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Meet Michelle!

michelle mazur

Dr. Michelle Mazur is a Speech Designer and Idea Architect which, in her own words, is “a fancy way of saying that I help super smart people (like you) get their ideas out their heads and communicated to the people who need to hear them most.”

If you ever struggled with how to end a presentation, Michelle created a free tool that walks you through how to create the final thought of your speech.

She spoke recently with Nearby Registry,  a gift registry service for shopping local, about her experience as a coworker.

Q: What made you decide to try coworking at Works Progress?

 A: I know many people go to a coworking space to be more productive, but I’m plenty productive at home. My problem is turning it off, so coworking gives me that work/life separation that you don’t get from being at home. Plus, I needed to get out of my house and interact with people. My fiance would come home from work and ask me about my day – and I’d regale him with stories about the cats. I needed more social interaction.

Q: What are the top 3 fun/inspirational/helpful things that have happened during your time at WP?

A: (1) Playing Spaceteam on Friday is a blast (2) having someone to bounce ideas off of, and (3) the office dog, Bailey, (right) is the cutest office greeter in the whole wide world. bailey sliderWalking into that space and being greeted by a friendly pup makes me feel instantly happy.

 Q: What would you say to someone who isn’t sure coworking is worth the investment?

 A: As an entrepreneur, having somewhere to go and meet clients made my business feel more like a real business. It’s worth the investment to feel like you are showing up bigger in your business.

Q: Anything else?

A: I think a coworking space membership would be a great gift. (We couldn’t agree more! Check us out on Nearby Registry.)


Read Nearby Registry’s original blog entry here and read our blog post about Nearby, in which we recommend three other Greenwood-based women-owned businesses to check out during the holidays!

Shop Nearby for the Holidays

Creating your holiday wish-list on Nearby Registry makes it easy for your loved ones to support you and Seattle small businesses this season. Nearby started as a wedding and shower registry in New Hampshire, but is now supporting our local economy. Search through gift guides with themes like Stocking Stuffers, Great Gatsby or Miss Havisham for fun, whimsical, luxurious or delicious items. 

Our favorite gift on Nearby is Works Progress membership! Know someone special who would benefit from joining our community with an 8 days/month membership? Who would especially love to jump start 2015 with 20 days/month of productivity? Maybe you want to add your membership to your own Nearby holiday wishlist.

Stuff We Love on Nearby Registry

We LOVE that there are three other women-owned, small businesses in Greenwood on Nearby!

Parenting with Positive Discipline Workshops

A workshop series for parents who want more cooperative, respectful and enjoyable relationships with their children.

  • Are you tired of whining, mealtime hurdles and bedtime hassles?
  • Are you feeling frustrated or just plain stumped?
  • Are you the parent you dreamed you would be?
  • Is it time to add some new tools to your parenting toolbox?

Positive Discipline offers strategies to teach children of all ages positive life skills while encouraging you to care for yourself

Workshop series runs Wednesdays, May 7th – June 18th, 7:00 – 9:00pm at Works Progress.

Download the flier here for more info or REGISTER HERE.

Pennie O’Grady is a Certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator and the mother of two young adults. She wants to help parents and children succeed. She knows that parents learn best from other parents, and is eager to workshop with you. Pennie remembers what it’s like to learn Positive Discipline because she took the course herself when her kids still expected her to supply them with answers and snacks. She remembers because she is still learning.

Contact: Pennie O’Grady at pennielink@mac.com or 206-307-4227

Works Progress Hosts a Biodiversity Expedition!

Special Event During the PhinneyWood Artwalk – The BIG One!

Friday, May 9, 6-9 pm | Saturday, May 10, 12-5 pm

Join us for a large-screen photography presentation of the Pacific Biodiversity Institute’s recent South America Biodiversity Expedition. Peter Morrison, a conservation biologist and avid explorer of biodiversity and wildlands, has been exploring South America for 30 years. For the last five, he has lead expeditions to biodiversity hotspots in an effort to map, describe and protect the world’s largest remaining wild and roadless areas. Stop by any time to view incredible photographs and short videos portraying the vastness and beauty of the wildlands and their immense biodiversity.  Peter will also present a few photos of the Pacific Biodiversity Institute’s (PBI) Harbor Porpoise Project in Puget Sound.

