At the core of it, the integrity of the product matters. If it doesn’t meet our mission’s needs, we can’t participate in it.
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A lot of people don’t think about Gallery 5 as a nonprofit, which can be used as a model more for engaging in niche communities.
It’s interesting, a really good friend of mine, Lucas Fritz, who’s the owner of The Broadberry and is one of the owners of The Camel as well, is a huge Gallery 5 supporter. He actually does all of our ticketing for us. I love what Lucas does with The Camel and The Broadberry…they do some very intelligent decision making, which has been very inspiring to see and bring into the fold.
Ryan and I, of course, have to go through the money weekly and after working with Lucas, it has made me appreciate Ryan a lot more as well. They’re both on this ‘move the business forward’ line of thinking whereas I’ve always been like ‘just keep the nonprofit alive.’ There’s a big difference between those two thoughts, and I’m slowly starting to merge into that sweet middle spot where it’s like ‘keep the dream alive, but keep it moving forward.’ To bring that for-profit energy to the nonprofit objective has been more impactful for the community, which has been a really fun thing Ryan and I get to do every week.
In the time that I’ve worked with Holloway, we’ve been able to balance out the male/female payment hierarchy, including making everything equal amongst staff. It was the right thing to do and he was like ‘we’ll afford it, so ‘let’s do it’. We put in our own minimum wage to more closely reflect a living wage. We started giving raises to those that needed them, holiday bonuses, Christmas bonuses, etc. Those were all decisions that could only have been made with the right mind for how the money moves.
Ryan’s ability to recognize the needs of the staff, and how the money can bridge those needs. That really helps keep the organization moving forward at growth capacity, and without Ryan, I don’t know if I’d be able to do that.
That’s great. Anything else you’d like to add?
Yeah. Probably the most important thing I could say about working with Holloway is that he’s a good person. Ryan’s a really good human. He knows why he cares. That’s important. A lot of people don’t know why they care about things, they’ve just been told that they have to. He gets it though, he understands what this thing does. He understands what the Gallery is, what it does, and why it’s needed for Richmond.
He always has a calm and methodical approach, knowing when things will be lean versus when we’ll have ample funds. To navigate those peaks and valleys with a good attitude is vital to any organization, but there’s a sense of ‘we will get through this, but here’s what we have to do.’ There’s always a path forward.