A group of young professionals who wanted to find a way to network with other professionals began a new group called Mount Airy Professionals of Surry. The group will meet this Thursday at Old North State Winery at 6 p.m.
Mount Airy Professionals of Surry (MAPS) is a volunteer not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing its members the opportunities to engage in social networking, philanthropy, personal and professional growth. MAPS’s mission is to promote an environment that attracts and retains professionals in Mount Airy and to develop future business, civic and community leaders.
Jason Pike is the president of the organization that was formed in August. Robbie Gardner is the president-elect, Will Jackson is the vice president, Jesse Murphy is the treasurer and Jenna Jordan is the secretary.
Pike said in talking with the above mentioned group of young professionals and Matt Edwards, executive director of the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, and Jessica Icenhour Roberts, tourism director with the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, the group was formed.
He said the Mount Airy chapter of the Jaycees disbanded in November, so they wanted to create a similar group. The Jaycees have a 39-year-old age limit whereas this group does not.
“We wanted to make this as inclusive as possible. We are trying to make it fun and interactive. This is a great way for people to meet other professionals in the area and network. It’s like the Chamber of Commerce, only with individuals,” said Pike.
He said Mayor Deborah Cochran got the group in touch with Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, and Martin Collins, an economic developer with the city of Mount Airy. MAPS is a branch of the partnership.
Pike said when he graduated from college, he didn’t know to go through the Chamber of Commerce to make connections to try to find employment. He found worked outside of Mount Airy for five years before he was able to come back to Mount Airy to work.
“There are a lot of young, talented people in this area. We wanted to find a way to keep those people here,” said Pike. “This is also a way to recruit new businesses to the area by showing that we do have an active group of professionals in this area.”
In addition to the monthly meetings that will be held at the winery and at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, there will be quarterly meetings for professionals with families.
There is an application process and a $60 fee to join. Couples memberships are $90.
For those interested in joining the group, email email@example.com. The group also has a page on Facebook.
Reach Mondee Tilley@heartlandpublications.com or at 719-1930.