The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) turns its focus to the next generation of industry leaders: The new group, called HPBA Young Guns, represents professionals who are under the age of 40 or who have been in the industry for fewer than five years.
The mission of Young Guns is to provide educational, networking, social, and training opportunities at both the national and affiliate levels of HPBA, as well as to foster leadership and collegial relationships. Young Guns also hopes to help recruit new people into the industry.
The committee, which is cochaired by Nick Bauer (of Empire Comfort Systems, Inc.) and Linsey Fluty (of Ray Murray, Inc.), hopes to get young professionals more involved in the organization as a whole, with a focus on more active participation within their local affiliate communities. There are currently 12 committee members, representing each HPBA region in the United States and two (so far) in Canada. Also active on the committee is Rodger Holland (of Supreme Fireplaces), who serves as the HPBA board liaison.
“Young Guns is a great way for younger hearth and barbecue professionals to get the exposure in the industry that they need to advance within their careers,” Bauer says. “It is our hope that this group will provide not only professional-development opportunities, but also great networking among its members and with the HPBA membership as a whole.”
Young Guns has big plans for the near future, such as a mentoring program, which would pair a more seasoned professional with a Young Gun; a monthly newsletter; and education programs tailored toward Young Gun interests and needs. HPBA has been very encouraged by the enthusiasm surrounding the Young Guns program. So far, it has had two very successful HPBExpo receptions, in 2011 and 2012, and an outpouring of interest in serving on the committee.
The Young Guns plan to use social media to convey information, as well as to create informal gatherings throughout the year. Those interested can follow the Young Guns on its newly created Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/HPBAYoung- Guns/277191222331421) or can email email@example.com for more information.