Pick’s Beginnings: How it All Happened 

The Pick Group is a diverse network of young professionals interested in engaging with and bettering their community while pursuing excellence in the workplace. Our membership is comprised of career-and-community minded young professionals (Age 21 to 40). Pick Group members live in Riverside and its surrounding areas and they are young superstars in the business, nonprofit, civic, educational, legal, medical, hospitality, and service sectors of our community.


So how did it all begin?

It was summer of 2007. A group of friends and colleagues that attended a Leadership Riverside Alumni gathering began chatting. Little did Matt Shea, Brent Lee, Rob Frye, and Rebecca Goldware know that their conversation would result in the opportunity of a lifetime for Riverside young professionals. Enter Pick Group -  an ambitious cohort of young professionals determined to engage civically, develop professionally and connect socially.


Pick’s founding members addressed a strong need for the community of Riverside -- young professionals needed a space to call their own in the city. They needed to have a voice in the conversations that would shape the future of Riverside. They needed to be change agents. Influencers. Decision makers.


In short, Pick’s founding members answered the call to action and built a headquarters, and home, that empowered young professionals to get involved in the community and take ownership of the vitality of the community in which they lived, worked and played in.


Art Pick, known to many as “Mr. Riverside,” embodied service in everything he did. He was a dedicated leader, a beloved neighbor and the inspiration behind “The Pick Group of Young Professionals.”


The first official meeting was held on a magical night in 2008. More than 55 young professionals showed up to join. Since then, Pick has had hundreds of members participating in activities that matter including: nonprofit board servitude, having a seat at the table for exclusive steering committees, professional development that cultivates the leaders of tomorrow, the launch of the Annual Pick Board Development and Training Program (BDTP), hosting the annual YoPro mega-mixer event “Impact,” increasing awareness about key Riverside issues, and more. 

Special thanks to all of Pick’s inspirational founding members: President, Erin Phillips; 1st Vice President, Damien O’Farrell; 2nd Vice President, Rob Frye; Treasurer, Brent Lee; Secretary, Suzi Larson; and Board Members Luke Carrier, Matt Shea, Rick Hartstock, Leslie East, Rebecca Goldware, Jennifer O’Farrell, Aaron Hake, Ana Yeager, and Anthony Griffin.