Arlington Entrepreneurs

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Shop Local this Holiday Season

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By all indications, this year is going to be a great one for holiday sales. Perhaps you joined the Black Friday crowds at the nearest mall already, or have blown a paycheck or two on amazon.com. There’s another option, though, one that Arlington really wants you to know about:

That option? Shop right here, in Arlington!

Arlington is fortunate to have scads of great, local shops, theaters and restaurants. All three business districts are going to be hosting a holiday extravaganza this Saturday, December 2, with store discounts and other offers, raffles, snacks and more. Join the fun this Saturday – every business district in Arlington will have something great to offer you.

Want more information? Check out what local businesses in Arlington will have on-hand. But first, be sure to stop by the Whittemore Robbins House in Arlington Center for the Town’s annual First Lights Tree Lighting on Thursday evening, November 30, from 6 – 8 pm.

Then, go to town – literally!

In Arlington Center:

Download (PDF, 1.52MB)


Or, would you prefer East Arlington? No worries! Have a look below:

 

 

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Live in the Heights and it’s just too far? Fear not, we have you covered!

 

 

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A-Town is Hopping in June!

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Featured Beer of the Week at Menotomy Grill and Tavern

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Please join us the evening of Thursday, May 25 for Arlington Entrepreneurs’s first Happy Hour of 2017! Menotomy has great food and an impressive array of potables. We’ll be featuring one each week, until the Happy Hour commences. Stop by, take a break after work. We’ll be waiting, glass and appetizers in hand!

Battle Road Tavern Ale
Maynard, MA

1775 Tavern Ale-Not your average pale ale, this light to medium bodied, dry, unfiltered, unpasteurized ale is hopped with a single varietal. The Slovenian Styrian Golding hops are added throughout the boil with large doses towards the end plus dry hopping. The Styrian aromatics are paired with the Westmalle yeast with its spicy robust character, yielding a complex nose and palate. With North American 2-Row barley malt, a bit of high-dried “Munich-style”, a toasty “Biscuit” malt and a flavorful caramelized “Munich” malt, this “living” ale makes a savory meal enhancer or a fine contemplative pint.

Register today for your seat at the table! Join AE Premium and your admission will be free. Otherwise, we’ll be charging a very reasonable $15.00 per person. Please RSVP so we’ll be able to reserve enough space.

See you at Menotomy!

Member post: Social Media, Politics and Citizen Engagement

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All politics are local, certainly according to AE member Bob Sprague of YourArlington.com, Arlington’s very own online local newspaper. People are becoming more involved in everything from Arlington school issues to national politics. We still have a way to go in terms of engagement at the most local level (did you know there was an election in Arlington just recently?), but social media may a factor that helps encourage more households to participate.

Here’s Bob’s Article from YourArlington:

Rise of local social media driving politics

UPDATED, March 30: In last June’s successful public vote to support three large school efforts, a driving force behind the trifecta was a parent Facebook site.

Social-media artwork.

Now, as the town crawls toward an expected low-turnout Election Day on April 1, social media has expanded the possibilities to inform voters.

Last year’s force — the Arlington School Enrollment Community Group — remains strong, this year providing a fresh platform for Those Who Are Forgotten; that is, candidates for Town Meeting, both those seeking reelection as well as those pushing to be write-ins.

That group, which is nonpartisan, took the valuable step of asking Town Meeting members to submit statements about who they are and where they stand on issues relevant to articles to be discussed starting April 24. Read those statements here >> 

Ballot boost

The group, which has 1,271 members, was initially formed in December 2015 in response to what then seen as an enrollment crisis in Arlington. It provided a landing place for parents and others to express ideas about how to move forward. Idle chatter tended toward a minimum.

Data-rich reports from enrollment subcommittees and full School Committee sessions helped galvanize the group as the town moved to last June’s ballot questions.

Since summer, Arlington’s online communities have widened, as new Facebook groups have cropped up.

Listserv

Of course, the Arlington Email List is the old-timer of local social media, having begun in 1997. Now it has more than 6,000 members. Its usual political dust clouds rise and fall, though as recently as March 29 a post provided evidence that politics is alive and well outside of Town Hall:

“One of the more hotly contested Town Meeting races is taking place in Precinct 15, pitting four progressive candidates against four who are anything but. If you live in Precinct 15, I urge you to vote for Edward Starr, Naomi Greenfield, Beth Ann Friedman, and Rachelle Dobbs for Town Meeting on April 1.

“Their four opponents have lined up in opposition to the Trust Act / Sanctuary Resolution among other progressive causes like funding public schools and alternative energy.”

The post does not say who the “anything but” are. For that, you have to go to Precinct 15 Progressives, an email group that shares their names.

Read the rest of Bob Sprague’s article here.

