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New year, new focus for Young Professionals of Tualatin

Group meets for educational presentation by financial experts.


TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Patrick Ethel-King of New Horizons Wellness Services networks with Susan Brent of RPM Mortgage during a Young Professionals event at Cabela's in Tualatin.For a few years now, the Young Professionals of Tualatin have been meeting as a business team of the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce.

Steve White, a real estate agent with RE/MAX, said the group's meetings have generally been social events, giving chamber members under the age of 40 an opportunity to get to know one another and do some “casual networking.” That's all well and good, but White — who, along with Shala Shearer of American Family Insurance, is a head sponsor of the Young Professionals group this year — is trying to take things in a new direction.

On Tuesday, the Young Professionals — joined by a number of not-so-young professionals interested in the event's topic — crowded into the conference room at Cabela's for a presentation titled “How to Build Real Wealth.”

White enlisted his dad, Jim White, as well as his friend Jared Siegel for the presentation, which he described as the Young Professionals of Tualatin's first educational event.

“Part of me wants to help these people grow in terms of their business,” said Steve White, who is in his 40s and therefore older than most of the Young Professionals group. He added, “They don't need a babysitter. But they need, sometimes, some encouragement.”

White and Shearer's approach seems to be working. White said 41 people paid to attend the presentation, making it the Young Professionals of Tualatin's best attended event yet.

Linda Moholt, the chamber's chief executive officer, is on board with what White and Shearer are doing.

“I like the direction that they're taking it,” she said.

Moholt suggested presentations like the one on Tuesday are well suited for the group.

“Honestly, I think that young professionals are really looking for how to grow and develop their business,” she said.

Siegel, who is a partner at Delap in Lake Oswego, and Jim White, a former Delap certified public accountant who is now an ambassador for the firm, talked about their approaches and strategies for wealth management while taking questions from the audience.

“It's a rather simple topic, but I think a lot of the time, wealth isn't really understood,” Siegel said, talking about balancing income and spending, as well as business and family life.

The presentation impressed Ken Cook, president of Prepared Marketing in Newberg.

“I thought it was great,” said Cook. “I think the focus on living within one's means is just such an important message.”

Siegel told The Times that Tuesday's presentation was his first time attending a Young Professionals of Tualatin event.

“My hope would be that people walk away with one or two actionable ideas,” he said.

Professionals still had plenty of time for networking Tuesday, with about an hour of social time over hors d'oeuvres preceding the presentation.

The Young Professionals of Tualatin will have their next event at 5:30 p.m. March 22 at Indio Spirits, 7272 S.W. Durham Rd., Suite 100, Tigard. Event information and registration are available on the chamber's website.