucks running for Unilever. I moved to Ansonia, CT in August to work in Unilever’s office in Shelton. On a day to day basis, it is my job to make sure the fleet is running to make on time deliveries for Unilever while meeting Paper Transport’s expectations for efficiency and performance. In my free time, I enjoy shooting pool, watching Netflix, playing ultimate Frisbee and reading John Grisham or Stephen King.
YEP: How did you find out about YEP and why did you want to get involved?
KF: After I graduated and while I worked in Green Bay, I was very involved in volunteer organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Red Cross. I was also involved with 2 different young professionals groups, Current and Tap Your Potential. When I moved to Ansonia, I was looking for ways to become involved in the community and after doing some research, I found information about YEP. I want to become involved because I enjoy volunteering and want to make an impact in my community, while developing professional skills and growing as an individual.
YEP: Which YEP event has been your favorite so far?
KF: A group of us went to Escape New Haven on a Saturday. It an unique building set as event space with individual rooms and different scenarios in each. Our team was trapped in a “space station” and using our collective knowledge and skills we had to solve the puzzles in each room eventually leading us to freedom. It was pretty sweet.
YEP: Any fun facts or most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?
KF: I am a big Green Bay Packers football fan and for the 2014 NFL season, I worked home game security at Lambeau field. I only was able to watch bits and pieces of the game, but being there and being part of the atmosphere was amazing. I was able to get out on Lambeau Field once as well.

Member Spotlight – Tony Wimperis

TonyWimperisPic

 

Welcome to the Young Emerging Professional’s Member Spotlight, where YEP sits down with one of our members and sees what they’re up to. Over the next several months, we will introduce you to the YEP Team. These folks are the heart and soul behind our events and our mission.

This month we’re proud to present YEP’s Tony Wimperis (Board Member):

Employer: Dworken, Hillman, LaMorte & Sterczala, P.C.

Title: Senior Tax Accountant

YEP: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do:

TW: As a CPA, I prepare tax returns for all types of taxpayers: individuals, businesses, and estates/trusts, and not-for-profits. We see a lot of complicated tax issues come through our doors, and what I love about my job is the process of resolving these headaches for our clients while educating them along the way. It is very rewarding to step into someone’s shoes in order to hand them a greater sense of control over their finances at the end of the day.

I graduated from Babson College in Massachusetts with a concentration in accounting, and hold a Master’s degree in Taxation from the University of New Haven.

YEP: How did you find out about YEP and why did you want to get involved?

TW: I was originally invited to a YEP event by Heather Smith-Jaser, an audit manager in our office and a former YEP board member. I got involved in the organization because it provides a great opportunity to build relationships with other professionals in the area. As a new YEP board member, I see it as an avenue for improving and enriching the Valley’s business community.

YEP: Which YEP event has been your favorite so far?

TW: For me, it is Pinktoberfest. This event is always a blast, and it is for a great cause!

YEP: Tell us more about you. What are your future aspirations?

TW: I am focused on becoming a partner in a CPA firm…I have a heart for assisting people with their tax issues and finances, and see it as a great way to serve them. I view my career as an opportunity to encourage and advise clients in ways that will build their wealth while keeping them in compliance with the rules.

YEP: Any fun facts or most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?

TW: At 16 years old, I was in a Got Milk? Mustache print advertisement for winning a skateboard graphic design contest. I am shown in the ad with a milk mustache, holding the board I designed. Skateboarding was a huge part of my life back then, so this was quite a blessing…. The design was chosen out of 4,000 entries, and the only skateboarders to be in Got Milk? ads up to that point were two of my heroes: Tony Hawk and Bob Burnquist. I was NOT very artistic growing up, so it came as a total surprise. To this day, I still can’t believe it actually happened!

YEP – Member Spotlight Tony Wimperis

Member Spotlight – Kayleigh Apicerno

KayleighAPhoto

We’re proud to present YEP’s current Chair, Kayleigh Apicerno:
Employer: R.D. Scinto, Cloud Media Marketing
Title: Receptionist/ Marketing Coordinator at R.D. Scinto. Owner of Cloud Media Marketing

YEP: Tell us a bit about what you do?

