Young county professionals organize event to network
by Rory Doyle
Mar 14, 2013 | 2632 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The newly formed Cleveland-Bolivar County Young Professionals group is hosting a free kickoff event in an effort to boost networking, professional development and community involvement opportunities for the local population.

Crawfish in The Alley, to be held March 21 in the alley by Mosquito Burrito in downtown Cleveland, will be the ceremonial introduction to the organization's mission and objectives.

Those interested in learning more about the CBYP are invited to the crawfish boil beginning at 5:30 p.m.

While it’s not yet a formal governing body, the group will operate under the umbrella of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, using its own bylaws to generate its own funds.

"We'd like to get as many people out there as we can," said Russell Gainspoletti, one of the CBYP steering committee members and vice president of membership with the chamber. "We're hoping to run out of crawfish.

"The Young Professionals are important because we are the future of this town. We are responsible for how big it grows and the way it grows."

Membership is geared to ages 21-40, or the young at heart. Annual dues are $40 per person and $65 for a couple.

Those attending the kickoff party will have access to membership applications, which are also available at the CBYP website,

Brian Blansett, marketing and communications director for the chamber, is also providing administrative support to the CBYP.

"It's amazing how so many young professionals get lost in the actions of everyday life," said Blansett. "Our goal is to get people out, get them involved and get them to buy into the community and the chamber.

"We want our young professionals to stay here and take a vested interest in the area."

Fellow steering committee leader Jordan Thomas is looking forward to establishing a local presence.

"Right now we're trying to build interest as an organization in the hopes of getting like-minded people together," said Thomas. "We want people who are new here, or even those from here, to meet with others in their age bracket and share similar interests."

The main objectives are to provide professional development opportunities, increase social interaction and networking, build relationships and enhance involvement in the local community.

Gainspoletti added that participation of people from all backgrounds would be key for the organization's success.

"We want perspectives from everybody," he said. "We envision a diverse Cleveland growing forward with everyone being involved."

The mission of CBYP is to increase the quality of life of its members and the Cleveland community by providing opportunities for community service, professional development, social interaction and relationship building for young professionals living and working in Cleveland and Bolivar County.

Updated information and event postings will be published on Facebook at and Twitter: @cbyprofessional.

For further questions call 662-843-2712 or email: