Episode 32: Louisville Part 1

Just under 50 business, civic, governmental, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders joined Greater Fort Wayne on a trip to Louisville, KY with the hopes of learning and gaining inspiration in regards to neighborhood development. GFW has been facilitating inner city visit trips around the country for the past few years and believes that we have a lot to learn from Louisville as it relates to where Fort Wayne is today. NeighborLink Executive Director, Andrew Hoffman, was invited on that trip and decided to take Neighboring on the road in an effort to track with a few attendees on why they were going, what they hoped to learn, and what they walked away with. Part 1 covers the intros and anticipated lessons.

Link to Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 31: Kristin Giant

Kristin and Andrew take a stroll through the '05, discussing neighborly awkwardness, finding your place, and the pros and cons of social media connectivity. Kristin and her family made an intentional decision to move into the 46805 zip code and have discovered a community of neighbors that have quickly become their tribe. From buying a home from the original owners to the dozen neighborhood kids that have a permanent kickball court in the middle of their intersection to know your neighbors are watching you always, they have learned the power of being connected to the physical neighbors. Kristin also shares what it means to be "digital neighbors" with people from her past and people she's met along the way that are no longer close physically, but still present opportunities to be neighbors.

Link to The Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 29: Bernadette "Bernie" Becker

Bernadette Baker is our newest employee at NeighborLink and is joining us as an AmeriCorp VISTA. We spend some time talking about what it means to be an AmeriCorp VISTA, her role doing research in the neighborhoods we're working with, and some initial learnings from our "What Makes a Healthy Neighborhood, Healthy" research project. Bernadette's life experiences, passion for learning, and her desire to think through the economic factors of community development all contribute to why she chose to join us at NeighborLink essentially as a full-time volunteer for an entire year. Look through this channel to learn more about what she's up to as she has a weekly "vlog" we're producing.

Link to The Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 30: Denise Andorfer

Homelessness and poverty can seem like issues that are far removed; the sort of problems that affect other kinds of people, but certainly not us. On this week's Neighboring, Denise of Vincent Village describes a difficult reality—that some of the people who rely on their services have lived prosperous, hard-earned lives, only to lose everything to circumstances outside their control. It is a stark reminder that we do not own our fate, and that anyone could find themselves needing a hand. Join us to learn more about Vincent Village, and the support they provide to our neighbors in need.

Link to The Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Neighboring Check-In With Andrew

This is a special check-in addition of Neighboring due to me having surgery on a vocal cord and not being able to speak for a week. I give some quick updates on some projects, where we are at with Neighboring, and invite you to join us for our Be A Good Neighbor Week at NeighborLink. I'll be back in a couple of weeks with new episodes.

Link to The Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 27: Sweetwater Neighborhood

Sweetwater, the No. 1 online retailer of music instruments and pro audio gear, experienced another record-setting year in terms of sales growth and job creation in 2018. They added just over 400 employees to go over 1,500 employees in 2018. With that type of growth, organizational culture is vital to manage that growth in a healthy way. Nate Edwards and Nate Burkhardt, two members of the sales team, share about how Sweetwater has been using a "neighborhood" concept for over 15 years to structure their growing team into smaller groups for relational connectivity and co-worker support. Caring for people has been a foundational ethos of Sweetwater since Chuck Surack started the company from a VW bus. It’s a main reason for extremely high employee retention and attraction to NE Indiana. Listen to hear how neighboring in the workplace can make all the difference.

Link to Their Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 26: Adventure Widely

Jason Eicholtz and his daughter, Kylie, haven’t let much stop them from enjoying the adventures they’re seeking for the past five years. Many of the things they find themselves doing are far beyond the comfort level of most parent/kid relationships, such as rock climbing, road cycling, and backpacking. Many of us let the logistics, lack of experience, kids attitudes, or the belief that our kids aren’t ready or old enough keep us from choosing new or challenging experiences. Jason shares how to overcome those fears, how to approach experiences at a kid friendly level, and the positive impacts that he’s seen on his daughter and their relationship. Jason shows us that our kids are more ready than we think they are, and can teach us a few things about being a good neighbor as we journey in the adventure with others.

Link to Their Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.

Jason has his own website and YouTube channel, Adventure Widely. Check it out if you’re interested in learning from them as they explore.


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Episode 25: Volunteer Insights with Jeff & Derrick

Volunteering can be hard, especially when you encounter challenging circumstances or difficult situations when attempting to help neighbors navigating the vulnerabilities of their lives. I invited Jeff Shatto and Derrick Smith who manage and oversee all things projects and volunteers at NL to share a few stories and offer some advice on how to work through those challenging projects. The insights they share are relevant whether you're taking on a NL project or volunteering at a different organization. If we've chosen to volunteer to help someone overcome there crisis or transform their circumstances, we need to be prepared for the challenge that will be for them, but for us as well. With over 15 years of experience, we know that this work is often far more about our own transformation than what we're attempting to transform, which is why we love the NL model because that's what we ultimately want as compassionate or faith-driven people.

Link to Their Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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