Meet the Cohere Coworking Members: Felix Wong

The Cohere coworking blog continues this week with a series written by Coherians ABOUT Coherians. We talk about their pastimes, specialties, why they joined a coworking space, their favorite places in Fort Collins and what keeps them attached to Cohere.

Felix Wong

Mechanical Engineering Consultant

http://felixwong.com

photo by Adam Tow

Felix lost his neck in Missouri.

A dozen or so people a year get Shemer’s Neck, a condition unique to ultra-distance cycling. It involves the complete failure of all the postural muscles of the neck, making it impossible to keep your head upright. Especially on a bike.

The timing wasn’t the greatest. He was riding his bike from Oregon to Virginia in the second annual Trans Am Bike Race and rode the last thousand miles or so that way.

“That was problematic because I couldn’t see the road, I couldn’t turn my head around,” he recalls. “Eventually I had to raise my aero bars from horizontal to vertical just so I could be resting my hands on top of the aero bars like a cruiser bike. And that way I was able to sit up enough that I could make out the road in front of me enough to continue on, but that introduced a whole host of other problems.”

He rode the last 24 hours straight with his right hand on top of the aero bars and his left hand propping up his head. “That was about the only way I could see the road safely.”

Citing concerns about personal safety, he took a cab five miles to his hotel after riding his bike 4,200 miles. The journey took him just under 24 days.

Shermer's Neck

Felix with Shermer’s Neck

So what’s this guy’s back story, anyway?

Felix, a California native, studied Mechanical Engineering at Stanford, lived in Silicon Valley for 12 years and moved to Fort Collins in 2005. Like Becca, he had set up a spreadsheet of different prospective cities to move to and settled on Fort Collins.

“I had actually been researching close to three dozen places in the U.S. and a few places in Canada over a period of four years. And when I decided to pull the trigger and move somewhere else from Silicon Valley then I went to visit all of them and ultimately picked fort Collins.”

Felix does mechanical design for sheet and machine metal products as well as finite element analysis, which is a numerical method to optimize parts for either strength or weight and to predict failure.

What’s something you’ve been involved with from conceptualization to fruition that you thought was really cool?

“I designed, for an amusement park in California,* one of the first automatic ticketing machines. So basically, like an ATM machine for tickets. This was about 15 or 16 years ago and that was actually kind of a new thing back then….

“That’s something I designed from scratch for a startup company in California that I don’t think is around anymore.”

* Six Flags

How did you stumble across Cohere?

Felix learned about Cohere from a former coworking member and joined last August. Coffee shops weren’t working out for him due to noise and bandwidth.

“This was before I went off to Spain and I had a number of deadlines that I had to meet before going there and I wanted to be as efficient and productive as possible with a minimal amount of distractions.” Cat, refrigerator, workout equipment.

What’s an unusual talent that you have?

“I am extremely talented in sleeping. I can sleep in any position or almost any situation, for example, … during races such as the Trans Am Bike Race or the Tour Divide I’ve slept in basically the weeds or behind guard rails or under picnic tables. It’s never been a problem.”

This fascinates me. I’ve had insomnia for as long as I can remember and a drippy faucet, a radiator or simple brain chemistry can keep me awake for hours.

“My greatest passion of my life has been ultra-distance cycling. I think a couple things I’m the proudest of is one, being one of the original eight finishers of a bike race called the Tour Divide which is considered the granddaddy of all ultra-distance self-supported bicycle races in the world. It’s a race that goes from Banff in Alberta Canada all the way down to the Mexico border with New Mexico. The year I did 2008 was the inaugural year … it was documented by a movie called Ride the Divide.”

Eight of seventeen people who began that race finished, Felix in sixth.

Felix also has a lifetime goal of running a marathon in every state. He has 17 to go.

So my self-esteem just took a slight dip.

Shermer's Neck Felix Wong Trans Am Bike Race

Felix with Shermer’s Neck

What is your favorite walkable restaurant?

“I really like Tasty Harmony even though I’m a certified omnivore and all of their food is either vegetarian or vegan but I really like how all of their food locally sourced, organic, it’s healthy and it’s really tasty also.”

Second to the people, Felix says his favorite thing about Cohere is the location.

“I like that it’s down in Old Town … plus it is walkable to a lot of different restaurants in town. I also have other meetings nearby. For example, every Tuesday morning including this morning I have a French meetup where I get together with people having conversations in French. Or Monday evenings I have a Spanish conversation meetup which actually some Coherians come to.”

Felix is also studying Mandarin and can order food in Portuguese.

What kind of music are you in to?

“I’ve been really into music from this Spanish artist named Pablo Alborán. I found him on Spotify and just went into a big Spanish music phase after being in Spain for six weeks late last year.”

What makes a good Coherian?

“Someone who brings in pastries every now and then. (laughs)

“Someone who brings in a positive vibe, a positive energy and just makes the workplace more pleasant.”

Read Felix’s blog about Shermer’s Neck here.

Interested in trying out Cohere? Snag a free day pass and visit us!

Or drop in for the free coworking day during Fort Collins Startup Week.

Meet the Cohere Coworking Members: Gina Hooten

The Cohere coworking blog continues this week with a series written by Coherians ABOUT Coherians. We talk about their pastimes, specialties, why they joined a coworking space, their favorite places in Fort Collins and what keeps them attached to Cohere.

Gina Hooten

Financial Analysis & Cost Accounting Manager
• University of Utah

Gina has been remote working since 2010, when she first moved to Fort Collins. She mentioned to a friend at one point that working from home was driving her mad (an experience I’m guessing at least two-thirds of Coherians have had), and her friend mentioned coworking spaces. And guess who was super close to home and, coincidentally, awesome? You guessed it: Galvanize.

Just kidding, it was Cohere.

Gina, who does cost accounting for Utah State University, lived with her family in Logan, UT, Colombia, MO and Manhattan, KS prior to moving here. I occasionally glimpse at some project she’s working on in Excel and feel completely illiterate despite having an MBA.

In response to the question, “What’s your favorite place you have ever lived?” Gina basically told me: (D) All of the above.

“Fort Collins has the best beer, Logan had the best skiing, Missouri had the best pizza, Manhattan had the best football.”

I like this because, (a) It’s fashionable to disparage my home state, Kansas, but it gets old. I’m glad when people who live in great places like Fort Collins or Moab look back on life in Kansas and say, “That was great, too!” (b) Not that many people claim to have been equally happy living in several places so different from one another. Gina’s response reflects something I already know, which is that she’s a very positive person.

What makes Cohere unique?

“I think this place is unique because it’s funky and it’s full of entrepreneurs and creative types. So I’m an accountant, right? I come in here and I’m surrounded by people doing weird things. In my life I work with spreadsheets and most of the people in here are not. It has kind of a hippy vibe to me, just very earthy, and that’s one of the things I like about it the most. It’s very genuine and relaxed.”

Favorite hobbies:

Knitting, cross country and downhill skiing, hiking and reading (especially science fiction). Patricia Briggs, Gina’s favorite author, is her self-professed guilty pleasure.

Do you have any pet peeves?

“I have trouble listening to people eat. It bothers me a lot (laughs). Other than that, I’m pretty reasonable, I think.”

What’s your favorite walkable restaurant?

Pickle Barrel. It’s like the happiest place on the planet. I love it – It’s fantastic. And then Scrumpy’s is also very good. They’re fantastic. Their BLTC is the best, with guacamole instead of mayo, that’s where it’s at.”

What makes a good Coherian?

“I would say someone who likes to laugh, because I think that’s what we like to do here. It really makes this place so wonderful, that we crack each other up. That’s one of the reasons I like Cohere, is to laugh during the workday. Because otherwise there’s no point.”

Favorite books:

“Right now, Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books are probably my favorite. She writes one book a year and I re-read all the ones before it before I read the new one. Picking up and reading a new book is sometimes like meeting new people, and sometimes it’s hard to do that. So I just keep reading books that I’ve read over and over again.”

Favorite movie:

Big Lebowski. “That’s our Christmas movie and we watch it every year.”

In case you, like me, just realized you’re about 15 years overdue for Lebowski fix, you may have to dig out the VCR because it’s not on Netflix. Don’t get it mixed up with the fax machine sitting in your parents’ basement.

Go-to work music: Xavier Rudd

“Interested in trying out Cohere? Snag a free day pass and visit us!”

John Garvey is a Coherian, business journalist and marketing copywriter. Browse his portfolio here. Do it.

 

Meet the Cohere Coworking Members: Drew MacPherson

The Cohere coworking blog continues this week with a series written by Coherians ABOUT Coherians. We talk about their pastimes, specialties, why they joined a coworking space, their favorite places in Fort Collins and what keeps them attached to Cohere.

Drew MacPherson

Research Manager

So coworkers, I finally figured out who’s behind all the weird new internet domains like .social, .today, .restaurant, .llc and even .rip (for Rest in Peace). It’s Drew.

Drew works for Donuts Inc, which manages the world’s largest portfolio of top level domains (TLDs).  Urban Dictionary helpfully defines TLDs as “the part of the url that comes after the final period and before the slash.” That’s pretty important to a lot of organizations and people managing their digital identities. For coworking, there isn’t a “.cowork” yet, but if you have about $225,000 burning a hole in your pocket, now you know who to talk to.

The most outlandish and funny domain that Drew ever encountered at work (TLD) was bong.rip. I know you’re disappointed you didn’t think of it first, but something else will come around.