About the PhinneyWood Artwalk

Works Progress will be one of 78 businesses in Phinney-Greenwood welcoming in visitors with wine, snacks and art work from over 150 area artists. Originally a stand-alone annual event, the BIG One is now the centerpiece of the monthly Art Up Chow Down art walks. Over the years, this hugely popular event has turned into a neighborhood party with musical performances in participating businesses and churches, street performers, chalk art and activities for children. Maps and additional information will be available online and at participating sites the week of the Art Walk.

About the South American Wildlands and Conservation Project

South America contains immense wildland and biodiversity resources that are unparalleled in today’s world.  The tropical Andes hotspot, according to Conservation International, “It is home to an estimated 30,000-35,000 species of vascular plants, accounting for about 10 percent of all the world’s species and far surpassing the diversity of any other hot spot.”

1380605_10151922722665853_1287626957_nPBI’s initial mapping of the wildlands of South America has identified five roadless areas each over 110 million acres in size (each bigger than California) and 350 roadless areas each over one million acres. These spectacular gems are unmatched in today’s world. Our initial mapping identified the largest area – the western Amazon – which is still one block of intact, pristine tropical forest of over 800 million acres! This vast tract of tropical forest, mountains, rivers and wetlands spans parts of 5 countries. It is bigger than 8 states the size of California placed end to end. These immense wildlands are the heart and lungs of the Planet.

PBI is sharing information and inspiration with local, national and international conservation NGOs and scientists. With  biodiversity hotspots such as the tropical Andes containing more than 1,700 bird species and 980 species of amphibians – many of which are endemic – we are committed to conserving these vast wildland areas  and last big reservoirs of the Earth’s biodiversity .

About the Pacific Biodiversity Institute 

The Pacific Biodiversity Institute combines innovative scientific research, education, and technical support to inform, enhance and inspire conservation. Our goal is a rich and enduring biological heritage.

We envision a future rich in biological diversity in all forms and at all scales, allowing for the continued unfolding of natural ecological and evolutionary processes over time. We work at the forefront of biodiversity conservation, exploring new terrain through the use of professional and citizen scientists. In high conservation opportunity areas, PBI leads the way in developing new information and understanding to help realize this future.

One Year Anniversary Celebration Menu

Menu for January 23, 2014

5 to 8pm

Blue Cheese Jam Savories

Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs) *VIEW THE RECIPE

Gougères: French Cheese Puffs

Barbequed Meats

Sweet and Spicy Italian Meatballs

Roasted dry-rub chicken wings

Southern Fresh-Roasted Pimento and Jalapeno Cheese Spread Served with Sweet Red Pepper Jelly and Crackers

Marinated Vegetables with Grape Tomatoes, Sugar Snap Peas, Haricot Verts, Mushrooms, Carrots and Olives

Herbed Deviled Eggs

Chocolate, peanuts, sea salt, perfection.

Triple Dipped Chocolate Peanut Clusters Dusted with Sea Salt *VIEW THE RECIPE

Thank you to the incredibly generous and talented chef, Linda Little, for providing these delicious appetizers!

RSVP and learn more about the event on Facebook or MeetUp.Com.

We’re Expanding!

Celebratory selfie with our realtor, Lourdes C. Valdesuso, after signing the new lease.

Celebratory selfie with our realtor, Lourdes C. Valdesuso, after signing the new lease.

Works Progress is expanding in our current building, going from ½ to ¾ of top floor and adding 1,600 square feet to our space! We hope to have the new space available for members by our one year anniversary on December 1. As part of our expansion, we plan to offer some new conveniences and increase the amount of space for existing services. We are also excited to be working with a local company, Locos Legos, who will create almost zero waste in the remodel and continue our efforts to use recycled and re-used materials in our office decor.

Everything that is currently available should continue to be available throughout the build-out of the new space and we expect minimal interruption of services.

New Offerings

We are excited to add some new features with the expansion. Our plans include: a multi-purpose space for flexible desk coworking and evening/weekend events; a private office; two private phone rooms equipped for video calls; a larger, modern conference room; a larger kitchen area; and a multi-media room with reservable work stations for video editing, scanning projects, and design software.

Coworking Space

The new multi-purpose room will add many flexible desks. Works Progress currently has room for eight fixed desks in our original suite and we have only one space left!

Today Locos Legos is removing the ceiling tile grid to raise the height of the room.

Today Locos Legos is removing the ceiling tile grid in the new space to raise the height of the room.

