This group is designed to be a networking group focused, but not limited to the African American community in and around St. Louis. Heaven knows there are plenty of networking groups out there though, so this one has to be a little different. The Saint Louis Black Professionals Meetup will have the occasional happy hour where we just unwind, chill and laugh a bit, but we will also get together and formally discuss some of the challenges that are facing our community (particularly from a business perspective). Once we identify the challenges, we will work to determine ways to overcome them. Overcoming challenges in our community can be as simple as succeeding in and supporting our own businesses and showing the youth of today that our many ways to make money, take care of families and give back to our communities. In the beginning, we may or may not resolve anything, but getting the issues on the table is an important part of effecting some positive change. Of course we should also have the ability to market our wares to those in the group as well. This will give us an opportunity to practice supporting each other if we see something we like. I am very sensitive, however, to receiving a bunch of spam that fills up my mailbox from everybody who thinks they just discovered the next Amway. I would ask you to be mindful of that and avoid spamming the participants in this group. I am going to monitor that as the organizer of the group. The place to advertise electronically is on the message board where I will create a folder called the "Marketplace." Feel free to post tastefully there, anything that you might have the urge to spam the group with. In our meetings, we will also have what I am going to call the "Commercial Minute" where you will have the opportunity to pitch your "elevator speech" (I will explain at the Meetup if you don't know what that is) to the group for one-minute. In an effort to insure that everyone has the opportunity to speak uninhibitedly, I will ask that you please leave your anger and condescension at home. Only bring your passion and open mind to these events. If you can't do that, and you know who you are, this is probably not the group for you. My intent is to make this group comfortable for everybody to attend, from the type-A personalities to those who are not quite as outspoken. So come join us. An agenda and topics to follow closer to the event.