#Gravi-Member Spotlight: Matt Fiscus

Hello there! Welcome back for another #Gravi-Member Spotlight! This week we have the pleasure of introducing Matt Fiscus to you fine people. He is a floating member at our downtown location bringing laughs, cats and his staple ringtone for all to enjoy. Keep reading for a little bio and some fun facts about this one-of-a-kind Gravitater!

Matt was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa before moving to Des Moines 3 years ago. Matt loved Council Bluffs, aside from the casinos which caused people to refer to it as Council-Tucky for some reason, but made the move to be closer to friends and family. 

Matt works remotely as a Business Analyst for DocuStream Inc. - a company whose primary business function is to work with Community Health Plans in the San Francisco bay area on compliance with State and Federal requirements. This is a long winded way of saying they help the Community Health Plans operate within their budget, which can be difficult because administrative efficiency isn't always their strong suit. DocuStream does things like enrollments, integration, and everyday processing of their correspondences to and from providers (doctors), while also typically handling their reporting back to the Federal government and any new projects that come down the pipeline.

Matt initially came to Gravitate because his company liked the pricing and leasing options our space offers, but he personally likes us because of our awesome community. "It is a community of some of the smartest people I know. Coming to Gravitate every day has been great for networking because it has allowed me to market myself in a genuine and personable way, simply due to the fact that people recognize me and my work ethic."

Matt's biggest passion is the healthcare industry. Having worked in this industry for nearly 8 years Matt has seen quite a lot of things that need improvements. Particularly he wants to  work to ensure that everyone receives the quality of life you would expect from living in the United States!
The nerdiest thing Matt does in his spare time is play Skyrim!
His favorite place in Des Moines is on his bike...I assume exploring the Des Moines Bike Trails and Downtown!
His Dungeon and Dragon's name is Bruce Willis! NOICE!
Matt's guilty pleasure is anything his girlfriend Mallory makes - which I would like to note that Matt and Mallory met through Gravitate! #matchmakerstatus
His go-to midnight snack is coconut water...I'm trying hard not to judge that one!
Matt would max-out his credit card on a trip to Japan!
His hidden talent is playing the guitar and writing songs! 
Matt prefers Marvel over DC for one reason - AVENGERS!
If Matt could switch places with another Gravitater it would be Julien Duhautois because he has been working on his French accent (Julien is French) and because he is killer at SQL, which Matt admires!
Matt's family has a pretty awesome tradition that his dad started randomly. It consists of calling up a family member on their birthday and singing Happy Birthday at the top of your lungs while they have to sit there silently and listen to the whole thing. You don't even wait for them to say hello - you just start singing the moment they pickup! That's gold!

Thanks for reading about our Healthcare Junkie. Matt brings tons of joy to our community and we are so happy to be able to share a teensy bit of him with you! See you next week for another #Gravi-Member Spotlight! For now...#graviout

#Gravi-Member Spotlight: Jessica Ireland

Happy first day of the Iowa State Fair everyone! I hope you eat your body weight in fried foods over the next 10 days! It's Thursday once again, which means it is time for another #Gravi-Member Spotlight! Jessica Ireland is a floating member at our Valley Junction location in West Des Moines, which means she has access to our space 24/7 and is welcome to come grab any open seat at our tables. Jessica is one of our newer members, coming to Gravitate in April, and we are so excited to feature her this week!

Jessica was born and raised in Iowa, only leaving the state for 5 years while attending graduate school. 3 of those years were spent in the windy city of Chicago and the other 2 at Berkeley. Jessica has had the super cool opportunity to work for herself for the last 3 years as a life-coach offering private sessions, workshops and retreats. She recently decided it was time to start listening to her own advice and is currently pursuing her passion! That's what we like to here! Jessica is transitioning her business to creative game and gift creation, making personalized games and gifts "to help people access their authentic, powerful selves!"

Like most people, Jessica joined Gravitate to get away from the distractions at home. In her own words, "It's much too easy to stay in your PJ's and chill on the couch all day." We definitely agree Jessica, which is why coworking spaces are so great! Jessica continues to be a member at Gravitate because of the interactions she has with other amazing Gravitaters and of course, the FREE coffee! Yes, we said FREE!

Here are some fun facts about our friend Jessica Ireland:

Jessica is passionate about inventing, building ad creating just about anything! She particularly likes converting old things into something new (upcycling)!

The nerdiest thing she does in her spare time is watch absurd amounts of Doctor Who - more than she cares to admit I will add. 

Her favorite place in Des Moines is the Iowa State Fair! How fitting!

Her Dungeon and Dragons name is Ellevi Keeper of the Holy Fire! Pretty badass!

Jessica doesn't typically do happy hour, but her go to alcoholic drink is the Spanish Coffee at Creme in Des Moines. "Any time fire and alcohol are combined it's a good thing." If you are looking for something new you may want to give this a try!

Her secret talent is that she is a retired Latin dance instructor and competitor!

One of Jessica's favorite family traditions is done over Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is "Those Potatoes." The recipe is a secret, but she did spill that it includes A LOT of sour cream, cream cheese and butter! Sounds delicious!

As we wrap up this spotlight Jessica has a little advice she would like to share with future entrepreneurs. 
"It's not going to be perfect right away. Just keep your goal in mind, do the next thing, and make adjustments as needed." Sweet and simple, we love it! 

