Valley Young Professionals

Who We Are

The Valley Young Professionals (VYP), a program of the Greater Phoenix Chamber (Chamber), is for up-and-coming young professionals in the Valley ages 25-39. The VYP program provides experiences for its members to build lasting relationships, engage in professional development opportunities and become change-makers in the community. The program creates innovative leaders for tomorrow by educating them on issues that affect business leaders of today. The monthly events connect leading entrepreneurs and business professionals with a valuable network to help them learn, grow, and develop professionally. As a member of the VYP network, you have access to networking opportunities, educational programs, behind-the-scenes tours, and volunteer projects.

Connect with the Valley Young Professionals on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Want to receive our monthly VYP newsletter? Click here.

Monthly Events

The monthly events connect leading entrepreneurs and business professionals with a valuable network to help them learn, grow, and develop professionally. As a member of the VYP network, you have access to networking opportunities, educational programs, behind-the-scenes tours, and volunteer projects.

Past event topics and tours:

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport tour
  • Annual VYP night at a Diamondbacks game
  • Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona tour
  • Mentor Breakfast
  • Roundtable discussion with Tuft N Needle

Interested in attending an upcoming VYP event? Check out our events calendar.

Board of Directors

The VYP Board of Directors creates a program to retain and attract young professionals to the Greater Phoenix area. The Board is responsible for overseeing the programming and direction of VYP. The board identifies content, speakers, venues, and community partnerships for VYP and promotes these events and the Chamber among their networks.

Meet our 2021-2022 Board of Directors

  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    I love seeing live music and hiking all over the Valley
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    Ghost Ranch in South Tempe
  3. What is your hometown?
    Mountain View, CA
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    Anything Marvel for movies 😊, for TV Peaky Blinders
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    How to play the guitar!
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Junior Mints
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    Greece!!
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    Pediatrician
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    My Mom!
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    I work for a nonprofit professionally so I love the chance to get the “feel-goods” from giving my time to an amazing cause outside of work.