Did you know you could add your blog feed to your profile page on Arlington Entrepreneurs? That way your connections can read your latest posts. AE will also be posting (or re-posting) community news on an occasional basis.

Exceptional Talent + Good Will = The AE Advisory Board!

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Please welcome Maria Yunis, Carol Costello, Debra Woog and Laura Bergamini as members of the Arlington Entrepreneurs Advisory Board. Our strategic planning capabilities have taken a large leap forward since their arrival, starting with the 2017 Arlington Entrepreneurs Wants and Needs Survey.

The Board came together as the result of an outreach gesture made by AE Founder Margy Rydzynski  during a coffee break last fall. Arlington Entrepreneurs is a large and diverse organization. Margy admitted that it was quite difficult for one person to run it effectively, particularly given her recent bouts with ill health. Margy asked for help and, to her delight and surprise, everyone at the coffee said yes and set up a date for the first meeting.

Since then, the Board has offered expert insights and suggestions, starting with the survey and going on from there. Here’s an introduction to each Board member. Please take a minute to visit their websites and connect with them on Arlington Entrepreneurs:

 

 

laura bergamini

Laura Bergamini

Laura Bergamini. Laura is a native Italian speaker who works as a technical-documents translator between Italian and English. Her multiple language fluency and European background offer some new perspectives on business and business management.

Visit and connect with Laura
Visit Laura’s Website

 

carol costello

Carol Costello

Carol Costello. Carol is a community-builder by trade. She’s managed two co-working offices, one in North Cambridge and the other right here in Arlington, at WorkBar. She was part of a group that helped create an organization for survivors of traumatic brain injuries. Before that she spent over 20 years in sales and marketing for a Fortune 500 company

Visit and connect with Carol on Arlington Entrepreneurs

 

debra woog

Debra Woog

Debra Woog. Debra has worked for nearly two decades as a leadership and career coach. According to Debra, “My communications firm connect2 Corporation teaches women professionals, via speaking, writing and coaching, to connect to and prosper from their brilliance.” Debra is also the founder of the AE group: “Women Entrepreneurs of Arlington.”

Visit and connect with Debra on Arlington Entrepreneurs
Join Women Entrepreneurs of Arlington
Visit Debra’s website

 

maria yunis

Maria Yunis


Maria Yunis
. Maria is the guiding light behind Live Your Unspoken Dreams, a life-coaching service that helps people fulfill their life’s potential. She offers several coaching programs, depending on her client’s specific needs and place in their personal journeys. She has over 15 years of corporate, high-tech, consulting, pharmaceutical, and academic experience, along with a background in design, corporate communication and curriculum development.

Visit and connect with Maria on Arlington Entrepreneurs
Visit Maria’s website

We Asked. You Answered. Here’s What You Said.

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We asked and you answered. Thank you! Your replies have given us some great insights into our community’s needs and wants. Many thanks go out to the Arlington Entrepreneurs Advisory Board, who so strongly advocated for this basic bit of research. So, what did we find out? Here’s an overview:

  1. Most people participate in Arlington Entrepreneurs by reading the email newsletter (69%) and attending events (40%).
  2. Most people get information about Arlington Entrepreneurs by reading the email newsletter (91%) or finding it on Facebook (26%).
  3. Most members expressed similar preferences when it came to the type of event they’d like. Interestingly enough, the category “brainstorming/masterminding” was the category leader (68%) with social events like happy hours and coffee breaks, straight networking and educational/training types equally divided at 62% of respondents. One respondent also added “addressing non-profit issues” to the list.
  4. Date and time preferences were unexpected, at least to Margy. Most of you expressed the greatest interest in attending events in the 12-2 time slot. Thursday was a big hit, as was Wednesday. Time/date preferences were fairly consistent. The big change was the preference in the day of the week. Some folks even opted for Saturday and Sunday, although not a lot. Interesting!
  5. Here were the winners of the topics questions:
    1. Business operations: The majority of you want information about and/or help with  running your businesses. We’ll be ever so happy to oblige! Help with time management techniques and legal help were right behind. After that it was work-life balance, staying healthy and financial management. Trailing the pack were help with setting up a new business and crowdfunding/other ways of raising money.
    2. Sales and Marketing: The big winner was social media marketing, followed by traditional, offline marketing. Sales strategies and writing/editing help for newsletters, etc. were of less interest to the respondents.
    3. Technology. SEO (search engine optimization) walked off with the gold! Not far behind it was knowing which tech tools would be most useful to your businesses. We’ll be putting our computer geeks to work on these and other issues, like general computer and website maintenance. A few of you would also like help setting up a new website.

A sampling of some charts are copied below. Unfortunately, I can’t download a copy of the survey without paying for a monthly subscription. Hopefully, these charts will do!

