Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Community Service

Sacramento’s Commitment to Community through Entrepreneurship and Workforce Development

Community Service, Coworking, Entrepreneurship, Event Recap, Hiring, Human Resources, Information Technology, Innovation, Innovation in the Public Sector, KAI Partners, KAIP Academy, Learning, Non-profit, Public Sector, Sacramento, Startup Company, Technology, The WorkShop, Training, Workforce Development

By Lucie-Anne Radimsky, CSPO

It’s an exciting time to be in Sacramento—especially if you’re looking at it from the perspective of our sports franchises. From the King’s most successful season in over 10 years to a potential Major League Soccer bid and subsequent arena built in the Railyards—the sky is the limit and our local economy benefits from this success.

Beyond making headlines in the sports pages, nothing screams vibrant economy like a strong workforce and a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

KAI Partners takes our community engagement role seriously. Our leadership not only makes community engagement possible—they make it a priority. Community engagement is fundamental to our values, and it is what helps us continue to thrive as an organization.

KAI Partners recently had the opportunity to participate in two events focused on community engagement through workforce development and entrepreneurship.

The first event, sponsored by Valley Vision, was the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Advisory Committee meeting. This event brought together educators and employers to continue to push forward important work around developing the ICT Workforce and relevant pathways.

A strong turnout by educators allowed for interesting discussions around curriculum and its relevance to various industries’ skill demands. In the future, I hope more employers attend events like these. Employers are one of the most important stakeholders in this ongoing conversation and after the ICT meeting, one thing was clear:

More exchange is needed between educators and employers.

An exercise we performed within our breakout group highlighted this disconnect between employers and academics. We were given two job descriptions and were asked to give feedback on the skills—both technical and soft skills—needed to perform these jobs. We found that the technical requirements that employers associated with specific degrees did not match the actual skills acquired through that academic program and were outdated. This highlighted another reason why all stakeholders must work in tandem to ensure perception matches reality.

Next up on KAI Partners’ agenda was Pitch Week, sponsored by Sacramento State’s Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The day-long event included two afternoon sessions of startup pitches sponsored by StartupSac and Future Four & More (an annual regional Business Concept Competition for northern California community college and California State University students, hosted by one of the participating schools in the region).

According to Katherine Cota, the Executive Director at the Carlsen Center, “The purpose of this event is to develop business startups, boost economic development, encourage entrepreneurial thinking, connect students to angel investors and venture capitalists, and provide them with a wider, regional network of students, mentors, and professionals.”

From a plant-based prepared meal service exclusively for kids, to a blockchain solution to reduce efficiencies for real estate land registries, it was gratifying to see entrepreneurs of every age and creed participate.

The future looks bright and KAI Partners looks forward to continuing to support the innovation ecosystem.

We will continue to partner with academia, non-profits and public servants alike to ensure our region becomes stronger, more innovative, and more resilient. KAI Partners is always looking to meet new people, support organizations, and help cultivate solutions—especially solutions around public sector innovation.

We’d love to get to know you better—drop us a line in the comments below, or stop by our coworking and collaboration space, The WorkShop Sacramento.

About the Author: Lucie-Anne has over 15 years’ experience in communications and business development in the U.S. and Europe, on behalf of start-ups and non-profits. She has represented clients within the technology, energy, and telecommunications sectors to government agencies, press, and industry analysts throughout the world. Lucie-Anne has both American and E.U. citizenship. She is fluent in English and French. Lucie-Anne is an active community volunteer and has served on numerous non-profit boards and led alumni groups in Paris, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. She currently resides in Sacramento with her Brazilian husband and two boys.

What IF Conference Recap

Alpen Technology Group, Community Service, Conferences, Event Recap, Healthcare, Information Security, Information Technology, Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward, Systems Engineer, Technology, WEAVE, What IF Conference

Photo Credit: Impact Foundry/What IF Conference

By David Baker, CSM

I recently attended the What IF Conference along with a KAI Partners colleague. This event was sponsored by the Impact Foundry and took place at the McClellan Conference Center.

The sold-out event brought together non-profits and service providers from across the region to network and share best practices.

This year’s theme focused on creating sustainable community change, which demands increased collaboration across the non-profit community and increased investment by funders.

Dan Pallotta, a renowned public speaker whose TED Talk is the most viewed in the history of the series, served as Keynote. His presentation brought to light the hypocrisy of society’s expectations of non-profits’ effectiveness and impact while limiting their ability to fundraise, increase overhead costs in order to scale, and attract talent by offering competitive salaries not common in the corporate world (where salaries are inflated and impact is questionable).

As an IT Professional who provides Managed IT Services to small businesses and non-profit organizations, it was interesting to me to learn that IT is low on the priority list of non-profits and yet can yield the most value and ROI.

The What IF Conference provided an excellent opportunity to meet non-profit leaders and discuss the benefits of IT and how it can help them meet their goals. For example, a smooth-running IT infrastructure can help non-profits serve the community faster and more efficiently by:

  • Establishing network uptime, so clients can always reach you;
  • Keeping computers updated with the latest Microsoft patches so employees don’t lose productivity due to a slow computer; and
  • Increasing network security to prevent network breaches or virus attacks.

One panel that focused on the value of IT was Mini City, a start-up based in Atlanta, Georgia, that provides a platform dedicated to serving the homeless population in the area.

Mini City is technology-driven and is a great example of how technology can help non-profits and their customers. To date, Mini City has secured 500 Near Field Communication-enabled wristbands. Like Fitbit, this is wearable technology and serves as an identification tool for homeless residents and a connection to services at no charge to them. I thought it was awesome to see how technology is used to help the homeless.

