Local group connects young professionals, develops leaders

Local News

ODESSA, Tex. (ABC Big 2 News) There’s a group in Odessa that’s helping young professionals advance their careers, meet new people and give back to the community.

The Young Professionals of Odessa is a program of the Chamber of Commerce for people age 21 to 40. It helps young professionals advance their careers by meeting like-minded people through networking events.

“Odessa is a very transient community,” says YPO board secretary Casey Williams. “We have a lot of people coming in to work, it’s a lot of young people.”

The group has about 125 members. Before the pandemic, members would meet at least once a month for networking events, social activities, and philanthropic events.

“We have “Lunch and Learns”, we have evening events,” says board chairman Ryan Patton. “We’d have a speaker that comes in at least annually.”

“We did networking speed dating,” says Williams. “Where everyone would pass out their business cards. I met my insurance agent through YPO.”

Members work in various industries, which could give an upper hand to other members looking to change career paths.

Because of the pandemic, YPO has had to meet through Zoom and Facetimes for roughly the past year. Their next event is March 4th, a conversation on COVID-19 vaccines with ORMC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rohith Saravanan.

Patton says despite the pandemic, now is a perfect time to join the group to grow as a leader and business professional.

“There are people all across this community, that if you can make that connection and build that relationship, they can help you professionally in your career,” says Patton.

For more information on how to become a member, click here.

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