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Young Professionals Bond at Beer Tasting Event

6/20/2016

The Great Lakes Tasting, presented by Skylight Financial Group, is fast becoming a favorite in the calendar for the Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club.  After all, what’s not to love about enjoying the Cleveland skyline on Skylight’s rooftop patio while sipping local beers and eating pizza!  This year’s event, on June 17, sold out fast and brought together over 60 young professionals up for this cool experience and out to enjoy each other’s company (check out the pics below).

This event is just one of the many programs that the 20/30 Club holds throughout the year, and here we catch up with Kurtis Carman, who has recently taken over the reins as President of this professional association, to find out more.

What kind of events or programs does the 20/30 Club organize?

We primarily organize events that revolve around what we refer to as our 4 pillars: Social, Networking, Education and Philanthropy. Generally this includes many different happy hour type events, speed networking and CEO dinners, tours and dining experiences at local ethnic restaurants, and charity fundraising events and volunteer opportunities.

What do you see as the main benefits of joining the 20/30 Club?

It opens up so many amazing opportunities. You have the opportunity to meet hundreds of other like-minded YPs in Cleveland that are attending events and doing the things you enjoy doing.  You get to hang out with other YPs who value helping each other, are passionate about Cleveland and believe in the power of young people to create positive change in our city and beyond.  And you get to enjoy lots of cool experiences, have fun and make new friendships.

What makes the 20/30 club different from other young professional associations?

I would say that one of the things that is pretty unique to our club is we are open and inclusive.  We are open to all YPs regardless of industry or anything else along those lines.  We want to create a very broad and diverse community so that we can meet the many different needs of our members.

How did you first get involved and what have you personally got out of being a member of the 20/30 club?

I’m a very sociable and active person so when I first moved to the Cleveland area and didn’t know many people, I was looking for ways to get involved in the community and network with other YPs.  I looked around and decided to test the Cleveland 20/30 Club as it seemed to offer the best opportunities for me to build a network.  Since joining I have met and gotten to know hundreds of peers in the area and I’ve grown my network more than I initially could ever have imagined! Many of these have become good friends.  Then came the opportunity to be on the board of this great organization which helped me develop so many of my skills.  And now as President, I’m gaining valuable leadership experience.  Joining has been one of the best decisions I’ve made!

In addition to the Great Lakes Tasting, Skylight has presented the CEO dinner series and hosted the speed networking event.  What does it mean to your club to have the support of firms, like Skylight, behind you?

Skylight is one of those rare organizations in Cleveland that loves the city, believes in investing in the future and YPs in the city AND puts their money where their mouth is, so to speak. Having an organization like that work so closely with us has opened many doors for us to provide value to our membership and gives us some extra credibility when outsiders look in and see that we have a partnership with a reputable Cleveland firm like Skylight. The events we have partnered with Skylight have always been a huge success and we look forward to seeing the relationship continue to grow and provide mutual value.

Many thanks to Kurtis for making time to chat with us.  We wish him every success as President of this wonderful association.

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