Grapevine Supports Young Professionals
18 Feb 2022
Business in Grapevine, Texas, is thriving; so it should come as no surprise that Grapevine Young Professionals is, too. This Chamber of Commerce group is made up of members aged 21–39 who are focused on networking, professional development, and bettering the Grapevine community.
“In 2011, the Grapevine Chamber's Board of Directors set as one of their goals to work to develop a young professionals council of some type,” said RaDonna Hessel, Grapevine Chamber of Commerce CEO. “They recognized the need to provide opportunities for future business leaders in regards to professional development, peer-to-peer networking as well as finding ways to bring young business people to the Chamber to hear their perspectives on the direction the Chamber and community needed to go for their future success.”
While member benefits are often the focus, the benefit to the community cannot be overstated, either. Even as members are making meaningful connections and following their passions, they are also learning and seeking out leadership and philanthropy opportunities.
“Today’s Young Professionals are tomorrow’s leaders, so knowing one another and laying the groundwork for future partnerships can only benefit the City going forward,” said Steven Jones, Grapevine Young Professionals Philanthropy Co-Chair and Grapevine Economic Development Market Research Manager. “Networking is always important, especially when it comes to a segment of the workforce that will really dictate the future of the City. It’s obviously a big deal to us in the Grapevine Economic Development office! Two-thirds of our department serves on the board, with hearty approval from Director Larry Holt.”
Paul Duane, a mortgage loan originator for MiMutual Mortgage — “locally run, family-focused!” — has been working in Grapevine with his father since his 2005 college graduation. He currently fills the role of Immediate Past President of Grapevine Young Professionals. “We are a fun group!” he said. “Always welcoming new members, and working with the Grapevine Chamber is the best. Our goal is to start developing the future leaders of Grapevine.”
Grapevine Young Professionals can also work to integrate new residents and their talents into the community. That was the draw for Jennifer Stubbeman, 2022 Grapevine Young Professionals Board Chair, who recalled her own “moving to Grapevine” story when asked why she joined the organization. Stubbeman, now an Assistant Vice President of Corporate Banking at Frost Bank, began her career at the bank in 2016, straight out of college.
“I began working in Grapevine in the summer of 2017 and moved here in 2018. Grapevine Young Professionals was the first group I actively became involved with. This allowed me to become more confident in my involvement with the Grapevine Chamber as a whole, and I have met some of my dearest friends through this organization,” Stubbeman said.
“The people and organizations within Grapevine have made it one of the most special communities I have ever been privileged to be a part of. It is truly a unique place, and I believe it is essential for the younger members of the community to get involved so that we may help this community continue to be special. Having a Grapevine Young Professionals group not only allows for career networking opportunities but also the potential to develop relationships with those most influential in Grapevine.”
“Grapevine Young Professionals has members from various fields,” continued Stubbeman. “We have commercial and mortgage banks, nonprofits, hospitality, and services well represented within the organization. Additionally, several members of Grapevine Young Professionals are also heavily involved in other community organizations such as Grapevine Rotary and Women’s Division. As I said before, Grapevine is an extremely unique place and I feel it is our duty to get back to taking care of the community in which several of us work, live, and play. As a Board, Grapevine Young Professionals has decided to designate a cause of the quarter for which we collect physical and monetary donations for organizations within the community. I want Grapevine Young Professionals to be an organization known for being engaged in and focused on the community. We can still have fun while serving those in need.”
As Philanthropy Co-Chair, Jones added, “There’s a local appeal to philanthropic involvement. Grapevine Young Professionals either live or work in Grapevine; sometimes both. They care what happens here, and they want to give back. Anecdotally, serving together or rallying around a cause helps to build relationships. That’s invaluable when it comes to networking organizations like ours.” Jones also noted that companies that spend time connecting their employees to causes tend to have workers who are more fulfilled and loyal.
“We’re in the process of laying out the full calendar for our philanthropic work because a lot of the Board is new this year and we want to pick causes that matter to incoming members, but there are a few causes and organizations that we know and love,” said Jones. “‘The Cause of the Quarter’ to start this year is Grapevine Animal Services and we’ve already seen some momentum in donations there. We’re also planning to work with 6 Stones Mission Network, which provides home repair services and upward mobility programming here in the City, and I expect we’ll partner with GRACE toward the end of the year when their Christmas programs need a boost.”
Just like many organizations, Grapevine Young Professionals has seen challenges during the pandemic. “I took over in the middle of 2020,” said Duane. “We went virtual for a little while and had some struggles coming back as case numbers kept fluctuating and more people were working from home. Being back to pre-2020 membership numbers and growing is a testament to the hard work of the Board. We got down to four board members plus our Chamber representative. We now have a full Board with some new members who are bringing new excitement and new ideas!”
“Grapevine has a ton of people who help out in the community,” said Paul. “We want to develop the next wave of community leaders! We want professionals under 40 to get their foot in the door and to know how to get involved and who can help them out.”
“It is exciting to see the number of past young professionals who have found their way into leadership positions within the City and Chamber,” said Hessel. “We are also excited to see all of the creativity and excitement being generated from the current leadership of the Grapevine Chamber Young Professionals and the mark they are making on our Chamber and community.”
More about Grapevine
Grapevine, Texas, is the perfect place for young professionals with its affordability and vibrant hometown feel. Here, businesses are thriving, dining and entertainment choices abound, the school district is enviable, and there’s always always a festival or event going on. Grapevine is close to the amenities of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and has everything you need.