For those of you who have not read The Heart of Networking Second Edition, you may not know that from 1996 to 2005 I lived in Booth 61 at the OK Cafe in Atlanta. I still visit often but not like I did during the Dot Com Mania Days. Booth 61 at the OK Cafe was the place I began each day Monday through Friday, and some Saturday’s to boot. My record rear-end challenging time spent in the booth was one day I arrived at the OK Cafe at 6:15 am and I left at 3:30 pm after breakfast, brunch, lunch, ice cream sundaes and enough coffee to float the Titanic. I had back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back meetings introducing lawyers to young start-up companies, listening to bright eyed entrepreneurs share their business plans in hopes I would introduce them to one of Atlanta’s Angel Investors or one of Atlanta’s Venture Capitalists, meeting not for profit organizations looking to tap into the growing technology boom, or just connecting a potential employee to a company owner hoping that it would be a great fit for both of them.
During these exciting years I was a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers and later Client Partner at Korn/Ferry International. Very seldom did we spend a lot of time discussing accounting or executive search services during these meetings. We broke bread together and shared community. Real relationships were built between me and my guests, and between guests and other guests. Companies received funding, people found jobs, and service providers for the technology community gained clients. The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the Entrepreneurial Foundation of the Southeast were both nurtured in Booth 61 before being launched into our community. Did PwC and Korn/Ferry benefit? Certainly, but that was the by product and never the goal. Both companies hired me to build community and we did. Today I am blessed to have the very same responsibility at Hunter Technical Resources. Booth 61 is one of many commitments the owners of Hunter are making to the Atlanta Technology Community.
We will gather folks every Wednesday at 2:00 pm to build community in Booth 61 on Business RadioX. I am excited about our first show when we welcome Mr. James Franklin, CEO of TechBridge, along with Sig Mosley and Harriett Hollis of The Atlanta CEO Council.
I thank all of you for your friendship, support, encouragement and love over the past 18 years since I joined the Atlanta technology community. I hope you will join me in Booth 61 as we continue the process. The coffee is on me.
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