Submitted by: Alison K. Hoffman, Color Mono Solutions Executive, Xerox Corporation

Located in Rittenhouse Square, Rumor Nightclub’s beautiful décor and soft ambience provided a sophisticated setting for the Young Professional’s February networking event. YPN members enjoyed cocktails and an excellent food spread in Rumor’s VIP vault area.

The event featured Mary Stengel Austen, President and CEO of Tierney Communications. As a member of the Chamber’s Executive Committee, Ms. Austen fielded questions from YPN Board Members Joe Boxman & Dan Brown regarding the Chamber’s priorities and goals for 2012. Based on the fall survey that was distributed to Chamber members, these initiatives included creating jobs in the current market, competitive education and infrastructure improvements in the city and surrounding areas.

YPN members are always interested in learning how they can get involved and make a difference. In response, Ms. Austen stressed the importance of education. The Philadelphia community would greatly benefit from a more educated workforce with higher graduation rates in high schools and vocational schools. Today’s youths need help creating connections and increasing their access points to leaders in the Philadelphia community. Internship programs can provide introductions these critical contacts and hands-on experience.

Rumor Nightclub kicked off the start to YPN’s annual fundraising campaign with donations going directly towards supporting the internship program. Ms. Austen provided valuable insight to aspiring leaders with the following words of wisdom: Be curious. Take risks. Pay your dues and be unselfish. As YPN looks to increase their goal and fund more internship positions, let’s take Ms. Austen’s advice to get involved and help provide more opportunities to Philly’s young people.

View photos from the event.