Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: My Friends Are Awesome - No, Really, They Are

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Friends Are Awesome - No, Really, They Are

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I was thinking about how awesome my friends are, and how much they do as entrepreneurs, and how much they give back to the community...

I thought it was worth writing about!

In the past few years, nearly all of the friends I have made are entrepreneurs, or have some sort of entrepreneurial spirit. Entrepreneurs are intoxicating people who are full of energy and life and I love their spirit. They also have a strong desire to give back, so I thought I would take a moment to share some of their profiles and some of their efforts with you.

Here are some of my awesome friends and what they're up to....
I shall start in no particular order, other than what was easy for me to post!

Jeff Ringgenberg aka @JeffreyRyanWho is a partner at Evolyte. We met on Twitter around the time I was planning the Urban Hunt. Jeff is an overall good guy (and he's super cute, despite the nerdy pic below). Jeff lost his mother to Brain Cancer in 2009, and in support of the cause, Jeff is trying to get the word out about a great event - Harley Helping Hands on April 29th at Galleria Marchetti. The not-for-profit organization helps provide financial support for adults with brain cancer.

April Rose aka @TweetAprilRose is a spokesperson and model. She works for Maxim Magazine and we became friends because we both work for (April is in front of the camera, and I am as far away from the camera as possible). Meeting April was intimidating at first because I made the quick assumption that April would be really full of herself - boy did she prove me wrong. April is a giant sweetheart, very funny and a caring person. April is supporting Angela Rose (no relation) who was abducted at knife point at the age of 17 and now advocates the prevention of sexual abuse. Story From a New Friend event is at Rockit this Thursday, April 21st.

Dominic Pesoli aka @8_Count or as I like to call him "The Amazing Dominic!" I met Dominic many years ago because his wife is my best friend. Many of you have noticed her outlandish (yet hysterical) posts on my Facebook wall. Well, this is her husband, The Amazing Dominic - who also happens to be a boxing promoter in Chicago. Dominic has been an entrepreneur promoting boxing events in Chicago since 1997 with his company 8 Count Productionss. His next event Windy City Fight Night is May 20th at the UIC Pavilion (Andrzej Fonfara vs Anthony Russell)

Tim McDonald aka @Tamcdonald is a friend I met about two years ago through SMC Chicago and Twitter. Tim is the Director of Communications for the Social Media Club in Chicago, he is a huge supporter of all of my efforts and a lot of other small business efforts in the Chicagoland area. Another great guy who is knowledgeable as much as he is helpful. Tim is bringing the Twitter documentary Twittamentary to Chicago on May 4th. And you can find details on the Eventbrite page here.

Shannon Downey aka @shannondowney I randomly found on Facebook around the time I was starting my business. Because our backgrounds were similar (we both create events and manage marketing communications / social media), I reached out to Shannon and wanted to get to know her better. Since that time, Shannon and I have been in touch and supported each others work. She was also a participant in the Urban Hunt last year and made a pretty killer YouTube video. Shannon's upcoming event is Growing Home on April 28th at the Cultural Center - an event honoring Kathy Dickhut, Deputy Commissioner of Department of Housing and Economic Development with a keynote address by Bill Curtis. Shannon's kind of a big deal.

Suzanne Ko aka @skofit I met when she sponsored (yes, you guessed it) the Urban Hunt. I swear, this is not a conspiracy, I have just managed to stay in close touch with all these people. Sko-fit is Suzanne's fitness consulting company and she is a vivacious fitness instructor who is formerly an architect. On April 24th, Suzanne is hosting another Eatin'-fit Tweetup called Rampbunctious.

Tatiana Abramova aka @GourmetRambler is a bon vivant extraordinaire and a big supporter of her dear friend Mike Stashwick. I met Tatiana and Mike on Twitter, our love for food and the art of dining out brought us together in a virtual world (she was also a participant in the aforementioned event her partner was Tim McDonald). Tatiana is one of the few non-expert winos who knows her stuff like a pro. Her breadth of knowledge on food, wine and spirits is impressive. Tatiana is supporting the Share Our Strength Great American Bake Sale to end child hunger on Saturday, May 7th. The goal is to make the Chicago bake sale the largest grossing in the nation.

Kelly Sutton aka @myPoshJeans - once again I met Kelly on Twitter, but, she did NOT participate in the Urban Hunt! I met her late last year at a #ChiGirlBrunch and the first thing I noticed was her striking blonde hair. Look at how pretty Kelly is, she is like a real life Barbie Doll :) She writes a fashion blog called My Posh Jeans (named in honor of Posh Spice) and works for The Ocean Agency. Kelly is championing a cause very close to her heart next month. Kelly's mother was diagnosed with MS in 2007, she will be hosting Cocktails for a Causes at the Drake Hotel on May 25th and donating the proceeds to the MS Society.

Here are some other noteworthy events (sorry, I just couldn't write bios and add photos for everyone without this post taking ALL DAY!)

Thanks for reading.  Here are some related posts:


Tatiana said...

Thank you, Leyla. I am honored.

April Rose said...

Awwwww! Sounds like i paid u to say nice things about me! haha! checks in the mail ;)

ParkRidgeDDS said...

...and then there is Leyla Arsan who's generous nature and compassionate heart make her loved throughout Chicagoland. Leyla you rock! Such a wonderful and kind post!!

Maddalena said...