Tag Archives: Young professionals

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.

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.

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

PAY TO CHEAT
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.

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:
CTYP Sym

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

Here is the Website and the Facebook Event
D
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

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!

Lessons From The First CEO Speaks of 2015

CEO Speaks NVSL

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.

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.