The Young Professionals of the Coastal Bend (YP) is a 501(c)6 organization dedicated to building relationships within the region through leadership, service, education and the recruitment and retention of young professionals. Founded in 2009, the organization seeks to foster opportunities for improving the local workforce by raising the awareness of our young professional community. YP gives to the community by providing networking and mentorship opportunities through community service projects and events, while building lasting business relationships.
One significant event the organization hosts is the annual Corpus Christi Under 40 (CCU40) recognition, which honors those aged 40 and under for their accomplishments and significant contributions in their professional fields and throughout our community. The steering committee for this event is composed of previously honored CCU40 recipients.
“The original event [was begun] in 2006 by two women, Rosaura Bailey and Elisa Fogleco,” said Becca Taylor, co-chair of the CCU40. “And it is now a part of Young Professionals of the Coastal Bend organization.” Now a 16-year-old tradition, it is driven completely by community nominations. A nomination of an individual requires only that they are aged 40 or under and have shown extreme dedication and passion for their career and community. The application for nomination asks for information about how the individual exceeded expectations through their career, and focuses on their involvement and volunteerism in the community.
Anyone can nominate someone to be considered for the CCU40 recognition — no matter your age or relationship to the person. You may also nominate yourself. The YP encourages applications for any Coastal Bend resident, whether in Corpus Christi or our surrounding communities. The nomination period takes place each year between March – May. This year, the nomination window closed on May 9.
The committee behind this event encourages nominations from diverse industries and fields. Nominees have come from an array of specialties, education to military and everything in between. “We want a nice cross-section that accurately reflects our community and our economy,” said Tyler Miller, co-chair of the CCU40. “We will make a point to look outside of just those core industries that make up the bulk of our economy.”
The process for selecting the honorees includes an anonymous scoring process. When the application deadline closes, a special committee redacts identifying information about the nominee, such as their employer, gender, age and location, then sends it to the selection committee. “We’re trying to inject that extra level of integrity in the process,” said Miller. “The selection committee does not see any identifying information about the nominee.”
This allows the selection committee to blindly choose individuals for the CCU40 recognition, and recognize them for their contributions, perseverance and dedication to our community… recognition that also includes being honored at a celebration that takes place later in the year. This year, that celebration is scheduled for July.