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Emerging Leaders: The Importance of Networking for Young Professionals

The Emerging Leaders is a new group within the North Shore Chamber of Commerce whose mission is to drive career growth for young professionals through relationship building and professional development. Chris Pellegrini, Assistant Estimator at Windover and Chairman of the Emerging Leaders, collaborates with the Emerging Leaders and Chamber boards to host events that reach and provide value to young professionals on the North Shore. In the post below, Chris shares more about the group’s mission, how it came to be, and the importance of networking for young professionals.

I’ve always found relationships to be important. It’s almost always about the people and our relationships that foster success and growth. I’ve made a conscious effort to meet new people and build genuine relationships for most of my career, and early on, I focused on connecting with individuals with a depth of experience who had reached a proven track record of success. I’d seek advice from entrepreneurs, CEOs, and business leaders trying to find that common thread that leads to success. Asking about their life experiences, I’d often wonder what choices they made at the start of their careers that later resulted in outstanding accomplishments.

Emerging Leaders: How it Began

After four years of conducting monthly informational interviews to expand my network and learn new skills, I received clarifying advice from my mentor, Tracey Hartford. She said, “Yes, it’s great that you’re expanding your network with business professionals, but what about your peers? What about the people that you will grow alongside?” Tracey’s questions were direct and hit home. They say to begin with the end in mind, and I had envisioned success and then sought to discover how others had gotten there. But what did the next chapter of my learning journey look like? That’s what I was searching for. Tracey gave me my answer – learn from my peers. Surround myself with top performers launching their careers, then drive our growth collaboratively. That’s where my interest in forming the Emerging Leaders began.

The mission for our group is simple yet powerful: to drive career growth for young professionals collaboratively through relationship-building, skill development, and community involvement. We believe in supporting one another on this journey and have accomplished quite a bit since our inception.


The Power of Networking

One of the primary pillars of Emerging Leaders is relationship building. There is often a stigma surrounding networking – that it is insincere, for self-promotion, or “salesy,” which can make people apprehensive about attempting it. However, it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems; it’s just relationship building, which can be done anywhere with anyone.

Networking is essential because it expands our knowledge base, exposes us to different perspectives, and opens doors to new opportunities. By actively networking, young professionals can establish connections with peers, mentors, and industry leaders who can provide guidance, support, and valuable insight throughout their careers. Building a solid network enhances professional growth and fosters personal development by creating a supportive community around you.

Attending events hosted by the Emerging Leaders is an excellent opportunity to expand your network in a comfortable setting. Our launch event drew in over 80 attendees and our second event had a similar turnout. The overwhelmingly positive feedback we received reaffirmed the importance of building relationships and the need for a group that specifically caters to young professionals on the North Shore. Our upcoming events can be found here: www.northshorechamber.org/emerging-leaders

As we continue to grow and evolve as a group, we invite all aspiring leaders to join us on this journey. Together, we can drive career growth, support each other’s development, and positively impact our business communities. To learn more about the Emerging Leaders, please reach out to me at cpellegrini@windover.com or join us at our next event!


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