I live and work in Minneapolis. Gasp! I know! But it’s okay - I’ve been a loyal SPACC member, advocate and enthusiast for almost a decade. I moved here from Wisconsin (gasp again!) about 10 years ago and my job and living situation put me on the west side, so joining an east metro Chamber was a way to introduce me to the other half of the Twin Cities I didn’t know as well.
I am always surprised when I’m at a SPACC event and people find out that I live and work in Minneapolis. They’re perplexed that I would be even allowed to join the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. I just laugh. I usually make a comment about SPACC being open to allowing people on the “wrong” side of the river. I go on to explain how not growing up in the Twin Cities, I am continually mystified how people here will not cross the river - they stick to their neighborhood and that’s good enough for them. I can only imagine if I had adapted that mentality how big of a loss I would have had in my life, career and ultimately my overall success if I had not made that journey and joined SPACC.
This brings me to why I was so incredibly proud at the joint SPACC YPro and Minneapolis Regional Chamber DRIVE event on August 6 at the Rayette Lofts and CHS Stadium for the Saints Game. We had 75 enthusiastic young professionals from both sides of the river show up. Extra kudos to the DRIVE members who were brave enough to go to the “other side" to be there.
On top of that, the weather was nasty - a night when it would have been really easy to go home, put on something warm and snuggly and stay there for the rest of the evening. But these 75 young professionals wouldn’t settle for that! Our group was excited, engaged and up for any adventure - all while sharing business connections, making relationships and having a darn fun time doing it.
We all have busy lives. We all have a multitude of choices of how to spend our time. That is why I am so proud to be a part of the SPACC YPro - I am among an elite group of young people who are actively choosing to put themselves out there, make some noise and shake things up. We are setting ourselves up for business success, braving the unknown and doing it with a smile.
We would never let a silly little river get in the way of all that.