Drew moved here in late 2016, three months prior to his son’s birth. He seems like he has his crap together a lot more than I ever remember feeling when my son was barely one year old.

“We came from Seattle, which I will take sunny and frigid cold over the winter weather there which, literally the forecast now is high of 43, low of 37, rain. Every day.”

Drew lived in Seoul, S. Korea for two years teaching English. Since that time, he’s lived in all the hipster places: a couple years in Austin, a fairly long stint in Seattle, and now Fort Collins.

What’s your favorite walkable restaurant?

“I’m definitely partial to Choice City, despite the insane waits some days. Their sandwiches are just super-delicious and I’ve definitely indulged in a sandwich and a pint on a Friday for lunch when I know I don’t have a lot of work to do.”

What’s makes Cohere special to you?

“Certainly the people are a big part of it. I’ve enjoyed meeting everyone that I have here and had some great funny conversations, some serious conversations.

“I do love the building itself. I mean, this building has soul and a bit of character and I know so many other spaces have kind of an office feel. So it’s really a cozy and comfortable place to come.”

Have you ever eaten a Puffin?

“I have not gotten to experience eating puffin – I consider this to be something missing from my life.”

Favorite pastime

“Honestly just walking. I’ve had a dog for ten years and made a commitment to walking it morning and evening. I’d probably, if I didn’t have to work, spend so much of my day walking. It’s simple but it’s wonderful.”

Favorite song

Sunday Morning Coming Down” (the Johnny Cash version)

Honorable mentions:

“These Days,” by Nicco is one of my favorites, my wife and I. She kind of introduced me to it and we had it as our procession song at the wedding. “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” is another favorite, as is “My Proud Mountains” by Townes Van Zandt.

Long live Townes Van Zandt!

“Interested in trying out Cohere? Snag a free day pass and visit us!”

My home is Colorado
With their proud mountains tall
Where the rivers like gypsies
Down her black canyons fall
I’m a long, long way from Denver
With a long way to go
So lend an ear to my singing
‘Cause I’ll be back no more

  • Townes Van Zandt

John Garvey is a Cohere member, business journalist and marketing copywriter. You can see his work on his crappy beta website here. Stay posted for John’s GoFundMe campaign to raise $250,000 for a .garvey top level domain.

Meet Cohere Coworking Member Tavia Mirassou-Wolf

The Cohere coworking blog continues this week with a series written by Coherians ABOUT Coherians. We talk about their pastimes, specialties, why they joined a coworking space, their favorite places in Fort Collins and what keeps them attached to Cohere.

Tavia Mirassou-Wolf

Communications and Development Manager

Sustainable Schools International

Tavia was most recently in her home state last September to run the Oregon Coast Rainshadow 50K. Coincidentally, her wedding reception was the following day.

Typical.

While that was Tavia’s first ultramarathon, she’s done several triathlons and other endurance races.

“It’s definitely one of my biggest pastimes. I spend a lot of time exercising.”

Tavia’s trademark hair has been purple, pink and (currently) magenta in the past year.

“I’ve always liked to have a brighter color, because you only live once. You might as well have some fun.”

Tavia has a Master’s in Public Health with a focus on global health and health disparities. She has more nonprofit experience than you can shake a stick at. That includes working as a health educator and support group coordinator for individuals with HIV/AIDS, English as a second language and reading tutor for low-income kids, nonprofit development aid focused on education for foster children, and an internship in Uganda evaluating a mental health facilitator program.

“I’ve been working in nonprofits basically ever since I can remember.”

Tavia currently works for Sustainable Schools International (SSI), which focuses on sustainable education for rural economic development in Cambodia.

Summarize what you do with SSI

“I do communications and development so I do all the communications for Sustainable Schools International including social media, monthly newsletters, communicating with donors—anything that has to do with communications, I do it. And then I’m also the manager of development, which is basically fundraising. So I organize and implement all our fundraising appeals and then come up with strategies to gain more funding through grants and foundations and expanding our donor base—things like that.”

What’s your favorite walkable restaurant?

Jax happy hour is the best. Happy hour’s awesome because you can get shrimp for five dollars and their drinks are really good, and so are their truffle fried potatoes!”

What makes Cohere unique?

Tavia began coworking at Cohere one day a week, alternating between our digs and another coworking space. With regard to the other place, “I didn’t feel like there was a huge sense of community. … Their business model was more on education and classes for digital media and then private offices. So they had a coworking space but I don’t really feel like there was a sense of community.

“I feel like here it’s mostly based around community and co-working and I feel like people here share their lives a lot and it’s not just working, which is really cool.”

What makes a good Coherian?

“I think a good Coherian is someone who’s willing to be open and share and help each other and also someone who can receive help.”

What’s a weird talent or something else unusual about you that not a lot of people know?

“I don’t really have any interesting, pointless talents, but I do have nine toes.”

What keeps you grounded?