Event Space

During the evenings and on weekends, the desks in the multi-purpose room can be rearranged into event space! Lectures, workshops, yoga classes, Meetups — you name it! Want to rent the space once for your holiday party or teach a class there every Thursday? Right now the options are wide open, so please contact us.

Private Office for One-on-One Sessions

Our new private office will be fully furnished and have its own private entry from the main hall. Counselors or health practitioners looking for a private space to meet with clients will be able to reserve the space by day of the week. Your hours will be what you need them and you will have access to the shared kitchen, high speed internet, and printer/fax/copy machine during your booked hours. Need to see clients every Thursday? It’s yours. You’ll pay $150 for all 4 Thursdays (for example) of that month!

Conference Room

Our larger 10 to 12 person conference room will include speaker/conference phone equipment, a wall screen with direct connection to your laptop, iPad, or other device, and a white board.

Private Phone Rooms

Our new phone rooms will have universal laptop ports, monitor and video camera for video calls.

Multi-media room

Three reservable workstation computers will be available for members and will be fully loaded with Adobe Creative Suite, video editing software, and possibly additional fancy gear for your special projects. Have some special needs? Let us know what software YOU would like to see! In addition, a dedicated scanner will be available to link to the workstation for your scanning projects. And just in case you need a break to rock out with the folks sitting next to you, our new media cart comes with a TV and Xbox (with headphones).

Next Steps

Some changes are still in the works. Interested in any of this? Please let us know!  We’ll plan to have a soft opening to show it off in December and a larger event in late January after everyone has recovered from the holidays.

Info Session & Monthly Member Potluck

Join us on Thursday, November 14 at noon to get to know our members and learn more about our expansion plans! This is a great time to come in if you’re interested in becoming a member or using some of our new services.

Contact us.

Meet Michael Roufa

Roufa Enterprises, Inc.Mike-Roufa-150x150

Mike is a dedicated software consultant and coworking space member. He has been a member at Maple Leaf, Indie Ballard, and most recently with Works Progress.

We asked Mike a few questions about running your own business and coworking:

How long have you been a software engineer?

I started out in the first boom years of the web back in the late 90’s, and it was a thrilling time to be an engineer. Never before could somebody write software that could so easily be run on millions of people’s computers around the world.

When did you decide to branch out on your own?

Working under the advertising model, I realized there was a dearth of people who had in-depth engineering and architecture skills and could communicate effectively with creative types and clients alike. Good agencies are well-staffed with brilliant designers and creative types, but sometimes their ideas are too big of a stretch for the types of programmers they hire. It’s a good fit for freelancing, and can lead to some really interesting projects that would never come up working for a big company.

What advice would you give someone just starting out in programming?

Stand on the shoulders of giants! Find an environment where you can work with other great programmers to start, use and participate in open source projects, open your code up to observation and suggestions from others.

Are you from Seattle?

No, I grew up in Lancaster, PA, not far from Amish country.

Why did you start coworking? Once my second child was able to run around the house and wreak havoc in league with the first, I knew my days of working from home were numbered.

What is the best thing you’ve found about coworking? It’s great to be able to make connections with other independent workers. People who work in coworking spaces are passionate about their careers and are clearly successful enough to afford an office, so they can become great contacts. Plus, they have chosen to work in a space with other like-minded people, so there’s never an unfriendly face.

What is the one thing you wish you could change about coworking?

The one downside is that you are not working with people from your own company, which means that you have to be very cautious about what calls you take and where in order to protect any proprietary information.

What advice would you give someone just starting in a new coworking office?

Don’t wait for others to make your community for you!

Learn more about Mike’s work at http://www.roufa.com

Eric: Philanthropic Punk & Proud Papa

Introducing, Eric Bruckbauer! Eric will gladly help you with anything you need at WP when owners Marnee and Jessie are away.

Eric is the proud papa of 4 month old Ari Orion, who almost has his second tooth. While he’s at Works Progress, Eric is the Development Director for Community Homes, which provides housing and support for adults with developmental disabilities. When not here, he’s the Grant Writer at Parent Trust for Washington Children, which provides statewide support for children and families. He also teaches their Conscious Fathering class, where he demonstrates his Olympic-level swaddling and baby-burping abilities.

In his spare time, Eric plays guitar for comedy punk band Warning: Danger! He also hilariously portrayed a stoner interrogated by a cop on the local tv show The 206. Click here to watch.

