The Wilmington Minority Professional Networking Group (WMPNG) is teaming once again with the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Career Center to host a special WMPNG networking event. Serving hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, this is a business casual occasion for anyone who wishes to join.
Taking place Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 6-8 p.m., guests may park at visitor lot M, by the Fisher Field House across the street from the intramural fields, and should meet at the UNCW Clock Tower Lounge at The Fisher Student Center on the second floor.
Each month, WMPNG invites local organizations, businesses and groups to host networking events, where the hosts may introduce themselves to the professional community and vice versa.
Shann Coleman established WMPNG in 2005 with his wife Octavia Coleman, who is vice president of the group. With no membership cost, the group started with about 30 members. In the last seven years that number has grown to about 1,600, which Coleman said have come out to an event and possibly benefited.
“The group gives you the ability to network with a different clientele and a population you may not otherwise have exposure to,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of people tell me the networking group has helped them to stay in Wilmington because they found a professional network that they did not have previously.”
Open to anyone, not just minority groups or people of color, Coleman said he started the group to get people talking and building new relationships they may not have otherwise.
“The main reason I started this was more for personal relationships and interactions,” he said. “If you’re new to the area, or even from the area, how do you reach out and build those relationships … for me it was about making more of those connections in the community.”
For about four years, Coleman said the group has worked with UNCW’s multicultural students to meet potential employers and community leaders, which can often lead to summer job opportunities, valuable internships or other helpful professional connections.
With various business owners, managers and other representatives that tend to come to these networking events, Coleman said it’s the perfect learning experience for college students.”
It allows the university students an opportunity to really practice their networking skills in a nonthreatening environment,” he said. “Because in this economy networking and networking well is very important.”
For more information about the Wilmington Minority Professional Networking Group, contact Shann Coleman at 910-398-2811, or Octavia Coleman at 920-297-5632. To RSVP for the Oct. 23 event, email Shann at email@example.com.
As always the networking event is free, but UNCW is seeking sponsorships to help with costs. To sponsor go to