The Washington Area Chamber of Commerce’s first meeting to form a Young Professionals group went very well, according to Becky Stieffermann with the Chamber.

“We had about 40 people turn out and all were very eager to get started and several were interested in leading the group,” Stieffermann said.

The meeting was held earlier this month at the administration building on the city fairgrounds.

The new initiative is being launched to help develop the next generation of leaders.

Jennifer Giesike, Chamber president, said she’s been interested in starting a Young Professionals group ever since she served on a similar group for the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE).

The Washington Fair, which is a division of the Chamber, is a member of IAFE and Giesike has been very involved in the organization.

Stieffermann said those attending the first meeting are very interested in networking among themselves and with leaders in the community.

“We just spent time talking about where they would like the organization to go and what they want out of it,” she said. “They also wanted to find out about volunteer organizations so they can get more involved.”

A second meeting date has not been set yet, but will occur this summer, she added.

Those interested in being be part of the group should contact Stieffermann at the Chamber office, 636-239-2715, extension 103.

The group is geared toward those ages 21 to 40.