Kickin’ It Outside 

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There’s no better cure to a stressful day than some fresh air and sunshine. Going outside does great things for the body, mind, and soul. I believe the outdoors were provided to us as a place to retreat to and reset. 

Body

Simply going outside can provide great health benefits. Time outside can help you be more active and even sleep better. Just a plant in a room can make someone feel less anxious or angry. Going outside emphasizes this, and exercising outside is the best thing you can do. Fresh air relieves stress which means you’re less likely to have high blood pressure (so get your daily walk in!). 

Mind

The outdoors boost and restore your mental energy.  The “greenness” of the outdoors has been proven to improve concentration and increase creativity levels. So if you’re ever in a rut at work, go outside for a few minutes to refuel. During that refuel the sunlight will keep up your serotonin to make you happier throughout the day.

The Japanese have a practice called forest bathing. This practice is not to exercise, but just be in nature and take it all in by opening up your senses. Even a quick forest bath unplugged from your devices can destress and relax you. So go bathe in the fresh air today!

 

Soul

For me at least, spending a few minutes outside makes me happier. Even if I’m just watching some Netflix, I prefer to do it from my hammock where I can feel the breeze and smell the freshness in the air. Fresh air is good for the soul in other ways as well. It is social, even if you aren’t trying to see people, you likely will. My time with friends has been almost exclusively on walks and hikes the last few months and I’ve really come to appreciate that people and the great outdoors are really some of the most important things in life. 

 

Our partner this month gets people outside on a regular basis. SKY Soccer strives to create an experience for all of its athletes that is enriching to their body, mind, and soul. They are doing this by creating an outlet for outdoor exercise, building discipline from the game, and providing a social experience too. 

So really, when you get stressed out, just remember to take a break. Go for a walk or a run, if you can’t go get a cup of coffee or just do something for yourself to refresh!

Kicking Off Summer

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We’re kicking off summer with our July community partner, SKY Soccer Club! Who also happen to be Ment members. 

SKY is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop great players and people and enhance the community they serve. They provide sports programs to roughly 2000 kids in southern Kentucky every year! Their services have been provided since 1976!

Talking to Keiliah

I talked with Keiliah Prater, the club administrator, about her time with the organization.  Four years ago she wasn’t even looking for a job when they offered her one. SKY was just what she needed with her background in sports.  She is driven by her lifetime of passion for sports and how they enhanced her childhood. Working at SKY has further developed her passion for sports and for this organization because of what it brings to the BG community.

 “Being able to provide the youth in our community a place to feel empowered, practice living a healthy and active lifestyle, encouragement to be good leaders and good people, and learn to work well with others, are just some of the reasons why I do what I do!” 

 

What’s happening right now

Youth sports play such an important role in physical, mental, and social development. Soccer, and all sports, are looking a little different right now. But SKY is working hard to make sure the youth of BG are still able to play! They have already kicked off the season and hosted a successful, socially distanced tryout for their Academy Select teams and are planning a full recreational season this fall.

Keiliah said that COVID-1 9 has really put their mission back into focus as they strive for players and families to have the best possible experience.  During Tim (director of operations) and Keiliah’s downtime over the last few months, they’ve really been basking in the kindness of their players and families, as well as, working on a new strategy for future success after taking a hit as a non-profit during COVID-19. 

Coworking in the Era of COVID-19

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Coworking will never be what it once was, honestly, nothing will be. Coworking in the era of COVID-19 has taught us a lot of things, one thing is that remote working does work. However, we think everyone working remotely can agree that remote work is not as productive as when done in an office environment; you need the socialization provided in the office atmosphere to be your most productive and creative. Join us in watching as we sit down with our owner, JD Haase to learn more about why coworking is a great option even amidst the COVID-19 era.

 

 

After this pandemic, coworking will never be as dense as it once was. We have never believed in the idea of densification as to never take advantage of others. Ment has always been and always will be very flexible for its members.

If you are considering joining the cowork movement, Ment is ready for you! And the best perk: we’re squeaky clean! Our cleaning company is not just making our space clean, they are making it sterile so you can feel safe and comfortable from within our walls.