VYP Board of Directors Chair

  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    Get out and turn off. Phoenix has an insane amount of outdoor excitement. The hiking, kayaking, waterfall finding, watering hole swimming, and sights to see are endless. Turning off my email and tuning into how great AZ is.
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    When I’m not eating “Mad Fresh,” my favorite meal prep service I choose Durant’s for the best night out!
  3. What is your hometown?
    Superior, WI – “Where rail meets sail.”
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    Billions
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    Astronomy or night time photography. I could stare at the night sky all night.
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Nachos with the fake slimy cheese.
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    Egypt
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    Archaeologist or Astronomer
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    I am a Mom’s boy all day – her.
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    I am inspired and motivated by all of the diverse, young professionals that I meet through this group. There are many different backgrounds and industries represented of young leaders all trying to make a difference in our city and communities through networking, business, and philanthropy.
  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    Walk around Desert Botanical Gardens. There is always some great event there and it’s the best way to connect with nature and with friends in a safe and outdoor manner… the restaurant now also features Arizona’s Mezcal Carreño, so that’s always a big plus!
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    I love the constantly changing menu where every dish is special. Their cocktails are also amazing. Valentine is a close 2nd!
  3. What is your hometown?
    La Jolla, CA and Tijuana, Mexico
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    White Lotus on HBO was absolutely amazing! It should be studied as great story of our times!
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    Formal hosting. With the COVID restrictions I came to appreciate the art of having a truly intimate dinner party. It is becoming a lost art and I would love to catch up to enjoy the new roaring 20s in a subdued way.
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Nachos WITH jalapeños
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    Can’t spend enough time there to catch up with friends and get to be with my goddaughters.
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    I was a huge Indiana Jones fan.
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    Besides my mom always pushing me to constantly give back to the world, I can easily say Pete Buttigieg. His bid for President showed me a new leadership path that had not truly been visible to the LGBTQ community.
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    Be the change you want to see in the world” It is too easy to complain about what is lacking in our city or why it isn’t more like Los Angeles or New York… we can do something about it. The city is only as great as its people, the more we are civically engaged at every level, the better it becomes for all of us.
  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    Hike – it is a unique experience to be able to hike on mountains in the middle of a large city, and you can easily get in a good outdoor workout before work.
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    There are so many! Tops are The Gladly, Postino or Marigold Maison
  3. What is your hometown?
    Chicago, IL – Go Cubs!
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    I don’t watch much TV, but Movie = Jurassic Park
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    To play the guitar or learn Spanish
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Popcorn
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    Australia
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    Veterinarian
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    My aunt – a successful entrepreneur, wife, mother – overall incredible person
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    Building a strong network of peers is incredibly valuable and rewarding. It also inspires me to think outside the box and experience new things.
  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    I love meeting new people, especially for a nice meal at one of the great restaurants that seem to be cropping up all over town for the past decade or so.
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    Fat Ox or Atlas Bistro
  3. What is your hometown?
    Mostly Chicago
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    Breaking Bad, I’m a sucker for a solidly “grey” antihero.
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    Golf, I must be the only insurance guy in Arizona that doesn’t golf.
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Milk Duds, because I hate them unless I’m at the movies. It’s a similar feeling to the one I have about ginger ale and air travel.
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    Madagascar or South Africa. I love animals and just spending time around the big cats, elephants, rhinos, etc. or the unspoiled jungles of Madagascar sounds like a great way to use that ticket.
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    I wanted to sell propane and propane accessories, if my grades were good enough.
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    Probably my mom. She was an extremely dedicated worker, finishing her career as an executive at McDonald’s and the “breadwinner” for our family growing up, which was not the norm back then.
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    Honestly I’m most motivated to get involved with groups like VYP because I’ve put roots down in Arizona and I feel like for a community to thrive, those who care about the future of that community owe a responsibility to try and improve it. Too many young professionals – the lifeblood for any growing economic center – have weak ties because they are transplants and so they often leave the state or fail to get personally invested in making it the kind of place they would like to stay.
  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    Running (for 9 months out of the year) because of the fantastic weather!
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    Forno 301
  3. What is your hometown?
    Phoenix
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    Just now watching 30 Rock
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    The Tango
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Reeses
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    Tanzania
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    Astronaut
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    My boss and my girlfriend – not the same person!
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    The goal of attracting and retaining young professionals to live in Phoenix by promoting the great standard of living we enjoy here.
  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    Hike. Since I am from Kansas and I have a super deep appreciation for the beautiful mountains
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    AZ88
  3. What is your hometown?
    Topeka, Kansas
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    Bobs Burgers
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    I would learn to play the saxophone
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Blue Raspberry Slushy
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    Greece, Mykonos Islands
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    Pediatric Nurse
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    My mother and step-father
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    We can get consumed in our day to day jobs. Its important for us to take a step away, network, learn, interact and give back to the communities in which we live and work.
  1. What are you hoping to gain from your experience a new VYP Board member?
    As a board member, I hope to have a positive impact on local issues, continue to build on the noteworthy educational programming and provide resources to those navigating our business community.
  2. What experiences and perspectives do you bring to the board that you hope will be valuable to the Valley Young Professionals group? I’m passionate about helping local businesses thrive. I’ll bring a creative approach to tackle challenges and rely on my former experience helping brands tell their stories.

Fun fact: I can play the steel drum and was once in a steel drum band.

