Skip to Content
Close Icon

Community & Loneliness

sunrising

The Finish Line

Posted On: April 30, 2021 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

The sun is shining in Waterloo, Iowa.  Sixty or seventy people are queued up at our Annex office getting their second dose of vaccine.  A VGM mom, masked, her eight-week-old baby in tow.  Baby knows no other world, yet smiling with delight, taking in all the action, happy, healthy, vibrant.  Two of our people talking in the hallway, spitting ideas, plotting a course for an upcoming pitch.  Two others waiting out their fifteen-minute post-shot hourglass,...
Read More

Tags: end of pandemic, hope, optimism, post-pandemic

blue pinwheels

In Support of Happy, Healthy, and Safe Childhoods

Posted On: April 23, 2021 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Opinions, Social commentary, Work Culture

We began this week with a group of 200+ employee-owners returning to our office.  For many it was their first time back in the office in over a year.  They were greeted by hundreds of blue pinwheels decorating our lawn, adding a celebratory feeling to our return to office. But the pinwheels carry more significance than simple décor. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, so in support of Family & Children’s Council (FCC) of Black Hawk County, we’re using their...
Read More

Tags: awareness, believe the children, child abuse protection, family and childrens council

Reality Check

Reality Check

Posted On: March 1, 2021 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Opinions, Social commentary

The latest census information sounds alarm bells for Iowa.  Iowa’s population declined again in the most recent annual data, due to people leaving our state.  This marks nine of the past ten years where more US born Iowans moved out of our state than moved into our state.  While we are not the worst state for population contraction, we are firmly in the bottom half.  And two trail signs indicate it will get worse over time if we don’t change the trajectory.  We...
Read More

Tags: demographics of Iowa, iowa, population

right to vote

The 19th Amendment

Posted On: August 18, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Opinions, Social commentary, Work Culture

Today (August 18, 2020) marks the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote in America, via ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.  In commemoration of this historic advancement in equal rights, I wanted to share some of the lessons that we might be able to take away from this successful struggle, as best I understand from my reading. Meaningful advancements take time.  Women won the right to vote in 1920, one-hundred forty-four years after the founding...
Read More

Tags: 19th amendment, Carrie Chapman Catt, hard won not done, right to vote, vote, women's suffrage

Crossing the Bridge

Crossing the Bridge

Posted On: August 4, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Opinions, Social commentary

My family’s 2020 spring break took an ironic turn that now seems like serendipity. We had planned a Caribbean vacation, but COVID-19 emerged about that time.  Not wanting to leave the country, nor get on a plane, we made a quick decision to drive to the Gulf Coast of Alabama.  We chose Alabama because it had no cases of the virus at that time, it was drivable from Iowa (15 hours!) and it offered an attractive beach substitute to the Caribbean.  We had a wonderful time in Alabama,...
Read More

Tags: crossing the bridge, john lewis, living history, selma

Epidemic of Loneliness

Epidemic of Loneliness

Posted On: December 20, 2019 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness

Despite technology creating so much connectedness around the world, we live in a time of vast disconnectedness. People are busier than ever, under more pressure, stressed out and isolated. We are living amidst an epidemic of loneliness in our country. Personal relationships are a treasure. When customers, or employees, treasure those relationships with you and other people in your company, they won’t go elsewhere. In fact, they find ways to stay and do more of everything with and for you....
Read More

Tags: loneliness, alone, isolation, connect, community, family

Braiding

Braiding

Posted On: December 13, 2019 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Social commentary

One might be overwhelmed, but two standing together can resist. A three-fold cord is not easily broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12 I began my career as a CPA in an accounting firm. One of my clients was a fishing tackle manufacturer whose lead product was fishing line. Fishing line is made by extruding a melted plastic substance to create a thin line that is both flexible and strong. Fishing for bigger, stronger fish requires a different line. I learned from my client that the way to make stronger...
Read More

Tags: community, connecting, connect, binding, family, meaningfulness

Mom, Coffee, & Community

Mom, Coffee, & Community

Posted On: November 29, 2019 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Social commentary

I hope that everyone is having a safe and blessed Thanksgiving holiday. For many of us, these last few days have been a chance to connect and reconnect with friends and family members around the dinner table. We all have our traditions that we follow at this time of year, and our traditions and the people we share them with provide us with a sense of belonging and connectedness that we often take for granted. There’s a lesson there for us about the way we do business. When I was growing up,...
Read More

Tags: community, loneliness, vgm, family, connect, meaningfulness

Choices

Choices

Posted On: November 22, 2019 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Employee Ownership, Healthcare, Work Culture

We all exercise freedom of choice every day of our lives. We choose our partner, how to spend our time, and where we buy our groceries. We choose the shows we watch, which religion we’ll follow (if any at all), and which sports teams we'll cheer on. The people you serve in your organization exercise their freedom of choice every day as well. Every person you do business with has a choice. They can choose to work with you, or they can choose to do business with someone else. They can also...
Read More

Tags: choices, freedom, community, connections, relationships

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

Posted On: October 11, 2019 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Healthcare, Work Culture

“Come gather 'round, people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone If your time to you is worth savin' And you better start swimmin' Or you'll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin'” Bob Dylan, from The Times They Are A-Changin’ Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce today. The Baby Boomers are a rapidly declining segment, while the Greatest...
Read More

Tags: millenails, culture, change, adapt