Intro from Alana:
I recently connected with local attorney, Gabe Zorogastua, through a mutual friend. We had a wonderful introductory meeting and I learned about his Peruvian heritage, love of food, concern for the community and keen ability to bring all of these things together in the most marvelous ways! I knew he needed to share his story with the CLC Community.
Gabe is a shareholder in Polsinelli’s commercial litigation and antitrust practice groups. He serves as the current president of the board for the Good Samaritan Project, a non-profit that helps people with HIV and AIDS in Kansas City.
I dare you to keep your mouth from watering as you learn about Flavor! and Gabe’s unique take on bringing people together in a networking capacity. Please welcome him to CLC!
Peruvian food and music, local art galleries, and the prevention of HIV/AIDS in Kansas City have at least one thing in common: Flavor!
I’m honored to serve as the president of the board of the Good Samaritan Project (“GSP”), a local non-profit serving people with HIV in the Kansas City-Metro area through prevention efforts, education, and case management. Flavor!, one of GSP’s newest events, is a series of culinary events, each by a different host and with a unique theme.
The concept Flavor! was simple: hosts throw a party, invite friends and the community, a GSP representative welcomes those who attend, and ticket sales raise funds to benefit GSP and its clients. The turnout was fantastic—more than 500 people attended these dinners. The community had a great time at each of these events, and attendees had the opportunity to connect with others while supporting the community.
But what made the event truly unique is the individuality that each host brought. I hosted a dinner that hosted almost fifty people. Gabby’s Peruvian Restaurant & Catering, my family’s restaurant in Wichita, catered an amazing Peruvian spread. Musicians from Ayllu, a local Andean-music band whose name means community in Quechua, played the zampoña and guitar. One of the songs they played is called “Ñukallajta,” which translates to “Our land.” My law firm provided the event space, and I spoke about GSP and its efforts to combat HIV and AIDS.
Another host had a piñata party, and the co-chairs of the event hosted a hot dog dinner at a local farm and art gallery and brunch catered by Cucina della Ragazza. GSP had sixteen events total. Each event brought different facets of the community together to enjoy unique food and entertainment.
Flavor! reminded me of the importance of bringing others together. It was wonderful to see friends, family, colleagues, and community members learning about an important cause while connecting with one another.
Making connections takes little effort, and is often the key to a strong network. Connections bring value to colleagues and clients alike. A thoughtful introduction can be invaluable and spark new opportunities. In the case of Flavor!, each host and attendee had the opportunity to connect those in their network to one another and to a common cause.
I encourage each of you to connect those you know with others in your network, with unique experiences, and with important causes, as the Flavor! hosts did this year. Here are some ways to do that:
- Create or organize events for those in your network to meet one another.
- Introduce a client to an important cause, or contribute to a cause that is important to him or her.
- Invite a colleague or potential client to an event with your favorite musician or for one-of-a-kind food.
- Send a person who has referred you a client an article that he or she might find interesting.
GSP will definitely be having Flavor! again next year, and I hope many of you will attend, or even join me as a host. Until next year, I challenge you to find unique ways to add some flavor to networking and as you help connect people to one another.