VYP Board of Directors Vice Chair

  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    We are so lucky to have such a wealth of great restaurants and bars here in Phoenix. One thing my fiancée and I love doing on the weekends is going to the Uptown Farmer’s Market and then grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many excellent local restaurants. We try to experience a new restaurant once a month!
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    Hard to pick just one with so many good ones in the Uptown corridor. St. Francis on Camelback is an excellent restaurant for a date night, as is Chantico, a “new” Mexican restaurant opened by the same team that opened Ocotillo.
  3. What is your hometown?
    I’m from State College, Pennsylvania.
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    I am a big fan of Bosch, an Amazon Prime show following Titus Welliver as an LA detective. It has all the features of an old “film noir” set in modern-day Los Angeles. The final season was just released!
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    Although a month may not be enough, I have always been interested in attending culinary school to improve my cooking. I enjoy cooking new recipes with my fiancée and would love to sharpen my culinary skills!
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Hard to beat the classic popcorn, but I am also a sucker for sour candy, like Sour Patch Kids.
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    Probably the Maldives! I could use two weeks on a white sand beach!
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    I always thought I was going to be a doctor when I grew up. I liked the idea of caring for patients during their time of need; I suppose in my current role as an attorney, I am also caring for clients during their time of need (in a legal way as opposed to a medical way).
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    My father is absolutely my role model. He overcame a tumultuous upbringing to graduate Penn State in three years and went on to found his own insurance brokerage before selling it to MetLife. Seeing the obstacles he has had to overcome has inspired me to make the most out of every opportunity I am given.
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    I believe every citizen has an obligation to engage with and improve their community. VYP is an opportunity for me to not only meet other like-minded young professionals, but to learn more about the community I live in and work with charities and non-profits to improve it.
  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    Attend ASU Football & Basketball Games, Hike Camelback & McDowell Mountain, Try local coffee shops.
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    Flo’s – Chinese restaurant in N. Scottsdale
  3. What is your hometown?
    Edwardsburg, Michigan
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    Last Chance U
  5. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Popcorn and licorice
  6. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    It would be a short flight, but my favorite go-to getaway is to northern Arizona where we have a family cabin. I love it up there!
  7. What was your dream profession growing up?
    Interior Designer – watched wayyyy too much HGTV and still do.
  8. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    My life coach. The best investment I ever made.
  9. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    I am energized by helping other people. Serving on the VYP Board allows me to do more of it.
  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    Golf!  There are so many great courses in the Valley.  Plus who doesn’t love the Waste Management Open?
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    Los Dos Molinos.  I grew up in Albuquerque and this restaurant specializes in New Mexican cuisine.  I highly recommend them for all meals but brunch is my favorite.
  3. What is your hometown?
    I was born in Colorado Springs but grew up in Albuquerque, so I consider that my hometown.  The Duke City!
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    I’ve been watching “See” on Apple TV+.  It has a pretty interesting post-apocalyptic storyline with some big names including Jason Momoa.
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    Boxing/Self-Defense  – I’ve always wanted to learn how to box, plus I hear it is a great workout.  Plus, I’ve heard of a group called React Defense that does some pretty cool scenarios when it comes to self-defense in the real world.
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Does pizza count?  I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I’ll crush a bag of Doritos (cooler ranch) or extra butter popcorn.
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    This might be the hardest question because there are so many great places.  I would have to choose Ireland if I only had one choice because of my heritage.
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    Pro Football Player, ideally for my team the Dallas Cowboys – America’s Team.  
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    My Mom.  She and my father split when my brother and I were very young.  She had only finished high school having me at 20 and my brother a little less than two years later.  She put herself through college and a master’s program while raising both my brother and me.  She still inspires me.
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    My first VYP event was a tour of the Goodwill Facilities in the West Valley.  I had no idea all of the services they provide to help people get back to work besides just being a thrift store.  This is just one of the reasons I was inspired to get more involved with VYP.  Besides the events, I have met and become friends with many bright and intelligent young professionals that will become Greater Phoenix’s next generation of leaders.

FUN FACT: Besides being a huge fantasy football nerd, I also love Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings.  I actually had a wizard collection when I was younger…you will have to ask about it.

