Young valley professionals uniting

Ryan Bruce is the public relations person for the Young Professionals of Cowichan. - file
Ryan Bruce is the public relations person for the Young Professionals of Cowichan.
— image credit: file

Young Professionals of Cowichan is an organization still in its infancy, but hoping to grow through a membership drive.

The group that facilitates unifying Cowichan’s Under-45 business professionals is meeting Saturday at the Shipyard Restaurant. The festivities begin at 6 p.m.

“We’re kind of making things official,’’ said Ryan Bruce, YPC’s public relations person. Christina Tipton of Lake Cowichan is the first president.

“We’ve had our regular mixers and events and we’ve had our lunch and learns,’’ added Bruce.

The basis for the organization is five pillars, according to Bruce: professional development, community involvement, business networking, Social networking and personal development.

Service groups and volunteer organizations will definitely factor into the group’s plans.

“We’ll be making contact,’’ said Bruce. “We’re brainstorming and collecting names and numbers of the various presidents.’’

The volunteer component will be important for a very significant reason.

“It seems there’s a trend happening where the volunteers are getting older and older,’’ said Bruce.

Along those lines, “our thinking is we’d like to put on a volunteer fair in the four valley high schools,’’ said Bruce.

Considerable focus is being put on professional development.

“We feel it’s important to take care of ourselves and what’s right here around us,’’ said Bruce.

A small group kicked things off with the organization in April.

At that time, “we set a path for building the membership,’’ said Bruce.

YPC already has a Facebook page and a website is under construction. Contact to RSVP for the membership drive can be made through the Facebook page or by email at

Mixers are planned every two weeks, with lunch and learns once a month.

YPC membership provides access to the mixers, lunch and learns, a discount toward becoming a member of the Duncan Chambers of Commerce, opportunities for business and to become part of strengthening the community.

Bruce said Young Professionals are becoming a movement all over the island. He cited the example of the Nanaimo members who raised more than $500,000 to help refurbish the train station there.

Similar groups also exist currently in the Comox Valley, Campbell River and Port Alberni.

Bruce would like to see the Cowichan organization put on the map as well through a variety of projects, including the Walk of Nations next June.

“The walk by itself was great and everyone came together. We felt we could do more with it,’’ Bruce hinted.

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