Community Meeting Notes, August 20, 2014

Some notes from this week’s Community Meeting

Restarting the Gangplank Chandler Incubator Program

Derek N. proposed we reform the Gangplank Chandler Incubator program. There is popular support for this idea. Reasons include:

  • Forming an Arizona incubator that is both unselfish and effective. Derek sees many of the local incubators take too much or lack the effectiveness Arizona needs. We already have the resources to give both!
  • Building stronger accountability in the community. By building an incubator where each business is collaboratively accountable to each other, versus to the incubator organization, they will grow stronger, faster.
  • Leverage the power of our GP mentors. Our GP mentors are awesome, but some of them are frustrated with the one-and-done way most mentees go through the program. They volunteer mentor to make a stronger AZ entrepreneurship environment, and they want more opportunity to make that happen. A formal incubator could use their experience to the maximum and give them a more rewarding reason to mentor.
  • An application process will draw greater attention to GP, helping us bring more vibrant people to the space.

Derek plans to take this discussion offline and people interested in supporting this program should reach out to him.

Snack Machine will go Bye-Bye

Jeremy S, who manages the vending at GP Chandler, announced his intent to remove the snack machine after we finish the rest of the inventory. The machine was popular at first but lost interest as people began to not trust the machine to work. With Jeremy S and team not always here, there wasn’t a good system in place to offer refunds when the machine got stuck. The machine is for sale for $60 if you want to own the nostalgic style snack machine.

Spontaneous Exploding Glass Incident

Last week on Thursday, a large glass panel shattered sometime in a two hour window between the late crew closing up on hacknight and the first co-workers arriving in the morning. Without evidence of break in and no knowledge of cause otherwise, we’ve chalked it up to spontaneous glass breakage. This will be repaired in the coming days. Thanks to Phil S. for getting quotes and acting as lead person on the repair.

250 & 260 Update

Our current Gangplank space, despite what address we advertise, is at 250 S Arizona Ave. Our building, which we share with Planet Sub and other tenants, may be up for sale soon. Derek discussed seeking out a motivated Gangplank-friendly investor to purchase the building.

Phil S. gave a verbal update on the 260 construction project. Glass windows and doors for the front were installed this week, but otherwise, we are still waiting on engineering plan updates for roofing to begin.

Bonanza Ed & GP Jr. First LEGO League Team

Bonanza Educational is sponsoring a GP Chandler (GP Jr.) based First LEGO League team. Parents with kids interested in LEGO Robotics should reach out to them for info on how to join and participate.

Going on this week

This week, the GP Health crew is taking videos of what people do “for the health of it”. The crew is recording on hacknights and Thursdays for the next few weeks. Reach out to Trudi W. for more info.

ASU and GP Chandler are co-sponsoring Brain Fair this weekend. Eileen K has helped get some significant media coverage for the event. The crew was looking for a few additional material donations. Check the GP Facebook group for more details.

Community Meeting Notes, August 6, 2014

A majority of the discussion this week was related to the follow-up from the previous week’s meeting. A few Gangplankers met earlier this week with Derek N and Trish G. to discuss our questions and get some answers. Jeremy S. took notes and he reviewed them today. Derek N. was also on-hand to clarify.

Continuation of Discussion re: Can We Help 260?

Following our meeting with Derek and Trish this week, Phil S. will step into the role of community liaison and coordinator for the 260 construction project. His goal is to better the communication between the construction crews and GP to keep us informed and updated. He will also communicate any needs and ways we can help, which happened on Tuesday when a crew of volunteers helped salvage antique wood for furniture and decorative projects after the project is completed.

Phil will also be writing blog posts and posting pictures. This will help with the communication efforts but also help build some buzz! Derek N. warned us that the goal of the project is a certificate of occupancy and that many side projects will be left undone which we will fundraise for after we take control of the building. With a wider community buzz around the construction, our fundraising efforts will have greater support!

Continuation of Discussion re: Can We Help with our City Relationship?