  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?  
    Try new restaurants. There are new restaurants that are popping up all over town! I especially like to go to other smaller cities in Arizona to try restaurants in areas I wouldn’t go to on a day to day. It gives me an excuse to take a few staycations.
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    Carolina’s Mexican Restaurant
  3. What is your hometown?
    Pullman, Washington
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    New Girl is my favorite show of all time but I also really love The Office. Favorite movie – that’s a really hard one – but I love a good rom-com (Pretty Woman is one of my top favorite movies for sure).
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    I really love to sing – I want to learn how to play the piano so I can learn to sing in tune.
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Popcorn and gummy bears
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    I would pretend it is a really long ticket with multiple destinations over multiple months so I would go to Hawaii, India and the Dominican Republic.
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    To be a veterinarian. I love animals.
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    My mom. She was always so resilient and fearless. She always had a way of inspiring change and helping others in ways that I really admired.
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    Getting involved in the VYP has been a tremendous opportunity for me to meet some of the best people in Phoenix. Because of that, I have experienced opportunities I would not have had the opportunity to experience without the VYP. I have met incredible leaders and changemakers within the VYP Board and VYP members, but also through the Chamber staff and Chamber members (local companies) in the Greater Phoenix area. If you think joining the VYP will help you with building your business and expanding your networks, you’d be right. But, joining the VYP has also provided me with incredible opportunities with phenomenal people – you just don’t get that with any young professionals group – that inspires me to get involved, you never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll experience next!
  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    I love visiting our various museums and galleries on Roosevelt Row and Grand Ave! 
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    This is an impossible question to answer but a few of them are: Federal Pizza, Ingo’s, La Pinata, Pane Bianco, Zookz, and Glai Baan. 
  3. What is your hometown?
    Phoenix, AZ- born and raised in the 602 and I could not be prouder. 
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    Ted Lasso is truly balm for the soul. 
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    I would learn either patisserie or I would do a deep dive into learning a new language or strengthening my Spanish speaking skills.
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack?
    Harkins’ Popcorn fresh from the popper cannot be beat, in my humble opinion. 
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    I would go to Rome, Italy where I used to live and see my friends who are still there. 
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    I always thought I would be a chef as a child and teenager because I admired Martin Yan, Julia Child, and Jacques Pepin who all had PBS cooking shows. Once my family got cable and Food Network became my channel of choice, I shifted from being a chef to wanting to be a TV personality who travels and eats like Guy Fieri. I still think it would be an amazingly fun career! 
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    There are a lot of people I know and other heroes of mine I have never met who inspire me, but my Mom has always inspired me most. Her life and career has been devoted to serving others. 
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    I love connecting with other amazing young professionals and working on new ways we can highlight the amazing city and state we all call home. I get so much energy and inspiration from my fellow VYP Board members and the Chamber staff.
  1. What’s your favorite thing to do in Phoenix and why?
    Bike riding the canal system! There is always something to see 😊
  2. What is your favorite local restaurant?
    Siamese Kitchen in Glendale
  3. What is your hometown?
    Glendale (west side!)
  4. What is one of your current favorite shows or movies?
    Rick Steves Europe all the time
  5. If you had a month of free time to learn a new hobby, what would it be?
    Kick-boxing!
  6. What’s your favorite movie theatre candy or snack? Peppermint Patties
  7. If you were handed a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    Egypt
  8. What was your dream profession growing up?
    Writer
  9. Who in your life has inspired you most?
    My mother
  10. What inspires you to be involved with groups like VYP, outside of your normal work responsibilities?
    I’m passionate about Phoenix (fourth-generation woot woot) and wanting to make it a better place.

FUN FACT: I took American Sign Language as a foreign language in undergrad.

Join Now

Interested in becoming a member of Valley Young Professionals?

If your employer is a member, opt into the monthly VYP newsletter here to receive news and updates on events.

If your employer is not a Chamber member, you can become a member of the VYP program for $100 per year. Complete the attached membership application and send to Ashley Caronna at acaronna@phoenixchamber.com or fax to 602.495.6479.

Not sure if your employer is a member? Check here.