New group wants to help young professionals in Carson City
Appeal Staff Writer
The image of Carson City as a town for senior citizens and government workers won’t change soon, but a young professionals’ group starting this month says it will try.
“The age difference when we’re at the mixers, I mean, there’s not any huge connect,” said Michelle Cullen, one of the group’s organizers. “It’s either you’re between 21 and 40 or you’re 60.”
Cullen, a 34-year-old bank manager, said young people need to be more involved in a city that has as much potential as Carson. Though the group is designed mainly for business networking, she said getting together could change social life. It’s not a place young people in the region think of now to go have fun, she said.
“You’re not in Reno and say, ‘Hey, let’s go to Carson.'”
Megan Walsh, 28, said the city is not where she goes for a night club, but it is a good place to work.
“I like the small community feel,” she said. “I like that whenever I go out into the surrounding businesses I usually know somebody. When I go to the Chamber (of Commerce) it’s the same people and I have that relationship with them.”
Walsh commutes from Reno for her job in outside sales in Carson City. For work, Carson is better than the bigger city, she said, because she can meet more customers, see them regularly and develop “I-scratch-your-back-you-scratch-my-back” relationships.
She said she’d like to meet other young workers, because she is usually the youngest one in a business group.
Rebekah Stetson, another group organizer, said it’s possible for the city to become more “chic.” Young people just need to get involved more in the business and politics, she said.
“As a community, I don’t think a lot of young people are involved in decisions made within Carson City right now. It’s all an elite older crowd.”
Stetson, 23, said to help young people, get them more involved and make the city more attractive, the group will have after-hours events at popular places, like D’Vine Wine Tasting & Bistro.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ronni Hannaman said the city is a good place for young people, but it does need a group to tell people about it. According to the chamber, people ages 25 to 44 make up about a quarter of the city’s population.
Though it’s nice to have older mentors in business, Walsh said, she would like to see other young workers to see what their challenges are and how they’re progressing.
“It’s just hard when you’re the young person in everything,” she said.
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.