Ambition, creativity, innovation: they are all personal and innate. The team at ORCA Coworking has discovered that these qualities are also contagious.
For nearly four years, ORCA Coworking in Mason has brought together creatives, entrepreneurs, and other independent workers.They’ve witnessed that while everyone works on their projects alone, collaborations and networking promote synergy and even bigger results.
Many people have chosen the flexible space of the ORCA Coworking building as a permanent home for their business, even as they grow their opportunities and hire employees. ORCA’s team has responded by expanding their offerings, amenities and leadership to give every member the chance to rise to a new level.
Coworking as Collaboration
ORCA’s acronym stands for Original, Resilient, Collaborative, and Adaptable, and references the idea of Orca Whales, which hunt more effectively as a pod.
The idea of a coworking space is that even people who work independently, outside of a business storefront or office, can benefit from many of the amenities of an office: a coffee bar where you can have a quick chat with someone, a rec room and indoor soccer fields, flexible meeting spaces to bring in clients and technology like a high-volume printer that would be cost prohibitive for only one worker.
ORCA has intentionally cultivated a positive, comfortable atmosphere that makes their spaces great for working near others while also sharing resources.
Achieving the Annex
By utilizing an opportunity across from their parking lot, ORCA's main campus has expanded by offering private offices in the ORCA Annex. Imagine getting affordable office space for your small to medium sized business while also accessing shared resources that would otherwise only be available in a much more expensive and larger space.
For example, the main campus offers the Dock, which includes a coffee bar area, community workspace and an outdoor patio perfect for events. Also, after renovating part of the main Mason location, members and private office clients now have access to a large high-tech video conferencing suite.
“We can help entrepreneurs,” explains Cheryl Skelley, director of business growth and culture at ORCA. “If you grow into a bullpen space with a four person team, that's possible in our floor plan, and if someone becomes a sales director and needs a private office, we can house them at the Annex. The A in ORCA stands for adaptability - I always highlight this during tours because we truly are adaptable.”
Recently, a major opportunity arose when a beautiful historic shotgun-style building in the heart of Lebanon, Ohio became available. ORCA Coworking took the opportunity to establish ORCA Lebanon, a separate coworking space that still offers the comfortable, modern office amenities at the heart of the original Mason location.
“An exciting benefit is that even if you use Mason as your home base, you have access to Lebanon through a reciprocal membership,” says Cheryl. “Signing up in Lebanon gives you access to Mason as well.”
Lebanon’s location, only 15 minutes from the Mason location, offers a change of scenery for some while also making coworking conveniently located for a whole new community.
Leadership as the Lifeblood
The leadership team's passion has helped them accomplish significant growth in just two years. From Executive Director Pete West, to the two site directors Avery Brown and Kevin Schweiger, to Dana Meuse’s member support role at the Lebanon location and Bethany Butler’s work as director of operations, Cheryl personally vouches for how much potential they have together.
“There is an ambitious sentiment that I'm learning about my team - they take a lot on.” says Cheryl. “With this team, the sky’s the limit.”
Leaderships’ strong sense of vision is inspired by ORCA Coworking’s nonprofit work. Their growth represents an opportunity to give back to the various charities they support, locally through Mason Food Pantry and Luke5Adventures, and internationally through donations to communities in Nigeria.
“I'm here at ORCA because of the giving to Nigeria; that's where my heart is - to serve the local community and the community abroad,” says Bethany. “I think this serving mentality is really felt when you come through the doors of ORCA - it doesn't feel like a typical commercial office space. You can feel the friendliness and the welcome.”
Learn more and schedule a tour:
ORCA Coworking Mason
408 Fourth Ave., Mason
ORCA Coworking Lebanon
41 E Mulberry St, Lebanon
“I think this serving mentality is really felt when you come through the doors of ORCA - it doesn't feel like a typical commercial office space. You can feel the friendliness and the welcome.” --Bethany Butler, director of operations