Sister Spaces

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One of the best things about coworking is that you can do it anywhere! That’s why we have sister spaces to collaborate with at iHub in Louisville, KY, and Center 615 in Nashville, TN.  What is a sister space you may ask? It’s simple! Ment created a partnership with these two spaces for our members that travel. It allows our members to work out of their spaces for free for the day.

 

iHub

iHub, like many coworking spaces, is constantly growing and changing. It’s a few years older than Ment and is owned by the University of Louisville Real Estate Foundation. I like to think Ment is in the perfect location of Bowling Green and speaking as a Louisville native, iHub is in the perfect location of Louisville. It’s a comfy space right off of Main St. near the up and coming neighborhood of Nulu, my favorite area downtown. 

They have 15 members working in a wide variety of fields. (Another reason to love coworking!) Like us, they have a great conference room that the whole community can rent, but they also host a lot of seminars and workshops run by local businesses. 

 

Center 615

Center 615 was founded in 2011 and started out as 1 building with private offices. Since then it has grown to have 60,000 square feet in 3 different buildings. (Maybe that will be us one day!) Their 92 offices are filled with roughly 250 members. They range from realtors to lawyers to accountants to coders and so much more. 

 

How has COVID-19 affected them?

There isn’t one person or company left untouched by the virus and having to adjust their routines.  Our sister spaces are in different cities so we’ve all had to adjust differently. All of us though have taken extra safety precautions to properly follow CDC guidelines over the last few months. 

iHub has been focusing on the highly touched points in common areas. Everyone has been asked to wear masks and check temperatures, as well as having the maintenance crew wearing gloves. They have also been changing out their air filters more often. 

Center 615 has still allowed 24/7 access to its members and the staff has been on a rotating schedule. While members still had access, many chose to stay home and many still are WFH, which actually allowed for repairs to take place after the Nashville tornado in early March. 

Tennessee opened a little earlier than KY did and their staff has been back full time since May 8th. They have taken all of the same steps as Ment and iHub have in practicing social distancing, wearing masks, checking temperatures, and providing hand sanitizer. Additionally, Center 615 has held off on providing their normal services of coffee, tea, and a nap room- can we get one of those? 

The community has been out of our coworking spaces these past few months, but we’re all working to get back together and to fully put the “co” in coworking again soon! 

 

 

*Special thanks to Molly O’Rourke at iHub and Beth Heflin at Center 615 for helping out with this blog! 

 

The Middle: A Two-Year Reflection

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As short as two years really is, it feels like another lifetime ago. We are in the middle of the ride. As we reflect and celebrate this anniversary, we thought it would be fun for me to take a trip down memory lane of my time spent inside 911 College Street as Ment’s Brand + Community manager.

The Start Part 1

My beginning with “Ment” was one we will all never forget. (I will explain the quotations in a bit.) I had just moved back to Bowling Green after graduating in 2016 and living in Lousiville for a few years working as the PR Manager at Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company. (Shoutout to my Peerless family!) Having no clue what coworking was at the time, I trusted my dear friend’s father, JD Haase, to have something really cool up his sleeve when he invited me into his office to meet with him and his assistant Valerie to discuss a potential job they had in mind for me.

That summer, I had a plan to take the GRE and apply for grad school at WKU, my alma mater, but anything past that was a wide-open agenda. I know now it was truly ment to be that JD offered me the job of being the community manager at Bowling Green’s first-ever coworking space… And I should have put my seat belt on then.

JD and Valerie welcomed me onto their team in April 2018. At this point, the second floor of the building was still in the construction trenches but the green carpet was gone and it was starting to shape into the beautiful workspace it is today.

I sat in through design meetings, marketing meetings, game-plan meetings, and took so many notes my hand almost fell off. I was a sponge who had no idea what I was soaking up, but just knew I needed to be of help when asked. 

The Start Part 2

Fast forward a month into May and we were starting to give tours that still needed a bit of imagination as we put the finishing touches on. We were gearing up for our soft opening, we had a tiny bit of press sent our way, which put our “first name” The Büro in the papers. I, being in PR, loved this! It was great promotion for bringing our brand new concept to BG.

