Bowling Green Young Professionals, a group formed to help up-and-coming business leaders better connect to the community through networking and professional development, will sponsor its first leadership summit for its members and potential members at Knicely Conference Center.

Called “Fuel Your Future,” the summit Thursday is open to all professionals between 21 and 40 years old, including non-BGYP members. It will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with breakfast and lunch keynote speakers, breakout sessions and a panel discussion on “Fueling Your Community.”

BGYP member Beth Noffsinger said the summit will focus on leadership tactics, communication and the importance of civic engagement.

“I’m excited about the summit,” said Noffsinger, communications director for the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We spent a lot of time figuring out what topics are important to young professionals.”

The summit will kick off with a breakfast keynote presentation from Leah Brown of Louisville, a Dale Carnegie-certified trainer known as an expert in employee retention.

After morning breakout sessions, the lunchtime keynote speaker will be Travis Keller, an executive with Independence Bank in Bowling Green who has had leadership roles with local nonprofits and with the Bowling Green Rotary Club.

More breakout sessions are planned for the afternoon, which will conclude with the “Fueling Your Community” panel discussion.

Panelists will be four local young professionals: Lindsey McClain of American Bank & Trust, Danette Idlett of the Life’s Better Together nonprofit, Fuji Avdic of Stryker Logistics and Ben Lawson, an insurance executive and 2018 candidate for state representative.

Maureen Carpenter, partnership services vice president at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, said the panel discussion will touch on the topics of entrepreneurial mindset, leadership, personal branding and using your strengths to be successful.

Carpenter said the BGYP group is a new program at the chamber that is growing rapidly. Membership grew by 68 percent last year, Carpenter said, bringing the BGYP to more than 150 members.

The group holds regular networking opportunities that allow members to learn from their peers, and they also do service projects for local nonprofits.

“We’re getting them tied to the community and giving them the opportunity to make friends and get involved with local nonprofits,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the cost for Thursday’s summit is $75. She said the event is a good opportunity for young professionals who haven’t joined BGYP to learn more about the group.

“Definitely, one of our goals is to reach out and let more people know about the group,” she said.

Those interested in the summit can learn more and register online by going to the website.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit

​– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit

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