In our local region, KAI Partners staff have participated in the Sacramento Steps Forward Homeless Point-In-Time (PIT) counts, which helped gain a better understanding of the structure and data recuperated during an event like the PIT count. We also support key healthcare services through our work with healthcare-focused state agencies, and support non-profits like WEAVE to be more productive and effectively serve their community through our managed IT and consulting services.

KAI Partners strives to support systems with our IT and consulting services so that we can assure our vulnerable communities are getting the most from the talented non-profit staff who work tirelessly to provide services to them.

About the Author: Mr. Baker has 11 years of experience in IT ranging from help desk to network/systems engineer and working with different technologies such as Cisco, SonicWALL, Dell, VMware, and Microsoft. Mr. Baker currently works for KAI Partners as a Systems Engineer, helping clients meet their IT needs. For fun, Mr. Baker enjoys enjoy BBQing, photography, and fitness.

Giving Tuesday: Sacramento Edition

Community Service, First Responder Support Network, Front Street Animal Shelter, Giving Tuesday, River City Food Bank, Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward, The WorkShop, WEAVE

Happy #GivingTuesday, Sacramento! With Thanksgiving behind us, we’re now officially in the holiday season. We always want to keep our eye on what’s important, which is why we wanted to highlight some of our favorite charitable organizations in the Sacramento area—and, we’d love for you to share your favorite community service organizations with us, as well!

WEAVE, Inc.: WEAVE is the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County.

Sacramento Steps Forward: Sacramento Steps Forward is a nonprofit organization committed to ending homelessness in our region through collaboration, innovation, and connecting people to services.

First Responder Support Network: The mission of the First Responder Support Network (FRSN) is to provide educational treatment programs to promote recovery from stress and critical incidents experienced by first responders and their families.

River City Food Bank: River City Food Bank’s mission is to alleviate hunger in Sacramento County by providing healthy emergency food and other assistance.

Have canned goods to donate? The WorkShop Sacramento is home to a River City Food Bank donation bin this season—stop by 3301 C St. #1000 with your non-perishables!

Front Street Animal Shelter: The Front Street Animal Shelter not only cares for lost and abandoned animals in our community, they also provide a variety of services that protect both citizens and animals.

Happy #GivingTuesday!

What the KAI Partners Team is Thankful for in 2018

Community Service, Employee Engagement, KAI Partners, Learning, Sacramento, Small Business

How often do you actually take the time to be thankful? With the holiday season upon us, it’s a great time to show appreciation to coworkers, employees, family, and friends. An attitude of gratitude allows us to reflect on the year and think about all we’re thankful for. Here are a few things our team is feeling grateful for this year–we’d love for you to share with us what you are saying ‘thank you’ for this year.

From the KAI Partners team to yours, we wish you a safe, enjoyable, and stress-free Thanksgiving holiday.

WEAVE’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2018

Alpen Technology Group, Community Service, Event Recap, KAI Partners, Sacramento, Small Business, Team Building, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, WEAVE

Some of the KAI Partners’ men getting ready to walk a mile!

By Michele Sadowski

As a recent transplant to Sacramento, it has been on my to do list to meet new people. Community service is a great way to meet new people.

One of the reasons I chose to work at KAI Partners is because of its strong commitment to community service, so when it was announced that KAI Partners would participate in WEAVE’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” annual fundraiser, I immediately signed up. In Sacramento County, WEAVE is the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

It was a bucolic day—light wind and unseasonably cool for this time of year (or so they tell me)—perfect for a long walk in some stilettos…or crazy boots…or well, anything that had high heels on them.

As I walked into Crocker Park, I was greeted by luxurious trees and teeming, lively, cheerful people sitting on blankets, tables, or walking around with their adorable dogs. Many were sampling the flavors of food and drink from a long line of food trucks stationed at the park for the hungry walkers and their supporters. It was the first time I have ever seen a lobster food truck. For all of the crazy weird foods you can find at a festival in Wisconsin, where I’m from, you will not find a lobster truck—a deep fried Oreo cookie or pickle, sure. In the background a rock band was playing and there were more than a couple of folks swaying and singing along, and just off the side of the stage was a giant red shoe!

The WEAVE team, all in their purple shirts, were amazing! To see all those young people there to make a difference—to support and commit to something so strongly and with such energy—was absolutely life affirming. I caught them in a quick game of kick ball in-between manning their booth—it looked like so much fun I wanted to join in.

While the event opened at 11:30am, the walk didn’t start until 1pm. So, after a long leisurely walk about, I went to go find my cohorts. KAI Partners was a sponsor of the event and of course our team was out in full force. Working onsite for a client, I don’t get much time with my teammates, so I truly enjoyed having the opportunity to get to know them a little better.

The time finally came for the walk to begin, and a mass of humanity began walking towards the start line, and then they were off. About 15 minutes later the walkers began to return. They were greeted with cheers and cow bells—yup, cowbells—and I think my ears are still ringing. Each participant received a rope with cowbell on it and a medal as a memento of their achievement. One man twisted his ankle just as he was coming over the finish line and wow it looked excruciatingly painful. Been there done that!

I’m so proud of the men and women who put those heels on and walked that mile. It was a nice day, but a mile in heels is hard (and painful, right guys?)! All in all, it was a great day to be outside and to support a great cause. I look forward to participating in next year’s event.

About Michele: Michele is a recent Certified ScrumMaster with 20+ years of communications and project lead experience in small and large technology firms. After a 15-year stint in Wisconsin, Michele recently returned to California. When not at work, she spends her time learning about her new home, Sacramento, CA, and enjoying time with family and friends.

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