Nonprofit aimed at recent Fresno graduates

Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals hopes to attract elites to the Fresno area

A local nonprofit works to bring and retain college graduates to the greater Fresno area.

Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals (FLYP) aims to attract young, inspiring individuals to the greater Fresno area by connecting them with jobs, friends and local causes, and they have their sights set on Fresno State students. 

“Our goal is to give young professionals a reason to stay in this region by helping them build meaningful roots here by connecting them with jobs, friends, education and local causes,” said Allison Boogaert chair to the board of directors. 

Boogaert said FLYP is pursuing strategies to engage more students and faculty affiliated with Fresno State. She met with Tim Stearns, director for the Lyles Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, to discuss what FLYP can do for Fresno State students.

FLYP members try to build roots in the Fresno community, and their professional development committee offers several events to develop leadership, service and networking skills. The events include seminars led by top business and civic leaders about issues that affect young professionals.

Tim Sudiacal, director of professional development, said FLYP members take what they learn at seminars and apply those professional skills by doing volunteer work throughout Fresno. 

“Our members have done volunteer work with Community Food Bank [and] the American Cancer Society, along with raising money for local schools and animal shelters,” Sudiacal said.
“Volunteering in the community, FLYP members find causes that create deeper meaning to their lives and build a commitment to making Fresno a better place to live.”

Perhaps the most important aspect of the organization is the concept of connecting with other young professionals. FLYP’s Social and Professional Network Committee plans social activities that allow members to build relationships with each other, which can assist them in finding a job, gaining leadership, feeling connected to the community and even developing long-lasting friendship.

Sudiacal said he wants FLYP to be thought of as innovative and collaborative, and to be known for the opportunities it creates.

“As a student, who wouldn’t want to have those kinds of experiences to talk about in job interviews or to put on their resumes?” Sudiacal said.

FLYP is currently free and open to the public; however, there are plans to launch a new paid membership within the next few months, Boogaert said. Annual membership rates will be discounted for college students.

“We encourage college students to get involved the year before they graduate so that they can be fully connected with the Fresno professional community before they officially enter the workforce,” Boogaert said.

President John Welty recently appointed a member of FLYP, Stephen Sotomayor, to the University Advisory Board at Fresno State.

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