Photo Credit: Ambre Amari

COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS

KIM LEE: THE EVOLUTION OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND THE OFFICE

In this Community Conversation, we will discuss how entrepreneurship and our workspaces have evolved.

Kim Lee is the Founder and CEO of Forge, a coworking space in the heart of Downtown Birmingham. Her passion for business as a service, hospitality, community and economic growth of the city drove her to open Forge in September 2017, as a place to provide an avenue for entrepreneurs and small business owners to thrive through growing their businesses in a way that was previously unavailable in Birmingham. Forge has developed another layer in the ecosystem for business owners and entrepreneurs providing a platform for growth and advancement of these smaller businesses in a way that was not present. Kim was most recently recognized in the list of 2020 Top 40 Under 40.

WEST BYRD: MASTERING THE MUSIC OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

In this Community Conversation, we discuss the entrepreneurial side of music.

West Byrd has been in the industry for over 15 years as a musician, musical director, composer, producer and clinician. He has worked with many artist in various genres such as Sheila E, Nathan East, Peabo Bryson, Jeffrey Osborne, Chante Moore, Taylor Hicks, Kenny Lattimore, Lee Ritenour, Chuck Loeb, and Kirk Whalum to name a few. In addition to being a force in the music industry, West has also showcased his talents in the television and film industry as Musical Director/Segment Producer for nContrast, a weekly show aired on BETJ. Production partnerships with Paramount Pictures, Universal, Warner Bros, Dreamworks, and ESPN were also possible under this umbrella.

REBECCA DOBRINSKI: FINDING YOUR PLACE IN PHILANTHROPY

In this Community Conversation, we will discuss finding your place in philanthropy and maintaining it as a habit in business.

Rebecca Dobrinski is the CEO of Red Thread Consulting, a philanthropy and community engagement firm that helps businesses manage and leverage their stakeholder engagement and philanthropic efforts. She is also the organizer and license holder of TEDxBirmingham, Ignite Birmingham, and F*ckUp Nights Birmingham, a member of Leadership Birmingham (2017), a CO.STARTERS graduate (2018), a serial volunteer, and a speaking coach for her licensed events as well as The Big Pitch, Your Big Idea, and private entrepreneurial clients.

DARLENE WILSON: FINANCIAL FORENSICS IN TIMES OF MAJOR CHANGE

In this Community Conversation, we will discuss assessing the financial aspects of your business and how you can use numbers to make sound decisions.

Darlene Wilson is a distinct representative of how Birmingham businesses operate given effective and efficient leadership of their organization. With more than twenty-five years in the corporate banking and public accounting industry, more than fifteen of those years as an entrepreneur in our city qualifies her as a leading entrepreneur in Metro Birmingham and many other regions and states.

ED FIELDS: MAKING EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENTS IN TIMES OF CHANGE

In this Community Conversation, we discuss assessing where you are and where you are going when you’re faced with quick and difficult changes. Ed Fields serves as Senior Advisor and Chief Strategist for the City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office. In his role, Ed is responsible for strategic planning, thought leadership, and supporting transformative projects on behalf of Mayor Randall Woodfin, a leader whom he has supported as a friend and campaign manager in his successful bid for mayor.

Inspired Quote: “If you know from whence you come, then there really is no limit as to where you can go.” – James Baldwin, American Novelist

JOSH ANDREWS: A LEGAL OUTLOOK ON DECISIONS DURING A MAJOR CHANGE

In this Community Conversation, we discuss the importance of considering the legal implications of making changes as we adjust to change. Josh Andrews is the managing partner of Gatehouse Law where he focuses his practice on the legal needs of entrepreneurs, business law, and complex transactions, such as business formations; business transactions; raising capital for businesses; complex business negotiations; national and international intellectual property management, property disputes and expansion of business; mergers and acquisitions; and preventative law business consulting. Mr. Andrews is admitted to practice in Alabama and Georgia. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the State Bar of Georgia. Mr. Andrews earned his B.A. degree from Birmingham-Southern College and his J.D. degree from Cumberland School of Law.

AUTUMN SANDERS FOSTER: A TRUTHFUL CONVERSATION ABOUT INTENTIONALLY UNDERSTANDING YOUR CUSTOMER

In this Community Conversation, we learn how we can intentionally understand our audience during this time. It can be difficult to realize the value of asking the right questions to gather a deeper understanding of the people we seek to serve.

Autumn Sanders Foster has worked with Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and non-profits, helping them grow their businesses by understanding their customers. She launched Quire Consulting in 2017 to provide clients access to ethnographic research and design strategy that brings real people into the center of the design process. She leads clients through experiences with end users to develop effective, scalable solutions to the challenges clients face. She has worked with clients across a range of industries including education, arts, health care, retail, human resources, CPG, consumer electronics, and food.

MELISSA SCOTT-DIXON: A TRUTHFUL CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND SMALL BUSINESS

In this Community Conversation, we address small business and mental health. Many business owners are finding themselves adding to the pressure of entrepreneurship as they work in their homes and seek out ways to pivot their businesses. Join us for an open conversation with Melissa Scott-Dixon on how these challenges may be affecting small businesses and what we can do.

Melissa Scott-Dixon is a Licensed Professional Counselor, yoga teacher, and author who’s passionate about de-stigmatizing mental health conversations. She writes and presents regularly on mental health, mindfulness, and social justice issues. She sees counseling clients in private practice where she specializes in eating disorders, trauma, and LGBTQ issues.

REGINALD SMITH: A TRUTHFUL CONVERSATION ABOUT SMALL BUSINESSES TAKING LOANS DURING A CRISIS

In this Community Conversation, we address the small business community. With many digital events surrounding how to apply for an SBA loan in abundance, we want to have an open and honest conversation around the pros/cons of taking a loan in crisis, if it can hurt businesses, or if there is any guidance around how to use a loan effectively.

Reginald D. Smith is the Economic Development Strategist for Sabre Finance. Having spent nearly a decade working in the banking and finance industry, Reginald discovered that he truly has a passion for helping entrepreneurs start and grow profitable and sustainable businesses. He is an experienced finance professional with extensive training in loan structuring, underwriting, business operations, and overall loan pipeline management.

DARLENE WILSON: FINANCIAL FORENSICS IN TIMES OF MAJOR CHANGE

In this Community Conversation, we will discuss assessing the financial aspects of your business and how you can use numbers to make sound decisions.

Darlene Wilson is a distinct representative of how Birmingham businesses operate given effective and efficient leadership of their organization. With more than twenty-five years in the corporate banking and public accounting industry, more than fifteen of those years as an entrepreneur in our city qualifies her as a leading entrepreneur in Metro Birmingham and many other regions and states.