New organization kick-off event on Thursday

For years, the Jaycees within Sampson County thrived of young professionals making a difference through their leadership. From community involvement, business expos, fundraisers and more, the Jaycees accomplished great things. Those Jaycees members are now great leaders within the community and it is time for the former Jaycee members to “pass the torch” to help mold the leaders of tomorrow, as we kick off the first year of the new organization, Young Professionals of Sampson County. Warren Bennis states, “leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality”. That is exactly what the Jaycees did in the past, now it is the Young Professionals task to ensure we are involved and also giving back to Sampson County.

Starting in January of 2015, the Young Professionals of Sampson County has been on the forefront of the Chamber Board of Director’s agenda. Through great leadership and vision of Alison Carr, current Chamber President, Laura Deans, Executive Director of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce and the Steering Committee composed of Amber Cava (Sampson Regional Medical Center), Brandon Strickland (Southern Bank & Trust), Catherine Ezzell (Ezzell Trucking), Chris Driver (NC Clerk of Courts), Janna Bass (Sampson Community College) and Martin Jackson (First Citizens Bank and Trust), this group is ready to kick off the year this Thursday, June 25, at 6 p.m.

For the past few months, young professionals within the age range of 22 and 40 have been inquiring to be part of this organization. This organization is for those that have a passion for Sampson County and a desire to meet other young professionals as we unite to ensure growth and involvement within our communities. With the mission to connect young professionals, engage within the community and advance in leadership development to be the leaders of tomorrow; this countywide organization will include all municipalities and all individuals within the age range of 22 and 40. Through this three prong approach, (Connect, Engage and Advance) during each YP year, the group will hold social events to network with other young professionals, volunteer opportunities to engage the young professionals within the community and leadership development opportunities to build leadership skills and knowledge. We look forward to the idea wall, which will be at the kickoff event on Thursday, so the young professional members are able to share with the steering committee their ideas and suggestions for the first year.

The steering committee encourages members and non-members to attend the event this Thursday. The event will be at the Oasis in Clinton. Socialize with other Young Professionals, add your ideas and suggestions for the YP year to the idea wall, drop your business card in the drawing box for door prizes and get excited about the new organization within Sampson County. We are excited to have a few of the former Jaycee’s also attend on Thursday to share with us some of their projects and accomplishments throughout the year. We look forward to these former Jaycee’s “passing the torch” as they let the Young Professionals of Sampson County continue their legacy within the community.

“There is a strong need for young people to get involved with the community,” said Janna Bass, steering committee member. “Speaking from my perspective, at the age of 28, we (the young professionals) are a part of the current working generation and are very fortunate to have great mentors of other business professionals within the community. At some point, our mentors are going to want to “pass the torch” per say when it comes to community leadership, investing within the community and being involved. We (the young professionals) need to be ready to accept and try our best to fill their big shoes. Our goal is that through this organization, young professionals can get involved with the communities, take ownership of assisting with projects and see the value of giving back within the community- all while meeting great friends and peers.”

Getting involved in this organization is as simple as giving the Chamber a call at 910-592-6177 or visiting their website,, and clicking on the Young Professionals tab. With the only criteria is the age range of 22 to 40, after a short membership application and the payment of your membership investment, you are ready to dive on in and get involved. The 2015-2016 membership investment for an individual is $35 for Chamber Members or $45 for non-chamber members. If your business has at least three individuals planning to participate, check out the corporate rate of $25/person for chamber members and $35/person for non-chamber members. If your place of employment is a member of the Chamber, you would qualify for the Chamber Member rate. We are also very thankful for the 2015-2016 YP Sponsors (in no particular order): Sampson Regional Medical Center, Ribeyes of Clinton, The Happy Belly Deli, Howard & Bradshaw Attorneys at Law, The Sampson Independent, The Ashford Inn, Technology by Design, Nissan of Clinton Ezzell Trucking, ABC Express Insurance Agency and Southwood Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

For more information about the Young Professionals of Sampson County, please call the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce Office at 910-592-6177 or visit and click on the Young Professionals tab. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday at Oasis!