By Veronica Heller
If you’re not yet familiar with the nonprofit support group, Central Pennsylvania Creative Professionals (also simply referred to as [CP]2) is a network by local entrepreneurs for local entrepreneurs in the creative fields. Dedicated to improving businesses near and far, big or small, whether you’re a single-person operation or have a team of dedicated professionals, [CP]2 has resources that help take businesses to a new level.
Trevor Calabro, one of the current co-presidents of [CP]2, shared his journey of joining this network of professionals, how it’s helped him grow as a professional and what it’s doing for others.
“I came to central Pennsylvania 15 years ago. I didn’t know many people in my area, and when I joined [CP]2 I suddenly felt less alone. There were opportunities that I hadn’t had before, including just having a friend to go to lunch with. I met some of my best friends thanks to this organization, and it transformed my career professionally,” Calabro said.
He shared that the organization is built on four main pillars of service: networking, education, philanthropy and fostering recognition. Most of the network is composed of creative writers, illustrators and other creative types.
[CP]2 is really an event-driven organization, with networking opportunities, educational sessions and, possibly the organization’s signature event, the Bracket Awards.
The Bracket Awards showcase the very best in advertising, design and broadcast work from the region. The Bracket Awards are hosted once yearly and receive over 100 nominations annually. Nominations can be made in categories such as brand identity, animation and radio broadcasting.
“I came to central Pennsylvania 15 years ago. I didn’t know many people in my area, and when I joined [CP]2 I suddenly felt less alone. There were opportunities that I hadn’t had before, including just having a friend to go to lunch with. I met some of my best friends thanks to this organization, and it transformed my career professionally."
“The submissions are all sent to a panel of unbiased judges located in significant advertising markets such as New York City, where the winners will be chosen,” said Calabro.
But while [CP]2 provides opportunities for member recognition, it also offers an incredible opportunity for other nonprofits, Brand[AID].
Calabro said, “Brand[AID] is our yearly philanthropic effort to support a local nonprofit. Spanning months, [CP]2 volunteers help select an organization, define their needs, revamp their brand and support their marketing efforts.”
Brand[AID] winners receive a complete marketing overhaul of their nonprofit, including brand strategy, logos, a website and even a brand new donations portal.
“That’s something that makes this award so unique, it’s a complete overhaul of the winner’s branding and marketing,” said Calabro.
The 2022 Brand[AID] winner was Out of the Cold Centre County.
Moving to Happy Valley and interested in joining [CP]2?
[CP]2 currently offers four different types of annual memberships. In an effort to keep resources attainable, there is also an option to pay per event attended without being a member; however, members receive access to all events for free. To sign up and become a member of [CP]2, visit https://cpsquared.com/join/.