By Terry Rogers
Maggie Thompson, Branch Manager at WSFS bank in Milford, noticed a disconnection between young professionals and those who attended functions at events sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Milford (CCGM). She felt that there needed to be a way to encourage more professionals between the ages of 21 and 39 to volunteer for Chamber events and to get them to participate more in Chamber offerings.
“I talked to Adrian Hall of the Dover area chamber,” Ms. Thompson explained. “She had started a group of young professionals that had grown significantly. I thought maybe we could start something like that in Milford.” As a result of that conversation, Ms. Thompson contacted Jo Schmeiser, Executive Director of CCGM and proposed starting a new group. She said Ms. Schmeiser was very enthusiastic about the idea.
The result is Fusion, a group for professionals aged 21 to 39 to provide them with networking and professional development opportunities. A Launch Meeting for the pilot program will be held in the CCGM Conference Room, located at 411 North Rehoboth Boulevard, on Tuesday, October 21, from 5:30 until 7 pm. Light refreshments will be served at the event and those who attend are encouraged to bring a guest.
“The main purpose of the group is to bring like-minded people together,” Ms. Thompson explained. “We wanted to get a group together who not only wanted to network and develop professionally, but would also be willing to volunteer for the Chamber. The Chamber does such good work with the Riverwalk Festival and other events, we wanted to get as many people involved as we could.” Ms. Thompson said that she noticed that there was not much available for younger professionals in Milford and thought this might be beneficial.
For the first year, Ms. Thompson said that they would operate Fusion as a pilot program and that CCGM membership was not required. The only requirements were that those who wish to participate be between the ages of 21 to 39 and be willing to volunteer time to help at Chamber events.
“You don’t have to be a business owner to join,” Ms. Thompson explained. “You could be the manager of a local restaurant, someone running a home business or in any professional capacity in any type of business. The only requirement is that you would like to network with like-minded people, be open to professional development opportunities and be willing to provide some volunteer time to the chamber.”
In addition to the Launch Meeting on October 21, the group will hold a Social at Mispillion River Brewing on November 7, starting at 6 PM. For more information, individuals can contact the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Milford at 302-422-3344.