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YP Perspective: Looking to 2015

tags: Connect
Posted by: Pulse Young Professionals on Tuesday, December 16, 2014
2014 has been the most productive year I’ve experienced in my 5 years as an active PULSE member. Every year seems to top the last, be it new planning committees like Capacity and Arts, or enriched programming and content. While it’s important to recognize our history, we must constantly push forward to be relevant in these times. PULSE is corner stoned as a Leadership Development organization, while 2015 is said to be the Chinese year of the sheep - we have NO intention of being herded. What makes PULSE unique? Unlike other programs offered at the chamber or in Greenville, PULSE is a living, breathing organization. I’ll repeat our mission statement because I truly believe in it: “As a voice for Greenville’s young talent, PULSE connects, engages and inspires through leadership development, social enrichment and community investment.” Stats don’t lie. With close to 800 members in 2014, we continue to be the largest young professional networking organization in the state. We have close to 75 very active members serving on planning committees, creating content, and programming events.  There were over 56 events in 2014 and there will be even more in the year to come. Hundreds, if not thousands, of PULSE member hours go into planning, executing, and volunteering in our community. Through our dedicated members, we can give back to ourselves, other YPs, and Greenville. What can every PULSE member do? If you don’t already know: ‘You get out of PULSE what you put into it’ – and in my experience, 10x the return just because I stuck with it.  Our members are our livelihood; without them, we have nothing. It takes everyone to buy in and believe. With that said, we can always do more to help one another. Below is a list of simple Dos and Don’ts when it comes to our events. Use them as a guideline and template to build.  Add to them and develop your own networking toolbox.

Do: Consistently go to events; prepare and come with energy Introduce yourself; go out of your comfort zone – you won’t regret it! Meet 3-4 people new EVERY event and follow up with everyone Remember names and 1-2 interesting things about the people you meet Arrive early and leave late Have plenty of business cards Be positive and encouraging

Don’t: Just use it as a resume booster Hang out with people you already know Be a salesperson and only sell Monopolize the conversation Stand in one place, or sit on your cell phone Criticize anyone personally or their carrier Be negative – at all!


Building on the success of the preceding leadership, we have the following snap shot of our goals for 2015 and objectives for meeting/completing them.

• Continue to enhance programming to offer more relevant content to members

How? – Surveys, member feedback, trending/hot topics

• Get more YPs on boards and commissions

How? - Make PULSE a hub for finding out what demands our community needs and pipeline our members into those positions

• Develop a platform so members and non-members can collaborate to meet up and discuss mutual interests and YP issues

How? – PULSE Meet up/Social media

• Increase membership of educators and health care professionals

How? – Via connections with GHS YPs and work to develop stronger relationship with Greenville county school district

• Promote healthy and active lifestyles

How? – Incorporate Connects, Talent, Social, and Leadership events to offer content supporting healthy and active living

• Continue effort to engage diverse communities

How? – Continue our efforts with the Chamber’s NetNight and other Capacity events; reach out to other minorities and work to develop relevant content

• Strengthen infrastructure and enhance technology

How? – Streamline event sign up and check in; generate better member reports to track engagement

As you can see, we have a full plate for the New Year. We are more than excited to get under way. I want to conclude by giving thanks to all of the PULSE supporting roles in the chamber, PULSE members working behind the scenes on committees, Berri Hicks, and the leadership before me that has taught me so much.  And of course, my very, very patient fiancé, Tory.

Stay tuned, stay active, and stay engaged!

About the Author: Mike Pennington is the 2015 PULSE Chair.  He is also the owner of Rhino Concessions and FunnelDelicious.  His degree and background is focused on continuous improvement of Rhino’s systems, infrastructure, operations, and overall marketing of the company.  He is a Greenville native and a graduate of the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.  He is very active in the Greenville Chamber, as well as other community organizations; Mike volunteers time teaching Junior Achievement and job preparedness in local high schools.  He also has over three years of service on the LiveWell Greenville Access to Healthy Foods committee.  Mike was named one of “Greenville’s Best and Brightest 35 and Under” by Greenville Business Magazine.   As he enjoys staying active, Mike recently completed a full distance Ironman triathlon with his father and sister.  He is recently engaged and enjoys biking, running, hiking, and traveling.


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