Spin-off group of Grafton Area Chamber will have a youthful vibe
It is said the blueprint for success in the business world is simple — “It is not what you know, but who you know.”
That adage will be put to the test with the launch of a new networking group, the Grafton Young Professionals.
The group, which will have its first gathering from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the Fermentorium, 7481 Hwy. 60, Cedarburg, is an offshoot of the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber Executive Director Pam King explained the group reflects the awareness by young people in the business setting that connections count.
“Young professional groups and events are becoming very popular throughout our state, so we thought that perhaps we should consider trying to put something together here,” King said.
“We know that unless the group develops organically, from the young professionals themselves, they won’t be successful.”
That’s when Chamber board members Nate Krueger of MPI and Amanda Hansen of the Hampton Inn and Suites stepped up to spearhead the formation of the Grafton Young Professionals.
Krueger said there is keen interest among emerging business leaders in getting to know people of like interests.
“The group is important to provide the younger population in the community the opportunity to network, stay up-to-date with local happenings, advise and mentor each other and socialize,” Krueger said.
“The Grafton Young Professionals will also help members improve their networking skills, manage generational differences at work and identify leadership roles both in the community and the workplace.”
Despite the proliferation of social media via digital sources, he said, maintaining face-to-face contact is still critical.
“I’m a young professional and I actively participate in the Grafton Chamber and ONCE opportunities in which I am in a great minority from an age perspective,” Krueger said.
“The Grafton Young Professionals will provide an avenue for younger people, both up-and-coming and established, to network. We expect many of the individuals that are going to want to participate within the group to be motivated to advance professionally, and hopefully the Grafton Chamber and the Young Professionals can serve as a means to help facilitate that growth and advancement.”
He said Grafton seems to have many young professionals living or working in the area.
“Many of them are very good at networking on social media outlets,” Krueger said.
“Our belief is that they are also looking for fun, unique, diverse opportunities to network with young professionals that they can easily relate to.”
According to King, about 30 young people have responded to the initial invitation to the Fermentorium session.
Thursday’s event coincides with the micro-brewery’s New Brew Thursday promotion, marking the release of a new porter.
The $5 admission charge includes two drinks and complimentary snacks.
“We are thrilled to have such a perfect venue,” King said.
“The newness of the Fermentorium coupled with its unique craft beers makes it the perfect place to bring young people together.”
There was some discussion about who would qualify as “young,” as a condition of belonging to the new organization.
“Someone said, ‘If you have to ask if you are young, you probably aren’t,’” King quipped.
The group is expected to primarily appeal to professionals in their 20s and 30s.
As part of the debut event, attendees will be surveyed to determine what types of activities they would like the group to focus on — networking events, leadership seminars, community service projects and social events.
For more information about the group, call 377-1650 or e-mail Lisa Taubner at
THE GRAFTON YOUNG PROFESSIONALS will hold its first meeting Thursday, April 28, at the Fermentorium on Highway 60 in Cedarburg. Anticipating the event at the gathering spot were (from left) Nate Krueger of the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce, bartender Kelsey Danum Stetson and Fermentorium owner Kristopher Volkman. Photo by Mark Jaeger