Ed Linck

Membership Director

Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce

Little Rock

Ed Linck

Ed Linck, 27, the youngest of this year's "Forty Under 40" honorees, knows the importance of professional networking.

After just three and a half years in Little Rock, Linck is a member of more than 18 professional, civic and social organizations – and he even invented a network to make it easier for young professionals to routinely dish out business cards and mingle.

"I learned very early on that it's not what you know, it's who you know," Linck said. "I've really used that to my advantage by getting involved with all these different organizations and getting to know a lot of people."

After his baseball and college career ended at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La., Linck spent weekdays trying to sell insurance and weekends playing dominos on his parents' houseboat.

"That's how few people I knew at the time," he said.

With the help of three others, Linck founded the Arkansas Young Professionals Network in 2003 and still serves as president.

Those skills recently landed him the membership director role at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, where introducing new members and directing a sales team is the culmination of his quest for networking skills.