This month, YPOD sat down with three seasoned professionals to learn the art of negotiating at work.
On the panel were HR extraordinaires Jennifer Bassignani and Michelle Kress, as well as lawyer Charles Spence. These three journeyed along successful career paths, and have war stories and wisdom which they were generous in sharing with YPODs.
The conversation focused on how to make an effective request at work — asking for a raise, in particular.
Without sharing every nugget they shared (you have to attend for that!), here are some highlights:
Nobody wants to feel their efforts go unseen at work, and raises are often how a company acknowledges strong work. So know your worth, and stand by it unapologetically.
All packed into 1 hour, this was a rare and inspiring opportunity to pick the minds of great professionals who know a thing or two about climbing the career ladder.
See you at the next YPOD Power Hour Series!
This week, YPOD toured Pathfinder Chiropractic in Bodo, Durango.
Drs. Garett and Haley Roop — chiropractor duo/husband and wife team — opened Pathfinder Chiropractic 5 years ago. This year, they welcomed a third doctor, Dr. Chris Keirnan, to their staff. As for the rest of their office staff, many are devoted former patients who experienced chiropractic miracles and never left… including YPOD member, Mackenzie!
YPODs strolled through the office’s various rooms, grabbing snacks, meeting the staff, and learning a bit about chiropractic work. By taking infrared temperature readings on our necks, Dr. Keirnan was able to give some feedback about our spinal nerve balance.
Pathfinder Chiropractic focuses especially on treating families, pregnant women, babies, and children. Drs. Haley and Garett are even certified in chiropractic care tailored for pregnancy and birth — called Webster technique.
It was surprising to learn that problems seemingly unrelated to the spine, such as hives, eczema, childhood bedwetting, digestive issues, and anxiety are often alleviated by chiropractic treatment.
Pathfinder Chiropractic is clearly involved with our community, and hosts activities such as an annual fundraiser called “Wines & Spines,” food drives, holiday fundraisers, free educational “Lunch and Learns” for local businesses, and more.
The doctors at Pathfinder are very happy to have landed in Durango. While there are several chiropractors in town, there is more than enough work to go around, and they believe, above all else — the more people who can receive chiropractic care, the better.
Writer: Maddie Côté
This month, YPOD sat down with Pam Moore, director of HomesFund, to peer into the world of home buying
With many YPOD members beginning to wonder, “can I make a home in Durango?” we were eager for this ‘Adulting 101’info.
HomesFund is a nonprofit helping people achieve their homeownership goals. Through education and loans, they help prevent Durango from turning into an elite-only vacation destination.
One option is they’ll co-invest $50k into your home purchase, ‘buying into’ your new home with you. In return, you owe them that $50k, plus however much that portion appreciated by the time you sell.
With the typical home price in Durango approaching $600k, the support from HomesFund can make the difference between homeownership being a pipe dream and reality. In fact, they provide the MOST generous down payment assistance in Colorado.
Besides financial assistance, HomesFund also offers a monthly crash course in home buying as well as one-on-one financial counseling. These services are offered FREE to our community (besides the small costs of a workbook and credit check.) An impressive 2,500 people have taken the course — of which 1,250 went on to purchase homes.
To those of us nearing this journey, Pam advised us to stay on top of money management, reduce our debt, and keep on saving.
Whether or not you’re in the market for a home, HomesFund is doing terrific work helping locals plant meaningful roots in Durango — in spite of our daunting market.
Writer: Maddie Côté
This week YPOD could be found enjoying especially fine cocktails before a behind-the-scenes tour of Durango Craft Spirits.
Durango Craft Spirits is a family operation run by the McCardell’s. It holds the title of Durango’s first legal grain-to-glass distillery since Prohibition. A local business in the truest sense, all DCS spirits are handcrafted, distilled, and bottled in Durango, using exclusively local grains from farms that also are family-run.
Michael McCardell, our hospitable guide, led us to the distilling room. All American country music piped overhead a giant copper still sitting centerstage. Michael explained the many steps and hours required in the lengthy process of distilling their three offerings: whiskey, vodka, and moonshine.
Different spirits require different processes. The moonshine and vodka don’t need aging but are more labor-intensive as they require multiple distilling cycles. The bourbon, on the other hand, takes just one processing pass but then requires two years of aging.
The names of the spirits and bottle designs pay tribute to Durango’s founding in 1881.
Soiled Doves Vodka - A nickname for the prostitutes of early Durango. Think what you will about these ladies of the night, but the fines collected from brothels in addition to attracting business from nearby towns provided funding for Durango’s earliest schools and police department.
Mayday Moonshine - Mayday Mine in the La Plata mountains is a place people made bootleg moonshine during Prohibition, when the crashing silver market made the mines less attended.
Cinder Dick Bourbon - Slang for railroad detective, honoring our town’s steam engine history. No Sophie’s choice about it: this is owner Michael’s clear favorite.
There is some definite buzz about “Tinhorn Whiskey” too, a special new spirit made from blue corn, coming May 2022.
Because bourbon barrels can only be used once for ageing bourbon, wine, beer, and cider-makers purchase Michael’s used barrels to infuse their own brews with flavor. Try for yourself: the Imperial Stout over at Carver’s!
Every month, Michael harvests a barrel or two of whiskey, getting about 300 bottles per barrel. He bottles by hand while listening to music, a process he describes as therapeutic. Michael appears a bit monastic about the whole distilling process, in fact, often relying on his nose to guide the next step. It is undeniably a labor of love.
In a cozy, windowless den of whiskey barrels Michael poured out samples of Cinder Dick. It was perfectly balanced and honey-gold in hue.
“It’s not rocket surgery,” Michael said with a smirk.
