Networking at the Rotary Club
Coffee News® and Habitat for Humanity ReStore
How Coffee Networking works.
Recently, while attending a Rotary luncheon, I noticed a member of our chapter who I had never taken the time to get to know. Unless you arrive early and stay late, you continually miss these people on the way in or out. The same goes for members of your church and parents at sporting events. You see people you would like to meet but never can quite connect.
I was determined to meet this person, so when the chapter president “rang the bell” ending our Rotary meeting, I directly approached her and reached out to shake her hand. My opening line was, “I have seen you many times at our meetings but have never gotten to know you or understand what you do. She got it, and said, “So, you just want to meet and learn what we do!”
“Yes! What does your schedule look like for later in the week,” I asked?
We met on Friday at 9am in her office. It turns out she is the general manager of the local Habitat for Humanity and a ReStore recycling operation. For the next 45 minutes, she told me about her education, dreams, life philosophies, places she had worked, and how she ended up in this position in Bangor, Maine. She should write a book.
The core of her operation is raising money to build modest homes for families who struggle to own their own home or need remodeling funds, that local financial companies will not finance. Her market is very thin. The inventory for ReStore comes from local community donors looking to replace household items during remodeling or decluttering, as we call it. It’s like shopping in a second-hand shop where you can find everything from artwork to microwaves to grandma’s mittens! I was thinking, second-hand Rose got her start here!
It was fascinating to learn so much about a place we had driven by for years! I felt guilty for not knowing. Up to this point, the subject of Coffee News® had not come up, and I was determined not to bring it up unless she asked about Coffee News®. After all, I had asked for a chance to meet her and learn about her business. She finally did ask for my Coffee News® elevator speech and I obliged with the usual history and our worldwide growth, etc.
It was a great first meeting!
Bill Buckley, President