I bet you’re wondering what I mean by our first name, right? Well, we aren’t going to dwell on the past, but let’s just say there was already a different coworking space in Miami, FL that had the name in which we had to, in turn, pivot as a business and desist using the name immediately. 

The reason I feel the need to share this very minor portion of the journey is to show how fast we reacted in a time of crisis. This happened to us on May 25, 2018, and we opened with a new name, new logo, new brand concept by June 13th.

AND we had our papers submitted to file for trademarking our now Ment Cowork by the first of June. It is truly crazy thinking about that. In the beginning, we had a team of professionals doing the marketing and branding for us. In the end, to create Ment, we had only us three. 

I knew at that point when I pulled nearly three all-nighters to create the Ment brand plus create a re-brand plan with a little bit of crisis public relations in the mix that it would be personal for me moving forward. 

 

The Middle

As Jimmy Eat World said, “It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.”

Some days it feels bigger than just office space. I can bet most of us have felt this way about our jobs. Especially if it is something you have put so much time into, stress, literal blood, sweat, and tears. However, when you look at it in the grand scheme of things it won’t ever mean as much to those you are selling it to as it has meant to you.

Since June 13, 2018, I have worked to show every person I could how amazing I think not only Ment is but how special coworking is as an industry. And along the way, we have met and gained some amazing people who see it too and reap the benefits of a space like ours. That is what it is all about. That is why we are here. 

Every step of the way has been a learning process and still is. After all, we are only two! Ment is in the middle of the ride, and we know everything, everything will be alright, alright.

Intern from Home

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Hello there! Sarah the intern here. You may not remember me since I have been working a lot behind the scenes at Ment the last few months. Since we last {virtually} met, a few things have changed. As I finished out my semester as a Junior at WKU and doing what I like to call  “college-ing from home,” I said yes to staying on with Ment for another round of internship. So let me re-introduce myself…

Quick Refresher

I’ve been the strategic marketing intern for the last few months and loving it! I’m now a senior at WKU majoring in strategic marketing (I think that’s the first time I’ve actually said that I’m a senior which is very weird, exciting, and scary all at the same time). However now, I have transitioned into Hannah’s old shoes as the digital media intern.  For the next few months, I’ll be managing and assisting with all things media related which includes writing our blogs! 

What I have been up to (COVID Edition)

Even though absolutely nothing has gone according to plan for the last few months, quarantine has been a great lesson for me to take things day by day even when we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic. That’s a lesson hard to remember sometimes, because I am someone who always looks for structure and likes to have a plan for everything I do. My grandma always says, “It is what it is,” and boy has this been an example of that mindset.  

With all of the craziness, I have had to adjust to being an intern, school-ing, socializing, and even living at home. I am one of the lucky ones who has a family and a home to go to during this time. However, I never expected to reside in Taylorsville, KY this long again. All of the adjustments have been tough in their own way and even as someone of the “technological age,” being in a time of only technology is trying. I have felt so much more burnt out after so much screen time, I spent days on end alone with my laptop watching video lectures and attending the occasional Zoom meeting. Raise your hand if you can relate! Let’s just say it has been much easier to binge One Tree Hill on Hulu or play with my dog or go on a drive.  

We’re all in this together

This time has been hard for everyone. Most people have been way more affected than I have. But we’ve all been affected because this pandemic does not discriminate. Through my adjustments and coping, I’ve been thinking (and missing) a lot about my life in BG. So I have compiled a list of what I use to take for granted and what I can’t wait to do when I get back in the fall.

I can’t wait to.. 

  • Go on trips to Spencer’s Coffee pretending to study with my friends
  • Give campus tours to excited high schoolers 
  • Walk through Grise hall and either freeze or sweat to death (there is no in-between in that building) 
  • Pull all-nighters studying for finals in the Honors College 
  • Go on midnight GADS runs 
  • Be in the church 
  • To actually get my homework done in Ment’s lounge 

During this time I’ve especially been missing Ment. I miss the people I work with and of course, our mascot Stevie. Every day that I physically was working at Ment, I felt ten times more productive and the quality of my work was noticeably better. To sum up, I wish that I was writing this blog from within the walls of 911 College Street, Suite 203! But I’m still so excited to have the opportunity to continue learning about the coworking world and more about marketing, professional use of social media, branding, and more. As for right now though, I’ll settle for a summer of working from my couch as I cowork with my dog, Morgan.  

