Cocktails and Conversation at The City Club
We believe that it was several weeks ago that we received an email inviting us to a "Cocktails and Conversation" get-together on Tuesday, January 31st at 5:30pm at the City Club. We had never heard of a series with that title let alone what it was all about but we decided to attend for the possible networking opportunities. Plus, there would be a short talk by Mr. Dan Coyle, an acclaimed author who wrote "The Talent Code" and "The Little Book of Talent" which leighbureau.com described as "two book that explain how to unlock talent and build skills in any discipline."
We arrived just before 5pm and got to meet Ms. Lisa Vahey and Ms. Cynthia Trancer who founded the organization as a way for educators and school administrators of both private and public schools along with anyone else who is concerned about education, can get together in order to relax, listen to a pertinent speaker, socialize and exchange ideas. They defined themselves as "two buddies who thought this up and made this happen."
The event of that evening was the third occurrence of "Cocktails and Conversation" and the first one to take place at the City Club. It was sponsored by the City Club along with "The New Teacher Project" or TNTP. The first two programs had featured Mr. Andy Calkins of "Next Generation Learning Challenges" and Dr. Ronald Ferguson from the Harvard Kennedy School who launched the "Boston Basics" campaign.
Prior to Mr. Coyle's presentation, both Mr. Dan Moulthrop, CEO of the City Club, and Ms. Ellie Leahy of TNTP spoke for a moment about the organizations that they represented. We were motivated to check out the website for the TNTP and learned that its mission is "to end the injustice of educational inequality by providing excellent teachers to the students who need them most and by advancing policies and practices that ensure effective teaching in every classroom."
Mr. Coyle started off by saying that he was not an "education person" by trade but he wanted to give a "sneak preview" of his upcoming book "The Culture Code" and talked about the characteristics of a great culture (whether it a restaurant, an organization, a school or a family) and asked for our input as well. He asked us to break into groups of 2-3 people and brainstorm. We teamed up with Ms. Vahey's 14 year-old son David and came up with a few ideas. Basically, Mr. Coyle contended that the definitive characteristics of a successful culture include a membership that is not afraid to be vulnerable around each other because the environment is safe and that it has a definite purpose that is constantly emphasized.
At the end of his presentation, someone stepped up and said that Mr. Coyle was shortchanging himself when he said that he was not an educator because he was her daughter's "power of the pen" coach and under his tutelage, the young woman received a scholarship to Wooster.
As far as networking, we met people who came from as far away as Geauga and Lorain and several of them were not too happy with the Executive Orders issued by President Trump regarding entry visas and refugees. One person from Shaker Heights told us that he was very concerned about the impact that this is having on foreign-born students who are worried about the security of their families. He may put together a forum concerning immigration and invited us to come. We told him to just give us the date and we will be there because, taking a cue from Mr. Coyle, we believe that it is not within the purpose of the United States for its government to enact policies that contribute to the vulnerability of its foreign-born residents.
Anyway, we enjoyed the evening very much and told Ms. Vahey and Ms. Trancer to keep us on the email list for their fourth gathering and they gladly agreed to do it.
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.