According to the Chamber’s recent survey of emerging mid-career professionals, 44% of young professionals agree that they are most motivated by professional advancement opportunities; mentorship being highly rated among them.

Last year, the Chamber’s Young Professionals Council (YPC) reiterated that having opportunities to increase personal, professional, and civic connections and engagement are crucial factors to navigating a successful career path and seeing their future rooted to the region. With mentorship identified as a key professional development opportunity, the Chamber’s Education & Talent Action responded with its inaugural Pay It Forward: Mentoring Our Future Leaders program.

Pay It Forward is a unique cross-industry mentoring engagement program that pairs YPC members with C-suite executives from Chamber member companies. The 20 pairings were made based on personal and professional goals and interests, competencies, experience and expectations.

Emily Bittenbender and Christina Wong report on why their relationship was enormously helpful to both parties. “The best part about my mentorship is that we are so perfectly matched,” Christina said. “The Chamber truly took the time to make sure both the mentor and mentee would both equally benefit from each other in their relationship.”

This year, Pay It Forward partners met for three formal mentor gatherings facilitated by the Chamber and Fox Management Consulting at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Partners were also encouraged to meet one to two hours per month on an individual basis.

Fox directed three workshops focusing on a number of leadership development themes including, how to cultivate leadership opportunities within an organization, seek project-based leadership opportunities, and channel productive and growth-focused conversations.

Fox’s Rebecca Zinn leads a discussion on how to have productive conversations to stimulate career growth.

Together, the Chamber’s Education & Talent Action Team and YPC are defining Greater Philadelphia as the place that collectively delivers purposeful engagement for the current and future leaders of the region.

Having concluded the Pay It Forward pilot with such positive feedback and results, the Chamber will continue with plans to expand it to reach to a wider pool of young professionals.

“As a young professional in Philadelphia, I found the opportunity to network and learn from Philadelphia’s most successful and influential business professionals,” said Scott Harkey about his partnership with Chamber President & CEO Rob Wonderling. “Through Pay It Forward I was able to gain a unique perspective on my personal and professional growth and develop deeper relationships with my fellow young professionals and mentors.”

2016/2017 Pay It Forward mentors and mentees:

Stephen S. Aichele, Partner, Saul Ewing LLP
Sean Hand, Associate Director — Global Premier Account Management, KPMG LLP and Chair, Young Professionals Council

Emily  L. Bittenbender, Managing Partner, Bittenbender Construction LP
Christina Wong, Vice President, ESM Productions

Geoffrey D. Brandon, Regional Vice President, TD Bank
Joe Boxman, Business Development Manager, Express Employment Professionals

Alison Byers, Vice President, Psychological & Assessment, Diversified Search
Jaclyn McAdams, Senior Project Specialist, Finance Development Programs, Comcast Corporation

Edward Cambron, Executive Vice President, The Kimmel Center
Martha E. Heuser, Administrator, Funds Development, The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Hyok Chang, Executive Director, Data Stewardship, Comcast Corporation
Brittany Dudas, Programs & Events Specialist, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

Richard J. Cimino, Partner — Advisory/Management Consultant, KPMG LLP
Conor Mahoney, Consulting Services, Sales, Qlik

Anne P. Cutler, Vice President, Dryden Group
Monica Allen, Marketing Manager, Villanova University

Allison M. Davenport, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of PA, UnitedHealthcare of Pennsylvania & Delaware
Maggie V. March, Philadelphia Director, Arena Strategies

Peter Dean, President, The Leaders Edge/Leaders By Design
Matthew Schneck, Senior Associate, RSM US LLP

Denise Disimone, SVP, PNC Corporate Finance, PNC
Brad Watts, Producer, The Graham Company

Angela Masterson, VP Procurement Operations, Comcast Corporation
Christine Telling, Senior Marketing Coordinator, WSP USA Inc.

Leslie Mazza, Vice President, Resource Management and Development, Diversified Search
Allison Bassman, Manager of Talent Development, Saxbys

Anne B. Nevins, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Business Development, PIDC
Festo Okidi, Manager, Philadelphia Youth Network

Bill O’Donnell, Director, Retail Fuels, Wawa, Inc.
Virginia Susini, Vice President & Senior Banking Advisory, PNC Wealth Management

Jennifer K. Peterson, Executive Partner, Saul Ewing LLP
Maureen Pinchock, Corporate Communications, DLL

Joe Purcell, Director of Business Development, EisnerAmper
Peter Chan, Software Developer, The Vanguard Group

Lori Reiner, Partner-in-Charge, Philadelphia, EisnerAmper LLP
Julianne Reichert, Marketing Manager, SolomonEdwards

William R. Sasso, Chairman, Stradley Ronon
Ian Perler, Sales Manager/Sales Agent, Star Real Estate Group

Rob Wonderling, President & CEO, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia
Scott Harkey, Philanthropy Director, Southeast Region, Penn Medicine

Pay It Forward: Mentoring Our Future Leaders is organized through the Chamber’s Education & Talent Action Team.

If you are interested in learning more about the work of the Education & Talent Action Team (ETAT) or becoming an Action Team member, please contact Patty Day.