Get out and enjoy the beautiful weekend at the Iowa State Fair and we will see you next week for another #Gravi-Member Spotlight! As always, thanks for reading! #graviout

#Gravi-Member Spotlight: Jeff Shinrock

Happy August everybody! For this week's #Gravi-Member Spotlight we are featuring a very special Gravitater. Jeff Shinrock has literally been with Gravitate Coworking since day one and we are so excited for his next adventure at the end of August (which I will tell you about later)! Keep reading for a little bit of background and some fun-facts about our favorite dude! 

Jeff was born in Marion, Iowa before venturing over to Storm Lake, Iowa to attend school at Buena Vista University. After school he traveled to Cedar Rapids to serve some "mandatory time" in the corporate world working as a Programmer/Analyst at Rockwell Collins. Jeff was then lured to Ames where he helped Workiva (then called WebFilings) build toward their IPO as a Software Engineer. Jeff's next path would lead him to Des Moines - but his first encounter with a coworking space wasn't with us. Startup City was the first coworking space Des Moines had, but when they decided to close their doors Geoff Wood (founder and Space Captain of Gravitate Coworking) saved the day! Jeff moved to Gravitate's space where he continued to work for Bunchball as Senior Developer .

Currently Jeff works for Vacasa, a modern vacation rental management team based out of Portland, Oregon as Lead Software Engineer. He and his wife Anya will actually be relocating to Portland at the end of the month! We are extremely excited to see the ways Jeff thrives in Oregon, but are definitely bummed to see him go. Our doors will always be open to you Jeff! You can't resist our Gravitational pull!

As we say goodbye to our close friend we would love to share some fun facts about him with you!

- Jeff is passionate about a lot of things which makes him such a well-rounded person! Photography, vintage sports cars, intramural sports, 3D printing, music recording/production/enjoyment and good friends are just a few!
- The nerdiest thing Jeff does in his spare time is discover the inner workings and mechanical complexities of a 1987 Alfa Romeo Milano Quadrifoglio Verde! I can dig it!
- Jeff's favorite place in Des Moines is the Library Cafe! Classic!
- Sir Jeff, "the poorly named" is Jeff's Dungeon and Dragon's name!
- Jeff's go-to happy hour drink is a good Midwest Pale Ale! He is currently digging Dragon Flute from Karben4!
- Lightly salted cashews are Jeff's go to midnight snack!
- Between Marvel and DC Jeff is a no-brainer Marvel fan! He grew up with boxes and boxes of the Marvel Universe! Good choice Jeff!

"Get your ego out of the way. Disagreement does not equal disrespect. A startup isn't the place to flex on your co-workers." That is Jeff's advice to future entrepreneurs and I don't think it could have been said any better!

Subtle plug before we #graviout - Jeff's artwork will be in our downtown space beginning this Friday! This Friday is also First Friday (FREE) Coworking Day, so stop on down, hang out with some cool people, get a little work done and checkout Jeff's collection of Space Plants! 
*See below for pictures!

See you next week for another #Gravi-Member Spotlight! #graviout

#Gravi-Member Spotlight: Ashley Miller

Where has the month gone? There are less than 2 months until fall! On this week's #Gravi-Member Spotlight Gravitate is featuring a different type of Gravitater! Ashley Miller is a punch-card member, meaning that she purchases a card for $100 that allows her to stop into our space 10 times. The punch-card is for those that don't need a space to work every day, but instead maybe once a week, or a few times a month. The cards never expire and are a great stepping stone to the world of coworking! Ashley is a spunky face around our Valley Junction space in West Des Moines and we are excited to share a bit about her with you!

Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Ashley spent a good portion of her life there until her move to Des Moines in 2005. Ashley is a proud mom to her pup, but has "no human children." Ashley enjoys keeping herself busy with work, running community events and partaking in organizations whose missions are to empower women. To list a few, Ashley works full time as a Financial Planner for her firm Transformational Wealth where she is dedicated to "helping people become better versions of themselves through smart financial decisions and support." She is the current Race Director for the Adel Sweet Corn 5k happening on August 11th, is an Ambassador for the Adel Chamber of Commerce, runs her own group called Women Who Wine and is an active participant for American Business Women's Association (ABWA) and FemCity! Staying busy and social is what Ms. Ashley thrives on! 

Ashley found out about Gravitate through a good friend of hers who convinced her that our space was perfect for her. Ashley soon discovered all of the other friendships she was making with others around her and has been loving the different ways Gravitate has helped create and grow her business. 

Super fun facts coming your way!

Biggest guilty pleasure? Going to movies by myself on Tuesday afternoons.
Go-to happy hour drink? All alcohols. FACT!
Go-to midnight snack? Pack of Gushers!
Go-to karaoke song? "I Love This Bar" by Toby Keith because I am a terrible singer and know that everyone else will join me, drowning out my singing!
Favorite place in Des Moines? Raccoon River - I love the water and the peace the trail brings me!
Best concert you've attended? Theory of a Deadman at Val Air Ballroom in 2005!
Where, or on what could you max out your credit card? I am a financial planner I WOULD NEVER DO THAT! But if I did it would be on traveling!

Thanks for reading about this firecracker! Gravitate wants you to know that we have many memberships and offerings, making working with us a walk in the park. Contact us at heythere@gravitatedsm.com or (515) 207-8105 if you have any questions, or want to set up a time to talk with a Community Manager and receive a tour! Looking forward to sharing another awesome Gravitater with you next week! #graviout