KA: I recently joined the team at R.D. Scinto. I am the Receptionist and Marketing Coordinator, responsible for the marketing communications and social media. After 5, I switch hats and work on my business, Cloud Media Marketing, training individuals and small business owners social media.

YEP: Tell us a bit about yourself?

KA: This is always the most difficult question! When I am not working, I spend my time learning. I really believe that it is important to learn something new every day. With the Internet at our fingertips, there are no excuses. Currently, my favorite pastimes include Coursera and Duolingo. I’m learning Italian a little each day!

YEP: What is your role with YEP?

KA: I am the current Chair of YEP.

YEP: What is it about YEP that you like?

KA: Getting to know other young professionals in the area. I have made so many friends and learned so much about the community thanks to this organization. Being a part of this group and seeing what my fellow peers are able to do have inspired me in many ways. I almost certainly would not have taken the leap and actually opened my own business. I also find it very fulfilling to give my time to the various causes in the area.

YEP: Future aspirations?

KA: As I mentioned, I just recently started my new position and my business, so I am working on figuring everything out. And of course, I am working very hard to make YEP a well-known and respected organization here in the Valley.

YEP: Any fun facts or most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?

KA: Let’s see. This past March, I went on a trip to St. Lucia in the Caribbean. It was my first time out of the country besides a brief visit to Canada when I was 9. It was a gorgeous island. I did not use my phone or any technology the whole time I was away (besides taking photos)! It was tough, especially since my business is social media, but somehow I made it through!

Member Spotlight – Veronica Parsloe

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Employer: Parent Child Resource Center (PCRC)

Title: Director of Development & Marketing

YEP: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do:

VP: My position with PCRC is administrative-based, focusing on anything from financial development, such as fundraising and grant writing, to marketing initiatives, such as coordinating the shoot of a promotional video for the agency or re-branding to make sure our logo and other branding standards are implemented throughout the organization.

YEP: How did you find out about YEP and why did you want to get involved?

VP: For a long time, I have wanted to be a member of a young professionals group so that I can meet new people in the area and increase my network to have resources to provide me with feedback on my professional work, and to also work on interesting new projects in the community. Specifically since joining YEP I have had the pleasure of meeting many young professionals who have helped me learn more about the Valley, from champions in the community to the best place to grab lunch.

YEP: Which YEP event has been your favorite so far?

VP: Shakespeare in the Bar. I have a bit of a theatre background in my family, so I was excited to see a performance in a new way. Also, one of our members played a primary role, so it was fun to learn more about a new friend.

YEP: Tell us more about you. What are your future aspirations?

VP: I would like to become an Executive Director of a healthcare non-profit. I hope to go to school for a Masters in Healthcare Management, a Healthcare MBA, or a similar degree so I can learn more about the business end of running an organization.

YEP: Any fun facts or most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?

VP: I almost went pro playing tennis. Unfortunately I have a re-occurring issue with my wrist so I was not able to pursue that career. I was lucky enough to learn about development and marketing at the early age of 16 and have been working in the field ever since. I began volunteering at an earlier age, and volunteering is what led me to my true passion. I love volunteering and never thought of it as a “chore,” the way many people do. Tell me a more fulfilling way to get involved with your community and meet new people. Volunteer experiences alone have allowed me to grow so much, not just professionally but also in my personal life. I was in AmeriCorps and had a great time. I hope to join the Peace Corps later in life.

When I’m not working, I am kayaking, hiking or checking out a new restaurant. I have a guinea pig named Glen Coco and a yorkie, Atticus. I love traveling and hope to go on a road trip this summer.

Member Spotlight – Elizabeth Potenza

Elizabeth Potenza

Welcome to the Young Emerging Professional’s Member Spotlight, where each month YEP will sit down with one of our members and see what they’re up to.

This month we’re proud to present YEP’s Elizabeth (Libby) Potenza (YEP’s Marketing Committee Chair):

Employer: Sacred Heart University

Title: Program Assistant, SHU Online and Cohort Programs

YEP: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do:
EP: I am a graduate of Shelton High and Uconn. I work in the School of Nursing at Sacred  Heart University. I primarily work with RNs who want to obtain their Bachelors and/or Masters Degree(s). Most of our students take their classes in an online format. We also have several cohorts of students in area hospitals — they learn in a hybrid format (online and onsite in their places of employment). I truly enjoy working at Sacred Heart because of its emphasis on social justice and bettering the community.

