I have mentioned Damian a few times in the last entries, it’s certainly clear that he was a key component of our group and the success of our market, but I would like to take a moment to expand the picture and explain how he came to be involved. Furthermore to explain how his involvement helped me to develop more patience and respect for certain processes in the leadership experience and fine-tune certain skills that are necessary when leading as a group.
The word of the petition Meghan and I sent out got around pretty quick and soon had picked up the attention of the media. One of Central Michigan’s newspapers, CM Life, had taken interest in our cause and ran a story on our struggle and desire to implement an on campus market. This particular article then caught the eye of local attorney and non-profit CEO, Damian Fisher. Damian contacted Meghan letting her know he had seen the article and was interested in helping our cause.
I was skeptical at first, I mean why would a big wig attorney want to help us, we were just college kids trying to start a small on campus event, but nevertheless Meghan responded and met up with Damian shortly after. He explained to us all about his non-profit, Real Food Grows , which is an organization that seeks to help individuals and other organizations facilitate and connect with means for a healthy, sustainable way of life.
For the first month or so of Damian’s involvement with our cause, Meghan did the majority of the communication with him, it was not until later around mid July that I was able to meet up with her and Damian to collaborate with him face to face. In fact, my first meeting with Damian was at the office of Dani Rossman, the university’s head of all student organizations. We met with Miss Rossman to openly discuss what we were aiming for achieving and to ask her of any available routes we could take to make our vision a reality.
After our appointment with Dani Rossman, Damian attended every meeting, which there were a lot of, that made up our venture towards a market. He advised us in who we really needed to speak to in the university’s system and what were the best ways to go about requesting the things we needed. He was very good about not fully taking over the operation by consulting with Meghan and I on everything before moving forward with decisions. He also was nice about asking us for help navigating the student life aspect of campus within the entire operation and taking our opinions seriously when given. The first few meetings with Damian were great exercises for me in
Working with Damian and Meghan in professional meetings settings was one of the biggest ways I met my goal of learning about the different sectors of the university as a business and how the hierarchy of each sector ran. It was eye opening to work our way through the levels of higher-ups and related offices that individually work on vastly different aspects of campus, but intertwined a great deal when it came to the market.