BY SALLY J. CLASEN
A new generation of
speakers finds common
business ground in a social
If you were to describe a new group of speakers known as
NSA Next, the profile would read: “A generation of young
professionals looking for a connection with the potential for
a long-term commitment.” Before you get the wrong idea or
ask where to submit an online dating ad, NSA “Nexters” are not
interested in that kind of interaction. They are open to friendship,
but their bottom line is making a rewarding business connection.
NSA Next is the brainchild of Michele Payn-Knoper, age 38,
a grassroots marketing and sales consultant and food industry
advocate. She is responsible for generating an email buzz about
starting a group for young speakers that led to a small get-
together at the 2007 NSA National Convention in San Diego.
The 10 speakers who attended the initial meeting discovered
that while their expertise differed greatly, they shared a similar
interest: the need to address the unique concerns and challenges
of Generation X and Y speakers. “The energy was palpable in
San Diego,” Payn-Knoper says.