Roy Gilbert

Young Professionals Help Shenango Valley ‘Thrive’ By Jeremy Lydic | November 6, 2019

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WEST MIDDLESEX, Pa. — When Sherris Moreira assumed the role of executive director of the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2016, she recognized that its young-professionals group needed to be refreshed.

The challenge, as she saw it, was connecting young professionals to business leaders in a meaningful way. To do so would require breaking from the typical strategy of sitting in a boardroom and saying, “Here’s what our young people need,” but not bringing them to the table to hear them out, she says.

“Older leaders really want to help our young professionals. But we say we want to help them and don’t invite them to the table,” Moreira says. “Now, we need to not just invite them to the table. We’re going to give them the table.

“Young professionals don’t want to just see the change. They want to be the change and they want to get engaged to be a part of that,” she continues.

Through conversations with Riley Atterholt, development manager for JCL Development in Sharon, Pa., Thrive Shenango Valley was born earlier this year.

While the chamber supports the group by facilitating events and connecting its membership to area employers, Thrive is completely operated by a group of 15 to 20 young professionals who live and work in the Shenango Valley.

Most of the members are younger than 30 and encompass a wide range of professions, including insurance, nonprofit and health care, Atterholt says. While many of the members were born and reared in the Shenango Valley, others are transplants […]

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