“One of the major things that keeps me sane is exercising. When I don’t exercise I’m a crazy person. … So that kinda keeps me sane, and then my husband Kirby keeps me sane too. He listens to me when I’m crazy and that’s helpful.”

Do you have a personal mantra?

“You know I haven’t had one for a really long time. I should get a new one, but it used to be ‘Don’t let the sun go down while you’re still angry.’ So I always thought that was a good thing to live your life by. Don’t stay angry too long because you never know what’s gonna happen.”

Favorite book?

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Favorite movie?

Fight Club

Mellow.

Interested in trying out Cohere? Snag a free day pass and visit us!

John Garvey is a Cohere member, business journalist and marketing copywriter. Browse his portfolio here.

Meet the Cohere Coworking Members: Mark Nielsen

The Cohere coworking blog continues this week with a series written by Coherians ABOUT Coherians. We talk about their pastimes, specialties, why they joined a coworking space, their favorite places in Fort Collins and what keeps them attached to Cohere.

Mark Nielsen

Science Education Program Officer Recovering Research Scientist

An Evergreen native, Mark recently moved back to Colorado after a stint in Corvallis, Oregon (where he got a Ph.D. in oceanography), Boston, and D.C. He came back to be near his family and to enjoy the Colorado lifestyle, which as you may have noticed, does not suck.

Mark’s science education app, EarthViewer, has been downloaded 2 ½ million times. It’s available for IOS, Android and as a web app. EarthViewer is free, it’s got a 4+ star rating in the App Store and it provides a mountain of information on the geological history of the earth. Want to know what Indonesia looked like a billion years ago? Try it out.

A Science Education Program Officer, Mark produces educational materials for science classrooms. Among other things, he designs apps and works on documentary films. With regard to documentaries, he’s basically the idea and content manager. When you’re working with scientists that sometimes means being a jargon filter. It also means fact-checking.

What’s your favorite documentary film that you’ve been involved in?

The Farthest. It’s about the grand tour of the Voyager spacecrafts. On that one, I was sort of a behind the scenes fact checker. I just think it’s an amazing film because the science in it is truly awe-inspiring and incredible when you think about it. The Voyager spacecraft is the only spacecraft that’s left the solar system, so it’s the furthest thing that humans have ever sent out there. This artifact out there will go for billions of years and eventually that will be all that’s left of humankind—a little spacecraft that was launched 40 years ago.

So telling that story was truly incredible.

Trailer: The Farthest: Voyager in Space

What’s your favorite walkable restaurant?

La Luz. I go for the burritos. I love burritos, and it’s odd that I would walk that far since there are like 40 restaurants along the way, but I do.

For coffee, I go for Mugs.

What’s a quirky talent that you have?

I can move my chin without the rest of my face. I used to be able to actually grab a pencil with it. I think that might be my only talent.

John: I can attest to this weird and highly-amusing gift. I’m sure you have other talents, Mark, but if that’s your only quirky talent than it’s good enough for me.)

What’s something we don’t know about you?

I was actually born in Australia and traveled around the world until I was 18 months old. I don’t remember any of it, but I have a deep sense of wanderlust now.

Mark’s dad was an exploration geologist whose work took them to Africa, New Guinea, Bali and elsewhere. I felt stupid for not knowing where Bali was until I looked it up and realized it’s smaller than the park I walk my kids to. Anyway, back to Mark …

Mark: Danish was my first language. I was bilingual from the start but mostly Danish was spoken in the home.

I’m also addicted to karaoke.

What makes Cohere unique?

What makes Cohere special is the community, which is a bit cliché. I think we all say that. But a Coherian has to be a willing participant in that community. That’s what makes coming to work fun for me.

What’s your favorite thing about the physical space?

That’s tough. I’m gonna go with the overall structure. There’s not one big room. You have the main work area, you’ve got the kitchen, the living area, the small conference room, the large conference room—I’ve used all of them. I like all the different options, the variety, and I don’t have a favorite.

Let’s stay on the topic of favorites.

  • Favorite pastime: Hockey. And Mark will totally check you if provoked so if you’re gonna act like a tool make sure you’re wearing hockey pads.
  • Favorite song: “Comfortably Numb,” by Pink Floyd
  • Favorite book: Whatever I’m reading at the moment—I love to read. If I don’t like the first 50 pages I just move on to something else, but I get really into books so after the first 50 pages I have to read all night.

Currently reading: Waking Gods, by Sylvain Neuvel.

(I guess with a name like that it’s only natural to become a science fiction author.)

Interested in trying out Cohere? Snag a free day pass and visit us!

John Garvey is a Cohere member, business journalist and marketing copywriter. You can see his portfolio here

Meet the Cohere Coworking Members: Chrysta Bairre

The Cohere coworking blog continues this week with a series written by Coherians ABOUT Coherians. We talk about their pastimes, specialties, why they joined a coworking space, their favorite places in Fort Collins and what keeps them attached to Cohere.

