Pensacola Young Professionals

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Pensacola Young Professionals


Mission To develop the Pensacola Bay Area as a thriving and dynamic place to live, work and play by making our fellow young professionals and the community as a whole aware of issues shaping the area through proactive civic, social and professional involvement.
Established April 25, 2006
Location Pensacola Chamber of Commerce
117 West Garden Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Membership 190
Board officers James Hosman, chairman
Ashley Hodge, vice-chair
ShaLonda Palmer, secretary
Catherine R. Thornton, treasurer
Budget $35,000[1]

Pensacola Young Professionals, Inc. (PYP) is a non-profit organization of Pensacolians in their 20s and 30s organized in 2006 to provide "networking, education and support services for young professionals"[2] and "to showcase the Pensacola Bay Area as a cool place to live, work and play."[3]


In November 2005, Independent News publisher Rick Outzen and Chamber of Commerce president Evon Emerson met with a group of about 20 young professionals to discuss the future of Pensacola. They discussed "being proactive on community issues, networking through social events and enhancing their leadership and professional skills," and how to succeed where defunct predecessor groups like Progress 20/20 and the Culture Club had "fizzled out."[4]

In March 2006 the group elected its initial board of directors, including chairman John Hosman and co-chair Chad McDaniel, and publicly endorsed the Community Maritime Park project.[5] It was officially incorporated on April 25.[2]

Issues and projects


Member Services

Team chair: Brock Dickens

Meets the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce building.

Economic Development

Team chair: Leslie Cagle

Meets the last Tuesday of each month at 5:45 p.m. at Avalex Technologies.

Governmental Affairs

Team chair: Miller Caldwell III

Quality of Life

Team chair: Marina Paul

Meets the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the United Way of Escambia County.


Team chair: Marie Thompson

Meets the first Wednesday of each month at noon at the Fish House.

Internship Pensacola

Main article: Internship Pensacola

In early 2007, PYP launched its Internship Pensacola program, a partnership with the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and the University of West Florida. The groups found paid, 12-week internships with local employers that would provide real-world experience and six to nine credit hours.


PYP partnered with the Studer Group in 2008 to create the Pensacola Professional Development Institute (PPDI), a self-sustaining leadership training program designed "to help companies improve employee retention and selection, productivity, and satisfaction."[6]

The 2008/09 schedule includes four conference dates. Quint Studer will be one of the speakers. The cost to attend PPDI is $400 for PYP members and $500 for non-members.

Hosted events

Political forums

PYP hosts occasional town-hall-style political forums where its members and the public can ask questions of elected leaders and political candidates. The first such event took place on July 24, 2006 at Pensacola Junior College, where 18 state and local candidates spoke to about 100 people.[7]

Pub Club

Pub Club

"Pub Club" is a bi-monthly social function, held on the first Thursday of every other month at the Fish House Deck (or the adjacent Atlas Oyster House during inclement weather).

Forward Focus

"Forward Focus" is the name of PYP's bi-monthly general membership meeting.

Board of directors and officers, 2007-08


  1. 2007 Annual Report
  2. 2.0 2.1 Electronic Articles of Incorporation
  3. About PYP
  4. "Shaping Pensacola's Future." Independent News, March 9, 2006.
  5. "Make way: New guard to take its turn." Pensacola News Journal, March 26, 2006.
  6. PPDI Fact Sheet
  7. "Group targets young voters." Pensacola News Journal, July 25, 2006.