Finally, we were all delighted with the fact that so many of you are willing to volunteer to help Arlington Entrepreneurs (63% of all respondents). It’s humbling to know that so many of you find us important enough to offer us your hard-earned time.

Thank you again for your feedback. We always welcome your suggestions and advice. No one person knows everything and this survey really brought home the adage: “two heads are better than one.”

Survey charts (blue: would like to learn more about; green: would like help with)

chart with business interests

Business Interests

 

sales and marketing chart

Sales and Marketing Needs

 

technology needs chart

Technology Needs

See a topic that interests you? Or, do you want to set a time to view the entire survey? Do you have something to offer? Do you need/want something else besides what’s listed here? Let us know. We’re here to help meet your needs. Your ongoing input will help us do just that.

 

beats for EATS!

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beats-for-eats

On Martin Luther King Day

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Dr. Martin Luther King

Ask yourself this question:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?‘”

A Holiday Greeting and an Appeal From Margy at Arlington Entrepreneurs

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Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is good to all of you.

I’d like to take this opportunity to make a request for you all. This is the season for giving and I hope you’ll consider making a donation to Arlington Entrepreneurs. I have only my gratitude and continued commitment to offer you in return, but your help would be especially valuable this year. As you know, I experienced some unexpected health problems this summer and my recovery has been steady, but slow. That fact has affected my income and I have only recently returned to full production.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a newsletter I’ve sent out, come to an event I’ve hosted or benefited from some of my peripheral activities via Support Arlington Center, then please consider returning the compliment with a donation to AE. Getting sick is expensive, even with health insurance!

I’m very much looking forward to a productive and profitable 2017. I’m delighted to announce that we have a new Advisory Board on deck (thanks Carol, Debra, Maria and Laura! You’re the best). I’ll have more information about that in January, along with lots of other great news and updates. Until then, have a great Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year. See you in ’17!


Amount



If you’d prefer to skip PayPal and donate directly, please send your donation – in any amount you can afford – to my home address at:

Margy Rydzynski
12 Whittemore Street
Arlington, MA 02474

Thank you!

A Letter to the Arlington Entrepreneurs Community Following Tuesday’s Election

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Dear Friends:

Many of us are still feeling the effects of Tuesday’s unexpected upset election of Donald Trump. It took us all by surprise and a lot of people I’ve spoken with are experiencing a great deal of fear and anxiety.

I’ve been the Community Manager of Arlington Entrepreneurs since its inception in 2008. I have a great deal of respect and love for all of you. We will get through this, although some very difficult times lie ahead.

I’m sure I’m also addressing Trump supporters in this letter and I mean no disrespect. In fact, I would like to offer you my congratulations, in what must have felt like a miracle in the face of official punditry predicting a landslide for Hilary Clinton.

We have some healing to do, and some reconciliation on both sides. I’ll admit I’m a left-leaning liberal progressive and I’m feeling the same pain and fear that a lot of you have expressed, either online or in person. I think we all need each other right now and I’d like to offer a space for that to happen. My time is limited, of course, as is yours but these times require some additional sacrifices. I’m going to therefore do the following:

1. I will be at Kickstand Cafe tomorrow from 2 – 4 pm. I’ll put out the Arlington Entrepreneurs sign and invite you to come together for some company and consolation (goodness knows I could use some of that myself!). I’ll put out the invitation via Facebook, the AE website and Eventbrite. You don’t have to be a member of AE to come. I don’t care about your party affiliation or voting record.  Please be respectful of each other and avoid political fights at this event.

2. I have just created a “Come Together and Heal” group on the Arlington Entrepreneurs website. I will add some articles, videos and other materials to help get you/us through these challenging days. Let me know if you have trouble logging into the site or if you have anything of yours to share.

3. I would like welcome all of you to my home this Friday evening, for a simple meal and whatever activities offer support and a way forward. I will post this to Facebook and the AE website. I’m not religious, but I know that prayer is a consolation to many of us. If you have a religious tradition to share – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, whatever – please bring something to read or reflect on. If you are a wellness provider, please consider offering some of your services: chair massage, meditation, exercise, deep breathing or referrals to counseling if that’s necessary. Writers and poets, please feel free to distribute your work.

I hope this helps the long, healing journey and the work that lies ahead, especially for women, communities of color, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities and immigrants. Last night I heard a teacher say that her second grade students were afraid that “Mr. Trump” would send them back to Africa if he were elected. We need to protect our children, too. Again, I mean no disrespect if you’re not represented in the above list.

I hope this helps. In the meantime, let’s get on with life and do what we need to do to face some inevitable, unexpected, changes.

With love,
Margy Rydzynski, Community Manager

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