Modfit Pilot Clinic at Gangplank Chandler

Guest Post by
Chris Adams,

We are excited to announce the October 17th launch of the Modfit pilot clinic at Gangplank Chandler!  Modfit is a Chandler based startup building personalized clinics for today’s desk-bound workforce, and are equipped with the latest fitness technology to help you lose weight, alleviate stress, reduce pain, and power through you workday.  Recharge & refresh in a comfortable setting and refuel with a healthy beverage and snack.

This pilot clinic is open to the entire Gangplank community as well as your business associates, friends, or family.


Participants are asked to commit to THREE 15-minute sessions a week for 30 days starting the week of October 17th.  We will have an on-site coach MondayFriday from 1-5pm, and we have lots of goodies & giveaways for participants too!

This is a pilot clinic, so all we’re asking for is your honest feedback on how we can make our clinics better, and referrals to other business owners who might be interested in a clinic for their workspace.

Download the Modfit app from the iTunes or Google Play app stores to schedule your first session.


Gangplank Mondays@4: The Business of Storytelling with Amber Pechin, October 24, 2016

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a business who heard the distress calls of a community in need of a solution. Donning their suits of armor, they put their helmets together to develop a solution to save the day.

Fighting dragons and evil witches, pressing forward for months of sleepless nights and endless cups of coffee, they climbed mountains and forged rivers to bring forth a product that would change the world… if only the world would listen then we would all live happily ever after.

What strategic story should you tell to reach happily ever after for your business?

Join us @4 p.m. Monday October 24 at Gangplank Chandler for an interactive business storytelling workshop with Amber Pechin from Amplitude Media.


Simply publishing content isn’t enough to reach your business goals. Crafting the right story and telling in the right tone of voice and in the right places is key. In this interactive workshop participants will join Amber from Amplitude Media for a crash course in strategic storytelling for business.

The workshop is part of Gangplank Mondays @4, as series of business talks for startups, entrepreneurs, makers and freelancers.

Amplitude Media is a strategic business communications agency, partnering with businesses to share strategic stories that make a difference.

GangplankMondays@4:Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality & the Gamification of Business, October 17, 2016

Can games bring in more customers and boost sales? Can augmented reality lead users to patronize small, local businesses they otherwise might not visit?

Join Carol Stambaugh & Kameron Williams Monday, October 17, 2016, 4PM at Gangplank Chandler for a talk about the phenomenal success of Pokemon Go and how startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses can capitalize on this and other trends in the gamification of business.


Carol Stambaugh, Principal and Owner of FreeUp Web Studio, is the current Arizona WordPress Meetup Organizer with a membership of 1400+ around the Phoenix metro area. FreeUp Web Studio handles website design needs from concept to full implementation, hosting and ongoing management.

Kameron Williams is the Creative Director and originator of Lillimedia. His passion is to tell the stories of the businesses that Lillimedia works with, and to provide web based solutions to help businesses grow.

Refreshments, Q&A and networking follow the talk.


Gangplank Mondays@4: Machine Learning with Chris Murray, October 10, 2016

Can we build never-ending learners? Can machine learning theories and algorithms help explain human learning?

Join us Monday, October 10, 2016, 4PM at Gangplank Chandler for a talk about Machine Learning, exploring the study and construction of algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data, with Christopher Murray of Gangplank resident company Hiring Solved. The talk is part of our Gangplank Mondays@4 series of business talks for startups, entrepreneurs, makers and freelancers.


HiringSolved makes it faster and easier to find the right person for any job. Its people aggregator gathers data from across the web and filters the most relevant information into a database of candidate profiles.

Chris will discuss HiringSolved’s artificial intelligence tools as recently profiled in FastCompany as well as address the future of machine intelligence for small business.

Refreshments, Q&A and networking follow the talk.

Upcoming Gangplank Mondays@4:

Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality & the Gamification of Business with Carol Stambaugh of FreeUp WebStudio, and Kameron Williams of Lillimedia, October 17, 2016.

Gangplank Mondays@4: The Business of Podcasting, October 3, 2016

Join our panel discussion with local podcasters: How do I get started podcasting? How can I use podcasting to highlight my business or passion project?

Join us Monday, October 3, 2016, 4PM at Gangplank Chandler for a panel discussion with local podcasters, part of our Gangplank Mondays@4 series of business talks for startups, entrepreneurs, makers and freelancers.