Chrysta Bairre

Career Coach • Speaker • Author

www.liveandlovework.com

Chrysta came to Fort Collins from the Denver area in 2003 rather than relocating to the East Coast with the company she was working for (Good call). “For me, coming to Fort Collins was a clean slate that felt really good,” she recently told me.

“I had worked at a staffing agency in Denver and I had the inside scoop on a lot of companies that were hiring there. It made me think that I didn’t want to work for them.”

(That makes me think of some bullets I could have dodged.…)

One of the catalysts for Chrysta’s business was her work/life balance blog which started drawing a lot of attention five or six years ago.

“I was finding that more and more people were coming to me for advice and really valued my counsel, and I was happy to give it. And I had people tell me ‘You should do this for a living.” I think the first time someone said that to me, I was like, ‘Do what? I don’t understand.’ I really didn’t see how that would work or what it would look like.”

By and by, that idea took shape, Chrysta received her career coaching certification and a company was born. She helps people get un-stuck in their careers, increase their influence, earn more and, for business owners, get more clients.

Although Chrysta has a personal office below our shared workspace, she spends a lot of time among us coworkers. She’s kind of a mover and shaker, always planning workshops and events including her women’s networking and leadership Meetup She Leads.

What’s something you find especially rewarding about your work?

What I find most rewarding about my work is when someone that I’ve been working with, or someone that’s just come to a workshop or speech I’ve given, is able to achieve one of their goals because of something that we’ve worked on together.

Looking at examples of people in my life and how I’ve helped them achieve more in their lives has always been a source of great reward for me.

What’s a quirky talent of yours?

I can plug my nose with my upper lip—built in nose plug! I thought everyone could do this and I brought it up to a group of my friends and realized that there was no one in the room other than me that could.

What’s your favorite walkable neighborhood restaurant or shop?

I for sure love to go to Avo’s (Avogadro’s Number) for Tempeh Tuesday because their tempeh burgers are the best, and Ace Hardware is a lot of fun. There’s all this kind of weird stuff in there that’s kind of cool.

… I mean there’s helpful stuff too. (It’s a hardware store.)

What makes Cohere unique?

What I love most about Cohere is the community that’s been built around the members. I love that in the living room there’s this nature painting that has a UFO in it. I feel that that painting is representative of what kind of community Cohere is and of its members.

For the most part, I think we’re all a little bit oddballs. We’re pretty mainstream, but we all have our little quirks and we come together in our quirks and we create this beautiful quirkiness. And that’s what I love about Cohere—it’s that element of uniqueness and comfort with just being whoever you are.

Yeah, that was the weirdest picnic I’ve ever been to.

I also feel like Angel’s a visionary in many ways and I like how she’s always doing something to improve the community and the space. There’s little improvements happening all the time. … She’s always finding ways to create a space that’s more comfortable, that’s better, more progressive.

What makes a good Coherian?

I think it goes back to that quirkiness. Most of us are creative in some form or another, so creativity, but also a willingness to show up authentically, even if that means being a little bit weird. Not being weird on purpose, you know, but…

John: Like Fort Collins weird as opposed to Boulder weird.

Chrysta: Yeah, right? But I also think people that care about the community, who want to be part of it and engage with people and make connections.

You want to spend time with people that are quirky and fun but also genuine and heartfelt. I feel like that’s something that I think every member I know here has in spades.

What’s your favorite pastime?

I have so many … I’m actually am a huge nerd, so in general being nerdy about anything that I’m really into, whether it’s a certain musician or band, science fiction, horror movies. I like to be around my nerdy peeps, and I like to go places where I can find my nerdy peeps.

I have a coloring book collection that I’ve been working on since my teens and I haven’t counted in a while but I probably have more than sixty. Other people are invited to color in my coloring books to—I just have one rule that they sign and date it.

Chrysta was ahead of the curve on that one.

Interested in trying out Cohere? Snag a free day pass and visit us!

Meet the Cohere Coworking Members: Dave Berndt, MD

This week we’re continuing with a new series on this Cohere coworking blog. It’s written by Coherians ABOUT Coherians. We talk about their pastimes, expertise, why they joined a coworking space, their favorite places in Fort Collins and what keeps them attached to Cohere.

dave berndt

Dave Berndt

Physician and Healthcare Consultant

Dave, who we only recently discovered is an M.D., came to Fort Collins from Bozeman 2 ½ years ago. Before joining Cohere, he was a Staff Physician at CSU. Of historical note (this will sound more dramatic than it actually is) he cured my Schistosomiasis after I was exposed to it in Malawi. So I’m not saying you should go romping around barefoot in Africa, but if you do, he’s the one to talk to.

