The Deming Center regularly hosts Lunch-n-Learns: small, roundtable lunches with 25 students that feature local executives, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and other movers and shakers of the local startup scene. Our guests of honor are tasked with spending an a-traditional hour with our students, leading a discussion or a short workshop rather than giving a typical lecture.
Our goal is to create a more engaging experience for both our guest and students—and we’re thrilled that our inaugural Lunch-n-Learn hosts for this year, Jessie Dixon and Sarah Miller of Havenly, knocked it out of the park!
Havenly is a Denver-based startup specializing in interior design. Respectively the COO and Senior Director of People and Culture, Dixon and Miller led a riveting one-hour discussion on the creation and preservation of culture in a rapidly scaling startup.
Miller talked about the meaning of culture and the role it plays in creating a positive work environment, while Dixon, who’s a seasoned e-commerce executive, discussed the methods a young company can take to balance culture with growth. Together, they fielded countless questions from our students, who were also eager to learn more about Havenly’s unique online-based interior design services.
“The students were engaged, curious, and asked real questions about the business,” said Dixon, who’s also a Leeds alum. “We were able to take the conversation where the students wanted to go rather than just presenting our facts or concepts. It was a lot of fun.”
This series remains hugely popular with both our undergraduates and graduate students, who have an opportunity to talk more casually with distinguished speakers. Throw in a free lunch, and it’s consistently a sold-out series throughout the semester.
For our next Lunch-n-Learn on October 17th, we’ll be hosting Andrea Lake, a serial entrepreneur and former participant on The Apprentice. Students are encouraged to reach out if they’d like to attend!