Programs help new and established residents immerse themselves in the community.
The Nashville region is bursting with new arrivals. People of all ages, cultures, nationalities, races and backgrounds are making their way to the area for a fresh start.
And they have come to the right place. This culturally diverse community, with its unique neighborhoods and thriving creative environment, also works hard to ensure everyone feels welcome and included.
In fact, it’s hard not to find your niche in this region, thanks to a number of initiatives that provide opportunities for people to engage with their community and grow professionally.
Take Ashley Northington, for example, founder of DENOR Brands + Public Relations, a full-service marketing communication and brand strategy firm. Northington took part in a Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce program called Leadership Connect, which links people with their community.
Developed for small-business owners, a group of entrepreneurs comes together each year to learn how to become more involved in building Nashville’s community.
“Participating in Leadership Connect not only provided me with an opportunity to lead on some high-impact initiatives that are important to the city that I love, but it also gave me an opportunity to build a network,â€ Northington says.
Amr El-Husseini, who is founder and CEO of Lodestone Advisory Group, also took part in Leadership Connect. His company helps clients capitalize on global market opportunities, as well as grow through innovation, transformation and venture capital.
“The program made me believe even more that it is a great platform for conceiving bold ideas for the future and challenging status quo in our city,â€ El-Husseini says.
In an effort to get more people acquainted and involved in their community, the chamber is actively developing a program called Intro Nashville.
Once launched, participants will learn what makes the region unique and how Nashville became known as the “Itâ€ city, covering its history, economy, and public and private sectors, among other things.
Programs aimed at connecting residents don’t stop there. In fact, young professionals, especially, are met with a long list of groups to join.
YP Nashville, a partnership between the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and more than 40 young professional organizations in the region, works to engage, connect and empower young professionals ages 21-40 to actively shape the future of the Nashville region through opportunities for networking, professional development and community involvement.
Robin Seay, who is the board chair of one of the groups for young adults, Murfreesboro Young Professionals (MYP), says many programs for young professionals in the area help members build their businesses and network, but MYP goes one step further.
“One thing that I love about MYP is it is a relationship organization,â€ Seay says. “So we’re in it to build relationships, and we tell people from the beginning, ‘If you’re looking to gain strictly business from this, we’re probably not a good fit for you.’ If you build relationships, the business will come.”
Every industry is welcome and everyone can benefit from joining MYP. The group offers socials, conferences and volunteer opportunities – just to name a few of its activities.
“It connects you with like-minded people, some who are in the same age group as you and some who are probably a little more established in their businesses and their careers, and then you’ve got people who are just now trying to figure it out,â€ Seay says. “It’s kind of a great whole mentoring system.”
If you’d like to learn more about the Nashville area, check out the latest edition of Nashville Area Economic Development.