Archive for individual

Member Feature: Danny Aguizi from feedfive

img_4538-jpgDanny joined Treehaus last March as a full-time member, working independently on his social enterprise, feedfive. Now he’s become one of Treehaus’ most active members, often working late into the night.

Feedfive began as a group of friends and volunteers preparing and serving meals at Ray of Hope, a charity providing resources for people struggling with crime, addiction and homelessness in the Kitchener-Waterloo community. When the group found it was no longer possible to pay for the ingredients themselves, Danny came up with the idea to sell t-shirts to fund the meals and began developing feedfive in March 2015.

Each t-shirt costs $29 and helps feed five people in need in our community, but it’s about much more than just a meal; it helps connect people with Ray of Hope and their other resources. “When someone donates five meals, they’re not just giving someone a meal to be able to go through the day, but they’re also providing a place for them to be with other people who are going through the same thing, and be able to connect with professionals who can help them get back on their feet,” shared Danny.

When Danny first decided to work on feedfive full-time however, he found staying productive while working from home was a real struggle. “I tried to work from home for a couple months, and it was very difficult for me as I wasn’t able to separate my work life from my personal life. It was also very distracting being around my TV and my fridge.”

So he began looking for an office space with fewer distractions. “I found I was much more productive when I worked out of Treehaus with other people around me,” he said. “This isn’t an exaggeration but my productivity and efficiency has more than tripled since I joined. Plus, the location is key, it’s right in the middle of everything and it’s close to where I live. The other residents are great to work with and be around. The people and community-basis were just what I was looking for.”

Feedfive is a very time consuming venture for Danny, who now runs it as his full time job. He operates the business nearly independently, while relying on a team of devoted volunteers to help cook and serve the meals. “If people want to do more than buy a shirt they can donate their time and energy, and they can help with preparing or serving the meals, or both,” said Danny. “We do every third Monday and Tuesday [at Ray of Hope]. As volunteers, we are our own community as well. It’s a great group of like-minded individuals, who share similar values and are able to work side-by-side. Serving meals is also a cool experience as you interact with the guests and get to know them a bit better, and you get to see the impact directly!”

Feedfive is always looking for volunteers, and anyone from individuals to large corporate groups can help out! Find out more about volunteering at feedfive.ca/volunteer.

 

Written by Laura Janzen, Community Manager

MEDIA RELEASE: INTERNATIONAL COWORKING WEEK @TREEHAUS 2015

To access .pdf version, click here.

Release Date: August 7, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Downtown Kitchener’s Treehaus Coworking Workplace celebrates five years in city’s business community

Kitchener, ON – This summer Treehaus Collaborative Workspace celebrates its fifth year of bringing coworking to the Kitchener community. Treehaus is an incubator for entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations and telecommuters in the region. With an open-concept office setting, a kitchen, two board rooms and more than 20 workstations, Treehaus has become a second home for many programmers, artists and start-ups for the past five years. With the coworking movement gaining momentum in Canada, there are three things that make Treehaus stand out: its commitment to diversity, affordability and community building.

Gabrielle Clermont, Co-founder and Treasurer, has been at Treehaus here since the beginning, ensuring that these three values are at the core of the organization. When it comes to its residents, she says “our members are working in all different fields but we all share a passion for getting to know each other and being part of the bigger community of Treehaus.” Treehaus is part of a vision that favours collaboration over competition and its members feel the benefits first hand. “At Treehaus, we don’t take just anyone willing to pay the rent. It’s a curated community,” shares Clermont.

At five years old, Treehaus is one of the founding grandfathers of the coworking movement in the province. “We are one of the oldest coworking spaces in Ontario. Coworking is still a fairly new concept in Canada. Most new spaces close within two years,” notes Clermont. Treehaus’ success is due in equal parts to support from the community and the City of Kitchener.

When it comes to company structure, Treehaus functions with a minimalistic sense of style. As a space that curates and nourishes the needs of local professionals, Treehaus prides itself on its ability to be financially independent. Operated through the collaboration of a volunteer Board of Directors and part-time Community Manager, Treehaus goes without general executive services, such as reception. “We are the only coworking space that is run as an incorporated nonprofit organization. It’s part of the reason our space is so affordable. Treehaus is a true 24/7, help yourself kind of a place,” notes Clermont.

As a member of the Ontario Coworking Collective, Treehaus believes in giving its residents incentives for choosing coworking over a traditional setting. One of these incentives is the Coworking Health Insurance Plan (COHIP), which provides the stability of accessible insurance coverage for independent workers in Ontario.

Treehaus is taking its fifth anniversary as an opportunity to give back to the community by celebrating coworking culture with International Coworking Week happening from August 10 to 14. Highlights from Treehaus’ Coworking Week celebrations include an open house, free coworking days and evening social events at the nearby Boathouse Restaurant. On Thursday, August 13, Treehaus hosts a free training session co-presented with the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre on the Canvas Business Model. The session features Q&A sessions with legal and marketing professionals, complimentary lunch and a coupon for a free coworking afternoon at Treehaus.

Treehaus is thrilled to present these and other community events to educate and celebrate Coworking Week in Kitchener’s downtown coworking space.
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TREEHAUS COWORKING WEEK EVENTS: AUGUST 10-14

Monday, August 10
Monday Funday Lunchtime Frisbee: 12pm-1pm
Open House: 10am-5pm
Treehaus Tour: 10am, 2pm, 4pm
Boathouse Social: 5pm-7pm

Tuesday, August 11
Office Supply Swap: 11am-2pm
Treehaus Tour: 10am, 2pm, 4pm
Boathouse Happy Hour: 5pm-7pm

Wednesday, August 12
Potluck Picnic Lunch in Victoria Park: 12pm-1pm
Free Coworking: 1pm-5pm
Treehaus Tour: 10am, 4pm

Thursday, August 13
Free Waterloo Region Small Business Centre Canvas Business Model Q&A and Workshop,
with lunch included: 12:30pm-2:00pm
*Event registration through Eventbrite required
Treehaus Tour 10am, 2pm, 4pm

Friday, August 14
Open House 10am-5pm
COHIP Insurance Info Session 1pm-2pm
Treehaus Tour 10am, 2pm, 4pm

To see Coworking Week Events Poster, click here.

Media Contact: Alex Glass | Treehaus Board Member | 226.792.4849 | alex@artsbuildontario.ca

Treehouse Collaborative Workspace is a nonprofit organization that has fostered over 85 different companies, individuals and organizations since its opening on July 1, 2010. Treehaus is home to consultants, single person businesses, nonprofit organizations, start-ups and telecommuters. Its proximity to the Iron Horse Trail and Charles Street Bus Terminal offers car-free commuting options for its residents year-round. Above all, Treehaus is committed to fostering a sense of community among its residents and regional businesses.