The Young Professionals Network (YPN), a collaboration between the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (MDGLCC) and the Gay Vista Social Club (GVSC), is holding a social mixer from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., in Coral Gables.
The event, geared towards LGBT professionals between the ages of 21-39, will provide networking opportunities and include complimentary cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, music and raffle prizes. Guest speaker Katherine Schober from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood will discuss how to "Social Media like a Rockstar."
The Young Professionals Network meets monthly through a variety of engagement formats, such as business networking events, social mixers, educational workshops and training. The group’s mission is to create networking opportunities, foster collaboration with community leaders and provide educational engagements for young professionals to bridge the gap between generations, nurture professional development and growth and create paths to success within the business community.
Chris Aguilar, an ambassador with the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, said there are several benefits to attending one of the many networking events the MDGLCC hosts on a monthly basis.
“Not only do you get exposure to several business professionals in and affiliated with our community, but you also can introduce yourself and/or get introduced to all types of professionals yourself,” said Aguilar, a Human Resources management professional. “For example, I come from the HR and staffing industry. At one of my first mixers, I met my first client in which I was able to provide two administrative and accounting professionals from my previous staffing firm. Not only did their company benefit, but my company benefited, as well, including myself. At the same time, I made a new business connection that evolved into a friendship.”
Aguilar said the purpose of the Young Professionals Network is to expose more young professionals to this type of networking.
“There are so many young professionals who either don't go out or settle for the bars, clubs, parties, social media, apps, etc. in hopes to meet other people of their level,” Aguilar said. “The YPN places these young professionals together in a nice environment and allows them to benefit the same way other mature professionals do at the usual Chamber's events.”
David Quiñones, programming director for the Gay Vista Social Club, said that the partnership with YPN really is a social and networking collaboration.
“GVSC really adds a social spin on any type of event that we produce or co-host,” Quiñones said. “Our goal is to always make sure from a social aspect that guys come out to our functions, that no matter how shy or how outgoing they may be, that they will feel welcomed at any of our many diverse events and know that they will meet some great people or maybe even make a new friend or two.”
Gay Vista Social Club became a nonprofit organization in December 2017, supporting the motto of “Building Friendships.” Quiñones said the group is built on the premise and mission of creating a sense of community, forging meaningful relationships and developing social interaction among gay, bisexual and queer men. Through their weekly programs and events — both produced and co-hosted with other LGBTQ organizations such as the MDGLCC — GVSC strives in establishing a social environment through programming and service built on the premise of promoting an inclusive, empowered and respectful brotherhood.
GVSC recently launched its new official membership program, where all of the money raised goes to providing better services to members, participants and the community and to continue developing partnerships with other LGBTQ organizations throughout South Florida.
“Collaborating with the Chamber on the monthly YPN social mixers has really been great in helping us establish ourselves as a brand and really provide a great membership program,” Quiñones said. “It not only allows [members] to experience exciting and fun outings weekly, but also to be a part of a monthly networking event that opens door to places they may have never been to or visited before, [allowing] them to enjoy the many benefits that come along with it.”
Tickets for Wednesday’s mixer at the Biltmore Hotel are $10 online and $20 at the door. Admission is limited to 150 people. RSVP at GayBizMiami.com.