 

 

Moving Your Body and Mind

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Do you realize that exercise and movement are in fact not always the same? Movement comes in many forms. There’s the physical type, of course, but then there’s the type that requires making personal progress in our lives; the kind that might not be visible to the eye but still requires much effort. This is why movement is also one of our favorite –ment words. 

The more simple definition of movement is described as a change or development. This could possibly be the best definition in my opinion. Why? Because the meanings are endless.  

 

Physical movement   

Yes, physical movement is important. Exercise is oftentimes based on the movements we already do in our daily lives. Things like walking, starting the lawnmower, squatting to reach your cooking pans, etc. It sounds pretty basic and to be honest – it is. But that’s the point!

It’s not always about burning calories, it’s about giving our bodies the attention they need. Weightlifting and running are great, but we forget about the smaller things that we can do as well. Things such as working on your posture by sitting on barstools or on the floor (I’ve been doing this a lot lately and it definitely draws focus on how your body is positioned). Stretching frequently and taking non-strenuous walks can also be a good option. 

Living a rather sedentary lifestyle isn’t uncommon these days and especially so when the word “quarantine” has become a casual thing. But research shows that the less active we are, the less active our minds are. This can lead to mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression. 

 

Movement in life

This one might be rather non-traditional, but it is definitely a thing. 

Be active. Not just physically, but in the things you do daily. Move towards the things you want. Be active in the journey towards accomplishing your goals. Set goals. Work towards them. Do little things. Whatever you do, don’t stop!

A part of what allows us to get to where we want to be in life is the people, places, and attitudes we surround ourselves with. We have the choice to actively seek out what we need in order to grow. As we said before, the opportunities are endless. 

We like to see everyone moving forward in life and how + where you work should not be what holds you back. That’s why we created a space with the freedom to move as you please, both in life and from one downtown Bowling Green hotspot to the next.

 

Bottomline

Progress comes from movement. You will never get anywhere if you don’t take that next step. We are here to take those steps with you, beside you, or carry you up to them if need be! You’re making big moves and so are we. Let’s do this. 

 

Interning Through a Pandemic

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As an intern during my first ever “PR gig,” it’s been a time to be alive. I’ve learned quite a bit about what my future PR job may consist of, but needless to say, nothing has prepared me quite like working in the midst of a worldwide pandemic

The biggest thing I have learned to do: adapt. 

I thought I knew what this meant. You plan out all of your posts (I heart you Hootsuite) and change them a little as you go. Trending topics? You write a blog on them of course. You plan out this really cute post about how it is a beautiful day outside – and then it ends up raining on that day. Bummer but no biggie right? You exchange a few words and replace “sunny” with “rainy” and voila! 

 

Reality

But then “disaster” strikes *cue the scary sound effects* and you are forced to redo months’ worth of content. All of that hard work, all of the well thought out content and photos that you took and they are now gone. It’s another few days behind the computer rethinking everything. Canceling the event you were working so hard on and living on the internet as you now go into “crisis mode.” 

You’re now producing emails that are as compassionate but also as immediate as you can to send to clients, customers, and community members. Posting on social media constantly and updating the public on how you are taking precautions and what this means for you all as a business (even though you’re still figuring it out yourselves). 

I probably made this sound awful, but the reality? It woke me up quickly to what the PR world is really like. Did it scare me? A little. But did it send me running? Definitely not. As they say – you have to see something in its darkest moments to really love it right? Well, PR…I still love you. 

In a perfect world where I love to have everything planned out and know what to expect, this was not ideal for me but like many other things, we must ADAPT. And so I did just this. 

In fact, it kicked my but into gear. I was more motivated than ever to turn this into my opportunity to create something new and different. It presented me with a challenge and if nothing else, gave me a reason to still get out of bed early during this whole quarantine life. 

