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Our St. Pete Young Professionals (SPYP)

The St. Pete Young Professionals connect young professionals with the surrounding community through unique opportunities in the areas of service, leadership, and advocacy. SPYP aspires to be recognized as Florida’s leading young professional organization offering exceptional networking, professional development, and community involvement services to our members. SPYP strives to become a driving force for economic development in St. Petersburg.

Join today and receive membership through December 2022!

Becoming an SPYP member provides you with access to exclusive events, networking, community service, and professional development opportunities.

2022 activities may be virtual, hybrid, or in-person as deemed appropriate by the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce according to local, state, and federal guidelines. Membership fees are non-refundable.

Chamber Member: $50
Non-Chamber Member: $75

Annual Membership: January 1 – December 31.

SPYP Executive Committee Application

Interested in taking your leadership development even further with SPYP? Apply to be a part of their Executive Committee.

The SPYP Executive Commitee exists to secure and promote the well-being of the program and to ensure that it fulfills its mission.

Click here to review committee position descriptions before completing the application below.

Get Involved

Are you a young professional interested in the future of St. Petersburg and the greater Tampa Bay area? Do you want to become active and engaged in your community and expand your network? We invite you to learn more about St. Pete Young Professionals.

There are a number of ways to get involved. Interested young professionals are welcome to plug in through various networking, committee, and service events.

You can help plan upcoming SPYP events, serve your community, and support your local business community. From networking happy hours and leadership development opportunities to advocacy education and community service, there’s a way for everyone to participate.

Our committees and events allow members (and soon to be members) to dive deeper into issues and take on leadership roles.

Quarterly Engagement Meetings

Attend our Quarterly Engagement Meetings to meet SPYP leadership and learn about upcoming SPYP events and opportunities available to you as a young professional. This meeting is open to SPYP members.

Committee Meetings

Each month, SPYP leadership hosts committee meetings to dive deeper into issues and provide ways to engage. Our current committees include:

  • Advocacy
  • Membership
  • Events
  • Community Service
  • Marketing
  • Diversity & Inclusion

Networking Events

On the third Thursday of the month, join young professionals for CONNECT: Happy Hour. Enjoy happy hour specials and appetizers while making new friends and professional connections! SPYP members are free, potential members are $10.

Professional Development Events

St. Pete Young Professional members have exclusive opportunities to meet with community leaders in St. Pete.

Goal Complete! SPYP Raised $4,500+ to Make Khari’s Dream Come True!

In 2022, the St. Pete Young Professionals launched their first fundraising project to support the mission of Children's Dream Fund, a local wish-granting organization serving children with life-threatening illnesses in West Central Florida.

About Khari
Khari is a 4-year-old in St. Pete living with sickle cell disease.  Even at her young age, she has had numerous hospital stays. Her mom says that she is assertive, strong, and loves life! Khari's dream is going to Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, FL. Give Kids the World, is a whimsical resort where children with critical illnesses and their families can create priceless memories together away from hospital visits and medical procedures. Families are able to visit the Orlando theme parks, enjoy ice cream for breakfast, swim, play, and just be together!

2022 Executive Board Members

john harrison

John Harrison
Brown & Brown Insurance
SPYP Chair

John is a 5th generation Floridian who has lived in this state his entire life. After being born and raised in Miami, John moved to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida for middle and high school. Upon graduating from the University of Florida, John moved to St Pete and has been here since. Upon moving to St Pete, John quickly became active in the local community, serving on the board of the Downtown Business Association, the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association, and the University of Florida Alumni Association. For work, John serves as a Commercial Insurance Advisor for Brown & Brown Insurance of Tampa Bay. Outside of work you can find John at his two favorite clubs in St. Pete, the Shuffleboard Club and the Yacht Club.

© Joey Clay Studio Professional, Photographer, Commercial Photographer,

Jessica Duxstad
Noble Family Wealth, LLC
SPYP Vice Chair

Jess, a Pinellas County native, became involved with the St. Pete Young Professionals in 2016. After making the move across the bridge and purchasing a home in St. Pete, she was quickly plugged in to the community through her new YP relationships. Two years after joining SPYP, Jess joined the executive board and used her passion to help grow membership through promotion and events. Professionally, Jess has a background in financial services marketing. Currently working as a Senior Marketing and Family Wealth Associate at Noble Family Wealth in Clearwater, she uses her knowledge and community connections to help finance professionals find the best way to tell their story and grow business.

When not at the office, Jess spends her time in our beautiful city frequenting breweries, restaurants, Rays’ games, and supporting all things local. She loves to walk around town and can always be found with her two fur babies and fiancé in tow. Jess is excited to continue to use her knowledge and passion for St. Pete to attract new young professionals and help them find ways to connect with like-minded individuals while finding ways to better our community.

