Emerging Leaders logo

The Burke County Chamber of Commerce and Burke County United Way are collaborating on organizing a new group for local business people, teachers, professionals and more who are age s 21 to 40 called “Emerging Leaders: Young Professionals of Burke County.”

The vision the organizations have for the group is to create and enhance opportunities for young adults in all career pathways in the community through networking, professional development and community engagement.

The group will hold its first meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday in front of Buck's Pizza at 305 East Union St., Suite 120, in Morganton.

Hollie Phillips will serve as the staff person for the Emerging Leaders program.

“We are grateful to Buck’s Pizza, who has graciously sponsored the event by providing food and the venue,” said Hollie Phillips, member relations specialist with the Chamber of Commerce. “The folks at Buck’s Pizza have been great to work with, and we look forward to being at their place for this event.”

In past months, the Burke County United Way strove to start a group for young adults in Burke County. At the same time, the Burke County Chamber of Commerce outlined plans to start a group like this one in 2019. The two organizations decided to partner to develop this program. Ten individuals throughout Burke County make up the steering committee. They are working toward this group being viable for many years to come.

“It is important to develop, support, and advance our young adults,” said Maureen “Mo” Schwind, executive director of Burke County United Way. “Our community wants and needs their invaluable assets and abilities to contribute.”

Tonia Stephenson, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, echoed her thoughts.

“There is great talent in our young adults, and the Chamber wants to give them an avenue to network with one another,” Stephenson said. “We are excited to kick off this group with this event."

The steering committee is made up of young professionals who are dedicated to pulling this group together. The co-chairs are Stacie Gory, who works for the town of Rutherford College, and Travis Mull with Wells Fargo Advisors. They have led discussions with the committee for several months to discuss the needs of young professionals and plan a kickoff event.

“By networking with Emerging Leader peers, it allows us to connect and serve our community both personally and professionally,” Mull said.

The Chamber and the BCUW believe this will be a great opportunity for networking and for young professionals to get to know one another.

“I’m excited for this event,” Gory said. “Since I’m not from Burke County, this will give me an opportunity to meet others my age and get to know more people, who otherwise I may not get to know.”

Emerging Leaders is open to all Burke County young adults ages 21 to 40 who have an interest. For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 828-437-3021 or email Hollie Phillips at hphillips@burkecounty.org.

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