Our panelists will include:

Jason Gunn of Gangplank anchor company, Attribytes. Jason produces the Talking the Plank podcast;

Garret Godfrey of the Crowdfunding Christian Music Podcast, “On this video and audio podcast, I cover active crowdfunding campaigns and pre-orders for bands & artists worth backing & believing in so you can find and fund the music you love. Great music doesn’t ‘just happen’. I help you get involved;”

Robert Tabb of ConAirRadio, a podcast for friends of conventions. “If you’re into ComicCons, SciFi Cons or Media Cons, this is the podcast for you. “

Gangplank Chandler provides a podcasting studio and equipment for public use as part of the Gangplank Studios Initiative. The Studios Initiative strives to build culture and vibrancy in cities, creating cities where people desire to live, work and play.

Refreshments, Q&A and networking follow the panel discussion.

Upcoming Gangplank Mondays@4:

Machine Learning with Christopher Murray of HiringSolved, October 10, 2016.
Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality & the Gamification of Business with Carol Stambaugh of FreeUp WebStudio, October 17, 2016.


Gangplank Mondays@4: Dynamic Equity with Diana Wilson, September 26, 2016

How do you divide the startup sweat equity pie? What’s fair and how do you keep your decisions transparent?

Join us Monday, September 26, 2016, 4PM at Gangplank for “Dynamic Equity” with ProFile Sports Founder Diana Wilson, part of our Gangplank Mondays@4 series of business talks for startups, entrepreneurs, makers and freelancers. ProFile Sports develops technology tools designed to showcase athletic achievement and promote continuing education.


Diana draws from Mike Michalowicz’s Profit First and Mike Moyer’s Slicing Pie to power Dynamic Equity, a concept for startup and other businesses to use when deciding how to value sweat equity, cash investments and profit sharing. Diana will discuss how she uses time trackers with remote teams as well as banking products to organize an early stage startup.

Diana has worked with several Fortune 500 companies including Adidas America, Hewlett Packard, Disney and Intel. Over 25 years at the helm of Media, Design firms and Live Corporate Events. She is passionate about helping families afford higher education and athletic opportunities for their children.

After the presentation, we’ll have Q&A, discussion, light refreshments and networking.

Upcoming Gangplank Mondays@4:

Podcasting for Business with Jason Gunn of Attribytes, October 3, 2016.
Machine Learning with Christopher Murray of HiringSolved, October 10, 2016.
Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality & the Gamification of Business with Carol Stambaugh of FreeUp WebStudio, October 17, 2016.

August 2016 Events & Meetups at Gangplank Chandler

Wednesday, August 3

Community Meeting, 12pm, Main Space
Join us to discuss whatever comes up living the Gangplank Manifesto and co-working together. Interested in desk space at Gangplank Chandler? Drop in and find out what it’s all about.

Hacknight, 6pm until last keyholder leaves (late-ish), Main Space
Day job keeping you away from co-working out of Gangplank during the day? Our weekly Hacknights are project time, an open house, jam space and brainstorming session all rolled into one. Hacknight is an opportunity to connect, share ideas and launch new ventures in the community. It’s a great time to come work on a side project or pursue a hobby.

Freelancers Meetup w/Spark Phoenix, 5:30pm, Conference Room
This month, we’ll swap inspired ideas around questions like “What makes a brand memorable?” and “How can an email build loyalty?” Think you’ve got insight to share? Find emailing to be a painful process? Join us to brainstorm what makes for email strategy success. RSVP here.

Thursday, August 4

SouthEast Valley .NET Newbies Group
, 6 – 9pm, Main Space
Revisit Dependency Injection, SOLID, MVC5 application.

Women Who Code PHX: HTML/CSS Study Group, 6 – 7:30pm, Conference Room
Study group open to women working with or learning HTML / CSS. Beginners always welcome.

Saturday, August 6

East Valley Job Seekers, 10am – 12pm, Conference Room
For more information, contact:

Monday, August 8

global_430588742Digital Storytellers Meetup, 6 – 8pm, Burgundy Lounge
Looking to tell your story online? Whether you are a filmmaker or a video blogger or building your business, it all begins with the story.

  • Discover, Define and Refine you stories and work with others to find the best way to share your stories with your audience.
  • Open to all levels of experience
  • Learn new techniques and best practices for creating your story and using tools like YouTube to share with the world.

Craft Hack: Craft Supply Swap,
6 – 8pm, Conference Room
Feel free to bring fabric, paper, yarn, notions, or other craft/art supplies you’re not using. Even if you don’t have anything to bring, come hang out, craft, and see if anything catches your eye. There’s no demo this month, so just bring your own project to work on.

Wednesday, August 10

GP Community Meeting, 12pm, Main Space
Hacknight, 6 – 11:30pm, Main Space
Guilt Free Book Club, 6 – 7pm
We will discuss Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett. Guilt-free because you don’t have to read the book to join the discussion.
GP Software Engineering Reading Group, 8 – 10pm

Thursday, August 11

Arizona WordPress Group, 6:30 – 8:30pm
The Arizona WordPress Meetup group is a statewide community of WordPress professionals, hobbyists and users who come together to share knowledge, learn together, and strengthen the community. Free, all welcome.

Saturday, August 13

East Valley Job Seekers, 10am – 12pm, Conference Room

Monday, August 15

Who Code Show Your Stuff – JavaScript
, 6 – 7:30pm,
Study group open to women working with or learning JavaScript. Beginners always welcome.

Tuesday, August 16

FileMaker Pro User Group, 6 – 8:30pm, More info.

Wednesday, August 17

Community Meeting, 12pm, Main Space
Hacknight, 6pm until last keyholder leaves (late-ish), Main Space
GP Software Engineering Reading Group, 8 – 10pm

Friday, August 19

Monthly Momentum Meetup, 1 – 4pm
Formerly “Bookkeeping and Beers,” this is a monthly productivity session with other Gangplankers. Get stuff done you would normally put off. (It doesn’t have to be bookkeeping.) You’re welcome to bring beverages and/or snacks.

Saturday, August 20

East Valley Job Seekers, 10am – 12pm, Conference Room

Monday, August 22

Digital Storytellers Meetup, 6 – 8pm, Conference Room
Looking to tell your story online? Whether you are a filmmaker or a video blogger or building your business, it all begins with the story.

Wednesday, August 24

Community Meeting, 12pm, Main Space
Hacknight, 6pm until last keyholder leaves (late-ish), Main Space
GP Software Engineering Reading Group, 8 – 10pm

Thursday, August 25

Southeast Valley .NET User Group
, 6 – 8pm,
Visual Studio Cordova Tooling by Justin James
Are you already a web developer and want to create a mobile application? Come learn all about the Ionic mobile framework and how to use it with the Visual Studio 2015 Cordova Tooling. With technologies that we already know and love like Html 5, Javascript, CSS 3, and Angular we can easily create a mobile application that targets Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Phone.

Saturday, August 27

Analytics.Club, Phoenix
, 9am – 12pm,
Open Hack Kaggle Challenge: Are you ready to join the exciting world of Kaggle challenges to learn and help your fellow “geeks”? Set sail with us on an amazing adventure through data analytics, machine learning and a whole lot more.

Code Sisters, 10am-3pm
Learning to code together on personal and collaborative projects with mentors.

East Valley Job Seekers, 10am – 12pm, Conference Room

download (2)Wednesday, August 31

Community Meeting, 12pm, Main Space
Hacknight, 6pm until last keyholder leaves (late-ish), Main Space
Desert Blockchain Meetup, 6:30 – 9pm
Desert Blockchain is a community interested in distributed trust technologies.

Digital Storytellers Meetup & Creative Bootcamp

Who: Ita Ema (View from Above Entertainment) is the mastermind facilitator for anyone interested in crafting their story—whether it is for a business website, blog, comedy gig, feature film or fantasy novel—you see there is no end to genre or medium; all are welcome.
What: The meetup is part instruction, part project-sharing, part accountability and support group for telling the story that entrepreneurs and creatives need and want to tell. The Creative Bootcamp is a 5-hour ‘Get it Done!’ workshop to follow through on creative story-telling projects.
Where: Gangplank, Chandler (usually the conference room)
When: Meetup is every other Monday at 6-8 p.m. Bootcamp is approximately once a month. Check the Gangplank Calendar and newsletter for upcoming schedule.
How much: This is social capital at its best! A valuable investment of time for PEOPLE to PARTICIPATE in LEARNING how to craft their story and DO their storytelling with BOLDNESS along with a COMMUNITY of creatives who COLLABORATE, and Oh! happen to build FRIENDSHIP in the process. (= no monetary fee)

Urbie's blank slates

Urbie’s blank slates

This meetup group brings together an eclectic bunch. We have our regulars, we have our once-in-awhilers, and we always have newbies. And that doesn’t mean they are new to story-telling necessarily, but in some cases new to the craft and this group. Beth, a voice coach, is working on a musical she wrote many years ago decided to pull it out of the attic storage box and re-write it digitally. Ariel who is a programmer, musician and former firefighter shuffles around her many projects including an epic fantasy novel. I cannot count all the comedy guys who bring in their projects, one of which is a story about the comedians themselves.

I bounce around to a different project every meetup, but my first “Get ‘r Done” project was a video I created for a non-profit’s AZ Gives campaign. I wanted to raise money for a “real restroom” at this non-profit’s recycling facility. I brought my ideas to the group one night about a year ago and we had fantastic fun brainstorming and flushing it out—no pun intended! I then narrowed the story down and created a script, did some on site shooting. I brought the footage in for our fearless leader, Ita, to help me with editing software in the Gangplank computer lab and I recorded the voice-over in Gangplank’s podcasting room. It’s not the project per se that sealed the deal for my commitment this storytelling group, it is the honest feedback and collaborative spirit of participation for my own projects, as well as for those of others’. When I see their stories come together and witness the progress they make, it’s a beautiful thing.
Learning the story arch and the beats for fun and fiction is in some sense a no-brainer, yet it is quite the ‘Ah-ha!’ moment when you see a story is crafted into a business plan. We have numerous entrepreneurs creating stories for video and audience-building on their websites and online marketing. April is a long-time Gangplanker and WordCamp 2013 Director plugged in her Powerhouse Posting Process online courses through Made Better Studio.
Self-assigned homework spurs participants onward between meetups and that has organically grown into the ‘part support group’ aspect. Marissa pounded out the story arch for her online tutorials for home-schooling parents and shot the video after one visit to the meetup. BOOM!

During Bootcamp it's 4 X 45 minute blocks of nose to grindstone

During Bootcamp it’s 4 X 45 minute blocks of nose to grindstone

Others of us struggle to fit creative time and energy into our daily or weekly schedules and we’ve found ways to hold each other accountable along with sharing tips and tricks—everything from apps to track and time productivity, to inspirational videos, to online script writing and animation tools. Ariel attributes her writing 15,000+ words in the last few weeks to the learning, camaraderie, and support to Digital Storytellers. Rob, eventually hammered out his Bottom Five Comedy material between meetups and says, “The Digital Storytellers group helped me narrow my focus so that I could complete my first short film script, get my website up and running, and begin a feature. Without Ita and the group, I’d still be stuck with a million random story fragments.”
Even our fearless leader finds himself progressing on otherwise top candidates for procrastination projects such as a feature-length script, Full Field the Basics video series and now a crowdfunding campaign story. Ita says, “Sometimes you don’t know where to start, but it you can just take the first step that’s enough to get the ball rolling.” And he certainly has helped us do just that and more!

Urbie meets success: a finished product in a new medium

Urbie meets success: a finished product in a new medium

The fourth Digital Storytellers Creative Bootcamp was On Sunday, March 15. While all participants experienced successful outcomes, newcomer Urbie ( @urbie ) found out he could be a pirate at Gangplank via #tlap (Teach Like a Pirate Twitter chat), so long story, short teaching pirates connected to Gangplank pirates on the app. Urbie came into the bootcamp with a laptop, a phone and a tablet along with a rainbow of sticky notes and pens. But more importantly he came in with true ‘Arrrrrrrr’ spirit! He had never tried comic strips before, but wanted to #BeDangerous and give it a try. He started from zero, added an idea and ended up meeting his goal of a publish-ready strip. I’m inspired!

Code Sisters: Closing the Gender Gap

I am happy to announce that Saturday, May 23rd will be the OFFICIAL kickoff of “Code Sisters,” a monthly, structured tutorial/workshop session for women learning to code. Each month, from 9:00 am to noon, we will teach a beginner level web development topic in a workshop/tutorial format. After a lunch break, there will be time for practice, project work, and mentoring.

These sessions are geared to help participants procure valuable skills, as well as gain the confidence to form their own software projects and join the hacker community at large. We expect women who complete these courses will be able to share their own software projects at events like the weekly Hack Nights that Gangplank hosts on Wednesdays.

In the meantime, the more advanced or adventurous have an open invitation to Hack Night and the “Code Purple” lounge, where Code Sisters and their “bros” can network, connect with mentors and project partners, and practice their skills.

If you know of a woman who might be interested in the group, please let her know about it. If you have skills and knowledge you want to share, please contact Ariel Strong <> or one of the people listed below.

We are actively looking for mentors – male or female – and would welcome your input and help as we put together future sessions.

Help from the Pirate Ship

From talking to ‘Plankers the last two months, I’ve gathered lots of ideas on how to structure an initiative to get more women into coding or just tech in general. I’ve heard many (sometimes opposite!) opinions on how to approach putting a Gangplank group together and lined up a number of potential mentors.

Thank you all. I appreciate the input, especially how to decide on a language and start learning as well as links to resources that we can use.

In fact, the response was so positive with so many good ideas, I wasn’t sure where to begin.

Opening up Code Sisters (unofficially operating at Gangplank since January) to a wider audience seemed like a logical place to start, but we needed a more structured format.

The dilemma was solved on Saturday, April 25th, after a Railsbridge Workshop for women hosted by Infusionsoft. Five Gangplankers attended the introductory Ruby on Rails event – Catherine Leyen, Eileen Kane, Ariel Strong, Trish Gillam, and Christopher Murray (who provided extraordinary technical support!).

There was consensus among Gangplank’s attendees that the format used for Railsbridge would be a perfect fit for Code Sisters’ purposes. The environment was nurturing and proved fruitful for learning a new skill. All of the women left with a decent understanding of the Ruby framework, thanks to the support of the team of volunteers, mentors and organizers who worked with each sub-group of the 50+ attendees.

On top of having a solid structure, Railsbridge provides their coursework online for free. It covers a variety of languages (Ruby on Rails, Javascript, CSS, HTML) and we intend to take full advantage. Soo…

The Shape of Things to Come…

This is only the beginning. We really don’t know how things will take shape, and we will adapt as we go. We want you to join us in this adventure and maybe eventually even steer the ship. In the spirit of Gangplank, we will be dangerous. Yaarrrgh!


The People That You Meet Each Day

I spied him over the top of my monitor. He’d walked in well enough, but I could tell by his confused look that he had no idea what to do now that he was inside. This happens frequently. I’d seen that befuddled look on the faces of Gangplank newcomers countless times.

As a Gangplank veteran, I consider it my duty to make visitors feel welcome. Plus, I needed a break from writing marketing copy.

“Today’s subject is Software-defined Networking, boys and girls!” I’d loudly announced to the 15 odd entrepreneurs working out of Gangplank as I arrived earlier. (The crowd had returned my excitement with odd looks and loud groans.)

“Hi, how’s it going?” I asked as I rose from behind my monitor and walked towards the visitor. Perhaps he was an entrepreneur, looking for a home.

He tells me his name, Todd. He wants to know how much is it to use a computer here. He’d like to download a large file that someone sent him via email.

“You don’t pay anything to use the facilities here,” I tell him. “At least not monetarily.”

His confused look returns.

“Walk with me,” I tell him, laughing to myself. “We’ll get you squared away.”

We walk past the hot desks, large tables with office chairs where anyone who wants to can come in, set up a laptop and get some work done.

“There’s no charge here,” I repeat as we walk. “Because payment is in social capital.”

“Uhhhhhhhh-huh,” he says, in that tone that says “I have no idea what you are saying.”

We walk past the 3D printers that line the back half of the main Gangplank workspace. I continue giving Todd an introduction.

“Basically, if you find Gangplank is a space you like working from, and the people here a community you find valuable, all that is asked to use Gangplank’s resources is that you find a way to contribute something back. What you contribute is up to you.”

He’s not from around here, he says. He’s passing through town on tour. Just wants to use a computer, “How much?” he asks.

I shake my head and chuckle.

We continue straight down the hall, past the free library, buzzing conference rooms, and podcast studio. Finally, we arrive at the Gangplank computer lab. He seems a very nice guy, about 50 years old I’d guess, wearing glasses, a gently worn pair of blue jeans, and respectable short sleeved dress shirt.

I help him log on to one of the eight iMac computers in the lab, all freely available to the public. I make small talk while he accesses his email.

“So what is this file?”

“It’s a pilot for a TV show that I’m in. ” he says.

“Uhhhhh-huh” I say using the same tone he had earlier. An actor, just about to make his big break. Yeah, right.

Todd downloads the video. Over the next 45 minutes I am amazed and delighted at his talent. As we watch, we talk about life, swap stories about our kids, and generally just get to be pals.

The people you meet at Gangplank are random and diverse – and always interesting. I love this place.

Todd Oliver, nationally known comedian, ventriloquist, and past performer on America’s Got Talent.