Now celebrating our 20th anniversary as an organization
History of the Club
A few people decided they did not want to do it alone; they wanted to meet other like-minded, young professionals. They decided to meet monthly and discuss "being young in Cleveland." In 2001, Luke Elsass and other young professionals from the City formed what is now The Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club.
During the early years, under Luke's leadership, the future of the Club took shape. The members organized monthly events around four areas: Social, Education, Philanthropy, and Networking. Each event drew new people into the group. Soon word spread beyond the founders and reached a wider audience of young professionals in the region.
Three years after Luke founded the Club, its popularity began to spread. The Club was growing, the future looked bright, and no one anticipated what came next. The Cleveland Plain Dealer published an article on the Club, spotlighting its popularity, its members, and its importance to the young professional community. Following that article, membership exploded.
When the Plain Dealer article appeared in 2004, the Club hosted a total of eight philanthropy, five educational, four networking, and four major social events along with the monthly Around Towns. In 2009, the Club hosted over 130 events. The Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club continued to grow and expand, becoming the city's largest and longest-running young professional organization.
As we look to the future, we also look back with pride on those who came before us; those who volunteered countless hours, invested continuous energy and passion, and laid the foundation for what the Club is today.
The Four Pillars
The Club operates through four pillars which it believes is critical for young professional development.
SocialThe Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club strongly believes a healthy social life is integral to a high quality life. The importance of a social life and having great friends shouldn't be a mystery; it opens your world to new experiences, new people, and an outlet to enjoy your lives outside of work. What's better than having cool things to do? Having cool friends to do them with.
Whether you've moved here for work, you're shy, or you've lived here your whole life, sometimes the difficulty is knowing where to start. Meeting new people and making friends can be easy for some, but the Club's social opportunities make it easy for everyone. Whether it's a monthly happy hour, an afternoon of rock climbing, or an evening Indians game, the Club offers a welcoming environment that's conducive for young professionals of all personalities to truly enjoy themselves and build lasting friendships. Simply put, great friends = great times.
NetworkingWhether you are in search of a job, looking for business connections, connecting with a thought leader, or expanding your circle of friends, effective networking can lead to endless positive opportunities. By taking advantage of professional networking, you open your world to new experiences, new people, and the chance to grow personally and professionally.
The Club works on your behalf to break down the barriers that might hold you back if you're going it alone and makes sure you have the opportunity to get what you are looking for in your professional life. The collective network of The Club spans thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations, and our networking events, from speaker series, to wine tastings, to breakfast and lunches, create variety of avenues to start making connections at every experience level. The Club is here to connect you to Cleveland and all that is has to offer!
PhilanthropyMaking positive contributions within the community is a key value of the Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club. By contributing our time, energy, skills, and ideas, to causes and missions we are passionate about, we invest in making Cleveland a terrific place to live and work. Cleveland has a strong history of philanthropy through the work of foundations, charities, businesses, and citizens. The Club continues this tradition, through the work of the Philanthropy Committee.
The Cleveland area has more than 1,900 nonprofits, each striving to provide services for important causes in the community. There is a tremendous need for the volunteer hours, leadership, and technical skills that young professionals bring to the table. Moreover, many of these nonprofits are finding it difficult to access and engage our demographic. Here is where the Philanthropy Committee is helping!
The Club's Philanthropy focus spans three separate areas. For those looking to roll up their sleeves and do hands on work, The Club hosts a number of projects each year in various charitable interests providing young professionals a chance to volunteer with each other and make a difference. Looking to get more involved? The Club is connected to numerous leadership development opportunities. Whether you are looking to join a board or find a cause close to your heart, the Philanthropy Committee is here to help you meet nonprofits, develop leadership skills and discuss opportunities to be involved. Or maybe your idea of fundraising is having a good time for a good cause? Our fundraising events like our holiday "Stuff the Stocking" happy hour event will give you a great excuse to get out and help a good cause.
EducationalEducation is power. At The Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club we believe that education is a key to personal and professional strength. Today it is easier than ever to become educated, but the personal touch has been greatly reduced. The Club strives to put on events to help you learn more about the city you live and the world around you through its education events.
From golf and sailing lessons, museum tours to wine tastings, and world renowned CEOs interacting with our members at a personal level, The Club offers a variety of chances to learn something new, have fun, and form great relationships at the same time. By opening your mind to new experiences, ideas, beliefs, and people, you are laying the ground work for an exciting and rewarding future.