 

What it taught me

A few keywords and phrases to describe what has been proven to be the most important: 

Adapting, innovation, creativity, set yourself apart, communication and crisis communication, determination, quick on your feet, don’t give up, teamwork, ideas ideas ideas (that’s one phrase) and growth…just to name a few. 

So with all of this being said, I am choosing to turn all of this into a “good” thing…after all, that’s what we’re all trying to do right? To find the good in all of this madness? So when someone asks me how my first ever public relations internship went my answer will be – hectic. 

After a strange look, I will follow with “insightful.” I learned how to adapt, and re-evaluate and more than anything – to grow. So when I have my next interview and someone asks that dreaded “tell me a time when you had to solve a problem and how did you do it?” question, you can guarantee I will have an answer for that one! 

Who knows, this could just be my “leg up” in the world of public relations.  

Needless to say – I am currently trying to figure out how to add “Ment Cowork Digital Media Intern (and kicking butt during a pandemic)” to my resume. Subtle right? 

 

Here’s the hard part

Oh, did I mention my time at Ment Cowork has come to an end? That’s right guys, I am parting ways with my new favorite Bowling Green space and one that will always be in my heart. From creating my first official press release and campaign plan to being part of planning events, building relationships, and creating content, I am more confident moving toward a future in PR. I even reinvigorated my passion for writing through my newfound love of blogging! 

Ment Cowork and my amazing community manager Hayley Kruth inspired me to keep improving and pushing toward what I love. Our building owner JD has shown me what can happen when you truly put 110% into everything you do. My time at Ment has inspired me to better myself, my brand, my image, and everything in between! 

As I figure out what my summer (post-pandemic) looks like, I will then be finishing my last year of college to receive my double major in photojournalism and public relations, and as always, making my own opportunities as I go along. 

On the other hand, our fellow Ment Marketing intern, Sarah Tipton (round of applause for all of her amazing work this semester as well!) will be taking over for me in the following weeks as the new digital media intern this summer. Get ready for some more amazing content and keep your eyes open for what happens next. The world of work as we know it is about to change and I cannot wait to see how Ment Cowork thrives.  

 

See ya later Ment!  

 

Feel free to keep up with me via social! 
hannahvanover.com 
@_hannah_vanover_

Working {Not} from Home

As this whole pandemic thing nears an end, it’s safe to say that we all have mixed emotions about working from home… or working {not} from home.

Face it: you’re stir crazy but also comfortable. You want to get out but you don’t want everything to go back to the way it was. We’ve had a taste of this whole modern work-life practice and we’re kinda liking it. 

You’re lying if you say that you don’t enjoy your only morning commute being a walk to the living room, your work attire being PJs, and your office chair being your couch. 

But let’s also not ignore the importance of having some structure in our lives. Having a place to wake up and come to that is your own (and not the same place that’s five feet away from where you sleep) can be a good thing. 

We need a place that’s right for our physical and mental health. Perhaps a place where your kids aren’t screaming “mommy” every five seconds or your boss isn’t constantly popping in your office to ask about that deadline that you’re already well aware of. 

Welcome to coworking.

In case you forgot, we are a modern, comfortable space that gives you the freedom to work how you please. Whether it’s a temporary place to hang your hat on the weekends or a permanent fix to all your office needs, we’ve got you.

 

But how?

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of “what ifs” and “hows” surrounding the coworking industry. So what do we have to say about it? We’re gonna be alright! In fact – maybe even better than before. The important thing is that we are all using this to learn about how we can improve. 

We are coming out of a worldwide pandemic, guys – something that will be in the history books one day. Like all major life events, we must learn and adapt.

Our hopes are that the pandemic may even shape the way we all work in the coming future. 

Working full-time remotely is HARD. Working full-time in person 9-5 Monday through Friday is HARD. It’s exhausting and it leads to quickly becoming burnt out. If we want to succeed…if we want to truly provide the best work environment for our employees, we will need to make some adjustments. If we as workers want to achieve the best work-life balance, it’s going to take some adjustments. 

 

Call it a comeback

With everyone itching to get back out, host those events and workshops they missed out on, and have their meetings IN PERSON we have got a space ready for you! Some of us may be on the hunt for a new job or new connections after being secluded for so long. It’s time for new opportunities right?! 

