I Heart Pittsburgh! (Part 2)

(Part 4: Community-Driven Tour 2008. To read these posts from the beginning of this 2+ month tour, click here.)

Wednesday, October 22

Having arrived in town (and unloaded the whole car into yet another hotel) just 11 hours prior, we are at Duquesne, ready to head to lunch with Michael and the gang.  We join Allison Jones (director of Boards by Design and one of our favorite people in the world) and Carmen Rios, the group’s new Community Relations person, and head to the restaurant.

Michael has invited Cindy Shapira to join us, a consultant he describes as being a huge proponent of our work. It seems Michael has been handing Cindy articles and books and unfinished manuscripts I have written, and Cindy has been devouring them. Not content to simply put a toe in these Community-Driven waters, she is alive with the desire to help her clients create the change she knows is possible. As we enter the restaurant, Cindy already has a list of questions about how to handle this or that client issue. Dimitri and I spend lunch sharing our experience in navigating the waters Cindy is just starting to dive into, as she raises scenario after scenario. Wow!

We spend the rest of the afternoon with the staff of the Nonprofit Leadership Institute who, due to Michael’s dual role – ED of the NLI and dean of the Masters degree program in Community Leadership – is acutely aware of the issues related to both programs.  The discussion moves back and forth between both, reviewing status, considering obstacles, and getting excited about possibilities.  How can it be that every conversation we have, no matter the topic, is so lively?

And then it is back to the hotel. My cold is at its peak, and I am frightfully unhappy (and equally unattractive). The hotel’s internet is not working, and so I cannot work. I curl up in bed, watch a great movie and pass out. (If you haven’t seen Wall-e, see it. Don’t be distracted by the fact that it is animated. Put it on your Netflix list and see it!!).

(For the next post in the series on the mad adventure that is the Community-Driven Tour 2008, click here.)

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