Our current contract with the City of Chandler will remain active through June 2015. After that, a new contract is under consideration. Derek’s goal with the city with the new contract was to limit the metric-driven rules (eg: must have x number of y per year) and replace it with deliverable items (eg: a redesigned economic development website for Chandler). This new contract is in the works and our old one is generally considered satisfied. That said, between now and receiving the new contract, there are specific things we can do to help strengthen our presence in the city:

  • Document, document, document! We need to share (with the world) what we do! The city does follow our activities and relies on things like blog posts, tweets, and event notifications to see what is going on. Jeremy S. is setting up individuals with “contributor” author accounts on our wordpress site to welcome in more content creators. Bug Jeremy if you’d like to help.
  • GP Jr needs love. Junior Initiative has suffered from lack of support yet our current contract stipulates 10 events per year. Technically the Bonanza-sponsored free LEGO Robotics club (which has met all summer) qualifies, but we really can use more fun. Eileen K. reminded us the Brain Fair this month will also qualify. Josh S recommitted to coordinating events for GP Jr but needs help. Conversation will continue offline.
  • Support Epic-fest. Epic fest is a collaboration between the city, TechShop Chandler, Intel, DCCP, and Gangplank to bring a maker-festival to Chandler. We will need to be whole-heartedly behind it to ensure success.
  • More community liaison’s to outside groups are needed. Specifically, we need individuals to be regular representatives… merely having a GP rep a meeting is not helpful. At one time, nearly every Chandler citizen’s board had a rep from GP. Derek doesn’t feel we need to go that far, but they recommend:
    • Liaison to ASU –Jeremy S considering
    • Attendance at relevant Council Meetings
    • Arizona Business Incubator Association (Monthly call, Quarterly in-person)
    • For Our Cities, Councilmember Hartke’s project –Anne B considering
    • City of Chandler Economic Development Board
  • Nerf WW3 Heating Up

    We briefly (in-between shots fired) discussed the fun and craziness of our recent Nerf-wars. We thought it right to discuss the three rules of engagement:

    1. No modifying of darts. (Modifying guns okay).
    2. Pick up darts after the fun. Why? Darts run over by chairs are ruined, and those buggers cost money.
    3. Be respectful if someone needs to work. Even if they play most of the time, be cool if they want out of it for a while

    Otherwise, we are having fun and should make sure it stays fun. Carry on!

    Tonight is Hacknight BBQ

    The BBQ on Hacknight continues this week. Jeremy S. and Brian S. (Bonanza Educational) will be sponsoring tonight. FYI: its about $40-$50 to sponsor a BBQ with hamburgers, hotdogs, buns, and chips. If you can sponsor one or a few, that’d be awesome! Phil S. and David M. lead the hacknight and can tell you when you can sponsor.

    ImprovMania Moving in Next Door

    A group of regular Gangplankers are growing their business and moving in next door. ImprovMania will be moving into the suite 3 of 250 building, or the front-half of the old magic space. Including HiringSolved and the photographer, three of the four other tenants of the 250 building were first Gangplank-affiliated businesses.

    Janitorial FYI

    FYI: if paper towels or toilet paper run out, be a good Gangplanker and go get a roll or two of paper towels or toilet paper down the road. Ultimately, its the responsibility of the property managers to keep the shared-hallway and bathrooms cleaned and stocked up. They visit on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sat/Sun to clean and restock.

Gangplanker Profile: Kameron Williams

Hi! My name is Jason Bastian and I am a new addition to the Gangplank content team. Thank you for having me aboard and I hope I can contribute in a meaningful way. I am originally from Omaha, Nebraska, and yes I know all about cow tipping. I love writing and hope to blend my unique observations, people skills, and comedic insights into some great blogs and stories for everyone at Gangplank. I’m going to start off by profiling some of the Gangplank regulars!

First up, Kameron Williams of LilliMedia. Kameron is a big contributor to Gangplank and I was able to sit down with him one on one, see what he is all about, and what he could enlighten us on with photography. The Gangplank Photography Classes were started by Kameron and have grown into a prosperous meet up at Gangplank.

Me: Why did you get into photography?

Kameron: I got into photography because it was the best way to create an emotional connection with someone. I feel there are a lot of different mediums that people engage with, but for me personally photography is the best way to take a feeling, an event, or an occasion of that particular point in time and really preserve it and share it with someone else.

Me: How important is it, in this day and age, with video, high-speed internet, the I Max with 3-D, advanced special effects, iPads that play music videos, movies, and television shows, and even phones with video blogging capabilities, that when you have photography, you still have to appreciate that. How do you see [photography] as still an important piece of our everyday lives?

Kameron: I think that multimedia as a whole will always continue to evolve. You see, as you mentioned, these huge I Max theaters and things like that I think one very important piece of information that people forget about is a lot of movies that you watch are a conglomeration of many different images moving together, so for me, where you have all these different realms of multimedia; i.e. YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, things like that I think the epicenter, the core, the anchor that holds all these pieces together will always be photography. Whether it’s in a moving format or a still format the basic image is what we always see –the basic image is what we always identify with.

