TULALIP — The first meeting of the Young Professionals Network took place Aug. 13, at the mPulse Lounge at the Tulalip Resort Hotel and Casino, and attracted close to 50 attendees from throughout north Snohomish County.
Marysville insurance agent Paul Pukis is one of five founding members of the Young Professionals Network. He led attendees through a series of exercises designed to connect them with one another, first by dividing them up into a number of smaller groups and then by instructing them to learn about each other by asking one another’s ages and birth places. To reflect the youth-oriented nature of the group, he then placed the youngest member of each group in charge of that group, thereby empowering the younger professionals.
“Everett has a group similar to this, but there isn’t really anything for the youngest up-and-coming businessmen and women in Marysville, Arlington or North County in general,” Pukis said. “I feel like there are a lot of good business people in the area, from 21 to just under 40, and that’s what we’re about.”
The group plans to meet once a month, on the second Thursday of each month, and while the Tulalip Resort donated food and drinks for their inaugural event free of charge, future meetings at the facility will incur costs, which is why Pukis expects a $5-per-meeting attendance fee to follow. The Holiday Inn donated a four-person room as a giveaway prize for the first meeting, to be won by whomever collected the most business cards from other attendees.
“We’re looking for any person who fits our demographic, whether they’re a professional, an employee or a construction business owner,” Pukis said. “We’re not just attorneys, or people who wear ties. We’re about the community as a whole, which is why I’d like to see us get involved with some type of community service or volunteering, but that’s not finalized yet.”
Pukis advised those who are interested in the Young Professionals Network to contact the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce, either by phone at 360-659-7700 or by walking into their offices, in Suite C at 8825 34th Ave. NE in Tulalip. For more information, you can also log onto the Chamber Web site, at www.marysvilletulalipchamber.com.