On Friday, October 18, we sat down with a few of San Luis Obispo’s Doers and Dreamers and discussed the drives behind their individual lives and businesses, the journey that brought them to where they are now, difficulties and challenges they faced along the way, and what their future hopes and dreams contain. We heard from the partners behind Sidecar Cocktail Co., Josh and Lauren Christensen; the travel and outdoor enthusiasts behind Tinker Tin Company, Jaime and Carl Holm; and from Coby Parker-Garcia and Katie Noonan, the entrepreneurs behind El Lugar Pinot Noir and Noonan’s Wine County Designs. Thank you for moderating, Paden Hughes, CEO of Gymnazo!
This event was hosted at San Luis Obispo’s only large, mixed-use event space of its kind, The Penny SLO, in the heart of downtown. The Penny is a passion project of the Holms and the Christensens.
From Dreaming to Doing
This Insight Studio Conversation brought together SLO’s Next Generation of Doers + Dreamers. Katie Noonan, co-owner of El Lugar Pinot Noir and Noonan’s Wine Country Designs, and Lauren Christensen, co-owner of Sidecar Cocktail Co. and The Penny, share their experience of being a Dreamer and executing their ideas as a Doer.
Supporting Doers + Dreamers
When to Grow Your Business
Husband and wife Carl and Jamie Holm got their start in renting vintage travel trailers and their business quickly turned into a budding event rental company. They share when they knew it was time to expand Tinker Tin Company and The Penny. Josh Christensen adds how he knew and what drove him to expanding The Penny and Sidecar Cocktail Co.
Family Owned Business Dynamics
On May 2, 2019, SLO Chamber President/CEO Jim Dantona sat down with the Hourglass Project team; President/CEO, Melissa James and VP of Strategy, Andrew Hackleman. The conversation provided a deeper understanding of what the newly formed coalition is, who the people are behind it, why it is structured the way that it is and how the community can and should get involved. Attendees listened and asked questions while drinking complimentary Malene rosé at the ACI Jet Headquarters in San Luis Obispo.
View photos from the event, here.
An Intro to the Hourglass Project
How the Trip to Denver Sparked a Regional Mindset
Community Involvement with Hourglass
A Silver Lining to Diablo's Closure
Regional Economic Development Opportunities
A History of Agriculture
Nearly 200 attendees enjoyed an insightful dialogue with two guest speakers on the future of work in the era of artificial intelligence on Nov. 16, 2018. Harlan Findley of Google and Dan Weeks, a local entrepreneur working with the Cal Poly Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship & SLO Partners, spoke on how they best see organizations and people adapting in the era of AI and machine learning. Jennifer Porcher of Leonard Group moderated a discussion that touched on how companies can reinvest their financial resources as certain jobs are automated and how organizations need to pivot to training employees on soft skills that machines cannot replace. Weeks spoke more directly to the local economy and his efforts in creating more head-of-household jobs for the large local workforce, while Harlan begged us not to forget about interpersonal skills and empathetic connection even if you must be oceans away and through a computer screen.
View photos from the event, here.
AI In The Workplace | A Google-Eye View
Training To Stay On Top
Training For Tech
Matchmaking In The Workplace
Rapid Change And Older Employees In The Workplace
Top Skills Of The Future Workplace
How To Handle Disruption
Enlightening and inspiring Conversation with David Walker of Firestone Walker Brewing Company on September 11, 2018. Key takeaways included how Firestone Walker Brewing Company is constantly learning how to adapt with the push and pull of remaining local and preserving company culture while growing the business into new markets across the country.
View photos from the event, here.
Inspiration Behind Firestone Walker's Logo
The Story of 805
Innovation for the Future of Firestone Walker
Firestone Walker Staying On Top of the Craft Brew Industry
Firestone Walker Company Culture
Challenges of Firestone Walker
From idea to business
Standing out from the crowd
What is success?
What's in a name?
Nearly 35 years and five eateries in, the commitment to fresh, local fare is stronger than ever, and Robin, Shanny and their son Jai continue to push the envelope of the Central Coast cuisine scene.
Starting Blue Mango Management
Best Business Decision
Worst Business Decision
Advice for Running a Successful Restaurant
Keeping Employees Engaged
Using Local Produce
Reading Yelp Reviews
Giving Back to The Community
Creating A Mission Statement
Number One Reason for Success
Being Five Places At Once
Dreaming of The Restaurant Business
The San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce brought two of the nation’s leading voices on shrinking the gender gap to SLO for an event exploring the business advantages of inclusivity: CEO of GoDaddy, Blake Irving and Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe.
The event was part of Insight Studio, The SLO Chamber’s year-long series designed to elevate businesses by delivering inspiration, learning and development to organizational leaders and employees alike.
As CEO of GoDaddy, Blake Irving transformed the company from one derided for its sexist image to one hailed as a top workplace for women in technology. Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe has redefined universities’ struggles to get women into technology, quadrupling the number of women computer science majors at the renowned STEM-focused school.
Maria Klawe | President of Harvey Mudd College
Blake Irving | CEO of GoDaddy
A technology pioneer for 35+ years, Irving has played a key role in shaping the internet of today through executive roles at Microsoft, Yahoo and GoDaddy. He’s emerged as a champion of women in technology, leading a 180 of the company’s historically sexist image, doubling female hires, naming women to leadership positions and producing the documentary “CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap.
Working Moms Thrive
Ensuring Balanced Compensation
Diversity Makes A Difference
Attracting A Diverse Interest
Resistance To Change
Shifts The Make Everyone Successful
Changing Performance Reviews
Advocating For Wage Equity
Inclusion Is Everyone's Responsibility
Conversation with Bill Swanson
On Tuesday May 24, 2016 Bill Swanson, San Luis Obispo local, Cal Poly alum and former CEO of Raytheon, a major defense contractor, sat down for a conversation with Sandra Duerr, the executive editor of The Tribune.
Swanson talked about putting in domestic partner benefits at Raytheon in 2002, creating an environment of value and respect at a company with 65,000 employees, what he learned about respect from millenials, the advice that he gives to young professionals, and Washington and why he will never serve in public office.
Domestic Partner Benefits
Conversation with Rick Stollmeyer
On Tuesday July 21, 2015 Insight Studio sat down with MindBody CEO and Co-Founder Rick Stollmeyer for an intimate conversation at the tech company’s global headquarters.
Stollmeyer talked with SLO Chamber CEO Ermina Karim about the experience of going public, ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, the initial thrill and the subsequent break issue, as well as company values and what he talks about when he talks about San Luis Obispo with new hires.
Conversation with Entrepreneurial Women
On Tuesday June 30, 2015 Insight Studio hosted three local women for an intimate conversation that touched success, failure, advice, getting started and the unique experience it is to be a female entrepreneur.
Jenny Kompolt, co-founder of Junk Girls , Jasmine McDermott, co-found of Z Living Systems and Kimberly Walker, managing partner of Granada Hotel and Bistro, and creator of Wine Wipes, sat down and talked about failure and rejection, starting out, the importance of working with the community, creating an entrepreneurial hub, giving back, early influences and the best advice they’ve been given during the Insight Studio Conversation with Entrepreneurial Women event at the SLO Museum of Art.