Context is a funny thing. I worked with Dave for a couple months before the recognition set in because I had never seen him outside of a healthcare facility. Nobody at Cohere knew he was a physician until last month, which made me wonder what other secrets he’s holding on to. I sat down with him yesterday to find out.

What brought you to Fort Collins?

Super long Montana winters, and feeling that it was a little too remote from civilization.

What do you do, anyway?

My job comes under the category of Utilization Review. That essentially means assessing either proposed or already completed medical care, along the whole spectrum of medicine, for what’s called medical necessity. That’s basically asking: Is that care supported by adequate scientific evidence and is it cost-effective?

There’s a lot of fraud, waste and abuse that occurs out in the healthcare world that contributes to the crazy high prices, of which my position is specifically meant to prevent. That’s the short and dirty of it.

What makes Cohere unique?

First, I love it here. It’s certainly unique to me because I’ve never been in a remote working position. I came here primarily for social reasons to not work alone in the corner. And I love the diversity of different types of coworkers that I meet. I learn things about all different fields. People are relaxed, super friendly, good senses of humor and can take work lightly. But if there needs to be a solid productivity period, there’s no problem achieving that either.

What’s your favorite walkable restaurant or cafe?

I’m going to risk being a rogue here and say I like Harbinger and Mugs equally for coffee. Then for a healthy lunch, there’s Revolution (Market) for salads. For non-salad lunch, Damn Good Tacos. They’re really amazing.

Those are the biggies.

What makes a good Coherian?

I think someone who’s fun, relatively relaxed and who can not take life too seriously but also be a responsible worker.

What’s something we don’t know about you?

I can crack my nose super loud.

Crack! Clacrack-clack! (Dave demo’d this for me and he wasn’t lying. It’s weird.)

What’s your favorite pastime?

I’m a sporty kind of guy so I really like trail running, I play a lot of tennis, and I’m a fly fisherman as well. I love fly fishing.

(John: I am admittedly jealous when I think of going on a fly fishing trip right now.)

Dave: You can get completely engrossed in your surroundings – bugs are hatching, fish meeting… It’s neat.

Interested in trying out Cohere? Snag a free day pass and visit us!

Meet the Cohere Coworking Members: Becca Verna

We’ve started a new series on this Cohere coworking blog. It’s written by Coherians ABOUT Coherians. We talk about their expertise, why they joined a coworking space, their favorite places in Fort Collins and what keeps them attached to Cohere.

Becca Verna

Graphic Designer and Content Writer

B.V. Style Shop

www.beccaverna.com

John: If you’re a remote worker or freelancer like me, you’ve thought at some point about throwing a dart at a map and uprooting yourself. Admit it. It sounds fun, but if you actually do it, I hope you end up in a town like Fort Collins. Becca didn’t get here by dumb luck.

Becca: “Coming here was strictly an elective move on my husband’s and my part,” Becca recently told me. “We had put together an extensive spreadsheet – which I’ve found out I’m not the only Coherian to have – with a whole analysis of prospective places to live. Fort Collins was on that spreadsheet and after a visit here we decided to make the move.”

Becca was lured here from Phoenix in late 2014 by many of the things we all love about the town: thoughtful and neighborly people, tons of sunshine, and an amazing social and recreational culture. Becca, who is known for being super collaborative and positive, worked from home for the better part of two years after the move. (We seriously don’t know how!) Teaching dance helped her fill that social gap. (The dance community here, while not quite on the “Bikes, Beer and Bluegrass” pedestal, is pretty on point.)

Becca, a freelancer, can do practically all things creative: web and logo design, branding, graphic design, content writing and curriculum design. Here’s more about her:

What brought you to Cohere?

Last February, I saw a Startup Week panel Angel was on called “How Coworking Can Save You from Destitution.” I’d already been thinking about going to a coworking space, so I went to that talk. I tried the free coworking day at all the different spaces, which was part of the free Startup Week offering. When I visited Cohere I just felt more at ease being here. It just seemed like a good fit.

Any surprises?

I think there’s a new surprise every day, just in getting to know the people here. I’ve enjoyed that process of learning new things about people, meeting new people as they join, meeting members that have been here that I just haven’t overlapped with, but when I do, it’s like meeting a new person again. It just feels like there’s a new good surprise every day.

What’s your favorite walkable restaurant/haunt?

Hmm. It’s gonna have to be Revolution Market, just because it’s my go-to for a quick sandwich or salad and they serve quality food at good prices. I also love that I can walk there—although I did just discover the Lost Cajun, which is fabulous.

What makes a good Coherian?

I think what makes a good Coherian is someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. You need to be open to spontaneous, random conversations and also creative collaborations with other members. If you only get in there to keep your head down and work and not get to know anybody in the community, then you’re missing out on so much of what being a Coherian is.

Interested in trying out Cohere? Snag a free day pass and visit us!

