Since 2009, a networking organization based in the Greater Wilmington area has welcomed local professionals of all ages and backgrounds. Business owners, executives, employees, job seekers, aspiring interns, and many others who wish to get involved in Wilmington’s business scene make up the member base of Port City Young Professionals. The average age is about 32 but members range from 18-70 years of age. Also known as “PCYP” the organization offers attendees an array of opportunities- including hosting networking events in local “hot spots,” getting to meet and network in a casual environment,  assisting the community through volunteer work, as well as access to board and committee opportunities through partnered non-profits.

Port City Young Professionals: Opportunity For All

Port City Young Professionals was founded in 2009 by Jenna Curry, also the owner of Remedy Digital Agency and marketing director of Wilmington Today. Over the years, PCYP members and the community likewise have benefitted in numerous ways, thanks to such a welcoming networking outlet. Company owners and managers are granted the perfect environment to get to know potential business partners, customers, and employees. College undergrads will likely find an experienced professional in their field who can offer information, advice, or an employment opportunity. Local nonprofit organizations such as the Good Shepherd Center or Cape Fear CREW are featured at every PCYP event, where they announce volunteer opportunities and openings for boards and committees. Attendees can be paired up with these nonprofits, granting them valuable experience with the organization. Port City Young Professionals also have access to volunteer opportunities within the group, such as collaborating with organizations such as Wilmington Heart Walk Team and Work On Wilmington. In 2017, a PCYP event helped raise $1500 for United Way.

In addition to a monthly featured non-profit, other businesses can benefit from hosting or sponsoring a PCYP event. For a fee, a host or sponsor can have their business featured on numerous social media platforms, community calendars, and an email newsletter with a total reach of over 10,000 people. Hosts also benefit directly from a boost in sales during the night of the event. In recent years, hosts have included popular restaurants such as Pinpoint and Platypus & Gnome, wedding venues such as City Club of Wilmington and the Courtyard Marriott, and attractions like Jungle Rapids and Bellamy Mansion. Brokerages and realtors such as On Q financial and Cadence Realty have acted as sponsors. The support and partnerships from businesses around the Wilmington area have helped make Port City Young Professionals what it is today.

PCYP holds monthly networking events, each highlighting a new host, sponsor, and non profit. Attendees do not necessarily have to be paid members to participate in events. However, a membership has a considerable list of perks, such as coupons and discounts at various businesses, a personal business listing in the PCYP mobile app, and invitations to members only events. Members only events typically involve activities such as speed-networking, socials, sporting events, and holiday parties. PCYP events also have raffles and prizes, free food, and other giveaways, providing extra incentive for young professionals in the Wilmington area to attend. Port City Young Professionals continues to assist small businesses and charities to expand their reach while fostering a healthy community and a friendly business sphere.

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