Dear Impact Hub Family,
I will be transitioning out of my position as Member Success Manager/Operations Manager at Impact Hub staff on September 4th, and I will soon begin a new role as a member just like you! I haven’t always had the chance to find out about the good work you do, so I hope that we will have the opportunity to connect now or in the future. Please say hello/goodbye when you get a chance, or Link In with me or let’s go to lunch.
I have never actually visited our competitors, but when people do a tour of many of the coworking options in San Francisco and arrive at Impact Hub to tell me “Oh this is the coolest one!” I know we are doing something right. Our space was designed very intentionally and reflects who we are and what we aim to do: the ceilings blown off suggest that anything is possible; the sustainable Plyboo wood (plywood made from bamboo) throughout the space adds warmth, with a nod to our mission to make the world a better place; the chairs and tables on wheels reflect our flexibility, creativity and pragmatism. One day when my son, then 11, was in the Hub, he said to me “this isn’t really an office. It’s more like a community.” “That’s exactly right, son. That’s exactly right.”
When I first walked through the doors at the then “Hub” in December 2010, I stood in the entry just in from Security (what we call the Member Lounge) unsure of what I had just entered. “What is this place? And where the hell is reception!?” Yet I felt immediately how unique this place is. Much has changed since that first year – we added the second floor, the Host desk has moved a couple times, and we now have a large branded decal on the wall so that people know they have arrived!
In January 2011, I began as Logistics Manager for our annual SOCAP conference, and in October 2012 transitioned into my position as Operations Manager, now called Member Success Manager. Having worked in the space on the SOCAP team for a year and a half, and because I am both observant and practical, I had been frustrated by a number of space-related things: if we are out of reams of paper in the cabinet, where is the supply room? Where are all the glasses? Does that food in the kitchen belong to somebody or is it up for grabs? Do I wipe the espresso steamer wand with this weird stained towel?
Guess what? In my new position, all those things that bugged me, were now mine to solve! While I am acutely aware of the many things that have not yet been effectively addressed (my deepest apologies about the printers, and gratitude for your patience and endurance), I am proud that so much in the space is more organized, and that we added more lockers, plants, color and art work. I don’t think we’ve ever run out of paper on my watch. With the help of our wonderful hosts, we do our best to make sure there are always available glasses and mugs, and keep the kitchens and printer bars clean, tidy and stocked. My recent towel system of stained towels for messes, colored towels for hands and dishes, and brown towels for the coffee stations seems to be working pretty well considering there are 700 of us sharing the same kitchens! Try to keep it going! The WiFi has stabilized and we are more on top of meeting rooms than ever before. In 2012 I created the Share signs so the food situation would be more clear and our “Share Tables” have become an institution where people gather and share both food and ideas.
I have always striven to find inventive solutions to help our members and wish I had had the chance to do more! I designed the white board headers in 2012 (Hub Announce, Wine Down, Did You Know, etc,) and the Calendar wall in 2013. I thought outside the box to find an inexpensive solution in offices where the HVAC blew too cold and used kooky bright green leaf canopies from Ikea (which cast the often female workers sitting beneath them as Thumbelinas!) When we were forced to do back to back kitchen renovations for mold remediation in late 2013, (and were without a kitchen for 4 whole weeks on the 2nd floor!) I obsessively scheduled tradespeople to minimize the impact, and aimed to keep you all apprised of the situation with signs starring my Bruin Snappy people. With humor and playfulness the exterior of giant tented spaces became scattered with pictures of ET and Breaking Bad. (Thanks Amanda Wybolt of S&C!)
Our members are the most interesting, inspiring, committed, supportive, delightful, and (in my position especially) patient people I know. To have played a role in the growth of this place, and to have been a part of this community for all these years has been an exceptional experience for me.
Impact Hub is a wonderful, crazy, lively place, and in a given day neither staff nor members know exactly what will happen. A pair of men’s brown wing tip shoes in the printer bar cabinet? Hub Mystery #244. A blow up doll on a high kitchen shelf? Hub Mystery #64. What happened to the 1st floor clock? Hub Mystery # 620. Who is this guy David Fleming who has never been a member yet receives large gift boxes from distilleries? Hub Mystery #125.
Do any of us really understand what creates the magic in our shared space and community? That’s the best Hub Mystery of all.
With love and gratitude