A Maximum Effort Clear Dry Erase Board for Coworking Spaces

I needed a new whiteboard for our revitalized ConferEssence room. A whiteboard that was more decoration than utility but still did its job when required. All whiteboards in the whole universe are literally the worst looking things ever or cost many hundreds of dollars.

Most of the time I’m happy to click three times on Amazon Prime and have what I need delivered to Cohere’s coworking doorstep. Other times, I get SUPER frustrated at how corporate everything looks and then do something dumb like believe I can DIY it for 1/8 the price in a week. This project spanned 4? weeks or more. I don’t know. After the 4th trip to different hardware stores AFTER I researched all the clear board paints like IdeaPaint, ReMARKable and DrawIt I really had to lean in to get this board done.

Special shoutout to my friend Meagan L. who turned me on to Writeyboard’s clear dry erase STICKERS. I could dispense with the panic of trying to paint a surface with clear gloppy paint or I could trick a member of Cohere into helping me apply a sticker. Always choose trickery. Always.

Supply list:

  • 4’x8′ 3/8″ birch veneer plywood cut down by Home Depot staff to 4’x6′
  • Borrowed Ford Explorer from mother-in-law to transport wood
  • A quart of the wrong kind of primer
  • A quart of Zinsser brand peel stop clear primer
  • A package of the wrong kind of sanding blocks
  • Power sander and 220 grit sand paper
  • 4’x6′ Writeyboard clear dry erase sticker
  • Blue tape
  • A willing member to help you
  • Reclaimed barn wood (it was ridiculously expensive)
  • A miter saw you barely remember how to use
  • Nails, screws, drywall anchors, metal frame hanging sets, tape measure, pen, you mom to help you do everything
  • Eufy LED copper light string

Total Cost: $200 once I return everything I didn’t need

All told, it turned out awesome and I REALLY love it. This project is best completed over a weekend rather than piece-mealing it bit by bit like I did.

Want help deciding which DIY Coworking projects are worth it? Join my Ultimate Coworking Launch Sequence Cohort Group!

A Guide to Current and Alumni Coherians Speaking at Startup Week Fort Collins

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Members of coworking spaces love to support their fellow members in their endeavors. Here’s a cheat sheet to ALL the Cohere members, current and past, who are speaking at Fort Collins Startup Week. Don’t waste another day working from home. Fo(co)works has put together free coworking every day of Startup Week so you can try all of the Fort Collins Coworking Spaces.

MONDAY

How Coworking Can Save You From Destitution (Angel Kwiatkowski, Julie Sutter, Current Members of Cohere)

In a world where you can work from anywhere, why cowork? Hear from members of four Fort Collins coworking spaces about how being a part of a coworking community can supercharge your skills, connections and success as a solopreneur, freelancer or non-profit.
Moderator: Angel Kwiatkowski, Founder, fo(co)works (Fort Collins Coworking Alliance).
Julie Sutter (Cohere)
Aaron Todd (Cohere) Only he’ll be stuck in Canada waiting for his work visa to renew :(
Logan Hale (Articulate)
Sara Durnil (The Music District)

FREE Drop-In Coworking at Cohere

Enjoy FREE drop-in coworking each day of Fort Collins Startup Week courtesy of fo(co)works, the Fort Collins’ coworking alliance. If you’ve been coworking-curious, cooped up your your home office or fighting over power outlets at the coffee shop, this FREE event is for you to try out all the amazing coworking communities. To attend, simply show up at the space you would like to visit on their free day. You can cowork for a few minutes between sessions or up to the full day.
• Monday 9a-4p: Cohere at 418 South Howes Street

2015-06-26 17.05.52-1 (1)TUESDAY

Getting Started with Your Startup (Ariana Friedlander, Recent Graduate of Cohere)

Wish you felt smarter about starting your own startup? And had some quick start tips & tricks to get there? We’ll walk you through a business model canvas quick start… You’ll leave this session knowing just what you need to tackle, next —  to create or scale your own startup!

Endurance is the Price Tag of Achievement (Kristin Mastre, Alumnae of Cohere)

Startup life is all about tenacity. Sometimes your plans may become obsolete as society (or technology) evolves. Sometimes the community doesn’t hold as much value in your product as they once did before. And sometimes the toll of startup life almost kills you. I’ve been there. Most (sane) people throw in the towel and quit when the going gets tough, and I’ve found that “fail fast” doesn’t always work in Fort Collins. Entrepreneurs generally aren’t sane nor do they quit easily. I’ll share how our foray into market research got us ready for a pivot and how burnout led to new business perspective.

Sourcing and Valuing Local Marketing Creative (Julie Sutter, Current Member of Cohere)

How do you find the talent located in your own back yard? What is your true cost in sourcing your photos, video,written content, web design, logos locally? Hear from local creators and experts about the added benefits of using local firms and artists to fulfill your business marketing and strategic goals.

