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A Social Buddy for New Members (1)

Rowan County Young Professionals Launches 'Pro Pals' Program to Welcome New Members

A Social Buddy for New Members

Rowan County Young Professionals (RCYP), a program of the Rowan Chamber, is excited to announce the launch of their new initiative, Pro Pals. Designed to help new members feel immediately welcomed into the community of networking professionals, Pro Pals pairs newcomers with seasoned young professional members.

"Joining a new community can feel overwhelming, I’ve been there myself. When I moved back to Salisbury after years away, it was the connections I made through young professionals that really helped me reintegrate and feel at home again. That's why we created Pro Pals — to make sure every newcomer gets a warm welcome and a friendly guide right from the start,” shared Michelle Gannon, co-chair of the RCYP Recruitment & Membership Committee.

Each newcomer will be matched with an existing member, known as a Pro Pal, who will act as a mentor and friend. Pro Pals will assist new members in navigating the networking landscape of RCYP, introducing them to other members, and accompanying them to various events and gatherings.

"Having been born and raised in Rowan County, it was a delight to return and rediscover my hometown through the eyes of its vibrant professional community. The Young Professionals group not only helped me make new friends but also opened my eyes to all the fabulous things there are to do here that I missed while living the commuter lifestyle. The Pro Pals program is a fantastic way for anyone returning or new to the area to connect and truly engage with our community," said Sherri Hill, co-chair of the RCYP Recruitment & Membership Committee.

The Pro Pals program offers numerous advantages to its participants. By providing a fast-track networking opportunity, it allows new members to connect within the RCYP community quickly and effectively through an established member. This initiative also helps to build confidence, as having a buddy by your side can significantly reduce the initial anxiety associated with attending events. Furthermore, with the support of a Pro Pal, new members are encouraged to participate more actively, ensuring they can fully benefit from all that RCYP has to offer.

Sherri Hill (left) and Michelle Gannon (right) co-chairs for the Recruitment & Membership Committee

What does it mean to be a member of RCYP?
The RCYP program is designed for individuals between the ages of 21 and 45 who are interested in fostering both their professional and personal growth. The Recruitment & Membership Committee emphasizes that RCYP is not just for young professionals with traditional white-collar jobs. It does not matter what type of job you have but rather that you show up and get engaged at whatever level you are able.

“We have young professionals in our group who are plumbers, line workers, production workers, entrepreneurs, and so many other types of careers,” said Hill.

Gannon emphasized, “We are for individuals, couples, and families too! As the fastest growing and most diverse networking group in Rowan County, we strive to eliminate any barriers to being a part of something truly awesome and the future of our community. As an entrepreneur myself, I can tell you how immensely beneficial this community has been to me personally.”

Membership in RCYP involves supporting community initiatives, attending events, and contributing to a respectful and inclusive environment as outlined in the RCYP Member Code of Conduct. There is no cost to participate and there are no expectations of how much you must attend, although the more you show up the stronger relationships you will build.

Sign up for Pro Pals
With the launch of Pro Pals, the committee is initially focused on existing RCYP members signing up to participate. Existing members are encouraged to volunteer as Pro Pals, playing a crucial role in welcoming and guiding new members through the existing member sign-up form (link below). Meanwhile, those who are new or have not yet joined in can sign up for the Pro Pals program by filling out the newcomer form available on the RCYP website here.

RCYP is committed to making professional networking easy, supportive, and enjoyable. We look forward to welcoming new members and existing members to the Pro Pals program. Let's grow together in Rowan County.

About the Rowan Young Professionals
The Rowan Young Professionals is a program of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce designed for young professionals, ages 21-45, who live or work in Rowan County, North Carolina. It is also open to newcomers to the area and even those considering a move to the area who are in that age range. Chamber membership is not required to attend events. For additional information, visit the group’s website or contact Mollie Ruf, RCYP Chair, at