I asked Michael what’s the most impactful difference between what he does versus mass-produced spirits.
“The larger distilleries are running continuous stills, so not doing real clean cuts on the heads, hearts and tails. That’s the biggest difference. Plus I’d have to say the quality of my grains are much better, so I use really good grains...and I do the cuts by myself, with my nose, so I know those cuts are good.”
Spoken like a true craftsman. Don’t miss out on our next YPOD business tour! Discover Durango’s hidden gems and get to know the faces behind local brands you know and love.
This week we dove into all things small business ownership with Katie Burford, owner of Durango’s favorite ice cream shop Cream Bean Berry. Formerly “Lunches with Leaders”, this YPOD event was held after hours with snazzy appetizers and drinks.
Katie’s background is a colorful whirlwind of travel, career changes, and following passion like a North Star. Originally from Oklahoma, Katie and her brother got a first-hand look at business ownership when her parents took over a business in an industry that slumped soon after. She associated that life with struggle and nonstop upkeep.
With interests in both journalism and psychology, Katie worked in a psychiatric hospital and later as a foreign correspondent. She nannied in Spain, then worked for the Associated Press in Chile and Mexico. Her priorities rearranged, as they do for new parents, when she gave birth to her first child in Mexico City.
A move to prioritize quality of life brought Katie and her family to Durango, where her partner had attended college. Katie got a job at The Herald, but faced the reality all of us in Durango face at one point or another: comfortable living in Durango is hard to achieve without going the route of creating your own work. She wondered what of her eclectic experiences she could spin into a business...
As a child of 1970’s convenience-foods, Katie experienced something of a revolution discovering all the quality goods she could whip up from scratch in her own kitchen.
Ice cream, she noticed, was the food she saw the most difference in when it came to homemade vs. store bought. The idea of an ice cream shop was born.
Katie studied up at Gelato University (you read that right), a week-long immersion in North Carolina, among other programs for top dessert makers. Funding the business seemed the biggest challenge. Even with support from the community via a Kickstarter campaign, the Carver’s, the Fort’s SBDC, grants and loans, she ultimately fell shy of the needed capital - and was heartbroken.
Despite massive disappointment and temptation to abandon the endeavor, Katie pushed on. That first year of business in 2013, Katie sold scoops from a bicycle cart along the Animas River.
A one-woman scrappy operation, she juggled motherhood with labor-intensive ice cream making.
Her next season was a bit more grounded, opening shop at the Smiley Building. Through trial and error she learned that ice cream is an impulse buy; time and place are everything, and she needed to be where the traffic was.
Her current location on Main Street came next. The first year ran on a shoestring budget, but business only got better from there.
Reflecting on her career, Katie acknowledges that mistakes were indispensable to getting things right. Navigating the seasonality of an ice cream business, learning to relinquish control to employees and value the unique contributions they all make to the company.
One YPOD asked about the challenge of staffing. To that, Katie responded that she thinks the formula to happy employees is quite simple:
As a self-employed writer early in my career, Katie’s message helped alleviate some pressure I feel to have it all figured out, ASAP. Even a business owner admired in town took a long, winding, and sometimes four-wheel drive road to be where she is today.
Join us at the next Leaders After Hours if you’d like to hear the inner workings of a local mover and shaker like Katie Burford.
This month, YPOD toured Horse Empower, a ranch devoted to Equine Assisted Learning founded by Kim Hardesty.
Horse Empower offers horse-centric team building and personal development to all ages. Some come to develop better communication or self-confidence; others choose to enjoy a ladies night or date night off the beaten path.
Everyone enjoyed their time among the gentle giants, appreciating their intuition, and feeling nibbly lips on our palms as we fed them cookies.
First, a lesson in first impressions. We observed five horses, picking which horse we felt most drawn to. Some of us were smitten with the leader horses, others by the jokester or the shyest. After interacting with each horse some impressions were overwritten - a metaphor for life.
It’s astonishing what non-human animals can teach us about being human.
Next, we divided in half for a riddle: get the light-colored horses to one corner of the arena and the dark-colored horses to another without talking (to the horses or each other), touching, or luring them. My team formed a hand-linked chain to corral horses. That didn’t work, but other tactics like snapping behind the horses and leading got the job done.
Kim explained that dysfunction and conflict in a group becomes glaringly obvious with this nonverbal teamwork. We were praised for having a cohesiveness that helped us swiftly meet the challenge. Well done, YPOD!
There’s just one thing hella-harmonious YPOD are missing... you!
Come see what all the (lack of) fuss is about at our NEXT EVENTS.
YPOD trickled into the parking lot one summer evening for a tour of Manna Soup Kitchen. Made up of friends old and new, YPOD greet each other warmly, curious to hear each other’s latest.
Board member Nora Stafford led us through the gardens in bloom, explaining a Manna belief:
“Everyone should be able to eat fresh, healthy food - not only government commodities.”
For COVID Manna switched to grab-n-go meals. They teach life skills, connect people with transit passes and SNAP food assistance. It’s becoming a diverse resource center, or as Nora puts it,
“Instead of a hand out, it’s a hand up.”
A grocery store is the next project, where people can select items of their choosing - another means of self-empowerment.
The Carvers of Carver’s Brewing Company are leasing personal land to Manna - two acres of extraordinary soil. From the taste of it, garden manager Kyler Grandkoski knows his stuff! We sampled juicy blackberries and grapes off the vine.
Like a good workout, I’m always glad I showed up for a YPOD event. Meeting people, deepening community ties...always with a background hum of non-icky networking. In under two hours I felt inspired to volunteer at Carver’s Farm -and- made an unexpected business connection!
We hope to see you at the next YPOD events: See upcoming events