Me: Why is lighting so important [in photography] [for you]?

Kameron: For me, I believe that lighting is a large contribution to the emotional connection of the image. Whether it’s inside or outside, studio or ambient, I feel that lighting sets the tone for the way that imagery is going to be perceived. So, if you were to liken it to something else, I would say that lighting is the secret sauce of the palette of imagery and it’s what distinguishes one artist from another, or one photographer from another. As well as one feeling from another.

Me: Tell me about your company, LilliMedia.

Kameron: LilliMedia is a full service web design, web development, and interactive agency. What our focus is, what our primary function is, is that we articulate brand messages, we really show people what different brands do in order to help brands connect with different groups of people.

So, what that means for us is that we look at photography, videography, web design, web development, their marketing assets, and we carve out a road for a brand to specifically engage with a particular type of target or individual and a large portion of what we do is focused on engaging imagery, i.e. still photos to accomplish that mission or that goal.

Me: Can you predict the next phase in digital photography? Where do you see the future of photography headed?

Kameron: I think that multimedia will continue to evolve as it has. I think that photography will still be through that river of evolution. With a lot of this mobile technology coming into place, things like wearable technology, location based technology, the pace of life is always getting quicker, so people want to do less reading, more looking and just understand what something is. So, I feel that digital photography moving forward will play a paramount role in that because where you see a reduction in text and verbiage, and things like that I think that digital photography, iconography, things like embedded in small squares that we wear on our wrists and put to the sides of our faces, I think that imagery will be the primary means of human communication moving forward.

Thank you very much Kameron Williams for a wonderful and very insightful interview. Say hi to Kameron if you see him around Gangplank!

Kieran Thompson: Funding a Local Film w/ Kickstarter

Gangplank Chandler welcomed Kieran Thompson on July 28th, 2014 for our weekly Brownbag. He shared with us his personal experience with using the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform to fund the production of his local, feature film: Broken Leg.

Watch it here:

You can also follow along with Kieran’s visuals on his Kickstarter page, now over two years old.

Continue reading

Community Meeting Notes, July 29, 2014

The overall topic of today’s meeting was identifying opportunities we have to improve ourselves in a big way. In the process of discussing these items, we touched on many issues. The discussion was disorganized and bounced around a lot, but I’ve loosely gathered some of the ideas discussed into a few points, delivered here in no order.

Content Creation

We identified a critical need to tell our story. Via blog posts, updated information content on our website, more podcasts, #whyGP videos, etc. “A lot of cool shit is happening here everyday, but we don’t tell others about it.” There was a challenge from Jeremy S. that everyone should write one piece of content a quarter for the space. Additionally, it was suggested that groups that host events here should be obligated to provide a blog post recapping their event as a precondition for future use. We discussed identifying major content gaps on the website, etc, and making a to-do hit list for filling it in.

260, Can We Help?

We discussed whether we in the community could help finish the 260 building. We need to reach out to Derek and Jade, who could not be present, for more info, and to see if it needs to help at all.

City Communication, Relationship

We discussed how many of us feel helpless in the run-up to our renewal with the City of Chandler, which provides major funding for our Chandler space. Beyond “telling our story” as discussed above, we committed to finding a new representative to the city from within our ranks. This person would be challenged to divide up tasks and help us better understand what we personally can do to grow our relationship with the city. To discover how this will happen, however, we also need the advice of Derek and Jade.

To-Do List/Kanban Board/Trello/Etc

GP Chandler has needs, from material needs, to content needs, to volunteer needs. We discussed ideas how we can coordinate the communicating of these needs. We discussed avoiding a physical to-do board, like the Kanban board of a few years ago. We will look into a possible online solution and get back with everyone next week.

Overall, the meeting ended with more questions than answers, but some people left after giving the commitment to find some answers by next week.

Community Meeting Notes, July 23, 2014

Note: We did not hold a July 21st meeting.

Red Bull Wings Team Visit, Monday, July 28th, 2014

Whether its Mountain Dew, Monster, or Red Bull, Gangplankers are no strangers to sugary, caffeinated drinks, regardless of what the GP Chandler Health Initiative will say.

