Guest Commentator: Sean Hand, Associate Director — Global Premier Account Management, KPMG LLP @seanwhand @KPMG_US

What lessons have you learned as YPC’s Board Chair this past year?

The Young Professionals Council (YPC) is unique in that it’s one of the few community organizations that has a finite term of service. If I wanted, I could be a member of the Washington Square West Civic Association, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the American Heart Association for the rest of my life. I could live in Wash West forever, I’ll never outgrow my Irishness, and heart health will never be passé.

Yet sooner or later, no matter how often I moisturize, or how much Just For Men I comb through my locks, I’ll eventually have to drop the ‘Y’ in YPC. (cue sad music)

As I reflect on my past year as Board Chair of YPC, however, I realize this “I’m only getting older” mentality is the motivational force that propels our dedicated YPC Board and its 1,900 members to build lasting relationships today. I hear people talk about YPC as a “networking organization”, but in recent years it’s transformed into something much greater. By strengthening its already lasting relationship with the Chamber and leveraging the experience/success of its 20+ years of alumni, YPC has truly become the premier young professional organization in Philadelphia.

Sean Hand at Success in the City
Sean Hand shares his perspective as a panelist at Success in the City (May 10, 2018)

YPC is not a clearinghouse for business cards – shaking hands, drinking free beer, and repeating as necessary. YPC is a catalyst for personal, professional, and civic growth. Sure, this past year we hosted 21 events, welcoming thousands of Philadelphia leaders and future leaders to some of the most premier locations in the city, but these events included some of the most prominent speakers and visionaries in our region.

Our professional development workshops are standing-room only affairs, and our volunteer events are as impactful for our volunteers as they are for the beneficiaries. Our recent creation of the YPC Ambassador program ensures that every YPC event attendee is greeted by an experienced member and immediately introduced to the people in the room who could be the most impactful for our attendees.

We partnered with the Chamber’s Education and Talent Action Team, culminating in a document titled “10 Ways to Retain Young Talent”, a resource for employers who are looking for innovative ways to retain their rising stars.

All of these results, built on the foundations of prior leadership, will continue to compound with the future leadership of Comcast’s Jaclyn McAdams and the talented, motivated YPC Board.

In the future, as the Y fades, I’m actually excited for the next stage, knowing that the incredible relationships I’ve built during my tenure with YPC will still be with me, leading Philadelphia with the same grit and tenacity of the past but with the experience and seniority of the future.

Although we are sad to see Sean go, we’re excited to announce Jaclyn McAdams (Program Manager, Finance Internship and Accounting Associates Programs, Comcast) as our Board Chair and Monica Allen (Marketing Manager, Villanova School of Business) as our Board Vice-Chair.