Our History

In May 2002, two Erie natives, Julie Krumpe Groenendaal and Keith Overfield, co-founded Young Erie Professionals, also known as YEP.  Julie and Keith established the organization because many of their peers departed the region in search of better career opportunities and more vibrant cities. Julie and Keith were determined to retain young professionals to the Erie area. Their goal was to create an organization dedicated to providing its members with the opportunity to network professionally with career-minded peers, while actively participating in their community. 

In 2018, YEP was relaunched as a program of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership.  Today, YEP is comprised of over 200 young professionals between 21 and 40 years old from the greater Erie area, of varying disciplines but singular purpose — forming community and contributing to the future of Erie. By investing in ourselves today, we are investing in our tomorrow — a tomorrow both longtime and prospective residents can be proud of. 


Our purpose is to attract, develop, and mobilize young emerging leaders to create positive change in Erie County.

OUR Values


We value all people and their contribution to our community. We recognize that positive change cannot occur without the multitude of voices and experiences represented in Erie.


We know Erie is a great place to put down roots. We instill a sense of hometown pride and civic responsibility in our members, providing greater connection to Erie.


We believe everyone has the potential to lead when provided with the right guidance and resources.  Through mentorship, education, and opportunities, we are developing Erie's next generation of leaders.


We are committed to making Erie a community that supports the success of all its residents. We provide a voice and platform for young professionals to advocate for what is most important to us and our community.

Become a member

Through Young Erie Professionals (YEP), you can connect with and be a part of the next wave of leadership in the Erie community, expanding your professional and social networks and helping Erie develop its potential.

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