Feedback Hosts Inspiring Dent:Blend Richmond 2017
By the time the hour turned past midnight at Feedback, almost twelve hours since the one-day experience began, Dent:Blend Richmond’s vibrant attendees were still exchanging ideas, toasts, smiles, and hugs.
The event’s official description read: “Dent:Blend Richmond is a one-day leadership experience that seeks to bring the experience and vision of the annual Dent conference to new communities across the country. In Richmond, VA this October we are creating a unique experience to explore our future and our past through the lens of innovative leadership and creativity.” Mission accomplished, to say the least, if the smiles and excitement were any indication.
The day began at host-site Feedback, with a special local lunch from Virginia BBQ followed by an introduction from Feedback’s Dean Browell and Dent’s Jason Preston (in from Seattle). Initial speakers included Jerry Hoak, SVP and Group Creative Director at The Martin Agency and Board Member of Make-a-Wish Greater Virginia, and Christine Morris, City of Norfolk Chief Resiliency Officer, who kicked off the “Innovation Through Adversity” themed event through their stories of overcoming illness and innovating in the face of climate change, respectively.
After a break of nonstop discussion by the 45+ attendees, the day’s activities began. A special trio presented conversation and tastings in “Crops, Hops, and Grapes in Adversity,” featuring Brad Hansen, Winemaker and General Manager of Prince Michel Winery; Jason Alley, Chef/partner of Comfort, Pasture, Flora and Sur Taco & Sandwich; and local brewmaster and beer curator Mike Hiller of Strangeways Brewing. Alongside the tasting of Virginia-produced wine, beer, ham, peanuts – and even grasshoppers – was a special VR demonstration by Richard Hammer of GoJourni).
The entire event then moved to Jason Alley’s restaurant Comfort for a family-style dinner to discuss what had been learned – and unbeknownst to the group, celebrate Alley being named Best Chef for the second year running.
A short jaunt back to Feedback and the group convened for the final speaker – Jaime Fawcett, Executive Director of The Poe Museum in a special presentation of “Lessons from Poe” – attuned to the “Creativity Through Adversity” theme (and in Poe’s case, the often self-inflicted adversity that he would rise to create around).
Feedback was proud to be a part and host of Dent:Blend, but it was the tremendous reception that made the inspiring endeavor worthwhile. Just a small sampling of the immediate comments:
– “I expected it to be good. But it was GREAT. Really loved it.”
– “Sincerely amazing.”
– “…so interesting and thought provoking.”
– “This blew my mind.”
As October 27th drew to a close, new friends from as far as San Diego, CA and as close as downtown Richmond, VA shared solutions, leadership advice, ideas, and those intense smiles – just like Feedback had found at Dent’s first five years in Sun Valley, ID where they were initially inspired to bring such feelings and connections to Richmond. The feelings won’t be going away soon – and neither will Dent or Dent:Blend and their newly minted Richmond community.