January 31, 2020— Dare, Risk, Dream is Rogue’s mantra and we want to encourage our team to live this mantra both at work and in their personal lives. To foster creativity and nurture the makers and shakers at our company, we launched Rogue Venture Capital, a fund dedicated to employee side quests. We've awarded 10 tenacious employees with capital for 2020. Meet four of them below:
Rogue: Danny Connors, Job Title: Innovation Brewer, Project: Portland Pirate Soccer Radio
Danny is a brewer by trade and a staunch Portland Timbers Fan. In order to dive deeper into his favorite team, Danny has plans to start a soccer radio show and livestream commentary on Timbers soccer games. “This project will see if we can change the way people watch Timbers games, and sports in general, on TV,” he says. Danny will use his funds to buy quality audio equipment to get his dream rolling. We fully support Danny’s ambitious goals and can’t wait to hear what he has to say.
Rogue: Ally Ward, Job Title: Rogue Farms Pub Manager, Project: Better Banjo Bureau
Where do we begin with Ally? She’s a tour guide, chef, beer connoisseur and an all-around Rogue expert. One thing Ally isn’t an expert in yet is the banjo. Stay tuned because Ally has visions of developing her musical abilities further. She’ll be taking banjo lessons with her funds and honestly, we can’t wait to be serenaded. “My dogs are gonna hate me,” she laughs. Word on the street is that Ally will be playing at Rogue Farms as well, so stop by this summer to sip on a pint and enjoy her music.
Rogue: A.D. Lewis, Job Title: Key Account Manager, Project: Porch Picker
Turns out we have more banjo players among us than we thought. Here’s what A.D. Lewis out in Florida has to say,
“You can take the boy out of the Ozarks, but you can never take the Ozarks out of the boy. I guess I'm just a hillbilly at heart but as I've grown older, I've developed a deep fondness for the haunting, tinny sounds of the banjo. Last year my father - a musician and former guitar instructor - started giving my kids ukulele lessons. I joked about joining them, but it was my dad's banjo hanging on the wall that kept calling to me. My father is a prolific musician and could teach me the fundamentals of guitar, bass, ukulele, mandolin, piano....really just about anything you can pick up and play. For some strange reason my heart was always drawn to the banjo. So when the Venture Capital Fund was announced, I saw my opportunity to make my porch-rocking dream a reality. Who knows, maybe I'll be backing up my kids’ ukulele band on tour one day.”
A.D. will be using his funds to purchase a banjo and accessories. You know we’ll be getting A.D. and Ally together for a Battle of the Banjos after they’ve honed their skills!
Rogue: Michael King, Job Title: Rogue Innovation Brewer, Project: Gone Fly Fishing
Michael King loves fly fishing and to further pursue his passion, he’s taking pole-making classes so he can craft custom fly-fishing poles for himself and then teach others how to do the same. He even has big plans of a fly-fishing outing in Newport with fellow Rogues. Sounds like a good time to us and we know where you can get some cold beer for your trip!
One common thread between many of our Venture Capital awardees is the desire to share their skills and educate the Rogues around them. We’re buckling up because the camaraderie and creativity that comes from these passion projects is going to take us to some awesome places together. See our first two winners here and meet the last four 2020 awardees next week. We’ll be sharing their journey throughout the year so be sure to follow along on social media.