Bonita Springs News


Date ArticleType
7/18/2014 Chamber News

Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals Have Me Impressed!

Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals Have Me Impressed!
By: Christine Ross, MBA, MS, CCE ,IOM, President & CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director, Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council

Have you noticed the recent awakening of the Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals group? While I am admitting to being over qualified age-wise, I had to see what the buzz was about.   So last week I attended the YP social event at Burger 21 in Gulf Coast Town Center and was monumentally impressed. Over 70 professionally-dressed energetic young adults were in attendance shaking hands, exchanging business cards, enjoying food and drink samples, and most importantly building relationships.

There is something important to be said about this energized new group. I think the entire business community could actually take a few lessons from these budding leaders. What I observed I would classify as ‘efficient networking.’ It appeared as if attendees were incorporating their so called millennial fast-paced lifestyle into a new age of relationship building. They made their way around the room like seasoned networkers, but with a heightened zest for the ‘sport.’  And, there was something for everyone.  I heard people talking about the next professional development seminar for first-time home buyers, and looking forward to the outing on the beach in August because, true to form, millennials crave solid work life balance!

I am most proud, however, to announce that our Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals has started building regional community partnerships. In June, they built a mutually-beneficial annual partnership with the Florida Gulf Coast University Alumni Association. In our Chamber world, we like to say partnerships are created when ‘our mission’s match’ and I think these two groups are two peas in a pod. If you don’t know, five of my nine staff members have graduated from FGCU in the past eight years, two with both undergraduate and master’s degrees.  This is just another example of how the FGCU Alumni Association’s mission goes beyond caps and gowns, and we are proud they chose to align themselves with our team.

The connections happening in this age demographic are vital for our region in relation to community building, workforce retention and successful economic development. Join me in applauding the Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals Steering Committee for their exceptional efforts building this essential component to southwest Florida’s economic engine.

Get involved today in this happening group of up-and-coming leaders! Learn about the Bonita Springs Area YP’s on Facebook at To be added to their email list, reach out to And, if you don’t fit the 21-40 age group, please encourage the young professionals in your company to get involved! It truly will enhance the success of your organization.