Eric and Jessie met in 2008 when Eric started dating his now wife, Hannah, Jessie’s former coworker at the Greenwood Mud Bay natural pet food store. Now Jessie, Eric, and family live next door to each other on Phinney Ridge. Unlike everyone else at Works Progress, Eric is actually from Seattle.

Thanks, Eric, for joining our community!

10 Tips for Working Parents to Make the Most of Back-to-School

It’s finally back to school time. As a mom of two boys, ages almost 3 and not-quite 13, summer means going on more bike rides, swimming, weekend camping trips and as many day hikes as we can squeeze in. On the downside, it also means that the kids have no schedule, a lot of mid-day activities (read extra driving) and constant distractions. Summer can be very hard on working parents, especially if they are trying to work from home. Over the years, I’ve slowly come to the conclusion that not only do I like to have complete control of everything, but I also thrive on a schedule.

I have found that I am more productive at my job during the school year because I have more quiet time and know what to expect each day. Here are some tips for parents getting back into work after a long summer vacation:

  1. Make a Schedule for everyone 

    The kids get a schedule for being engaged in learning, Monday through Friday. Make a schedule for yourself that includes everything from soccer practice to when you need to sit down and be on task for your business.

  2. Your kids get all new school gear – so can you!  

    It’s time to clean and organize the office. Buy new note pads, pens, highlighters and folders. Update your computer software. Clean out your in-box. Get your workstation ready for a more productive day.

  3. Get back to your to-do list 

    The infamous to-do list is a good way to keep you on track – make one for each day & week, prioritize tasks and stick to your deadlines, even when they are self-generated.

  4. Your space is important 

    Hold “office hours” when you can’t be distracted. Back to school time helps create automatic hours when you have time to yourself, but if your house is still too distracting, consider someplace else – is there a coffee shop or coworking space in your neighborhood that meets your needs?

  5. Creative inspiration 

    During the summer there seems to be more opportunities to obsess about what I’ve done wrong as a parent, a business owner and as a spouse. Fall is a great time to pull all your thoughts together and set new aspirations for yourself and your career. You may find that other working parents are in the same boat. See if you can find others like you to help focus your goals and be an inspiration.

  6. Get back on a regular exercise routine 

    I need to work off all of the extra picnic calories and s’mores from the summer! Now that the kids are back on schedule, consider a time to run/walk daily or signing up for a yoga class and get back into a routine.

  7. Plan Family Dinners 

    Who even has time for dinner any more? I have never been organized enough to freeze all the weeks’ meals on Sunday, but I do plan at least three healthy family meals for the week and shop for the menu items over the weekend. That way, I’m ready to go when we do have time to sit down together.

  8. Network 

    With the kids back in school, you have more opportunities to network and meet other people. Working from home is not just isolating, if you’re like me, it reinforces introverted tendencies. Answer some emails by picking up the phone. Try to go on a lunch date at least once a week.  Sign up for the minimum membership at a coworking space to help you get out of the house and meet others.  

  9. Focus 

    Time to schedule another dentist appointment? Need to pick up chicken before dinner? Do you want to know who won on ‘American Idol’ last night? Turn off your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and email and focus on the task at hand. Once you’ve established your work hours, don’t let other things distract you.  

  10. Do Less 

    No one can do everything. Decide on what’s most important to you and stick with what’s going to make those things work. That might mean saying “no” a lot more often. Make sure that there is still family time at home: have the kids take one less dance class, get everyone off the iPad for a few hours, and “sign-off” from your email at night – at least before bedtime.

Interested in learning more about coworking? Come in to Works Progress in Greenwood for a Free Coworking Tuesday between 8am and 6pm anytime this fall! Call 206-466-1624 for more info. 

Coworker Opinions

We asked members of longer than two months to take a survey and provide feedback.

100% would recommend Works Progress to others and 100% find the benefits are worth the cost of membership.

Here’s what else they had to say:

The atmosphere at WP is great, it allows as much (or as little) interaction with other members as everyone prefers.

Enjoying the monthly members potlucks a lot 🙂

Works Progress has been a terrific and easy place to come in and work!

I am so glad to not be shlepping myself around each day or hunched over my own kitchen table.

Thank you for the environment you have created! WP is a wonderful community!

I love the community you’ve created and the “vibe” at Works Progress.

Fabulous space. Great job fostering a welcoming community.