Cultivating Useful Connections


Networking

This is the first in a series entitled “Nomadic

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Encounters” – stories of cool projects seeded, germinated, and cultivated through encounters at Office Nomads.

When you get asked to a networking event, do you think “Cool! Free wine, cheese, and interesting new people!” or “Oh no! Cheesy people whining and trying to sell me things!”? That’s the dilemma Office Nomads faced – we know our members love to connect and create useful projects, but should we call it networking? “Networking” short-changes the real connections that happen within our community, and so instead we’d like to introduce you the first of many stories of “Nomadic Encounters.”

One project happening now is a member-driven idea called The Numad Program (it is an evolution of the Nomad-in-Residence Program if you remember that one). We selected one individual who was embarking on a professional transition, gave them a discounted resident membership, and most importantly collected a team of members who were interested in volunteering their time to help the “Numad” gain traction in their transition during a three-month period.

Our first Numad is Mandy Egle, a grammar and pronunciation coach for non-native English speakers. While Mandy is an expert possessing magical knowledge that unlocks the secret of saying “my car” differently from “mike are” – one that works fantastically whether your brain was wired listening to conversations in Bangladesh, Senegal, or Buenos Aires – she lacked the technical and business skills to upgrade her website, pronuncian.com, into the best tool for learning.

“I’m forging ahead but I don’t know what I’m doing,” said Mandy. With the help of other Nomads like intellectual property attorney Mike Morita, designer and engineer Trevor Smith, financial analyst Javier Soto, game developer Pat Kemp, and myself, Mandy is creating a project plan to achieve her dream, a site “that learners can really interact with and learn from in a profound way.” One that includes gamification so learning is more engaging for students.

“As a teacher, I have a list of students’ excuses for why they aren’t advancing,” Mandy told us. From this she has been able to develop a number of tools and podcasts to help them practice more effectively when she can’t be there.

And while pronuncian.com has been around since 2007, and now gets 70,000 visits per month, she wants to make that system more useful and available to students that live nowhere near Seattle. “We called it Project Morocco, because our vision was to enable Mustafa in Marrakesh to be able to speak as well as Cho in Seattle.”

What’s the goal? To double the usefulness of her site, to better help students around the world develop American English fluency so they can tap higher paying jobs, and to be virtually available 24/7/365 so she and her family can spend more time sailing their 37-foot cat-sloop named Rosie around the Salish Sea and Pacific Ocean.

Over the next few months, Mandy will meet with her team and develop a plan to make her transition happen. And I’ll be writing about it here; so stay in touch!

Kevin Owyang is a member of Office Nomads and Digital Strategist for Game-Changers. When not developing new strategies to amplify social entrepreneurs across new media, he can be found making independent films or hanging with his dog on Capitol Hill.

 

Member Profile: Matt Kuphaldt

Matt_Kuphaldt

Matt Kuphaldt, freelance creative genius (that’s our declaration, not his), came to Office Nomads in 2011 and quickly discovered it to be a perfect place to do his graphic design, animation, and illustration work. Most days in the space, Matt is hand-drawing directly into his computer or tablet, crafting unique works for

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his clients or for his independent productions. His art has graced the walls of Office Nomads and galleries alike, and he’s currently engaged in museum-exhibit design. Matt will tell you that he may have already hit the apex of his career already, as he’s got his very own profile up on the Transformers Wiki.Where does a guy go from there?

When he’s not at Nomads, Matt loves puzzle events and festivals, and hikes up the occasional mountain or large hill.

You can check out Matt’s portfolio here: http://spektakle.com

Meet the Community Cultivators!

We have a great crew of Community Cultivators helping out in and around the space right now, and we wanted to introduce them to you!

Anisha_ShankarAnisha and her team are crafting ways to turn human waste into a biogas power source. Which means she is basically going to save the world. Like any respectable superhero, she is also volunteering her time to be a Community Cultivator so she can create some pretty impressive change around the Office Nomads space as well.

We are so lucky to have Anisha back on the Community Cultivation team after she took some time off to participate in Fledge. Anisha is always happy to sit down with her fellow Nomads to share in some deep and enlightening conversations, and just might qualify as one of the most humble people around. Seriously. Just try to get her to brag. Try.

Erin_Fossum
Erin
is the owner and operator of McAllister/Fossum Appraisal Service, LLC. She moved to Seattle from Minneapolis in 2006 to get her Master’s degree in Art History, and has been loving the area ever since. Erin specializes in appraising art, antiques & residential contents. In addition, she does appraisals for a variety of purposes, including insurance, estates, donations and resale.

Outside the office, Erin is an avid pub trivia host as well as a member on an intramural kickball team—which she admits everyone takes far too seriously. She is also a big musical theater geek and a general sports fanatic — whether it is baseball, football, or hockey season, you can find her cheering for her favorite teams.