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Emily Lehman
Denmon Pearlman Law
SPYP Marketing Chair

Emily Lehman is a Florida native and a second-year student at Stetson Law. Before law school, she attended the University of Florida where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Certificate in Public Affairs. She currently works as a Law Clerk at Denmon Pearlman Law. Outside of that, Emily is a member of the Junior League of St. Petersburg. In her free time, she enjoys running and is an avid reader.

Christine Johnson SPYP

Christine Johnson 
Christine & Co. Cleaning
SPYP Connect Chair

Christine was born and raised in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and has been a resident of Downtown Saint Pete for a little over a year. She has a bachelor’s in Business Management from Robert Morris University and currently owns and operates Christine & Co. Cleaning in the Saint Pete area. In her free time, Christine enjoys playing tennis, running and soaking up the sun on the beach. As a new member to SPYP, she is excited about the opportunity to learn more about the community and get others involved in making Saint Pete a wonderful place to live, work and play!

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Nolan Herslebs
First American
SPYP Community Service Co-Chair

Originally from Atlanta, Nolan moved to St. Petersburg in 2021 after spending a few months in London pursuing his LL.M degree in International Commercial & Business law. After trading in the gloomy England weather for the Sunshine State, Nolan now works as an in-house attorney for First American in the NCS division - focusing on underwriting title insurance for national commercial portfolios. In his spare time, you can find Nolan playing volleyball at Northshore park or golfing around the Tampa Bay area.

lauren highland

Lauren Highland
Citi Bank
Community Service Co-Chair

Lauren is a Tampa Bay native, but after living out west for almost a decade, she bought a home in St. Pete. Her passion for community and meeting new people brought her to SPYP in 2019.

Currently working with Citi Bank as an Onboarding Specialist. Her love for helping others grow has given her the opportunity to make many connections throughout St. Petersburg.

When not at the office, Lauren spends her time frequenting local beaches, restaurants, and art museums. She engages with many different organizations and enjoys lending a helping hand whenever possible.

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Julia Malachowski
Amazon
SPYP Membership Chair

Julia grew up as a military kid moving every few years to a new home.

When Julia was a teenager her family chose Saint Petersburg, FL as their forever home. She graduated from St. Pete High and later received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida.

Julia works as an e-commerce Amazon account manager for several brands; growing their online businesses. When not working Julia enjoys spending time with her family outdoors, enjoying sunny St.Pete’s parks, beaches, and walking trails. She also enjoys gaming with friends, watching anime, and exploring new book stores within Pinellas County. Julia looks forward to serving the St. Pete community as the Membership Chair.

chris griffin

Chris Griffin
City of St. Petersburg
SPYP Advocacy Co-Chair

Chris is a lifelong Pinellas County resident and a resident of Downtown St. Petersburg since 2019. He is a proud alumnus of the University of South Florida and received his Master of Public Administration from the George HW Bush School at Texas A&M University. After living in Texas for two years, Chris wanted to move closer to family and decided to move to St. Pete where he currently works for the City of St. Petersburg as a Budget and Management Analyst.

Chris originally joined SPYP when he moved to St. Pete to learn more about the area and meet new friends. He has held multiple leadership positions within the organization and currently serves as the Chair of our Advocacy Committee. Chris is also active within the community and serves as a member of the USF B.O.L.D Council, the Forward Pinellas Citizens Advisory Committee, and the St. Pete Downtown Neighborhood Association.

Lauren Pfingston

Lauren Pfingston
RSG
SPYP Advocacy Co-Chair

Lauren is a Tampa Bay native, but after living out west for almost a decade, she bought a home in St. Pete. Her passion for community and meeting new people brought her to SPYP in 2019. 

Currently working with Citi Bank as an Onboarding Specialist. Her love for helping others grow has given her the opportunity to make many connections throughout St. Petersburg. 

When not at the office, Lauren spends her time frequenting local beaches, restaurants and art museums. She engages with many different organizations and enjoys lending a helping hand whenever possible.

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Mission

SPYP's mission is to attract and identify the next generation of community leaders. Connect young professionals with the surrounding community through unique opportunities in the areas of service, leadership and advocacy. Engage young professionals in local corporate, community, and cultural settings.

Vision

To be recognized as Florida’s leading young professional organization offering exceptional networking, professional development, and community involvement services to our members. SPYP also strives to become a driving force for economic development in St. Petersburg through recruitment and retention of young professionals.

“SPYP has enabled me to connect with not only other leaders in the area, but with the leader in me as well.”

– Cat Lim
Graphic Designer

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