What’s All The Talk About Young Professionals?

Play Like a Girl’s Young Professionals Network began as a way to build connections with early career professionals who want to serve and make an impact but haven’t had board experience.

What started as a simple idea at a board retreat several years ago has become the work of a handful of people including our newest Young Professionals Network Co-Chairs, Channing Moreland and Aqiyla Reed. 

Since starting this project, however, we’ve unearthed a world of research that points to a very big opportunity: Young professionals are looking for meaningful ways to build their networks while engaging in social good. 

So we’ve designed a community that aims to help young professionals in Nashville accomplish just that.

Connect. Do Good. Have Fun!

We’re working with our team of emerging young leaders, STEM professionals and passionate sports enthusiasts to understand how we can build a network uniquely designed to enhance connections while advancing our mission. 

We know from first-hand experience that virtual meetups, professional development opportunities, speed networking events and engagements that connect volunteers with the girls we serve can be magical experiences where you really connect with our mission and the people around you. 

In order to deliver more of these experiences, we officially launched the new Young Professionals Network last September. Our goal is to help young women and men across Nashville connect and build their networks. 

Whether you connect with someone over a shared skill or professional interest, a hobby, volunteer activity or a favorite TV show like The Bachelor or Game of Thrones, we want you to know that our network is the perfect way to meet up, network and make a difference!

We’re confident that the connections you build at Play Like a Girl can strengthen and expand your network - and will help you with your professional goals. 

We’re also pretty sure that a lot of the feelings of isolation and disconnectedness being felt in the middle of the pandemic and in the modern workplace can be solved with a supportive network of new friends and colleagues connected by a shared commitment to do good in their community. 

We want to strengthen networks and build this kind of social capital!

If you are interested in helping us leverage social networks to deliver on our mission, please consider joining our Young Professionals Network

We’d love to have you join us!

What’s In It for You?

Our new Young Professionals Network offers various networking opportunities and socializing incentives as part of the program. 

One of the methods we are implementing to facilitate social interaction is virtual speed networking - a networking session where young professionals swap conversational partners every 15 minutes with the aim to meet as many people as possible and exchange information to help enhance their careers, address work challenges and develop new skills and connections. 

Event Series Format

Young Professionals Network speed networking events will take place over Zoom. Each event will begin with a 15-minute introductory discussion led by a guest speaker(s). Then, networking participants will be broken into groups of approximately 3-5 young professionals who will rotate through breakout rooms in 15-minute increments. 

Each breakout will be facilitated by a senior executive who will provide career advice, answer questions and connect young professionals with people in their network who might be able to help them reach specific professional goals. 

After three rotations, all event attendees will reconvene in the main meeting room for closing remarks and announcements. 

YP Network Steering Committee members will facilitate breakout rotations so that participants can focus on engaging with one another. 

We encourage the exchange of contact information, either during or following the events, to facilitate one-on-one networking afterwards. 

What should you talk about during speed networking? 

15 minutes doesn't seem like a long time so it is important that you focus on the essentials. Start by introducing yourself then go into more detail. Are you looking for collaborators? Or maybe a new job or a training/education opportunity?

How can you do that in just 15 minutes?

  • Prepare a 30-second blurb about yourself
  • Stick to the vitals and exchange contact information
  • Take notes of important points so that you can go back to them
  • Most importantly, have fun and relax! 
  • Stay aware of the time - a countdown will appear on your screen 3 minutes before it's time to rotate again

What if you don't finish your conversation within the allocated time slot?

  • Before the time is up, make sure you suggest the next step
  • Message your connections directly with a suggested time for a follow-up meeting
  • After the meeting, be sure to exchange emails to schedule future check-ins as appropriate


We hope to see you at our first virtual speed networking event on November 17 at 5:30 pm CDT. To register for this and future Young Professionals events, visit iplaylikeagirl.org/events.


Celebrating 16 Years Together, Apart

Nothing can stop a festive dinner party - not even a global pandemic. While COVID-19 has put many in-person events on hold, virtual event technology has made it possible to gather with family, friends, coworkers, and peers from afar.

