Husband and wife Bill and Jackie Baraona founded the Young Professionals of Parma in July 2016 in an effort to create a vibrant community that attracts and retains young professionals. The group hosts monthly social networking and personal development events.

Having lived in Independence and Lakewood, Jackie never saw herself settling in Parma. But, attracted by the affordable homes, local shops and easy commute downtown, she and her husband have enjoyed being homeowners in the city.

While the Baraonas loved their new home and quiet street, they were having trouble connecting with other young people in the community.

“I would see young people shopping at Target or walking a dog or baby stroller down the street, so I knew they were there,” Jackie  Baraona said in an interview with Cleveland.com. “I just didn’t know how to connect with them.”

That’s when she and her husband started the group through social media. The Baraonas have organized social hours for young professionals in their 20s and 30s at local establishments—The Venue Bistro, Two Bucks, Tradesman Tavern and Post & Beam and more. The group is also planning to expand and host events with speakers from local business owners.