See ya later Groundwork!

I was lucky enough to meet Sarah and Dena last year in one of my business classes. One of the major projects in the class was to collaborate with a local business and help them develop a plan to solve a problem they were facing. My group was assigned to Groundwork! and my life hasn’t been the same since.

GW goodbye1

After the semester was over and our project was completed, I got an email from Sarah asking me to be the new Social Media Marketing intern at Groundwork!. I wanted to immediately jump on the opportunity but in all honesty I had some huge reservations that I had to consider like ‘how am I going to be a social media marketing intern when I don’t know much about marketing, am not that creative, and kinda suck at social media’? – Still not 100% sure how twitter works…

After organizing my schedule and deciding that this internship could be a great learning experience for me, I emailed Sarah back and accepted the Internship with the hope that I wouldn’t suck at it. It was one of the best decisions I have my in my educational career.

The evolution of Lisa

I really have never been the person to get involved or participate in extra curricular activities. I was always to busy with work or avoiding interacting with new people (I was that person you would find in the corner of the room at a party, on the floor petting whatever animal I could find). At least I went to the party though, right?

So I started working with Sarah and Dena and networking with the Groundwork community and I came out of my shell. The staff and members at Groundwork are the best group of people that I have met. Everyone here is so motivated and passionate and friendly, it inspires me.

While my job title was “social media marketing intern” I learned a lot more than just marketing;
GW goodbye3

I learned that my posture is awful.

  • I learned about the sea scallop industry and its sustainability efforts.
  • I learned about the economic development in New Bedford and the Southcoast.
  • I learned that IKEA furniture is pretty great.
  • I learned that I am creative, and I don’t suck at social media (still suck @twitter).
  • I learned about the amazing entrepreneurial and artistic culture of the Southcoast.
  • I learned how to find events that are going on in my community.
  • I learned that I have every opportunity I can imagine at my finger tips and that they are achievable.
  • I learned how to use WordPress, Hootsuite, Facebook groups & Slack.
  • I learned how to blog and how podcasts work.
  • I learned what the hell a coworking space is.

How Groundwork affected the rest of my life

GW goodbye2This semester I joined Roots & Shoots, a student run group focused on sustainability that was started by Jane Goodall (the first school group I have joined in my entire educational career).

I left the country for the first time to compete in Start-up Weekend in the Azores and then competed again at UMass, which my group won!

Three days later I competed in an EforAll Pitch contest and met some amazing people with great businesses.

I went to business buzzes, art shows, the NB Bookfest, a food security forum, a teach-in and tons more.

These are all firsts for me. I wanted to do all of these things and was able to because of Groundwork! and the new perspectives I have gained, people I have met, and lessons I have learned. I became part of a community and was able to branch out and connect with people – just like the tree in the GW logo.

Getting Emotional

Ever since I started working here I’ve noticed myself bringing up Groundwork in a majority of the conversations I have. I’m sure that’s not going to stop. Everyone in my inner circle now knows the ins and outs of coworking and I’ve noticed that a lot of them are getting more involved in their own communities after seeing how passionate I have become about it. It makes me feel awesome knowing that I can teach others what I have learned at Groundwork! and have a positive effect on them, hopefully making the world a better place one person at a time.

GW Goodbye 4

I’m currently getting really sad writing this and know I could go on forever about the time I have spent here (which was way to short) so I am going to end this blog here. I can’t filibuster anymore as my last day at Groundwork is today. I can’t thank Dena and Sarah enough for the opportunity they have given me and the lessons they have taught me. Thank you to all of the Groundwork members for welcoming me aboard and making me feel at home here.

I’ll be graduating in 10 days, heading home to Waltham and working as an equestrian instructor over the summer. In September I’ll be traveling to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe for a month to do some volunteer conservation work on a Private Game Reserve. After that… who knows?! Maybe you’ll see me back at Groundwork soon enough! Add me on Facebook and Instagram to find out!

I’m not saying bye, I’m saying see you guys later…



Sarah Athanas Groundwork

Recommended Listening: Sarah’s top Podcasts

Steven, Dena, and myself are hard at work recording and editing a batch of episodes for the premiere of Ground Control, Groundwork’s very own podcast. We all get inspiration, motivation, and ideas from listening to an array of podcasts on our own, and Steven had a brilliant idea to highlight our favorites here. So without further ado, here’s what I’m listening to:

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Groundwork art opening

Why Social Interaction Will Save Us: Coworking and Social Force

Let’s be honest, today’s presidential inauguration was one of the biggest moments of social awkwardness in recent history. Some of us are dragging around like it’s the dawn of the apocalypse while others are celebrating a new era of radical change. Trying to navigate between these seemingly alien viewpoints generates inhibition, uncertainty, and mistrust. I watched many folks at Groundwork! tune into the inauguration live stream, earbuds in place, lost in thought. What happens next?

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How to kick butt on your New Year’s resolution, Groundwork! style

Most of us are rather adept at abandoning our New Year’s resolutions by February, begging the question as to why we bother to make them at all. Why are these resolutions so hard to keep? It seems that too often resolutions focus on the end goal: get the perfect bikini body, quit smoking, find a husband or wife. We get frustrated when we realize that the path to these goals is often long and grueling, so we give up quickly.


Our community is growing but it still feels like family.

I recently re-read Groundwork’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2016, and I realized that Dena and I kicked some serious butt this year. For reals. We killed it!

And the reason why is pretty obvious: we focused on positive behavior rather than end goals. Running a business is a never-ending marathon, so you need to look to your running technique and not to the finish line.

Groundwork’s Resolutions for 2016:

  1. Grow while maintaining the feel of a close-knit community.
  2. Maintain a healthy work-life balance, and encourage our members to do the same.
  3. Stay fun and playful.

Keeping it fresh and playful at Indy Hall.

Look familiar? They are pretty similar to our core values. And all of them focus on maintaining and celebrating something that we already have. We could waste a lot of time and energy trying to be as big as We Work, but that’s just not who we are. So we observe and notice what makes us unique– our special sauce– and then we focus our efforts on making that sauce even better.

Isn’t it just a silly exercise to state the obvious over and over again?

Not from my experience. I need to remind myself over and over again what matters most, because I am pulled in a million directions every day. Resolutions, values, intentions… whatever you want to call them, they are powerful tools to stay on track.


We have lots to celebrate this year!

2017: The Year of Special Sauce

Dena and I will sit down and plot our 2017 resolutions in the next few days, and I’m really looking forward to it. I encourage you to do the same. Take some time to reflect on the things that make you great. We want to see more of that from you in the coming year.

Happy New Year from Groundwork!

Mark Parsons

My Summer at Groundwork!

As my summer internship at Groundwork! is sadly coming to an end, I wanted to share what I learned from spending time at Groundwork! and with its members over the last three months…

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Groundwork! Pride

The secret to ending hate once and for all

We’re now a couple of years into Groundwork!, and we can clearly see why community matters. Here’s why: our members are not all created equal. We represent different industries, different backgrounds, and different beliefs. We have Sanders supporters and Trump supporters at the same table– passionate socialists and passionate conservatives dueling it out over ping pong.

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New Bedford Book Festival