Hello friends! My name is Frederick, a Community Cultivator here at The Factory. It’s been a while since we have blogged about our journey. I wanted to catch you up on where we have been, what is new with us, and where The Factory is heading for the future. We last posted a message in March 2014. So we have a few years to cover, so let’s get to it.
2014 saw us continue our CoLearning program and also introduce our CoTivation peer program.
In 2015, Amelie became our Community Manager, and we continued our CoLearning programs and realigned our Community Cultivator initiatives.
In 2016, we started a few new community events based on our Townhall feedback with Meet the Babies, Meet other Members, Beer:30, Roadshows, and a Fantasy Football League and cookout!
2017 was great for CoLearners and coworkers. Our community members created a Show & Tell gathering to talk about what we were working on outside of The Factory. Our Meetup communities were active and exciting additions to our space. Our annual Factory Pub Crawl was one of the highlights of the year.
In 2018, we decided to pause our CoLearning and CoTivation initiatives as we looked for new ways to provide an upgraded experience for the community. We also said farewell to Amelie and hello to Mackenzie as our Community Manager!
In 2019, we saw our community thrive and continue to navigate the world of remote work and small business life. In December, we were introduced to Alberto as our Community Manager, as Mackenzie started a new career journey.
In 2020, a year that will live on in infamy, we saw the start of many changes for The Factory. First, our founder, Aaron Schapp, announced the acquisition of The Factory to Vianet, an Arizona-based company. Vianet attained the same beliefs in community and purpose of The Factory and envisioned the growth and prosperity of our space. Led by Jeff Steinport and Alberto Garza, our community would be in great hands. During this transition, we also saw the departure of Mackenzie, and Alberto would assume the role of Community Manager.
In March of 2020, the world was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. For The Factory, we faced the decision of closing down or forging ahead. We decided that it would be the best time to embrace a new look for our community and space. During the months of lockdown, The Factory made furniture changes, introduced a new layout that addressed some of the needs of our members and guests. We have added dividers between all desks for social distancing recommendations, updated all desk chairs, added Autonomous desks for our Resident members, and free-standing Room phone booths for added single-person callings & meetings. We even added a podcasting room! We instilled new cleaning strategies for our space which included installing air purifiers and hand sanitizing stations. During the mandatory lockdown efforts, only active members were allowed to use The Factory. But with that, our online community began to flourish. Although The Factory community could not meet during the pandemic, our online Thursday Games Lunch became an important social outlet for our members to stay connected.
The Factory also decided it was time to look for a new space that provides the opportunity for semi-private office spaces, more conference/meeting rooms, larger community size, and other features too many to mention.
And this brings us to this year, 2021. While Alberto transitioned to a Community Cultivator role and consultant, we introduced Megan as our Community Manager. She brings in her experience and education in Hospitality and Tourism Management to our community. Megan has already given us our open house & welcome back event, online & in-person Halloween contest, and is helping to lead our Adopt-a-Family program. She is also working on our social media presence, videos documenting how awesome the community & space are for the public, and helping to keep the behind-the-scenes of The Factory running smoothly. As for me, I am still helping to take care of items and tasks in the space, answering questions when Megan or others are not available, and being that after-hours liaison for our community.
In closing, we made some new friends, expanded our community, updated some things, survived a global pandemic, celebrated ten years of service, and changed ownership. From The Factory, thank you to everyone that has been a part of our journey. We are excited for a great future as a part of your coworking journey for another ten years and more, or as you need.