Growth and Change Is Good

I have been blessed over these past months to have the opportunity to meet new community builders and highlight their stories. I’ve also been blessed to make new friends and begin a new adventure. Some of you read about this journey that launched ConnectHelp. If you’d like to catch up, just click here.

As we discuss our goals with ConnectHelp, I realize that much of what I want to accomplish with Revitalize South Bend mirrors those goals. So it only makes sense to roll all things RSB into ConnectHelp.

Consequently, you can now follow my blog at the ConnectHelp website by clicking here. Please bookmark this new site (, share it with your friends and stay connected! Also, be sure to follow our ConnectHelp twitter account @connecthelp_org.

I have enjoyed the conversations with many of you through comments on the posts, so I hope that you will continue to be engaged with ConnectHelp.

You will still find me involved in 3° of Separation. I believe that 3° can help our community grow and prosper. I will also keep the @revitalizesb twitter account active, to highlight related efforts and stories and to be that friendly reminder of the importance of revitalizing South Bend.

My personal mission remains the same:


I still want to connect people to people, people to groups, groups to groups (well, you get the idea). I still want to encourage collaboration. I still hope to inspire folks in our community to take action.

Won’t you join me at this new site to share ideas and resources that can benefit others in our community?

April 11, 2013 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

It’s Going to Be Legen-(wait for it)-dary

The iconic State Theatre in downtown South Bend is being rejuvenated. And the entire community will benefit. Why? Because the owner wants this to be a space for the community. Andrew Elegante, the theatre manager, has stated that every event “will have a community organization partner that receives a portion of the proceeds.” The State is also doing something quite different by forming a B Corp–which has been explained to be a new type of for-profit/non-profit corporation–which will lease space in the building as the concessionaire. As a B Corp, it will “meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.”  With the formation of this new B Corp comes an interesting crowdfunding opportunity: Fund the State (you can link to this and check it out, perhaps even support the cause, by clicking here).

Why support The State? What’s in it for you? Besides the opportunity to rebuild a city icon and help rejuvenate the downtown area, you could get your name in lights. Well, more specifically, you could boast to your friends how you helped light up The State or you could get your name placed on a chair or a couch. But most importantly, you will know that you were a part of the catalyst to provide a great new venue for our community. Be the change? Yes!

If you are still hesitant to contribute a buck or twenty, let me reassure you that Andrew is a force for good in South Bend. I have the privilege of working with him often as a co-founder on 3° of Separation, a networking group whose goal is to accelerate Michiana’s emerging startup ecosystem by connecting entrepreneurs and collaborators. Andrew has also been a trusted advisor for me regarding my ConnectHelp idea.

Andrew received his MBA from Notre Dame and chose to stay in South Bend to participate in the revitalization of our fine city. Since I am such a proponent of revitalization (thus the name of my blog), I applaud his efforts. I hope I am encouraging you to get connected to this cause. If you click the link above, you can give (if the site is not ready yet, it will be soon; add your email address so that you will be alerted when it is ready and know that Andrew assures me that your email is safe with him). If you would like to read more about The State, and hear about this in Andrew’s words, check out his blog here.

Let’s help bring The Pride of South Bend back to its former glory. Like I said, we all benefit!

March 12, 2013 at 10:47 pm Leave a comment

Ethnic Expressions

It’s March 1st and Friday, so you know what that means: First Friday in downtown South Bend. The theme tonight is “Ethnic Expressions.” From Latin flair at Chicory Cafe to Irish folktales by the fireplace at Fiddler’s Hearth and Flamenco dance demonstrations at The Music Village, you will find diverse culture all around you. As usual, there is much to do downtown. I recommend you check out DTSB’s website for more info, grab the fam and head on out. By the way, be sure to check out the marquee at The State tonight. Then let me know what you learned.

March 1, 2013 at 11:17 am Leave a comment

Help for the Toughest Job

Parenting is tough. By getting sound advice from experts who’ve been in the trenches with kids and know how to handle various situations can really empower a parent. For that reason, Home Management Resources is hosting “Parent University” on March 9th at IUSB.

