Networking That Works


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In the current Gambit, I wrote a news brief about Friday's “The Feast: Big Easy,” calling it “a new kind of business conference.” That notion was reaffirmed yesterday, when I received an entirely new kind of press pass.


“It's time to play matchmaker,” the email begins. “One of the perks of attending The Feast will be all the various networking opportunities. We've decided to try something new and personally introduce you to another person that we think you will enjoy meeting. We've CC'd each of you on this email. Feel free to introduce yourself, plan an outing together, or even sit next to each other at The Feast. Our hope is to leave you high on possibilities with a new menu of connections to get it all done.”


“Noah,” it continues, “meet Brian who is the Founder of 9th Ward Field of Dreams. Brian meet Noah who is a Staff Writer at Gambit.”


The 9th Ward Field of Dreams, it turns out, is the brainchild of Brian Bordainick, director of athletics at G.W. Carver High School. He’s out to raise nearly $1.85 million for the construction of a community football field and track in the flood-ravaged ward. Bordainick is a scheduled speaker at “The Feast,” along with author and Slow Money CEO Woody Tasch, CAC visual arts director and Prospect.1 curator Dan Cameron and others. Hired at 22 out of Teach For America, Bordainick was the youngest A.D. in Louisiana history. In a matter of months, through individual and corporate donations, he's raised $855,767.


I haven’t attended a single “Feast” presentation, and already I find myself researching and reaching out to an enterprising, grass-roots venture in my own backyard. New, indeed.


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