Featured Member: Madeline Hoag, CENTRL Office - USA, Oregon

   

Where are you located?

We have two locations in Portland, Oregon. We are located on both sides of the river, in the Pearl district’s historic GE Supply Co. building, and in the Slate at the Burnside bridgehead at Couch and MLK, in the Central Eastside.

How many members enjoy your coworking space?

We have about 200 members at each location including open members, dedicated desk members and private offices that range in size from 2-20 person. We also have meeting rooms at both locations that we rent out to both members and non-members for groups ranging in size from 3 to 20 people.

What is the reason you opened your coworking space?

We were looking for a creative, inspiring space for entrepreneurs and small teams to work but we couldn't find anything. There were amazing workspaces for people at big companies like Google, Apple and Nike; and some architecture, design, and advertising agencies; but nothing for free agents, entrepreneurs, and start-ups. This is the blurb from our owner and brand book: “We wanted to make a creative and productive workspace that was comfortable like a pair of blue jeans. One with the social feeling of a coffee house and the efficiency of a factory."

Are you involved in any additional coworking projects (other than your space)?

We are making connections in smaller towns outside of Portland like Hood River, Eugene, Astoria and Bend to see to grow smaller CENTRL communities. Many of our members in Portland travel often to these cities for work and we would love to be able to also provide space for the locals in these rapidly growing economies and cities. It will also be fun for our Portland members to host off-sites and retreats a few hours outside of Portland.

How is Cowork University supporting you and your ideas?

I love being able to get feedback from like-minded coworking managers. The meetups feel like a time to connect with experienced individuals from a variety of backgrounds who can all assist in piecing together every aspect of the coworking business. I look forward to the Cowork University classes and having the community share even more valuable knowledge in a structured and unique way of learning.

Why did you join Cowork University?

When I met Keith from Bizhaus over the phone I was actually looking for a way to connect with other coworking managers in a meaningful way. When he said that a blogger named Robert Kropp recommended us via a Slack Channel I immediately asked how I could become a part of that Slack community. There aren’t a ton of coworking spaces in Portland so I don’t have a huge opportunity to connect with people going through the same challenges, events, processes, etc. When a coworking group from another city would visit our space I would end up chatting with them for hours about member engagement events, management software and various member perks because it was one of the first times I got to connect with another coworking space managers. I wanted to join Cowork University so I could hear from people all over the US and the world about how they deal with the same obstacles and also just hear their perspective on all of the amazing things that make their spaces so successful and unique.

 

What excites you the most about the future of the coworking industry?

I think that it is really cool to see some of the larger companies in Portland begin to adopt a coworking model for their headquarters. They are seeing how productive employees can be in a relaxed and versatile open office space with meeting rooms and open space for collaboration. I love the coworking roots of supporting small businesses and start-ups but it is also really exciting to see some of our first members outgrow our space and take with them some of their favorite CENTRL elements into their larger space and then come back to visit for off-site meetings and events. It will be fun to see how coworking impacts the future of the office and work flow.

Other insights you’d like to add…

I feel really lucky that I am able to dedicate a great deal of my time to programming and events. We offer everything from networking events to start-up business management classes to panel discussions on world-changing industry methods to lunchtime yoga. We provide a wide variety of events and programs to nurture a successful company and make sure that our members feel supported and appreciated in both their personal lives and professional endeavors. I think that a lot of people are looking for more than a desk and I love that we are able to provide that at CENTRL.

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