Young Professionals Gather to Network – The Republican /

SPRINGFIELD – The next generation of professionals and entrepreneurs is ready to take over.

The Young Professional Society held its third social event on June 21 at the Museum of Fine Arts at the Quadrangle. The organization provides networking and social opportunities for the area’s young professional community.

“It’s absolutely important to engage this demographic because this is the knowledge corridor that we have,” said Alyssa Carvalho, of West Springfield, of the society. “We have all these inspirational young people who are being educated here but leaving the area to pursue other interests. We really want to keep them here.”

The organization meets on the third Thursday of each month. “We get together and it’s a networking and social event to get to know your peers, make some friends in the area, make some contacts and just have fun,” Carvalho said.

Carvalho finds many local businesses have leaders and boards with members in the 40- to 50-year-old demographic.

“We’re trying to get these people interested, cultivated and prepared to serve on boards for non-profits, private institutions and prepare, develop, grow and prosper them as leaders in this area,” Carvalho said. “We feel that by giving this opportunity by these monthly social events that we’re capturing that and keeping them engaged.”

The group has three areas of concentration: social, business development and volunteer work.

The group also organizes a series of “CEO Luncheons” that provide a venue for young people to meet, network and socialize with area business leaders. Every other month, a small group can use the luncheons as a chance to learn more about corporations.

“There just seems to be a lack of youth,” said David Smith, of West Springfield. “It’s hard to break into those cliques. These are the leaders and these are the contacts that even the younger generation down the road is going to be looking to get hold of.

“If we keep our eyes open, we can see that there’s a need for the younger generation to really touch base with some of the decision makers and the people we don’t usually get an opportunity to speak to,” Smith said. “This is a great way to focus on that and create a cult of our own.”

The group also wants to build around volunteer activity.

“We’re hoping that in the future to have a volunteer-type fund-raiser type thing,” said Maureen Midghall, of East Longmeadow, a financial services supervisor at Webster Bank. “I think that young professionals really benefit from this.

“They can use that to help their career paths,” she added. “It’ll help develop more contacts and help develop their resume and that’s really our approach right now.”

Andrew P. Jensen, of Agawam, is the president and chief executive officer of Jx2 Productions, a DJ, karaoke and sound service. He believes social events are great for marketing.

“It allows you to interact with other people in the community and gives you contacts to be able to network and grow your business,” Jensen said. “My business is so word-of-mouth oriented that this is really the best way to get out there and talk to people one-on-one.”

The next Young Professional Society meeting will be tomorrow at Samuel’s Tavern in Springfield.

To contact the group, Email

Written by Bryan Roy