Insights, projects, and people worth knowing.

Building Community by Showing Up and Sharing: An Interview with Vimala Rajendran of Vimala’s Curryblossom Café

Vimala Rajendran holds a tray of colorful Indian food in her restaurant.

Vimala Rajendran is the owner/chef of Vimala’s Curryblossom Café in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has been a longtime activist for progressive causes including grassroots media, international peace, and stopping domestic violence. In 2015, Vimala’s business was selected from over 30,000 applicants as the winner of a small-business Chase Mission Main Street Grant® for $100,000,…

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Looking Beyond Grant Proposals: AboutThem’s Informal Conversation with Peter Tavernise of Cisco Foundation

Corporate social responsibility is not a new idea, but whether an organization is new or established, a comprehensive program in CSR focuses on specific areas. Peter Tavernise, Executive Director of Cisco Foundation and Director of Cisco Corporate Affairs in Public Benefit Investment, recently reflected with AboutThem on these areas, their associated best practices, and how…

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Why Learning While Teaching Overseas is Important for Success: An Interview with Adam VanVleck

Dedicated teachers often talk about building meaningful connections with students as an important part of a successful teaching experience. For those teaching outside their own countries, forming these kinds of connections frequently involves taking additional steps to overcome cultural and language barriers. In this interview, Adam VanVleck discusses how his efforts to learn and use the local language while teaching English in South Korea played a key role in his overall success.

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In South Korea, Supporting Work-Life Balance is About Humanism: An Interview with Hillary VanVleck

Headshot of Hillary VanVleck wearing red blouse.

Among member nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, South Korea has historically ranked high on the list of the average number of hours its workers log annually, at over 2000 hours per year (in contrast, US workers work an average of just under 1800 hours yearly). Until very recently, most South Koreans regularly expected to work nearly 70 hours weekly, six days a week. Over time, this work-life imbalance—once considered a productivity booster—has instead resulted in lower productivity and a declining birth rate for the country as many workers, especially women, have been forced to choose between working and caring for their families. Even as laws change to better support a work-life balance, employers are protesting the changes. In this interview, Hillary Van Vleck discusses working on a government team tasked with convincing employers that the new laws would be beneficial for them as well as their employees.

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How to Gain Momentum for Your Project While It’s in Progress

Closeup of smiling Alyson Myers of Fearless Fund

Like many of us, Fearless Fund’s Alyson Myers is passionate about the work she does. She and her team are currently working under a Department of Energy grant to grow macroalgae for conversion to fuel—a project that could lead to massive breakthroughs in the production of energy, feed, and raw materials. Out of necessity, the team prioritizes project work rather than the publicizing of that work. Yet for this team and many others, sharing that kind of information is frequently a key to establishing new partnerships, unlocking opportunities, resolving challenges, inspiring others, and ultimately moving forward. When our work itself is all-consuming, how can we easily amplify it for continued innovation? Hear what Alyson has to say in this two-minute video.

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9 Tips for Attracting More Social Media Followers

Chart showing social media following and viewer statistics

When it comes to all things digital marketing, Neil Patel is an industry leader, and he loves to share his knowledge. Whether you’re building a national brand or want to increase the digital presence of your project or small business, Neil’s site is a valuable source of best marketing practices. At AboutThem, we tip our hats to him. Here are our takeaways from his outstanding blog post on how to increase your social media following. Thanks, Neil!

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Investment in Your Team is Investment in Your Practice: An Interview with Gio Iuculano, DDS of Winchester Dental

Gio Iuculano, DDS

Patients and referral partners of Winchester Dental in Winchester, Virginia regularly praise the practice for providing innovative, excellent dental care and an outstanding office experience—in fact, some patients travel regularly from other areas of the country for treatment. In addition to general dentistry, the practice provides modern, holistic dental treatment for related health issues. How did Winchester Dental evolve, and what drives its success? Practice leader Gio Iuculano, DDS explains.

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