Tag Archives: monthly

Member Spotlight – 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.

YEP Field Day

Join us for our 7th annual Field Day! You’ve never experienced Field Day quite like this!

In past years, this event was known as YEP Olympics or YEP Wii Bowling Tournament, but this year, we are trying something a little different.

Show off your free throw, corn hole, and relay skills on Friday, August 12th, at the R.D. Scinto Corporate Drive campus in Shelton.

We will start and end our night at Il Palio. More details will be available soon, so hit INTERESTED and check back soon.

Corn Hole
Egg and Spoon Relay
Musical Chairs
Frisbee Toss
Basketball Free Throw
and more…

That’s right, you can pay to cheat at our field day. Many of our games will have an option to trade your dollars for a better shot.
EX:)Wish you could stand closer to the basketball hoop when making free throws? Each dollar will let you take a step closer.
*All money raised from the pay to cheat option will go to our Back-2-School backpack program fundraising effort.

YEP’s mission is to connect and engage emerging leaders in their 20’s & 30’s in activities that support our community and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce while making the Lower Naugatuck Valley region and its surrounding communities a more energetic, exciting, and active place to work and live.

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.

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 CTYEP.com, or send your email address to YEP@GreaterValleyChamber.com to be added to the email distribution list. I look forward to seeing you at the next event.

YEPresent @ Red Lotus

The first YEPresent of 2015 will be held on Thursday, January 8th from 5:30 – 7:30PM at Red Lotus in Shelton.

Join us for a couple of hours of casual networking and fun. Connect with local peers and neighbors.

Please bring some cash with you as we will be raising money for a local family who is facing possible foreclosure and a pile of medical bills. For more information, visit http://www.gofundme.com/is07m4  and share #savenurseginny online.

We are looking forward to an amazing 2015!

To preresister for this event, follow this link

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.

What Is A YEPresent?

Let’s run through the 5 W’s to figure out what a YEPresent really is:

Who Should Attend YEPresents?
Young emerging professionals (between 21 and 40 years of age) who live, work, or play in the Lower Valley (Shelton, Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Oxford, and Beacon Falls).

What are YEPresents?
YEPresents are the cornerstone of The Young Emerging Professionals. They are monthly after hours networking events that take place on the second Thursday of each month.

Where are YEPresent’s Held?
Most months, YEP members meet at a local restaurant or bar for about two hours and network and catch up with each other. YEPresents have been held at Vazzy’s, Antonio’s, Hot Tamale, Jone’s Winery, Oronoque Country Club, The Hampton Inn, The Hilton Garden Inn, The Sports Center of CT, Porky’s Cafe, just to name a few.

Throughout the year, there are a few special YEPresents that include more than just some causal networking. These events include our annual YEPOlympics (August) and Pinktoberfest (October).

When are YEPresents?
YEPresents are held each month on the second Thursday of that month. That means there are a total of 12 YEPresents each year. However, these are not the only events hosted by YEP. Keep and eye on the events calendar to find out more about CEO Speaks, volunteering events, and other special events.

Why Should You Attend YEPresents?
People attend YEPresents for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

– Meeting fellow YEPs
– To make local connections
– To get the word out about their business
– To find new clients
– To make friends
– To build business relationships
– To work on professional development
– To get involved in the community
– Because they want to be social
– To learn about local businesses where the events are held

Each YEPresent and special event is posted to the Calendar and to our Facebook events page. You can also sign up for the monthly newsletter by emailing a request to YEP@GreaterValleyChamber.com.

YEP is a committee of the Greater Valley Chamber. Annual membership is $40, and only $30 for Chamber members. Sign up for a membership by visiting the Join YEP page.


The YEP mission states: YEP’s mission is to connect and engage emerging leaders in their 20’s & 30’s in activities that support our community and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce while making the Lower Naugatuck Valley region and its surrounding communities a more energetic, exciting and active place to work and live.

We accomplish this mission by focusing on three pillars: Connect. Develop. Support. This post focuses on the Develop portion.

Developing personally and professionally is something that happens just by being a part of a group such as YEP and through professional development activities/events hosted by the organization.

YEP recognizes that energy and passion is what makes the Greater Valley community a more exciting place to work and live. By harnessing this resource, we can make a difference in the lives of our members, our companies, and our community.

We strive to make YEP a resource for young professionals. Many members have developed into new positions at work or started their own companies. The skills they learned from being a part of our networking group has helped them to succeed.

What can you learn from being a part of YEP? Networking tips, leadership skills, and conversation etiquette are the first items that come to mind. It is common for YEP members to pass along both professional and personal tips and tricks to each other during events.

Did you know that you should wear your name tag on your right side? This way, when someone shakes your hand, they can clearly see your name and company.

Learn to be more comfortable talking to strangers (not the creepy ones in the park, but the nice ones at the YEPresents). How do you get better? You practice. YEPresents and other YEP hosted events are the perfect practice ground. We are all people just like you who want to be a part of something and to do a little networking.

Get more involved. Beyond attending YEPresents, CEO Speaks, volunteer teams, and other YEP hosted events, you can get more involved by joining a committee.

YEP has four committees: Events, Marketing, Sponsorship, and Community Outreach. Being part of these committees will not only look good on a resume, but it will also be an opportunity to learn what it takes to be a part of a committee and report to a Board of directors.

To be a part of a committee, all it takes is a conversation with the committee chair. To learn more about each committee and who is the current chair, visit the About page.


(424 by Kayleigh Apicerno)

YEPresent @ Oronoque Country Club July 2013

YEP Cover July 13

We are SO EXCITED to come back to Oronoque Country Club for our July YEPresent! Our last event here was our annual Pink Night event 2 years ago, and nearly 100 people attended.

The patio’s open, food and drinks will be provided, and we can’t wait to see each and every one of you there.

Please consider bringing a cash donation for our annual backpack drive. We are pleased to announce that, together as YEP, we will be sponsoring a child by buying and filling a backpack.

We ask that you bring cash and the board members will take care of the rest!

This event, like all of our YEPresents, is free for member and $10 for future member. You can now register and pay for the event or membership online by visiting this link:


Come for the food, friends, networking opportunities, to donate, or to visit a place you have never been before.


Special YEPresent with Rotory and United Way

Special YEPresent with Rotory and United Way
Special YEPresent with Rotory and United Way


Our May after-hours will be a SPECIAL EVENT to be held at the beautiful Tavern 1757 in Seymour.

As always, there will be a cash bar along with a variety of delicious appetizers, but what makes this event so unique is that we are inviting the Valley Rotary Clubs and Valley United Way to join us in an effort to educate our members (and future members!) on all of the wonderful areas of involvement within our great community.

This is sure to be a lively event with great socializing and networking for everyone! We look forward to seeing you there!


*A note about membership – For just $40 a year, you will have free access to all of our YEPresents and other events. If you a Chamber member, you only pay $30 for an entire year! Please consider joining us as an official member today! Otherwise, events are $10 per person. Simply come to an event to sign up with cash or check or call the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce to use your credit card.