Manassas, Virginia – The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that their young professionals group (YPNOVA: Young Professionals of Northern Virginia) is back in action and ready to impact the communities of Prince William County, Manassas, Manassas Park and beyond. The group had been dormant for approximately eighteen months for a variety of reasons including a lull in volunteer leadership. Now led by Co-Chairs Vincent Consumano, Founder of FreshySites, and April Spittle-Blake, an Associate at Beach & Associates Financial Services, a small group has been meeting for the last six months to determine the direction in which they want to move, all the while beginning to quietly but consistently move forward in small ways.
Says Consumano, the one who started the conversation with Chamber staff about bringing the group out of hibernation, “I’m an entrepreneur in my 20’s. For me, being able to come together with a group of my peers is important. We see ourselves as the future leaders of the Chamber and the community. Together we have decided to be intentional about shaping the future of the Prince William region.”
Activities and initiatives for YPNOVA fall in to what the group’s advisory board is calling three “buckets.” These areas of initiative are: Professional Development, Community Involvement through Volunteerism and Social Interaction. If an activity does not fall in to one of the three, the idea is passed over. Recent YPNOVA activities have included a small group volunteering at the SERVE (a division of Northern Virginia Family Service) food pantry. Members spent the evening stocking shelves and packing USDA bags for pick-up. In August an after work happy hour was held at The Bone, a BBQ restaurant in Old Town Manassas. It gave the group the opportunity to come together in a casual setting and meet new people. On September 25th, the group invited Congressman Rob Wittman to their meeting; not to discuss his political platform, but to learn from his experiences as a professional and as a leader.
Speaking from the point of view of an employee in a small business,Co-Chair April Spittle-Blake had this to say about YPNOVA, “One of the most important things to me is that this group be a value-add for Chamber members. I’m not the sole decision maker for my firm, so when I’m alloting time out of the office to participate in this group, my involvement must produce results. I need to be growing professionally, acquiring new clients and making my firm look good. I know that most of our YP’s face the same challenge, so my goal is to ensure that in everything we do, we keep that in mind.”
Recently the group also selected a recipient for a partial scholarship to Leadership Prince William (LPW). Ben Hazekamp of the Boy Scouts National Capital Area Council received the scholarship to cover a portion of his participation in the year-long program to develop a leadership pipeline for Greater Prince William.. Hazekamp’s classmates in LPW this year include fellow YPNOVA members Consumano, Harry Horning II—Harry Horning Financial Services, Jeremy Harridath—MVB Mortgage and Andrea Whaley—Prince William Chamber of Commerce.
In the next few months YPNOVA will host a seminar featuring a speaker from the Napoleon Hill Foundation and a special event to match YP’s with non-profits’ board of directors where they can serve. Small groups will also volunteer at events including reading to local children for National Young Readers Day.
For information on how to get involved with YPNOVA, contact Andrea Whaley at awhaley@pwchamber.org or call 703-368-6600. Follow YPNOVA on Facebook at facebook.com/ypnova or on Twitter @YPNOVA.
SERVE Volunteers on 9.14
Last month a small group of young professionals from the Prince William Chamber of Commerce gathered in the food pantry at SERVE (a division of Northern Virginia Family Service) to stock shelves and pack USDA bags for pick up. (Left to right: Jeremy Harridath, MVB Mortgage; Karen Jeffers, Office of Congressman Rob Wittman; April Spittle-Blake, Beach Financial Services; Valerie Ferreira, Ours & Silek, P.C. and Melissa Gill, The Fauquier Bank)
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About the Prince William Chamber of Commerce:
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is the strongest voice for the business community in the Washington, DC Metropolitan region. Together with our diverse membership, representing nearly 70,000 employees we work to create an environment where business and people thrive. To accomplish this, we focus our efforts in the key areas of business growth, economic development, advocacy, education and community outreach. In this way, we are building a solid foundation for the success of our business members and our community. For more information, visit our website at www.pwchamber.org or call the Prince William Chamber at 703-368-6600.