BY DEBBIE NAZARIAN, LEMONADE DAY NATIONAL DIRECTOR
It was so wonderful to have so many of our cities together in our first virtual City Directors Conference last week. Of course, we would much rather have been together in person, but that just was not possible this year. We had nearly 100 Lemonade Day city leaders logged on to participate and experience My Lemonade Day for the first time, hear from our founder, Michael Holthouse, our National Board Chairman, Charlie Hamilton, hear about 2021 new deliverables, receive important information about fundraising and PR in the midst of a pandemic, see the new 2020 Impact Study, and hear from our incredible sponsors, H-E-B and Raising Canes.
We also had the chance to learn from our exceptional City Directors who shared their knowledge and experience through breakout sessions on important topics such as fundraising, marketing, working with schools, events, small cities, programing with My Lemonade Day, chamber led Lemonade Day program best practices, navigating challenges of the program in underserved communities, loan boards, pitch events, and even an interview with our board member, Doug Erwin who shared his entrepreneurial experience and advice on leading an organization through challenging times. I’m so grateful to these incredible leaders for their contributions to both our conference and our organization!
Here is the list of topics that were presented:
Proven Strategies on Raising Money from Corporations/Building a Strong Lemon Council
National Development Consultant Ellen Cokinos and National Development Manager Meghan Lafferty presented successful and practical tips on how to approach and secure support from corporations. Participants learned about which specific industries are giving now and how to describe and market Lemonade Day as a philanthropic priority. One key strategy is to build a strong Lemon Council and methods of how to accomplish this were discussed.
Creative Solutions for the Classroom and Lessons Learned from our My Lemonade Day App Pilot
Jessica Dragar, Program Manager K-8, from the Young Entrepreneur Institute, shared alternative capstone experiences that were successful and enriching for students in Northeast Ohio this past spring. Jessica also had the opportunity to utilize the new My Lemonade Day app as a mentor and shared lessons learned while teaching the curriculum in a group setting.
Resilience Strategies in Times of COVID
Natalia Subira, Lemonade Day Puerto Rico City Director shared how they adapted quickly to a new reality...social distancing, work and study at home, visiting relatives, even grocery shopping overcoming this challenging environment and driving up registrations.
Be the Investor- Practical Solutions for Creating and Managing a Micro-Loan Fund
Jessie Jones is Regional Director of Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio, where Lemonade Day is almost universally taught in classrooms or out-of-school-time programs. Access to start-up funds can be a challenge for kids and teachers, especially in under-resourced neighborhoods. Jessica shared how they solved this problem in Northeast Ohio.
Paving the Way for Opportunity in Underserved Communities Through Youth Programs
City Directors Tiffany Rubi (Dallas) and Amanda Sequeira (Fort Hood Area) shared their experiences working with programs that reach underserved youth with helpful insights on overcoming obstacles and maximizing opportunities.
Chamber License Holder’s Road to Success for Lemonade Day
Gina Spagnola, City Director for Lemonade Day Galveston County and president and CEO of the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce, talked about how to leverage the chamber to secure business and community support; how to engage sponsors; how to develop lasting educational and community partnerships; and how to maximize teacher and parent involvement with community events. Gina shared Galveston’s best practices and lessons learned over 10+ years to help other Lemonade Day cities create an unforgettable program throughout the year.
Packing up the Lemonade Day Experience: Events to Engage your Community
Samantha Riccardi (Fort Hood Area) shared what kind of events can be incorporated into a city to build momentum with participants and their families, media partners, and the community. She explored the value of events while creating connections. Some of the events included The Registration Kickoff Event, Lemon U, Little Squeezers, One Stop Shop, Lemonpalooza, and others.
A Decade of Lemonade Day: Lessons along the way from a Small Community
Working in a small community can be an advantage when running Lemonade Day. Susan Seaman has been the Lemonade Day coordinator in Humboldt County for 10 years and is the current Mayor of Eureka. She discussed how to partner with local elected officials to create a Lemonade Day friendly community and how to engage VIPs so that every participant gets personal recognition for their work.
Providing an Authentic Entrepreneurship Experience for Youth Through a Business Pitch Competition
Students build essential communication skills and confidence when they develop and learn how to deliver a pitch about their Lemonade Day business. Jessie Jones of Young Entrepreneur Institute has years of experience operating live and video pitch contests. She shared ideas and best practices for how to do run the pitch contest. The contest provides an authentic entrepreneurship experience for youth who are unable to operate their business due to the pandemic or other restrictions.
The Road Less Traveled: An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Success and Management Best Practices, Interview with Doug Erwin
Serial entrepreneur and Lemonade Day Board Member Doug Erwin shared his inspiring story and valuable tips on leading an organization that thrives.
Collaborating with Schools Adds Value, Visibility and Income
Participants heard how first-year city, Greater Vancouver (Washington) partnered with their local Education Service District to bring Lemonade Day opportunities to over 20 Public School Districts and formed a partnership that will bring results for years. Janet Kenefsky, City Director and Vice President for the Chamber of Commerce discussed how they engaged with the school district, what information the schools were interested in, and plans to utilize the business community and school district with 80,000 elementary aged children.
It was a wonderful two days packed with great information and we are SO looking forward to 2021! If you are interested in learning more about becoming an official Lemonade Day city, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please share this blog with others whether it is parents, teachers, youth organization leaders, and businesses. We are always looking for mentors and sponsors who want to help the next budding entrepreneurs!