Building Skill Sets and Promoting Jewish Life in Istanbul

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Gregg Delman is a Partner at DRSmedia, a strategic marketing and media relations firm focused on consumer technology.

On Labor Day Weekend, I was invited to speak with a community of entrepreneurs that are traveling together all over the world for the next year. The program is called "Remote Year" and their CEO, Greg Caplan, heard about my media relations talk at ROI Summit this past June and invited me give a presentation to his class of 75 entrepreneurs from all over the world.

The opportunity piqued my interest because it gave me the opportunity to build my professional network by connecting with entrepreneurs in the field of design, engineering, and the press. After giving my lecture at a local college, I ended up meeting individually with about 15 entrepreneurs from all over the world - It was like a a massive brain date with a new network of people!

The CEO of the organization happened to be Jewish so I floated the idea of organizing an Istanbul Shabbat after my lecture. Everyone was into the idea and we were able to have over 50 people - Jews and non Jews alike - attend a beautiful dinner on the Bosporus. There, we handed out a one-sheeter that described Shabbat and how everyone can use that special time in the week to unplug and reconnect with friends and loved ones. It was a huge success. The owner of the restaurant even came out to thank us for "honoring them by having our wonderful tradition in their restaurant." The fact that this occurred in Istanbul amongst Jews, Muslims and Christians was an incredible experience that I won't soon forget.

I was able to personally benefit by not only meeting with many new people with fascinating new ideas, but also to practice my public speaking and iterating on my other presentation skills. Furthermore, a few people have contacted me about helping them launch their company so it was a great vehicle for business development. On the personal side, the dinner I helped to organize is now going to become a organization tradition where they host a Shabbat dinner once a month in every new city they visit. I'm proud of that lasting impact.

None of this would have been possible without the intellectual and financial support of ROI. Thank you for helping me to #makeithappen.