WILLIAMSTOWN – In November, SNJ Millennials will celebrate its first year in existence with the inaugural 30 Under 30 Trendsetter Awards, marking a solid year of growth for young people eager to start their own business.
The organization has become a beacon for millennials to find their place in the business world and become their boss. The new 30 Under 30 ceremony, which will be held at the Lucien’s Manor in Berlin on Nov. 13, will be one of the highpoints for SNJ Millennials.
SNJ Millennials provides networking opportunities along with workshops and panels geared toward the entrepreneur-minded individuals looking to start, improve and expand their businesses.
The response over that time has been strong with the SNJ Millennials website is filled with connections to aspiring young business owners.
“We’re in a different age from the baby boomers,” Angie De Milo, who runs her own consulting company in Philadelphia and is SNJ Millennials board chair. “The age of punch-the-clock, nine-to-five kind of jobs are over. I think it’s very important to set up millennials and the younger generation up for success, letting them know that there are other opportunities out there.”
The organization was founded by Williamstown’s Quandell Iglesia after starting his own photography company, Photobliss, at 16 and met other millennials looking to start their own business.
Along Iglesia, as founder and president, with De Milo, SNJ Millennials board of directors include: Jose Rodriguez III, treasurer; Colin Sagan, membership ambassador; Skyeler O’Brien, production specialist; Benjamin Kellum, public relations coordinator; Amber Pierce, Ernest Armstead, and Katelyn Darrow as an honorary board member.
SNJ Millennials has reached out into other to expand their influence. In mid-August, they met with the staff of U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross on behalf of young entrepreneurs. Norcross’s Congressional district covers Cherry Hill, Camden, Deptford and Washington Townships.
“I want to oversaturate South Jersey to the fullest extent,” said Iglesia, who added that he was inspired by his grandmother, Zanda Rose, mother Sarita Iglesia. “We want to be the No. 1 resource for business professionals so they can have the professional development they need. They are getting education in school, but at the same time, many millennials and younger people lack needed social skills.
“They don’t know how to say it and conduct themselves. They don’t know what to wear. Those are the things are being overlooked in schools and we want to meet that need. We put these events together so they can know. When (millennials) know these things, they know that they can put their best foot forward in taking a job or doing an interview.”
SNJ Millennials networking events and workshops are not just for young people. Iglesia told Front Runner New Jersey that baby boomers, Gen-Xers and seniors have been coming to events, some even offering job interviews to their members in attendance.
“That’s mind blowing,” he said. “You walk into somewhere with no job and come out with interviews lined up.”
Sometimes the hardest part of starting a business is knowing where to begin. SNJ Millennials board members said that they hope to fill that gap for young people who want to be their own boss.