Guest commentator: Gaige Flint, Director, Enterprise Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, Comcast Business @comcastbusiness

What does the Young Professionals Council mean to you?

I joined the Young Professionals Council (YPC) because of the people ⁠— not simply to network and build my professional Rolodex, but to meet burgeoning leaders who were passionate, smart, and sincere. I joined to find inspiration and to make friends.

As a non-native Philadelphian, I can promise you that I’ve searched high and low for quality community groups to assimilate into and our city has many of them, but no group is as diverse and dynamic as YPC.

  • Diverse in terms of professional background ⁠— current and future leaders from nonprofits, academia, professional services, start-ups, corporations, and every other type of job in-between gathering on a regular basis to meet with and learn from each other.
  • Dynamic in terms of all the various ways that YPC leads ⁠— helping to grow our neighborhood business corridors, working with City Council on policy, and marketing our hometown as the best city for young professionals to live and work.

No other organization is as well positioned to cultivate and galvanize Philly’s up-and-coming impact-makers like YPC is. It is the community for young leaders that are interested in committing their energy to the region that they call home and challenging the status quo. Our YPC members are creative and committed, unafraid to try new ideas, or retry old ideas that have been shelved by previous generations. Our YPC members listen to and care about each other.

We all have several, if not many, passion projects and ways that we like to volunteer our time outside of work to give back to the communities that we live in and I think that is incredibly important and especially Philly-esque. Me writing this post is not a plea for you to focus all of your extra time and energy on YPC or to insinuate that YPC is the most important cause in your life. Rather, my point is to insist that YPC is the best way for all of Philly’s young leaders to stay close and grow together.

If you’re working on a new neighborhood initiative or hosting a charity fundraiser, where else will you find such a large group of peers that you know share similar passions? Where else might you go to meet with and learn from another young leader that is from a completely different industry or background?

We talk a lot about what YPC membership can mean for your career by way of professional development tactics, volunteer opportunities, and other exposure opportunities, which are all absolutely pivotal, but equally as important to your growth and the growth of our city is the creative conversation that you may have or the inspiring talk that you might learn something new from while participating in YPC.

For me, I have met people that I would not have otherwise met, doing work that I could have never known about, because of YPC. That has stimulated the way that I think about the work that I do and how I think about giving back. I have not regretted committing my volunteer efforts towards YPC and neither will you.

So, as we start a new decade together, I think it is worth considering how we all might be leading by the end of the this next decade if we recognize how lucky we are to have an organization like YPC that allows us to amplify our voice and ideas. If we take advantage of this opportunity, our community will be better and our relationships will be stronger.

Gaige Flint is a member of the YPC Advisory Board.