OK, it’s not quite a year. I filed my DBA on January 28, 2019.
My first year as a small business owner has had a few glitches, but I’m very happy with the trendline.
Right out of the gate, I landed a retainer client, who just renewed for 2020. It’s a lobbying firm owned by a friend, who is very good at what he does but could never find the time to write clear, compelling materials for his clients. From cover letters for annual reports to a summary of New York’s new campaign finance system, and from organizing and promoting industry briefings to covering news conferences, I help him keep his clients happy. I told him my middle name is “proof of performance.”
Working with the Central Avenue Business Improvement District and the STEAM Garden brings so many of my personal and professional interests together. It’s community development, historic preservation, high tech … and it’s housed in a building on Central Avenue, the street where I rented my first off-campus apartment while attending the College of St. Rose. In 1983, William Kennedy wrote that Central Avenue was “scraggly, raffish, unloved, unsung, but staying busy even so, trying to tidy up and get it together.” I helped the BID plan, promote and coordinate their grand opening celebration, attended by nearly 200 people. Looking ahead to 2020, I’ll be working on securing additional support for Phase 2 of their plan to deliver more classroom and office space and promoting their offerings to entrepreneurs.
In the past couple of weeks, I signed a new client and had a series of productive conversations with a prospective client.
The new client is NABA, the Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany. NABA began on December 7, 1908, when ten blind men and women came together to adjust to their vision loss. Then known as the Albany Association of the Blind, the organization was housed at 105 Lancaster Street, and offered social and workshop activities to its members. Now serving 7 counties and employing 100 people, NABA trains and places legally blind adults in professional employment, provides rehabilitation services to seniors with age-related vision loss, and offers free vision screening for children 18 months to 4 years old through its KidSight Program. I’ll be working with their Communications and Development department to write and manage their foundation grants, State and Federal Grants, research new grant prospects and funding opportunities and assist with public relations.
I’m working on a proposal for the prospective client, so don’t want to jinx it, but it’s a statewide non-profit association that delivers much-needed financial resources to underserved communities … so it’s right in my wheelhouse!
Here’s to a great 2020. Drop me a line and I’ll carve out some time to make #SmallTalk!
Colleen M. Ryan is an