“This is our second annual Beer Run mixer, and this year it’s all about health, fitness and networking,” said Ryan Chatterton who serves as the chairperson of Burbank Young Professionals.
“When people arrive at Brews Brothers Brewpub, they will be able to watch demonstrations and try on running shoes by Fleet Feet and Altra Shoes, participate in a warm-up conducted by Rachel Guess of Tough Cookie Training, and then take off on a 5K fun run. That’s the health and fitness part of the event. After the run, there will be a time of networking. That’s the part when the beer comes in.”
Hosted by the Brews Brothers themselves, Billie and Joey Anderson, BYP members, supporters and potential members were also welcomed by Chatterton, Romik Hacobian, who was the organization’s founder, past president and now serves as a senior advisor, and Jamie Keyser Thomas, the CEO of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce who oversees the BYP program.
Based on a model created by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, BYP has been in existence since 2018. Hacobian first brought up the concept of establishing the group to the Burbank Chamber board after noticing there were no young people in attendance at any of their business mixers or networking events.
Determined to change that dynamic, Hacobian sought out people working in Burbank by means of social media. He also placed fliers in the Magnolia Park and downtown Burbank business districts, and literally knocked on doors of businesses to introduce himself and explain what BYP was.
That work resulted in the formal establishment of BYP, which first met in late 2018. Since that time the group has grown and, along with providing networking opportunities, has participated in numerous acts of community service. They sponsored a candidate forum and town hall meeting during Burbank’s last municipal campaign and have collaborated with numerous nonprofit organizations on various projects.
Two years ago, Chatterton came up with the idea for doing a Beer Run mixer to boost membership, and for this year’s event the Anderson brothers were on board to serve as hosts.
Having been involved with the craft beer scene for more than a decade, the twin brothers played a big role in the opening of Lucky Devils, a beer bar and gourmet burger restaurant that became hugely popular with Hollywood locals in the early 2000s. They then went on to work at L.A.’s Stout Burgers & Beers before opening their own establishment in 2018.
While the brothers’ main focus is providing patrons with an eclectic array of beers and bar food favorites, they also do annual beer festivals, comedy nights and fundraisers for various nonprofit organizations such as the Animal Spirits Foundation whose mission is to better the lives of animals in need by providing financial support for veterinary care, free spay and neuter services, and life-saving programs run by local animal rescue organizations in the Los Angeles area.
While fundraising is a part of the Brews Brothers’ culture, Chatterton made it a point to say that last week’s event, as all of BYP’s mixers, are not put on as fundraisers.
“There is no charge for anyone who wants to come and find out what were all about,” said Chatterton. “Our goal by hosting these mixers is to get people involved and become a member of BYP, which is also at no cost.”
He also stipulated that while the organization is called Burbank Young Professionals, they allow for a tremendous amount of leeway when it comes to the word “young.”
“We welcome people of all ages who are young at heart and want to connect with, empower and inspire people. We want people to meet people who can be of help to them in their career or business,” said Chatterton.
Working as an offshoot of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, the group’s goal is to provide the upcoming generation with the business resources and opportunities they need to become the next leaders of the community.
Membership in BYP includes the opportunity to collaborate with other working professionals, promote and grow local businesses, attend events and workshops, and get answers to questions they may have about working in Burbank.
The organization is now preparing for their next event, which will be held on July 29. Billed as “Grill & Give” the group will be partnering with the Chamber of Commerce, the city of Burbank and the Burbank Police Department to host a barbecue at Johnny Carson Park from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. that will serve as a school supply drive.
For information on the event, which is open to the public, or to become a member of Burbank Young Professionals, visit burbankyp.com.
DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 563-1007.
First published in the July 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.