Forgive the step back from e-discovery this week.  It’s been a busy week for Answer Maven.  We have been taking calls about upcoming CLE’s we are teaching, patent infringement and CI research inquiries and not least, the execution of The Seed 2020 event that was held on January 12, 2011 at Workshop, The Creative Workplace.

You can read reviews of the event in a variety of places. I want to use this space to provide insight into the pride I feel every time we have a Seed event.  This group was founded to highlight women and minority owned businesses.  When we held the first event back in November 2009, it was exciting to look around the room and see a diversity of attendees and presenters.  Many of those presenters became partners and colleagues that I work with regularly.  Workshop uses Answer Maven’s social media management services. Carmel Stauffer went from presenter at Seed 2020 events to planner and organizer of the events.  She was the power behind the June 2010 event that highlighted Hispanic businesses.

From a seed of desire to offer a grassroots networking event, prompted by Stephen Arnold’s desire to give back a community has grown.  The participants want to help each other grow their business.  And in the midst of it all friendships and partnerships are being formed.

We learn not only from the formal presentations that are provided at each of these events but from the conversations we have while we network.  I meet people in my community that I would never have known without this framework.  The talents are multitude and the promotions we can offer to the folks involved (Tyra Oldham, Jennifer Fontaine, and Sara Thompson – to name a few) are unique.

Being the chief organizer and logistics manager for these events provides me a great opportunity to reach out and meet people who can teach, coach and help me improve.  The group believes in supporting each other and we want to continue offering opportunities to help women and minority owned businesses grow and develop.  It goes beyond highlighting the business, to offering specific topics to help you run your business.  Marketing, understanding how to use social media and how to improve your SEO are just a few of the topics we’ve touched on.  As the group discusses what they want next, the group will make the next presentations to meet those needs.

This is networking at its best and I’m glad that I’m a part of it.  Although, I must say on the night of the events I miss Keisha!  (Keisha was the original co-organizer.) Miller took on the challenge of bartending and time keeping enthusiastically on Wednesday and it was his first time to attend.  Everyone pitches in to get the jobs done.  That’s more than networking that’s solving.

Constance Ard