Our relationship with Red Bull goes even deeper though, as they regularly send the “Red Bull Wings Team” to share free samples at various events of ours, including last weekend’s Startup Weekend Chandler. This week, a regional marketing director asked a special favor of us. They are filming a new training video for the “Wings Team” and need an office/work environment to use. Because they love the layout and atmosphere of Gangplank, they’d like to fill that need at our space.

The community discussed whether this was okay. We agreed yes, given the condition that everyone be provided with adequate warning and an option to not participate. It was also asked that they turn on the cameras only after they’ve announced their arrival.

The “Wings Team” and video crew will be at GP Chandler around 11am to 1pm on Monday, July 28th. You’ve been notified!

Downloading on Startup Weekend Chandler

The Startup Weekend Chandler organizing team wishes to thank all who helped out and/or participated in last weekend’s Startup Weekend Chandler event.

Our winning team was Rival Ripper, which included GP Chandler regulars Michael and Hans M., and runner up was Shark Bite Boards, featuring the work of our own Jenna C. Congrats and good luck everyone!

Trish G. announces departure from role as Executive Director

Trish G. has been playing the role of Executive Director of the global Gangplank organization for nearly two years. She announced that she will be leaving her role effective 8/8. She thanked us for our support and encouraged us to keep up the good work. She said that she still will be around to a varying degree, depending a lot on what her next career move entails. THANK YOU TRISH!

260 Update/#90days #blameJade

Construction on 260 has slowed to a near-halt the last few months and Trish G. provided us an update.

“The delays are caused by needing to re-think a few design issues. Older buildings come with hidden surprises, and ours is no exception. That said, work was active this week and should pick back up again soon.”

Awesome!

Upcoming City of Chandler Contract Renewal

The GP Chandler team is preparing to submit paperwork to the city to renew our city contract that provides a majority of the funding from the city for Gangplank Chandler. Keep your ears open for ways you can personally support this. The council is expected to vote on this topic later this year.

Discussion on the Future of the Brownbag

Jeremy S. announced his commitment to restoring quality to the Brownbag programming.

Jeremy S. assembled a team of supporters for Brownbags that will keep them running smoothly from here forward. He wishes to point out the following people for their support: Jeremy S. (Scheduling, Lead), Catherine L (Speaker Support), Ita U. (Video Recording, Emcee), Jody H (Promotions, Video Recording & Emcee Backup), and Hans M (Post Brownbag Blogging).

Because Brownbags are important to the current city contract, he explained how he made a strong effort to schedule out Brownbags for the remainder of the year. He explained that this is merely a patch, however, because recent lackluster support for Brownbags are a consequence of many in the community seeing them as having lost value.

Trish G. and Jeremy S. explained that a new vision for the Brownbag is being discussed for implementation in the new year. They will seek further feedback from interested persons and finalize the details later. That said, they previewed the concept:

In the beginning, Brownbags were an opportunity to teach and learn. In a lot of cases, the teacher was merely sharing a recently acquired knowledge of their own. It was a weekly personal and professional development hour for Integrum and Forty. Since then, the Brownbag grew from a small, in-house training event to a speaker’s event that moved more toward an inspirational storytelling and/or pitch platform. We are not Tedx or Ignite, but in a way, we act like one. This means the training and learning value has been replaced with an entertainment value at times, and therefore lacks much value to the average Gangplanker. Our vision is to return to the concept of learning and teaching knowledge to the peer-to-peer inside. We want to introduce the concept of Learning Loops, and we’d like to challenge the community to bring the Brownbag back to an event of the community where outsiders are welcome versus an event where we bring outsiders in that don’t resonate as well with the community.

As this idea is further developed, more details will be shared. If this reboot plan goes forward, it will take effect in early 2015.

Next Week’s Brownbag: Kieran Thompson on Kickstarting a Local Film

All that said, the Wednesday, July 30th, Brownbag will be Kieran Thompson speaking on the experience of Kickstarting the Production of a Local Film. His description:

In March 2012, a group of local Arizona filmmakers used Kickstarter to fund the production of our first feature film. “Broken Leg”, raised over $24,000 from over 200 backers. I’ll share what we learned while planning and executing a successful campaign and discuss how we’ve engaged our backers throughout the entire life of the project. “Broken Leg” will be released on DVD, Blu-ray,m and online August 1st.

Please share this with friends and colleagues! It promises to have some deep insight into running a Kickstarted campaign, as well as some entertaining stories from an up-and-coming Arizona industry.

Community Meeting Notes, July 2, 2014

Discussion on Frequency, Schedule of Meetings

Community meetings have recently been sparse, but when we have them, they’ve been long and, at times, heated. We discussed improving the format.

