Networking is so very important. Has anyone referred you to another person because they think you might have mutual interests and there might be a deeper reason for you need to connect with that person? That happened to me a few weeks ago. Jeff Weedman, the CEO of Cintrifuse, suggested that I might be interested in meeting Dr. Victor Garcia, a pediatric surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Jeff described some of the Dr. Garcia’s projects to combat concentrated systemic poverty and thought we should connect. I immediately knew I needed to meet Dr. Garcia and thought a friend of mine, Owen Raisch (who recently launched the Greater Cincinnati Independent Business Alliance – CiNBA) should meet him as well. CiNBA is an organization dedicated to building and supporting a strong local business community in Greater Cincinnati. One of Dr. Garcia’s projects included launching new businesses, so this is right on the money for Xavier University‘s and CiNBA’s missions.
Dr. Garcia described a new business venture he is developing with Dan Divelbiss, an environmental engineering graduate student from the University of Cincinnati, and Nate Wildes, an Assistant Brand Manager at the Eureka! Ranch International. The new venture is an aquaponics business – think a fish tank that grows both fish and vegetables in one integrated, soilless system – to be launched in Price Hill. Dr. Garcia, Dan and Nate are collaborating with Diana Vakharia, Price Hill’s Director of Economic Development, on this project. Diana happens to be a member of the core team that launched CiNBA. Diana’s goal is to help launch an aquaponics business in Price Hill, so they can hire about 20 people from Price Hill to run the business, and then transition the business into an employee-owned operation. Diana’s focus helps create jobs and long-term wealth for the people of Price Hill using a model of economic development created by The Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, Ohio
Dr. Garcia, explained that “…the aquaponics project serves as one way to help overcome the causes of concentrated disadvantage.” All too often Dr. Garcia treats the consequences of concentrated disadvantage in the form of gunshot wounds to children. As a natural problem solver and a highly skilled surgeon, he realizes that treating the consequences of a problem never overcomes the underlying source of a problem. He and the others are focused on understanding and attacking the sources of concentrated disadvantage from a systems-thinking perspective to improve the situation.
Would you like to get involved to bring the aquaponics business to life in Price Hill? Dr. Garcia’s project needs experienced business professionals and college students to help build and carry out a solid business model for this business venture. If you would like to involved, watch these three videos and then contact the project (links are available on the www.cincyentre.com website:
1. http://evergreencooperatives.com/ for a review of the Evergreen Cooperatives model;
2. http://tinyurl.com/concdisadv to gain an understanding of concentrated disadvantage;
3. http://tinyurl.com/RW-life-of-purpose to consider what you can do with what you’ve been given.
If these videos stir your interest, please connect with firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help.
Chance networking interactions can lead to great opportunities to expand your horizons. Not every interaction will be as fertile as my meeting with Cintrifuse. You will find the more you connect, the more likely you will discover favorable conditions to do great things.
Joe Carter’s Links
|Xavier Entrepreneurial Center
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