Lessons Learned available for discussion

CoffeeConnect punch cardAfter months of meeting with people from all over Chattanooga, talking, laughing, caffeinating, I’ve developed a canon of understanding, my “rules of Chattanooga” so to speak.  To learn more go to Lessons Learned.

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Donyale at Rembrandt’s

Donyale at Rembrandt'sWhen you sit down with Donyale, you’re going to have a wide-ranging discussion on interesting topics far and wide.  And when you add sitting outside on a sunny Spring day plus a cup of Rembrandt’s coffee, just relax and enjoy the ride.  Here’s some highlights.

Besides being Chattanooga’s top notch PBS station, WTCI‘s facility is a notable art gallery of local talent and deserves a visit in and of itself.

Chattanooga sits on a theatrical crossroads.  We could have professional, high caliber theater in this town.  We have the talent in our area but professionals are forced to commute to Atlanta to make a living.  We have new, edgier theater movements popping up like Theater for the New South.  Now’s our time.

Like Adera, Donyale is a big supporter of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hamilton County where she serves on the board and is super passionate about local children’s issues.  As such she is involved with the Muse of Fire Project, an after school project where children spend ten weeks writing and developing their own plays then perform them for the public.  Brilliant stuff.

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Adera Talks Children

AderaWe met with Adera at the Hunter Museum of American Art and the conversation quickly turned to children.  Besides her brilliant work with art education for the children of our city she is a passionate proponent for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hamilton County.  The CACHC is a selfless organization dedicated to helping the most vulnerable through prevention, education, and intervention.

We also talked about introducing children to the world of art.  Chattanooga is very fortunate to have a world-class art museum that strives to help children appreciate what art can bring to their lives.  She highly recommended the museum’s children’s classes and summer camps.  Learn more here.

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Talking progressive with the CFGC

PeteIf you want to peer into the progressive future of Chattanooga, talk to Pete at the Community Fund of Greater Chattanooga.  The only thing is, that future is already taking shape as we speak.  Whether it’s the GigCity competition, the use of WiFi to help police fight crime, the Sim Center at UTC, or Chattanooga’s position in the WWW3 rollout, he will know who to talk to and what the status is.  He’s also a big Chatt supporter, having witnessed the rise of our city from dirty to world stage.

What Pete likes about Chattanooga is that it is positioned for the future.  We will continue to draw in major companies like Amazon and Volkswagen because we have the culture, the networks, the ethos, and the agile technology to make those groups succeed and their workers feel welcome.

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Socializing with Ryan from Full Media

Ryan at CadenceI just seem to be on a roll, a long string of CoffeeConnects with really great Chattanoogans.  Ryan from FullMedia is definitely one of the good ones.  He has a wide interest arena but we spent the hour plus talking shop about internet marketing, a fascination of mine.

At times, the Chattanooga internet milieu has seemed a bit nebulous to me.  So it was refreshing to discuss FullMedia and its clear vision with Ryan.  Servanthood quickly came to the fore and the desire to work with local mid-size companies, churches, and non-profits in an open, honest, and ethical manner.  We talked about online reputation management and focus on service.  Very impressive.  The great thing is that he is the first step for anyone wanting to work with FullMedia so whether you are long-established or New2Chatt, Ryan Naegele is the one to contact.

As a bonus to me, we brainstormed one idea about CoffeeConnect.  I mentioned, as a past assistant to an epidemiologist, that I was mentally mining the data coming in about the people who accept and ultimately follow through on meeting with me.  How the locus was shifting across town and across socio-economic strata.  He suggested that I map that out for greater clarity.  Brilliant idea.  I plan on working on that in the coming weeks.  Thanks Ryan.

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The Pulse takes notice of CoffeeConnect

The PulseAs the CoffeeConnect idea continues to build word-of-mouth, viral momentum, we are proud to announce that the Pulse has now officially recognized us with a story in their bowl section, Discovering Chatt, one cup at a time.  So you really do have your finger on the pulse of Chattanooga.  Well done and thanks.


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StrattonFor those of you who know Stratton, there is not a descriptor needed to illuminate the man.  He’s one of those gems spread upon the golden sands of this great beach we call Chattanooga.  I met Stratton at Chattz and, upon his recommendation, ordered the French press French roast coffee.  I now recommend that drink to you, it is worth the cost.

But before we go any further, allow me to explain the photo.  Stratton plays with Prophets and Kings, an electro-pop band, based here in Chattanooga, but already on the rise in the region and on the verge nationally.  The P&K members have their logo tattooed onto their respective inner lips.  He also sports a sharp suit and dreadlocks that date back to the run up to the war in Afghanistan (the hair, not the suit.)

Well spoken, well traveled, and erudite, he’s a Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Account Executive by day and a hard rocker by night.  Our talk was so wide ranging that I’ll just give you a link-filled précis of the 90 minutes.

Join the Sports Barn downtown for the best steam room in town.  It’s also a great place to network and take friends.  If you want to help out Partnership’s Building Stable Lives Program go to www.dancingwiththestarschattanooga.com/stratton and vote for him.  He is a 2009 recipient of the MakeWork arts grants program for his music.  JJ’s Bohemia is one of the best places in town to see top bands like Prophets and Kings.  Go to Velo Coffee, enjoy a cup of coffee, chat with Andrew the owner/roaster, then buy a pound of the freshest beans in town.  There is a correct way to pronounce Chattanooga, listen here and pay most attention to the Georgia man.  And oh yes, Chattanooga is opportunity.

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