Jeremy S. proposed moving to a monthly schedule. Derek N. wasn’t a fan, mainly because he saw value in attempting to meet, even if there wasn’t much to discuss. Troy B. argued that a full hour is difficult to commit to.

The community present settled on a: making a commitment to attempt to meet weekly, even if there wasn’t anything on an agenda. The goal is to constantly be dangerous, and thus, have things to talk about. Also b: holding meetings to 30 minutes. We should push longer topics to side conversations for interested parties. Also, if a conversation needs to continue and you need to go, feel free to. Also c: creating a shared calendar item that pop-ups a reminder for meeting.

Recap Desk Move

Discussion was held on various topics around the desk move. Desk and area tidiness led to a discussion about the frequency of events. If more events occur, the more it “hurts” to move out when you have lots of stuff. The re-labeled desks should be like a paint-by-numbers for event hosts.

Overall, we need a much more clear set of expectations for users of our space. If an event uses the space, they are 100% responsible for moving desks, chairs, etc, and setting back up. If peoples’ belongings get orphaned in the process, it is not the event host’s fault. (see above) All events should be tied to a sponsoring keyholder/babysitter. Keyholder is jointly responsible (with facilities team) to communicate expectations and ensure compliance. Jeremy S. and Chris L. will work on this.

Kameron W. will photograph rooms to use as guides for re-set after use.

Window Painting

The community agreed that we learned a lesson from the painted window for promotion of events. Aside from question about the city’s policy on such activity in the DC, overall we felt it didn’t fit our desired image. Discussion continued about a failure to communicate that image and how we can improve, but ended without resolution.

1st Annual AZChaserCon Recap

Last week, I had the pleasure of welcoming Christian Cleary (@monsoon_madness) and the Arizona Storm Chaser community to Gangplank to host the first (and hopefully annual) Arizona Storm Chaser Convention, or AZChaserCon.

Storm chasers play a key role in assisting intergovernmental organizations in understanding local weather events while they also help the local and national news report many of the fascinating Arizona weather events with their photos, videos, and stories. Arizona has some uniquely beautiful and fascinating weather events that are only known to the world by the work of these dedicated citizen scientists and their thrilling antics in the southwest deserts.

Christian Cleary, known best by his twitter handle @monsoon_madness, knows the power of community and collaboration in the tight-knit circle that makes up local storm chasers, government meteorologists, and news media. He was inspired to bring everyone together and found Gangplank to be the perfect host.

During the day-long event, held Saturday June 14th, Christian welcomed the likes of 3TV’s Royal Norman, 12 News’s Dr Matt Price, and National Weather Service’s Dr Ken Waters, as well as many members of chaser and citizen science community. They came together to collaborate, socialize, learn, and share the crazy antics of their hobby as they ready for another Arizona Monsoon season. There was community socializing, occasional jokes about haboobs, nerdy weather talk, and tons of great pictures of local storms.

I asked Chris to share more about his event and he wrote this for us:

Gangplank is the definition of community. When you walk through the door, the environment is uplifting, full with positive vibes and great people. And if you’re tech savvy, trust me, this is the place to be.

I live in Chandler and have a huge passion for weather. I storm chase the monsoon storms as well as tornadoes on the Great Plains. Recently, I decided to host a conference specifically for chasing the AZ monsoon that would bring weather enthusiasts, weather professionals, scientists, spotters, and storm chasers together to network, share experience, and inspire one another. A friend suggested I look into Gangplank as a possible venue.

I scheduled a time to meet with Chris L, who gave me a tour and invited me to host my event there. He also introduced me to Eileen K and the two of them helped guide me and set this conference up. On the day of the event, Jeremy S volunteered his time to host us and helped me with technical issues.

On June 14th, I hosted the first ever Arizona Chaser Conference at Gangplank, Chandler. The event exceeded all of my expectations. All of the people who attended the conference had nothing but great things to say. They enjoyed the facilities and the conference. Huge shout out to Chris, Eileen, Jeremy, and the whole Gangplank Community for making this possible. I can’t wait to host AZChaserCon next year at this amazing place. I hope that I can give back to the Gangplank community what they have given me. Without their support and sponsorship I would not have been able to host this event.

Well, Chris, let me give you and your people some praise too: you guys were a great group and gracious considerate guests. We loved having you join our community and share yours with us. We look forward to AZChaserCon ’15!

For more info check these out: