GP Brownbag: Chad Smith & Open Forum

When you think of animation, most likely the first image that pops into your head is either a Disney or Pixar character. Ever since that black and white mouse came onto the screen as Steamboat Willy, animation has taken a place in our minds as an entertainment medium.

Yet, there is so much more to the animation field than we are aware.

Chad Smith of Being Studios, will be our featured speaker for Wednesday, June 30th’s brown bag presentation. Smith has recently taken up residence at Gangplank and has already created a series of hilarious cartoons based on the regular activities taking place inside our walls.

More than that, Smith will be talking about the many opportunities available in the animation field, and how businesses can use the medium to tell their stories. Anything and everything you ever wanted to know about animation will be answered, and perhaps you’ll even end up as part of Smith’s Gangplank cartoon collection.

Something a little different

Some of you may recall that a few months back, Derek held an informal discussion about the future of Gangplank after a brown bag. We are planning on making this a regular occurrence, to hear your thoughts and share updates about Gangplank. These open forums will take place the last Wednesday of the month, before the brown bag presentation.

This open forum is for the curious, new members and Gangplank veterans alike. Want to know what Gangplank is? We’ll cover it. Want updates on the move? Come and ask. The open forum will begin at 11am. Stick around to catch the brown bag.

Jay Roger’s Brown Bag

Local Motors CEO and Co-Founder, Jay Rogers, was kind enough to come share his vision of the future of the car industry with us last month. Rogers explained the traditional model of car building and how that model is no longer sustainable. He shared the history of Local Motors, as well as how open-source car design localizes a vehicle and involves the purchaser in the process. Below is his presentation for your enjoyment. Local Motors will be hosting an Open House for their new factory in Phoenix at the end of July. Check back for details about the event.

Jay Rogers

Announcing Gangplank JR Book Club

Gangplank Junior has decidStargirl large 205x300 Announcing Gangplank JR Book Clubed the grown-ups shouldn’t be the ones having all the fun.

Starting next month, the kids of Gangplank will begin hosting their own book club. Each month’s book will target a different age range, from 7-15, though all children are welcome to attend any of the book club meetings. We will post the reading grade-level of each titles, as well as caution parents for any strong language or themes.

Our first meeting will be Tuesday, July 20th at 6pm inside Gangplank HQ. The discussion will be led by Brittany Neighbors, a Queen Creek High School Junior.

For our first title, we will be reading Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. The book takes place in Arizona, with main character Stargirl Caraway making a splash at her new high school. Having been home schooled for the majority of her life, Stargirl moves to beat of her own drummer in dress, behavior and personality. In this book, Spinelli “captures the collective, not-always-pretty emotions of a high school microcosm in which individuality is pitted against conformity”.

Recommended ages are 10-14. 208 pages.

GP Brown bag: "The Art of Celebrity Impersonation"

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Dennis Keogh as 007

Gangplank, Arizona’s largest collaborative workspace, will be hosting celebrity impersonator, Dennis Keogh, as a part of their recurring brown bag series. The event will take place on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at noon. Keogh

has been performing as celebrity Sean Connery for a number of years, making appearances all over the Phoenix-area, Las Vegas and Canada.

Keogh will be speaking on what is required to become a respected A-list celebrity impersonator and the professionalism you must maintain to stay on top. He’ll discuss tips on how to get booked regularly and drum up new business – useful advice for a start-up in any field. Keogh will also share a few humorous and true stories of his life as Sean Connery.

“It is all perception – not deception,” explains Keogh. “If guests of my impersonation ask ‘Are you Sean Connery?’, I have several comedic answers.”

Keogh began performing full-time as Connery in 2006, after retiring from Bell Systems at age 53. As a Sean Connery impersonator, Keogh is invited to corporate parties, exotic car auctions, movie sets, Hollywood parties and charity events to add a buzz and work the crowd. He loves to walk the red carpet and mingle with guests, posing for photographs, and signing autographs.

Keogh thoroughly enjoys his work, even if it a bit unconventional. “We are all given great opportunities in life. A wise man,realizes them and acts upon them,” said Keogh.
I chose to jump through that window of opportunity while the window was still open.”

The brown bag is open to the public, free of charge. Bring your lunch, have a few laughs and enjoy rubbing elbows with a star (impersonator).

Why you shouldn't miss Hacknights

Hacknights were started to provide an opportunity for like-minded individuals to connect, share ideas and launch new ventures in the community. Every Wednesday around quitting time, a hodge-podge of developers, bloggers, artists, techies and entrepreneurs are thrown together in one giant room – and crazy things happen.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to attend a Hacknight, here’s a taste.

Last night, more than 40 people showed up to Gangplank for Hacknight. Our first ever roller-hockey game was played in the loading area behind the building. Josh Strebel of Page.ly acted as videographer, riding around on the new Gangplank bike shooting the bloody battle. Injuries were sustained, with the Conrey-Hurst-Charland team pulling off a 3-1 victory. Who says girls can’t play?

In the midst of the game, lots was going on inside Gangplank. Nicholas Dibiase and Brandon Franklin struck up an impromptu jam session, playing percussion and guitar for attendees enjoyment. Also on the music front, Stern Savage stopped by to drop off a sneak preview of his mixtape, to be released July 31st.

Hacking activities were in full swing as well. Heat Sync Labs set up a lock picking table, with various levels to challenge Hacknight attendees. Nick Hammond managed to pick all the locks, save the hardest.

And of course, what’s a Hacknight without a ridiculously awesome YouTube video about college sports?

Even with all the distractions and activities, Hacknights main draw is the amazing conversations between people. Artists, musicians, dating advice bloggers, marketing consultants and coders discussing sports, differences between the sexes and getting to know one another. These initial meetings are the stepping stones that create projects and passions that move the world.

Why miss out?

Linchpin Meetup Recap

Last night, 40+ people assembled at Gangplank to discuss the book Linchpin, written by marketing guru Seth Godin. The book discusses the idea of making yourself so good at what you do that you are indispensable, and that causing disruption by rapidly eschewing traditional models for new ones is a worthy endeavor.

The Linchpin meetup, put on by Tyler Hurst and Stealthmode, broke attendees into groups to discuss key concepts from the book, including overcoming fear, qualities of leadership, our current education system and the importance of learning to lose. Each group presented on their topics with a discussion portion following each presentation.

Many of the participants had recently left Corporate America and were starting ventures of their own. Their interest in attending the event stemmed from wanting to meet others that were in a similar positions for encouragement, ideas and general networking. Throughout the evening connections were made, relationships were formed and attendees walked away with some insight into their own status as a Linchpin, and where they might improve.

For coverage of the event, as well as an interesting take on startups in this economy, check out ABC 15′s video. Also, listen to Gangplank Studio episodes 35 and 36 to hear attendees discuss what the word Linchpin means to them.

New staff member

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Hey, I’m Katie Charland, the new Director of Operations for Gangplank.

Last week, Gangplank welcomed me as its first full-time staff member. Though I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you through various events, I’ve got a long way to go if I hope to get to know the 2,000+ Gangplank members and fans.

Gangplank means something different to each person that walks through its doors. My journey to this position started over 3 years ago when I began teaching.

Fresh off my bachelors degree in poli sci and communications, I was looking for an in to Chicago politics. On a whim, I applied to Teach for America and was accepted as a 7th grade history teacher on the border of Mexico and Texas. This experience forever altered my life, as I became passionate about nonprofit causes.

After my 2-year contract was up, I moved to Arizona to pursue a graduate degree at ASU. My masters program focused on public relations for nonprofits. In May 2009, I graduated and went off into the world.

And what a crappy world it was. Recession, Arizona unemployment hovering around 10% — ouch. Having become involved in the social media/PR scene, I was able to contract myself out for various small projects. It was during this time I was introduced to Gangplank.

At the beginning, I was terrified. Here I am, a tech/social networking newbie and (gasp) blackberry user, surrounded by the hacker elite of the Valley. Intimidated? Hell yeah.

But what’s great about Gangplank is its welcoming spirit. People love to chat and network.

Not only that, Gangplank is an organization with tremendous potential. All I had to do was ask if I could help plan events for Gangplank and was instantly assigned to brown bags.

Now I’m staff (though still not an iPhone convert). That’s my Gangplank story.

I want to hear yours.

Just as Gangplank means something different to each person, everyone has a stake in the organization’s future. What is your experience with Gangplank? What would you like to see it become?

Schedule a chat with me.

GP Brownbag: 'Opportunities in a time of mass upheaval'

Everyone loves free stuffEric Keosky Smith HD Photo 11 smallest cropped 259x300 GP Brownbag: 'Opportunities in a time of mass upheaval'. Unfortunately, most big companies are out to make money and dislike giving away their products for free.

Then Shwaag came along.

The company’s CEO Eric Keosky-Smith has taken local social media by storm with the concept of social powered generosity. His site gives away premium products, such as Amazon Kindle, to encourage real generosity by brands and promote consumer loyalty. Members get a shot at unique, high-quality products and the participating companies get advertising through social media buzz and happy customers.

Keosky-Smith has a long history with developing marketing strategies that break new ground. With over 25 years experience in technology and consumer marketing, he’s been behind some of the largest product launches and initiatives of the past decade.

His extensive history may be why he had trouble picking a topic – there’s just so much be wants to share with Valley-area entrepreneurs! His topic, ‘Opportunities in a time of mass upheaval’ will encompass many of the subjects he wanted to cover, including marketing and relationships in a social media world, as well as how to bridge generation/technology gaps in business.

Wednesday, June 16th @ Noon
Bring your lunch (and questions).

Ignite Phoenix Developer #3 Update

Due to a low number of submissions, Ignite Phoenix Developer #3 has been canceled.  We apologize to the individuals who submitted, but we didn’t want to half-ass an event. We will be planning another developer event in the near future, so keep watching our blog, facebook page and twitter for updates.

In the meantime, developers come join us at Gangplank for Hacknight each Wednesday from 6pm to whenever the energy drinks run out. This is an opportunity to share what you’ve been working on and ideas you have with a community of like-minded individuals. Perhaps a new venture or project will come of it. You’ll only know if you come participate.

Gangplank Updates

Looking to reserve permanent space at Gangplank?

You’ve been to Gangplank a few times and you like what you see. If you’re thinking about setting up a more permanent base of operations, we now have a “Gangplank Space Request” form to streamline the demand. You can find the form on Gangplank’s website under the ‘Participate‘ and ‘Collaborative‘ tabs.

There is no fee to make Gangplank your base of operations. Our wifi, conference rooms and podcasting studio are at your disposal. We simply ask that you respect the space and work of fellow Gangplank members, as well as be willing to collaborate with the community.

Um….brown bags?

We want you to there! Our guests are at their best with a live audience that keeps them on their toes with lively discussion and questions.

But if you absolutely can’t make it…

Yes, we are filming them. Yes, the video will be posted to the website as soon as is possible after the talk. We also will be posting summaries of the presentations and providing information about speakers to come. If you can’t make it to the brown bags each week, best bet is to bookmark this blog.

Have a speaker suggestion? Let’s hear it!