By Ali Nicole

Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce’s (SACC) Young Professionals organization works to, “get young professionals together and connect them to be community leaders on a larger scale,” says co-chair Alexis Roskovich. She and co-chair, David Botscheller, describe a variety of ways they’re engaging local young professionals to become connected and empowered, benefitting business and the community. 

Young Professionals includes those that are typically in the first 10 years of their careers and between the ages of 21 and 35. The co-chairs describe the backgrounds of people who join their group as diverse, spanning such sectors as education, construction and architecture, marketing, financial planning, real estate and health care, amongst others. Explaining her own experience and how she views the impact of the young professionals branch of SACC, Roskovich says, “when I first entered the workforce in Salisbury, I didn’t think there were many other like-minded professionals. I went to the Young Professionals group and found they were like-minded and diverse.” 

The connections between these professionals are made through networking events and volunteer opportunities, largely. Every third Thursday of each month, they hold a cocktail hour as an opportunity to gather together, interact, exchange ideas, and build relationships. Botscheller describes it as a casual atmosphere that, “has led to new business opportunities and project developments. You’re meeting project managers and leaders, contractors…the possibilities are endless.” The meetings also provide a spotlight to the local businesses that host, keeping the focus on supporting the community’s economy. 

Another way to serve and connect to the community is through volunteering, which is highly emphasized and encouraged. “I’m a huge advocate of volunteering. Communities need those who care. It goes hand and hand with professional development,” explains Roskovich. That’s why she and Botscheller seek out volunteer opportunities and connect Young Professionals members to create the best outcomes for all parties involved. 

Currently, the organization is involved with the United Way Emerging Leaders program. Along with United Way and TidalHealth, SACC Young Professionals put together Thanksgiving food baskets to targeted families in need. Later, they will be delivering gifts to families which Roskovich says volunteers are still needed for. Members have also been involved with SACC’s Environmental & Beautification Committee which has helped clean up the community. 

It doesn’t end with building connections and serving the community—Young Professionals seeks talent retention as well. As Roskovich puts it; “This is a way to keep talent on the shore. It’s a retention tool for all business on the shore.” The co-chairs describe a history of locals leaving the area, students learning in Salisbury and returning home, but they believe having a strong and thriving network of support and opportunity is a major part of drawing future professional leaders to stay and enrich the Eastern Shore. 

While SACC’s Young Professionals sector has been around for approximately a decade, they are seeing a growth spurt currently following the pandemic creating a lapse. “It was a great opportunity to expand this year. COVID made it a challenge, but the uptick afterwards has been huge. We see twenty-five to thirty people coming out to the meetings,” Botscheller emphasized. 

Those interested in being part of the influx of involved young professionals on the Eastern Shore can look forward to continued growth, according to its co-chairs. They both describe hopes to create an educational series where professionals provide short presentations on their field, which would serve as promotional in addition to educating others. The idea of professional development opportunities is also something they’d like to see moving forward. Additionally, Roskovich says, “Young Professionals is a starting point of the whole chamber…the stepping stone into this organization.” 

Contact Alexis at aroskovich@beckermorgan.com for more information, to join the mailing list, or to volunteer. Information and event postings can also be found on the SACC website, salisburyarea.com, as well as the “Salisbury Young Professionals of SACC” Facebook page.