Magnificent Millennials | Have Empathy; Will Take Action

I’m not a millennial. I was born (slightly) too early to be included in this huge group of young adults, who are clumped together and scrutinized by politicians, advertisers and the media. But I’ll admit it, I want to cross the generational picket line. It’s not that I don’t appreciate my years of experience and experiences; it’s simply that I find millennials, especially the ones with whom I choose to surround myself with, impressive and inspiring, and it would be an honor to include myself and the passion I bring to my work in their ranks.

What sets these idealistic and energetic individuals apart from their predecessors is that they take action – and they’re willing to do it now. With giant leaps of faith, they launch themselves into projects and professional pursuits aimed at changing the world.

In my personal (local, San Francisco) network alone, there are people transforming the culinary world, preserving the environment for future generations and empowering people personally and professionally. They are educators and political advocates, artists and activists, reinventing how we experience philanthropy, real estate, community building and much more.

Photo by pexels.jpg

Photo by pexels.jpg

Photo by from Pexels.jpg

Photo by from Pexels.jpg

In the future, I’d love to focus on each and every one of these rock stars and share more about what they’ve accomplished.  For now, here’s a brief description and encouragement to learn more about them and their work.

Meet (in alphabetical order):

Andrew Flachner is Co-Founder and President of RealScout, a startup tackling residential real estate’s core problem: matching homebuyers and homes. His passion for Real Estate educates and informs buyers and professionals around the world.

Ari Kalfyan leads growth at Weights and Biases and builds communities of dreamers and doers, empowering people to come together to connect, learn and transform the world.  

Brenden Blaine Darby –is the co-founder of No Bull Food and is a chef who connects people through exceptional food and thoughtful events and programs. He is constantly exploring in order to solving the world’s inefficiencies.

Photo by  Sari Blum

Photo by Sari Blum

Desiree Tavera is Executive Director of The Far Away Project, a California registered 501c3, connecting communities globally, to accelerate impact with shared resources, using systems and design thinking, and leadership development.

Joe Adkins is a tireless advocate for those who need a voice in his community, city and country. He brings his dancer’s grace and passion to all of the work he does to connect people with one another, with information and with opportunities to create change.

Sari Blum makes sure that people live life to the fullest by capturing and sharing our most amazing, precious and unique experiences and memories. She’s redefining the way we look at our lives – for the better!

Sergio Garrido Ramirez/Evora Baden is the Founder of Label Me Human and is a creative branding wizard dedicated to helping people and brands discover, interpret and showcase their values in order to build relationships, business and to have lasting impact on their communities.

Ty Walrod is the Co-Founder and CEO at Bright Funds which empowers everyday donors to become strategic philanthropists through corporate partnerships and comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. 

There have been so many people that have influenced Shalon and the leap that I took when I chose to make a casual dinner party with friends into a formal space for real, moderated conversation. Whether they know it or not, each person mentioned above has motivated and encouraged me to push myself beyond my comfort zone to create an organization that changes the way people in our community interacts – by becoming more aware and taking responsibility for the social issues happening around them.

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels.jpg

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels.jpg

I am proud that each Shalon enables guests to meet new people, to expand their perspective and to commit to making improvements in our community. It is because of the bravery and commitment to transformation that these millennials exhibit that allows me to weigh the value of opportunity over my fear of the risks associated with hosting each event.

As I get ready for one of the final events of 2018, a dinner over which we’ll prepare to vote in an election that has the power to change the course of history, I pull strength from the ambition and the dreams of these people and so many more that wake up every day, ready to get s&*t done!

Ambition, initiative and power are not defined by our age, or any of the many other labels that have been assigned to all of us. Will you join us in seizing our power by gathering around the table to connect, learn and act?

Join us at upcoming events in SF (and NYC!)