YEP: How did you find out about YEP and why did you want to get involved?
EP: I noticed that some of my Facebook friends were involved with YEP, so I decided to check out a YEPresent event last year. I had been looking for a way to be more involved with the local community and YEP was a perfect fit! It has opened up many volunteering opportunities for me.

YEP: Which YEP event has been your favorite so far?
EP: Shakespeare in the Bar at Porky’s last March has been my favorite event so far. It was so fun to be in an open space with the play unfolding right in front of us. Some of the audience members were even asked to participate. I’m looking forward to this event again this year.

YEP: Tell us more about you. What are your future aspirations?
EP: I worked in human resources and non-fiction publishing before I got into higher education. I want to continue in higher ed and eventually get a Masters in Applied Psychology or Business. Besides YEP, I’m also involved with the SHU-ERC (Emergency Reserve Corps) through work. We help to keep SHU and the surrounding area safe in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. My interests include movies (especially independent ones), dancing (Nia and Zumba), and food (especially organic and locally grown). I also love spoiling my rescue cat named Tabitha (Tabby for short).

YEP: Any fun facts or most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?
EP: I’ve gotten to meet several famous authors in person including David Sedaris, Anna Quindlen, Elizabeth Gilbert, Wally Lamb, and Ann Leary. My favorite recent read is “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.

Member Spotlight – Fernando Solis

Fernando Head ShotWelcome to the Young Emerging Professional’s Member Spotlight, where we sit down with one of our members and see what they’re up to.

Employer: Hampton Inn Shelton Managed by New Castle Hotels and Resorts

Title: General Manager

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do: I have been in the hospitality Industry for about 14 years now I have worked for many of the popular hotel chains and brands like Marriott, Starwood, and I am currently working for the best brand, Hampton Inn. In my position as General Manager, I lead a team of 30 employees and I focus on four man objectives: revenue growth, bottom line profit, guest satisfaction, and employee satisfaction.  I love this industry because every day there is something new and challenging.  I have been blessed with a great staff and a wonderful hotel. In the three years since it opened, we have received many awards from Hilton.  In 2012, we won the Lighthouse award that is given to the top 5% of Hampton Inn for Service and Quality, and in 2013, we received the Circle of Excellence award for being in the top 10% for Service and Quality.

How did you find out about YEP and why did you want to get involved? Not being from the Valley, I wanted to find out more of what was going on in the community.  I started attending more and more Chamber functions, where I met Thomas and Sue Steeves.  They invited me to a YEPresent, and I have been going ever since.  New Castle Hotels and Resorts believe in giving back to the community and lending a helping hand.  I always tell people we might not be able to give much money but I can always give you my time …and the occasional gift certificate for a free night.

Which YEP event has been your favorite so far?  I do have to say Pinktoberfest is a blast. Being a cancer survivor, I love giving to any organization that would help cure this horrible disease.

Tell us more about you. What are your future aspirations? I am originally from a small town in Texas, but I have been in Connecticut for about 21 years now.  I like to say I am on a really long vacation in Connecticut because Texas will always be home. I have many hobbies. I love to golf, hike, and being from Texas, I love to BBQ.  I am a cancer survivor from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and I have learned to live life with a positive attitude and face difficulties head on.

I love the hospitality industry and one day I would love a full service hotel, but my dream job would be to open and operate a BBQ place.

Any fun facts or most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you? In my 14 years in the hotel industry I have seen and witnessed many interesting things.  I have met and hung out with many celebrities like Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block, Alice Cooper,112 (had birthday cake with them), Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, Carrot Top, Terry Bradshaw, BB King, and Ray Charles.

My favorite person I have ever met was just last week.  I met an eleven year old little girl who had beaten leukemia.  This tiny person went through years of Chemo and treatments and is now in remission. She was full of life and so happy it melted my heart. Every time I think I am having a bad day I think of her and how happy she was when we met.  This was a great reminder that no matter how bad things are, they could always be worse. Live a positive life and positive things will happen.This was a great reminder that no matter how bad things are, they can always be worse. Live a positive life and positive things will happen.