We’ve got the hookup here with a space that lets you interact with people of all workplaces. You never know who might be in our office from day-to-day. Maybe you’ve been talking to your pets a little too much recently? Come in and talk to us! (Our beloved office Goldendoodle or Bearded Dragon may even make an appearance from time to time.) 

We’re coming at you straight out of quarantine with some even fresher ideas, a positive outlook, and a whole new level of appreciation for our community and the meaning of togetherness. 

We may not have had much of a say…but regardless, we have all tried something new lately. We weathered the storm together and now we can no longer say that we are reluctant to try this new, “unheard” of thing called coworking. Here’s to a new age of working! 

The Perfect Environment – Going Above and Beyond

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We know that environment makes all the difference in your work-life balance and that’s why it’s the second of our core values. Something that we aren’t straying from during these times. 

“So many people are getting caught up in all of the chaos and forgetting to go back to their roots,” Ment Cowork owner JD Haase enlightens us.

That’s why we are sticking true to what we know and bringing you the info that you NEED to hear. We definitely put focus into how we can make our Ment home a thriving community, but it’s also much more than that. 

Our current COVID-19 pandemic has caused many to shift their way of thinking and areas of focus in their lifestyles, workplaces and beyond. Cool hangouts and fun perks are great but now it’s also about looking at “how can this place contribute to my mental and physical health?” While many are now considering how they can effectively make their environments safer and promote healthier living, we were ahead of the game when we started here at Ment. 

The most important thing in time of crisis – preparation. While some simply see these little things as advancements, we see them as precautions and care for our members. Things like touchless lights and faucets to advanced HVAC and cleaning care routines. 

Our forward thinking building owner and real estate developer JD Haase had truly thought of it all before allowing the city’s first ever coworking environment to open its doors. Haase’ prior experience in the food industry made him more aware of the precautions that needed to be taken in the business world today. 

 

 

Going All In

Our staff discovered the potential of Ment Cowork – a true definition of a diamond in the rough, when JD said the building had spoken for itself. 

“The space let us know what it wanted…it sounds crazy but it was just wanting to come to life,” he said. 

New life was breathed into the space over a nearly two year span.

“It was a long process but we wanted to make sure that everything was up to par.” 

The renovations and additions to the building have made it modern, functional and safe and something that our staff believes will outlive us all. 

“I’ve never been one to sweep things under the rug,” said Haase. He spoke on the importance of doing something 100% or not at all.

“I don’t believe in grey. Things should be black or white, not in between.”

 

Main coworking lounge in Ment Cowork – before

 

 

 

Main coworking lounge in Ment Cowork – after

 

Location, location, location

For us, it hasn’t just about what was in our building, but what was outside as well. While many businesses are temporarily closed, we have seen a decent amount of traffic and downtown happenings here near 911 College St. Why is this? Because our area offers the best of traveling, convenience, and proximity to the square, ballparks and other walking paths as well as so many local businesses, shops and restaurants.  

If we haven’t realized by now, mental health is just as important. With Spring having arrived and going green and living healthy being a topic on everyone’s minds, many are finding their own ways to get out without “getting together.” This means taking a walk or simply getting some fresh air. That’s where a little sunlight, downtown views and location can make a world of difference.

One thing that I can almost guarantee we will all be a little more cautious about when this is all over? Distance! Call it luck but we’re not too worried about that either around here. From private office and dedicated desk options to our open coworking areas and floor plans, we’ve got this stuff down pat! *sigh of relief* 

 

Our Advice

Stay ahead of the game. Research. Find out what people are looking for in their ideal place of business.

Learn from the past. The mistakes of today will be the lessons of tomorrow…is that not a famous quote yet because I feel like I just made one?? This pandemic will change how we all operate our business models when doors are opened again. 

Stay aware. Keep your eyes and ears open to what people are talking about. Listen to what people want. Our needs and wants are shifting and will continue to do so. 

Most importantly – stay true to who you are. Are we perfect here at Ment? Well of course not but we are {ment} to adapt. We are taking notes and keeping up our usual creative flow of ideas to bring you all even more than we had before.

 

We can’t wait for you all to be back. See you on the other side! 

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