The Shadow Room was packed with a happy-hour crowd of young professionals and supporters on Thursday night for the kick-off of the Young Professionals Association, a start-up community involvement initiative.
"This is an opportunity for young professionals to become more involved in their communities", stated subcommittee member Joe Santiniello.
Chandler Howard, president of the Liberty Bank, gave the keynote address. "I believe our ability to do business in a community is, in part, due to the overall health of a community. If the community is vibrant and healthy, so will be the business climate."
Two volunteer opportunities were offered to attendees; the MacDonough School Mentor Program and a HOPE yardwork and house prep project scheduled for October 22, 2011. Those who agreed to sign up for the yardwork project let others know by wearing a lapel sticker announcing 'I'M IN 10.22.11'.
Howard outlined two reasons why young professionals should volunteer--first, for personal growth and success and second, to benefit the success of their company. He used Liberty Bank as an example of how corporate-public involvement supports their bottom line.
"We could probably run our bank with 25% fewer employees, but we have made a conscious decision to be a 'high-touch' company. Fewer employees would put our commitment to personalized service at risk."
Stefanie McCoy, subcommittee member who recently relocated to Middletown from Clinton shared that The Shadow Room was the perfect place to host such an event. "It is owned by two young professionals who are very involved in the community. They have been great supporters to us."
Andy Hauer of the Middlesex United Way added that The Shadow Room often hosts community and nonprofit events, as well as showcase young artists' work.
As Howard addressed the gathering he asked, "How can we take better care of our customers? By contributing to the health of the overall community. That's what we want our young business professionals to understand and live throughout their careers."