Play Like a Girl is hosting a chic virtual dinner party to celebrate 16 years championing equality and economic opportunity for girls and women.  ​

Chef Steven Robilio of Amerigo Italian restaurant will headline Play Like a Girl's 16th Anniversary Virtual Dinner Party fundraiser this fall. In years past, the event has involved a meet-and-greet cocktail hour, silent and live auctions and a plated multi-course dinner in a hotel ballroom at beautifully decorated tables.

But this year, it will all take place online because s​taying in is the new going outat least for now. And we're taking it up a notch while making the most of your next celebration with us.

The virtual dinner party will be held on November 7. Ingredient boxes will be available for curbside pickup at Amerigo locations in Nashville and Brentwood in advance of the dinner.

A shopping list will be provided to out-of-town guests who wish to cook with us locals. With it, guests will cook a three-course dinner alongside Chef Steven, who will be leading a live cooking lesson on Zoom.

The event will kick off at 5:45 p.m. with our friends Jess & Willow of BarBees who will make the signature cocktail and answer questions from guests during a 15-minute cocktail hour and showcase.

Following the dinner program and online cooking lesson, guests will then eat dinner with family and friends in private Zoom dining rooms.

Guests also will have access to the live cooking lesson to enjoy the experience at their own pace after the event.

A live mini-concert featuring local vocalist Arianna Hume will round out the evening.

“We're excited to produce our biennial Play Like a Girl Honors event in a new and interactive way that allows us to expand our audience and connect with our supporters across the country,” said Dr. Kimberly Clay, Play Like a Girl founder and CEO. “Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy cooking a delicious meal with Chef Steven live in their own kitchen.”

The event will highlight the stories of Play Like a Girl participants and supporters like Maria Villagrana and WKRN News 2 Chief Meteorologist Danielle Breezy who will call donors to action. The focus of this year's fundraising appeal will challenge donors to join our new monthly giving program, The Squad.

The event will also recognize the 2020 Volunteer of the Year honoree, LaPourche White. LaPourche has volunteered with Play Like a Girl since 2016. This summer when programs went online due to coronavirus, she stepped into the role of mentor to girls who developed STEM-centered businesses in a weeklong camp powered by Microsoft.

Ticketing will also be different this year. Each ticket includes a cocktail kit and one ingredient box with enough food for two servings.

Regular dinner tickets are $90, and dinner for four is $150. Premium tickets are $420 (the equivalent of a $35 monthly donation) and includes Play Like a Girl membership for a year.

Tickets are available until November 3rd. To buy tickets, visit iplaylikeagirl.org/events.

U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys, co-host of Stick to Sports on VICE Cari Champion and Country music star Trisha Yearwood headlined the 2018 dinner.


Office Hours with Stephanie Riggs

Stephanie Riggs

VP, Bulk Gases and Strategic Accounts

Airgas, an Air Liquide company


"Do or do not. There is no try" -- Yoda

Stephanie is a senior leader for industrial and medical bulk gas sales and operations. She also enjoys mentoring and coaching new team leaders and seasoned professionals.


5 Things She Can't Live Without

Google Calendar: My most valuable asset is my time. And, of course, everyone wants a piece of it. My message to my team, colleagues, customers and even my family..."if it's not on the calendar it doesn't happen!"

Notebook: I have 20 years worth of notes from my "every day". Meetings, people I talked to or met, places I traveled, decisions made and maybe just what I was thinking on that day. I still like the feel of pen and paper. Things stay in my head better that way and I truly feel lost without it.

Vacations: There are decisions made minute to minute about how you'll spend your time. There is no such thing as a work life balance. We are ON 24/7. So, disconnected family vacations are vital to renewing my mind and spirit to be a better leader, wife, mother, daughter, friend.

Celery Juice: Stay with me here. This magic elixir has physically changed me. I process food better, hurt less, make my doctor happy, stay hydrated and have my cholesterol in check! At least 16 oz every morning...it does a body good. God put everything we need to heal in the produce section!.

Staying Active: Moving my body has to happen and frankly, it's what God made it to do. Running, walking, body weight workouts, cycling, Hap Ki Do (I'm a black belt along with my eldest daughter), hiking. Benefits: Physical strength, mental clarity and emotional release. Keep moving!