October 25, 2016

Young Professionals

These Young Floridians Are Well-Connected

The next generation of Florida leaders is honing its skills and making connections at young professional groups around the state. Here are some of those future leaders.

Barbara Miracle | 11/1/2008
Joe Hansen
“The goal of Connect Florida is to make a large state like Florida seem a little smaller.” — Joe Hansen [Photo: Michael McElroy / Wonderful Machine]

Connect Florida

Joe Hansen states upfront that his goal someday is to run for elective office in Florida. The Long Island native moved to Palm Beach County two years ago after college in Rhode Island, where he participated in College Leadership Rhode Island. He joined Connect Florida at its initial meeting in July 2006.

Connect Florida
Location: Statewide
Chairman: Joe Hansen, 24, account executive, Profile Marketing & Public Relations Highland Beach
Members: 280
Ages: 21 to 35
Formed: 2006
Dues: $60 annually
Social networks: LinkedIn

Connect Florida was created by Leadership Florida to introduce young professionals to the issues facing Florida, involve them with public policy activities and create a youth network around the state. “The young professionals were the people who were getting overlooked,” says Connect Florida Executive Director Sara Bennett.

Connect Florida looked at local leadership groups and wanted to offer something different. It focuses on an annual meeting, sometimes in conjunction with Leadership Florida, and full-day or half-day regional meetings that include education about issues, networking, leadership skills training and volunteering.

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