Parent University’s goal is to help parents receive encouragement as well as build positive skills to help with the mighty task of raising well-rounded kids. This day of workshops include a myriad of experts from our community and runs from 9am to 3pm.

The day begins with a keynote by John Peterson of Family Psychology on Parenting Styles and the Buttons Kids Push. Breakout workshops include: Social Media, the Internet and your Child; Homework Without Tears; Positive Discipline; Understanding Your Teenager; Nurturing Creativity and Family Culture; Parenting in the Age of Excess; The Teenage Brain; Trade Secrets from a Mother of Six; One Strong Parent: Making the Most of Single Parenting; and Improving Your Family Finances: Tools for Budgeting and Paying Down Debt.

Cost for the day is $35 per person, which includes lunch and materials. Couples use code CouplesTicket to get 20% off. For those with need for financial assistance, contact Home Management Resources. Child care is also available through the YMCA.

Take advantage of the insights from experts, learn new tools and techniques, make connections with other parents in the area, and be empowered at Parent University. For more information, including registration, click here (or call 574.233.3486).

February 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm 2 comments

Get Your Love (Code) On

It’s Valentine’s Day, so it seems appropriate to talk about LOVE. In this case, I’d like to encourage those of you that love our community to consider getting involved in a unique opportunity to make a difference. Knowing how involved and interested you are in the future of our fine town, I am sure you will be excited to hear about Code for America’s Code Across South Bend event.

On Saturday, February 23rd, Code for America will connect friends, colleagues, neighbors who are passionate about technology and this community. In service to South Bend, consider helping Code for America. Using the power of people and the power of the web, this event promises to be unlike many others.

Here’s our chance to reimagine South Bend’s future and how our government works. It’s a chance to share our dream for the future of our community, and perhaps have a group of people move forward to make that dream a reality.

Are you an idea person? Have a passion for South Bend? Are you techie? If so, Code Across South Bend needs you. Through this event, they hope to build a local wiki site as well as build apps around city data, plus work on ideas that come out of the brainstorming session.

To register for this event and get more info, click here. If you have questions or are in a position to sponsor this event, please contact Hope to see you there!

February 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

A New Kind of Organization in a Very Old Building

Intrigued? Then join 3° of Separation at our first field trip ever. On Saturday, February 16th, 3° will head to The Plant in Chicago to tour their facility.  If you are interested in economic development and sustainability, this is for you. The Plant has figured out how to blend those things in a farm inside an old meatpacking facility. But it’s much more than that. They are “incubating small craft food businesses, brewing beer and kombucha, and doing it all using only renewable energy” that they produce onsite. Instead of discarding what most businesses would consider waste, The Plant connects businesses to make use of each other’s outputs. (It kinda makes my head explode)

After the tour, the group will eat at Nana’s and take that time to discuss inspirations from the tour. Costs for the day include admission into The Plant ($10; they prefer cash), shared gas/tolls (I’m sure the drivers prefer cash), and your meals. Meet at the Park & Ride at Exit 77 of the Toll Road at 10:50am; expect to be back in the Bend by 6:30pm. Don’t miss the 3° Inaugural Field Trip! So head to the 3° of Separation Facebook page to tell them that you’re going. Like now.


February 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm 1 comment

Free Pizza. Free Inspiration. And Some Startup Chatter.

Innovation Park at Notre Dame (1400 E. Angela Blvd)  is hosting Tech Talk: How Tech, Art & Design Create Great Startups on Thursday, January 24th at 6pm. Co-Founder Moses Lee will share his experience of bringing Seelio “to life using innovative technologies and human-centered art and design principles.” Seelio is a venture-backed tech startup that “is a stage for college students to distinguish themselves and connect with companies.” This event is free and the organizers are providing free pizza, t-shirts and a plethora of “cool swag.” Need more reasons to go? I bet you’ll be INSPIRED! If you’re planning to go, help the organizers by RSVPing:

January 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment

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