I’ve Looked at Clouds That Way (Brian Fromme, Alumus of Cohere)

This talk will help entrepreneurs to better understand their own need to learn about cloud technology. Most non-technical people think of the cloud as a place to store data. But, the cloud can be used to make your rapidly-changing business processes more lean. In this talk, you will learn about aspects of cloud technology and how you can utilize it in your startup to grow more quickly without adding headcount.

Startup Music Videos and VR Show and Tell (Shane Zweygardt, Current Member of Cohere)

Join us for an hour of locally produced and directed music videos in the OtterBox Digital Dome Theater.

From Soloprenuer to Multi-Person Business (Nick Armstrong, Mary Merritt, Alumni of Cohere)

Calling all Solopreneurs! This month’s Fort Collins Internet Pros meetup is a collaboration with Fort Collins Startup Week. Look forward to a 45-minute roundtable discussion with local business owners, followed by audience Q&A. Panelists will share their tips and experiences as Solopreneurs—growing their businesses from one-person shops to team-supported enterprises.

Integrating Social Media with WordPress (Jeremy Green, Current Member of Cohere)

Whether you blog, design, code, sell, or anything in between, if you use WordPress then you belong here. Even if your just interested in finding out more about this powerful piece of software, please feel free to join us!

We will be discussing all things WordPress, including themes, plugins, security, blogging, and business uses. There is so much you can do with WordPress. So whether you are just getting started, have mastered the basics, or are a WordPress core developer, we have a place for you!

https://www.meetup.com/Fort-Collins-WordPress-Meetup/events/237558045/

ianclapWEDNESDAY

Access to Capital: Show Me The Money (Ryan Stover, Alumnus of Cohere)

Are you seeking funding for your small business but are unsure of where to begin? With all the options available for small businesses today, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed! The Larimer SBDC and Innosphere are partnering to bring together several types of funding sources and respective experts for you to ask questions and get answers.

THURSDAY

Work-life Balance for Entreprenuers: Staying Happy and Healthy While Building a Business (Chrysta Bairre, Current Cohere Member)

Learn how the 80/20 rule applies to your work and life as we discuss how to build a successful business without sacrificing your health and happiness, including top tips for creating healthy habits, improving productivity, and focusing your efforts on what will get results in your business without burning you out!

Crowdfunding for Today and Tomorrow  (Ryan Stover, Alumnus of Cohere)

Crowdfunding is an ever growing trend to get early stage ideas off the ground. Colorado leaders in the crowdfunding arena let us know where it is today and where its headed. Get the inside scoop on how startups and entrepreneurs are accessing billions of dollars of usable capital through this innovative financing method.

Startup a Music Business (Angel Kwiatkowski)

Starting a business is hard. Starting a music-focused business can be even harder when it comes to tight budgets.  Music businesses must learn to balance their affinity for helping musicians with the reality of the cost of doing business. Come by The Music District to hear from local professionals that have been able to create and sustain music related businesses over the long-term.  Bring your curiosities and questions to learn about music entrepreneurship.

Startup Music Software Stories (John Dawes, Cohere Alumnus, Rob Viola’s Company Vionza, Current Cohere Member)

This panel will feature stories and experiences of music software’s creative leaders.  This is an opportunity to both meet and learn from the folks that make great ideas great.

_MG_6937FRIDAY

How to Self-Publish a Book Without Losing Your Shirt or Soul (Ariana Friedlander, Recent Cohere Graduate)

Ariana will share the story of how she applied Lean Startup Principles to write and self-publish her first book, A Misfit Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Business Your Way so it was profitable within a few weeks of it’s release. She will then challenge attendees to begin re-imagining their idea with a Lean Startup lens and provide insight into how to maintain your soul while steadying yourself for success. This engaging and fun talk is relevant to anyone embarking on a creative endeavor that is entrepreneurial in nature.

Meet the Female Founders (Maria Gregori, Cohere Alumnae)

The Typo That Cost $620 Million (Molly McCowan, Current Cohere Member)
What do NASA, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. government have in common? They’ve all paid the price of a missing hyphen, misplaced comma, or rogue letter.
Hear the true stories of companies that have lost millions of dollars, trashed their reputations, and even gone out of business because of one typo.
In today’s world of instant connection, Autocorrect, and the ubiquitous screenshot, one mistake can spread around the world and take on a life of its own—with just the click of a button.
Learn why it’s worth the time and money to hire a copyeditor or proofreader to look over your company’s written content (including proposals, whitepapers, contracts, blog posts, email newsletters, and marketing collateral) before you click “send.”

Happy Hour Networking for Musicians at Cohere Bandwidth (Angel Kwiatkowski, Tim Massa, Current Cohere Members)

(free beer/drinks)
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