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New Chamber Young Professionals Group Kicks Off Strong

Friday July 24, 2009

The Young Professionals of Oak Ridge had about twice the expected turn out at its first major meeting Tuesday night.

"I was so excited to see how high the turnout was," said Betsy Prine, one of the group's founders. "We expected about twenty but ended up with a room full of people. These people have a genuine interest in the future of Oak Ridge, and I was blown away by how many people showed up."


Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan spoke at the event to help kick the group off.


"The city of Oak Ridge expects a lot of this group," Beehan said. "I look around the room and am thrilled to see the diversity in this room."


Beehan went on to talk about succession planning of leadership.


"Oak Ridge is 10 years older than the average American town," he said. "It's kind of like we are the varsity football team and now we need the Junior Varsity and Freshmen to get ready."


Beehan said he thinks it's important that leaders encourage, mentor and help young people now before they are thrown into major positions of responsibility.


The mayor said that he would like to help us start to look at ways that we can serve in local government.
He challenged the ORYP to work towards becoming the new leadership and to continue to work on personal and professional development so that the community can become as great as it can be.


There were 43 people present from various backgrounds. Attorneys, politicians, graduate students, educators, entrepreneurs, engineers, artists and designers were just some of the occupations present. Attendees signed in and the attendance list showed that these individuals represented more than 25 companies locally.


The goal of the Young Professionals of Oak Ridge is "to have a significant impact on the revitalization of the city of Oak Ridge through social activities, political involvement, community outreach, professional development and good ole' fun."


For more info about the group, contact the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce at www.orcc.org or 483-1321.


The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is Four-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce and a 2008 ACCE Chamber of the Year finalist.


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