Heather_GoodwinHeather is a freelance marketer and social media maven. She has extensive experience in marketing for long-term relationship building, as well as an ability to use social media to engage with a variety of target audiences while conveying a client’s core message.

On a personal note, Heather is an avid reader, knitter, and sci-fi/fantasy fan. When she isn’t reading sociological or anthropological accounts of society or culture, you can find her immersed in the world of sci-fi/fantasy literature or having a lively debate about the wonderful world of Star Trek.

Nathan_Cliber

Knate is our resident fun-loving ball of energy. His smile and laugh can brighten even the dreariest Seattle day. Knate works as a family law attorney by day, working for “families of all shapes and sizes.” In addition, he holds a fiery affection for theater and acting, which manifested itself in the form of an undergraduate degree.

Knate is the epitome of an extrovert, and enjoys every aspect of working at the front table with us. If you need something else to talk to him about, Knate has a keen interest in tabletop role playing games and game design. Or you could always ask him about the most recent mix tape he has constructed. Whatever the topic, he’ll be game to have a chat!

Paola_Jaime

Paola is a superstar Spanish instructor, medical interpreter, and content developer for online Spanish learning programs. She loves to help people learn languages and is very excited to have found the perfect environment for her group classes here at Office Nomads– where she offers free language orientations. Paola is also happy to help with whatever else our Nomads need, so drop by and ask her whatever burning question you have on your mind!

Outside of the office, Paola is currently obsessed with Argentine Tango dancing and music. Don’t know what Argentine Tango is all about? Paola would send you here to watch a fun video showing what Argentine Tango really looks like (no, no on is holding a rose in their mouth while they dance).

Chelsea_McClainNEW

Chelsea is our fearless leader of the Community Cultivator team here at Office Nomads, who never ceases to amaze us with her insight and joyful presence! When she isn’t working hard at the front desk handling all the odds and ends of daily operations and keeping the building from burning down, you can find her dancing or generally having a jolly good time. She is the embodiment of cheer and joy, and all of the Community Cultivators feel so blessed to have her in our lives. Chelsea is also the Queen of Waffle Wednesday, her delicious creations continually impress us and our taste buds.

Interested in becoming a Community Cultivator? Swing by the front desk and chat us up sometime. The position lasts 6 months so there are usually upcoming openings to join the team.

Member Profile: Shane Clyburn

 

Meet Shane Clyburn, a Resident of the Office Nomads first floor. Shane
is relatively new to our eclectic family, and has been with us since
the end of May 2013. Shane holds Bachelor’s degrees in both Journalism and
Creative

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Writing from the University of Washington. And when he isn’t
writing poetry, immersed in a novel, or hiking out in the wilderness,
you can find him hard at work as a marketing associate for Morgan &
Claypool Publishers. So the next time you are downstairs, be sure to
drop by and introduce yourself!

Shane

Guest Post: Simple Acts of Kindness

Heather

Heather Goodwin is part of the Office Nomads Community Cultivation Team, and is excited to share her experiences and thoughts on the community of coworkers here on Capitol Hill.

We all get busy with life and our own obligations, and sometimes it can be easy to forget how important it can be to uplift those around us through simple acts of kindness. Part of our work as Community Cultivators is to brighten our fellow Nomad’s spirits through simple actions like saying “good morning” and “have a great night!” We “CC’s” have a special love for getting to know our fellow Nomads and thrive on catching up over a cup of coffee in the morning or grabbing lunch together in the space. It is easy to see that even a quick hello can propel someone’s day from “blah” to “a-ha!” These acts not only can brighten someone’s day, but means we get to know one another a bit better as well.

Over time we CCs have learned there are some great ways to brighten someone’s day that every Nomad can engage in. Being sincere when asking someone how their day is going can make a world of difference. Moving around throughout our coworking space can mean meeting a new person you wouldn’t have met if you sat at

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the same desk each time you came in. Sitting down by someone who is taking their trail day can help them feel included and a part of our community. It can all begin with a simple introduction, and can not only brighten the other person’s day, but yours as well.

Beth 1

Today I had the pleasure of being on CC “duty” as one of our members got an uplifting surprise from her client. Nomad Beth Jusino works to help independent writers get published, and one of her clients – Seattle-based author J.L Spohr – sent her a thank you package of chocolate and wine! Just by being there I got to know Beth a little bit better, and got to learn about an author I hadn’t heard of before. And add wine and chocolate to that and we were both feeling great about life!

There is always someone new to meet or a project happening within the space to learn about. Introducing yourself, asking questions, and moving around the space are great ways to get started. And remember: it only takes a moment to brighten someone’s day.