Tag Archives: young

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 – 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 – 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.

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,yep@greatervalleychamber.com or on Facebook.com/CTYEP or Twitter @CTYEP. I personally check all of these contact points and will return your message.

Sincerely,
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.

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

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.

YEPOlympics This August

The Annual YEPOlympics are right around the corner. Grab some friends and head down to the Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton on August 14 starting at 5:30PM. Compete in Mini Golf and Fun Bowl for the top overall prize. 

Here’s how it works: Teams of 3 or 4 play a round of Mini Golf and a game of Fun Bowl. While the scores are being calculated, there is networking and food upstairs in one of the event rooms. Finally, winners are announced. Easy and fun!

Teams: Ask your friends and coworkers to form a team with you. If you do not have a team of 4, no problem. Teams will be assembled before the games begin that night. To register as a team, email each player’s name, your team’s name, and your company to YEP@GreaterValleyChamber.com. 

Connect. Develop. Support.: YEPOlympics connects local young professionals, develops team building and networking skills, and supports the community since we will still be collecting for the Back-2-School backpack program.

Were you there last year? Leave a comment below with your thoughts and reactions below.

This event will be $10 per person to cover the costs of the facility and food. 

Support.

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 Support portion.

When we talk about support, we are really focusing on supporting the community. YEP members team up and do good in the Valley throughout the year.

Some of our annual volunteer events include:

Fundraising is an important way to help support our local organizations and neighbors, but we also provide support by volunteering our time.

For example, each year we have 3-5 teams of 4 or 5 members who participate in the Bowl-2-Benefit event. We also put together a committee of about 10 people to work on the annual Pinktoberfest event. They work on the event details for 4+ months.

We are also always looking for small but useful ways to help out. A few YEP members have, from time to time, been known to get together on a Saturday to paint a classroom or conference room.

We can mobilize quickly during a need. When smoke damage from a fire caused a large percentage of the inventory at My Sister’s Place to be rendered unusable, YEP rallied and was able to collect over 700 pounds in clothing and household item donations.

Being involved in the local community is something we take pride in. This is our community. Whether you spend a few hours or all week in Shelton, Derby, Ansonia, Seymour, Beacon Falls, and/or Oxford, you are a part of this community and should feel good about it.

Getting involved not only makes you feel good, it also gets you in front of some important community leaders. The United Way’s Corporate Volunteer Council is an organization we work closely with. There are a number of corporate volunteers that work in key positions of local companies that you might be interested in working with or working for.

That leads us back to connect. YEP can connect you to the people you want to get to know. In addition, you will be learning new skills and things you never knew you needed to know. That is develop. So by volunteering with you and getting involved in the community, you can connect, develop, and support.

 

(425 words by Kayleigh Apicerno)

Develop.

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)