TPC: L.A.’s Networking Group for Industry Professionals
It’s a group that includes factors, bankers, lawyers, certified public accountants, insurance agents and other members of the professional services community that specialize in working with apparel businesses.
For nearly 60 years, The Professional Club has been hosting events for this group around Southern California.
“It’s a networking club of professionals in primarily the apparel space in Los Angeles, and it’s always been that,” said Nicholas A. Rozansky, a partner in Brutzkus Gubner Rozansky Seror Weber LLP, a Woodland Hills, Calif.–based law firm. When it was founded in 1958, the group was called the Textile Professional Club, in recognition of members’ ties to the Los Angeles textile and apparel community. In 2005, TPC changed its name to The Professional Club to better reflect the group’s focus.
TPC hosts about six events annually, including a large networking mixer in Las Vegas each February during the apparel and sourcing trade shows.
“The big event is in February,” Rozansky said. “We get a huge amount of people from New York who are networking with California professionals. We typically have 200-plus people there. It’s a couple hours of great networking.”
The rest of the year, TPC hosts networking events around Los Angeles, which typically draw about 130 attendees, said Marco Valverde, senior manager of Moss Adams, a national accounting firm with offices around the country, including several in Southern and Northern California.
Rozansky and Valverde are members of TPC’s board of directors.
“We keep a very extensive invite list of past participants,” Valverde said. “You don’t need to be affiliated with TPC to attend an event.”
Occasionally, apparel manufacturers or retailers will attend TPC events, but Rozansky said the group is primarily focused on the professional services side of the apparel business.
“There have been some people who have come over the years to ‘speed date’ with investment bankers or CPAs. But manufacturers and retailers don’t have a hard time meeting professionals,” he said. “Typically it is truly just professionals and people who are looking into being a professional service provider within the industry. It’s a very good place to start and meet people.”
TPC was membership-driven in the past, but in recent years the group has shifted to a focus on sponsors. For a $1,500 annual fee, sponsors are recognized at events, on the TPC website (www.theprofessionalclub.com) and in the emailed invitations for events.
“We’re always looking for more sponsors,” Valverde said. “The more sponsors we have, the better events we can host. When we first started getting sponsors I think there were about 15. Now we’re up to about 33 sponsors, which is a pretty good number to be able to have the financial resources to have the events we have. The TPC has been around since 1958, but it wasn’t until seven or eight years ago that we started doing the Vegas event in February. That was mainly due to the sponsors.”
TPC has considered expanding to open a New York chapter, Rozansky said, describing the expansion effort as “in the works” but still on the horizon. In addition to the Las Vegas TPC event, East Coast professionals will also attend TPC events in Los Angeles when they’re in town.
“We’re coming up on our 60th year, and we’ve never been stronger,” Rozansky said. “We hope to get more quality professionals at events. It’s great meeting the younger people who are getting started. They get to network with people who’ve been around for a while.”
TPC’s next networking event will be held April 27 at the Pez Cantina in downtown Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.theprofessionalclub.com.