Our hope with Venture Café is that you join us each week to meet new people, make meaningful connections, learn and develop through the great programming, have a refreshment, and leave feeling inspired to take on new business challenges. We also hope that the experience as a guest in the Café is enjoyable and easy. Creating this into a seamless experience each week is actually quite a feat and could not happen without our amazing staff and tireless volunteers.
It’s amazing to think that Venture Café has only two part-time staff, along with the assistance of a handful of bartenders and about 25 volunteers who help with Café logistics and special projects from time to time. For the last six months, the Café has been stewarded by Renee Lin in the Acting General Manager position. Renee took on the role as a temporary position, to help “hold down the fort” and assist with the search for a permanent GM. Well, Renee did far more than simply holding down the fort. She worked to make Venture Café an even better experience for our guests, to increase the number of events and speakers that we featured, and to initiate a number of special projects. You’ve probably seen Renee bustling around the Café each Thursday, making sure that everything is running smoothly. Her energy and enthusiasm for Venture Café is a gift and we are lucky to have her in this role during a critical time. Thank you, Renee.
When it came to finding the next candidate to fill the role, we were looking for someone who deeply understood the culture of Venture Café, lived the spirit of our Credo and our mission, and who was truly passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship. A difficult task, that’s for sure. However, we are fortunate in that such a person was already a member of the community. I am pleased to announce that taking over at the helm of Venture Café is Chris Myles. Chris originally came into the Café when he returned to the Boston area after a six year trip sailing around the world. Chris was looking for a way to get back into the innovation and start-up community and immediately felt a fit at Venture Café. His attendance at the Café eventually turned into a volunteering role and, now appropriately, into leading the organization. Anyone that knows Chris, knows that his passion and ideas abound and we’re excited for how he will apply that energy to his new role. Congratulations, Chris.
Another piece of exciting news is that Venture Café is working towards officially establishing our organization as a non-profit entity. As a result, Chris’ role will be “Executive Director” as is more common in the nonprofit sector. Along with these changes, we are also looking at what the role of Executive Director of Venture Café means. This may be a role that is a perfect fit for an individual at a certain point in their lives, as they have the time and enthusiasm to dedicate to it, but that they may at some point move on to other projects in their professional lives – and we support that. For that reason, we are considering making this a rotating role.
With Venture Café, we are continuously experimenting, evolving, and iterating, so we will keep you posted on what we learn and where we are headed. Thank you for participating in our experiment. We are always looking for innovative, creative people and ideas to test so stop by and contribute to the future of Venture Cafe.