I moved to Punta Gorda shortly after my husband Roger and I married in February 2003. Shortly after moving to the area I asked the local folks if there was a young professionals (YP) group here, but to no avail. We got involved in the local community and met other young professionals through work, community events and social meetings. Although we quickly found friends and things to do, we knew it wasn’t so easy for everyone, especially if you were new to the area or not already hitched.
Discussions about starting a YP group with good friend Jill McCrory, and others, was greeted with immediate interest and acceptance. It was not a new idea, after all. The surrounding counties of Sarasota and Fort Myers already had YP groups, so why not Charlotte? I met Mark Figueredo in 2004 and learned that not only did he like the idea, he had already bought the website domain (www.ccyp.info) unbeknownst to me in anticipation of group’s creation. It just took the cooperative momentum of Jill, Mark and I to plan the first meeting and invite other young professionals we thought might like to get involved.
We refer to our first meeting, on April 28, 2005 at River City Grill, as our “brainstorming meeting.” About two dozen young professionals showed up and we recorded ideas for structure and activities on a big flip chart. We followed that meeting with another organizational meeting at Jill’s home with a smaller group, hashing out the details of the charter and bylaws. On May 23, we signed our articles of incorporation, and on July 14 elected our first Board of Directors at the Captain’s Table restaurant in Punta Gorda. The rest, we say, is history!
I am very glad to have participated in the birth of this great organization and to serve as Membership Director for the first two year’s of CCYP existence. Thank you to Jill, and all our past and present Board members (listed below), for their generous donation of personal time, resources, creativity and talent in making this organization what it is today.
- Kaley Miller