Young Professionals: Now powering up in Shelbyville.

November 17, 2022

Power: It’s been an important subject in Shelbyville recently, as Duksan Electera has broken ground on an electrolyte manufacturing plant to support battery production. And now there’s a new power in Shelbyville that promises to add strength to the local economy and vibrancy to the quality of life here: The power of young professionals.

“Young professionals are a critical untapped resource that can really drive great things for Shelbyville,” notes Shane Hooper, President and CEO of the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership. “That’s why we’re very excited about the formation of the Shelbyville Young Professionals group.”

Shelbyville Young Professionals held its first meeting in June. Its mission, according to founding member Luke Parham, is “to provide an environment for young professionals to connect, engage and develop a network for motivated career-oriented individuals who want to improve the Bedford County community. In short, you can boost your career and make our community a better place to live and work.”

The opportunity to form relationships is a key benefit, according to Parham, and he adds, “We also see ourselves as a catalyst and contributor to Shelbyville economic development.” To that end the group plans to serve as an up-to-date resource for the business community, to promote charitable contributions and encourage civic involvement. Last, but certainly not least, “We want to help attract and retain young people in our area.”

The power of a group

Parham isn’t alone in his support for networking. A recent global LinkedIn survey revealed that 80% of respondents identified professional networking as a critical element in career success. And for young professionals at the early stages of their careers, the benefits of networking are even more strategic: Building relationships, some that may last over the span of a career; building a stronger creative intellect in the exchange of ideas with others in a peer group; enjoying the support and higher visibility of that peer group; and discovering new opportunities through various networking channels. 

The power of perspective

“We aim to be a springboard for ideas, and a unified voice for our young professional community,” Parham says.

Hooper welcomes the idea. “Getting input from diverse groups is important to effective decision-making, and the ideas of young people can be an especially valuable addition to the dialogue.”

The power of action and enthusiasm

The group is meeting with both the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership about economic development efforts and with city officials to see how Young Professionals can make a civic contribution. “We want challenges to tackle,” Parham explains. At the Duksan groundbreaking in October, several group members provided assistance for the ceremony. “We believe in teamwork, and we know we can be an important part of civic and development team projects,” Parham says.

Since its first meeting in June with just four members, Shelbyville Young Professionals has grown to several dozen members including local business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals from the financial industry, insurance and healthcare. Parham is a cardiothoracic physician’s assistant, and while he’s a native of Shelbyville and has lived here all his life, he says, “I’ve been able to make some great new acquaintances. We have a terrific range of people so far.”

Group meetings with food and drink are held on the second Monday of every month. “We try to change venues each time so that we can highlight different spaces around town. We encourage other young professionals to join us. Come see what we’re all about, how we can help you, and how you can help Shelbyville.”


For more information, contact:

Beth Davis | Director of External Affairs
Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership
100 Public Square West, Suite 210 | Shelbyville, TN 37160
P: 931.735.6925 | M: 513.260.1144



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