October 1, 2014

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

Orlando Young Professionals Leadership Group

Orlando young professionals
Back, from left: OYP members Justin Latorre, Kelly Jo Williamson, Kaleb Harrell, Jon Curran; front: Matt Scott, Victoria Colangelo [Photo: Betty Hansen]

“The intention of OYP is to develop leaders.”
— Victoria Colangelo

Orlando Young Professionals Leadership Group (orlandoyoungprofessional.com)
Location: Greater Orlando
President: Victoria Colangelo, 25,
vice president, Mitigation Marketing Orlando
Members: 30 (invitation only)
Ages: 21 to 35
Formed: 1994
Dues: $120 annually
Social networks: myspace.com/ orlandoyoungprofessionals

Orlando Young Professionals is one of the most selective young professionals groups in Florida. Although there is a social component, the focus is monthly meetings on a wide variety of topics.

OYP’s speaker list is impressive. Past speakers have included University of Central Florida President John Hitt, Darden Restaurants CEO Clarence Otis and former Orlando Mayor and Secretary of State Glenda Hood. Recent topics have included tax breaks for young professionals, business etiquette, corporate relationships and leadership training.

Prospective members must attend three events (which can include socials) before they’re invited to join. Because members come from diverse careers, it’s easy for them to help each other. As an example, Colangelo says her business has tapped OYP’s small network for outside graphic design and computer support.

It’s not all serious business, though. OYP was active in providing volunteers for September’s Central Florida Beer Festival to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. And there are monthly socials and an annual holiday party.

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