Connecting Newcomers in-Person Despite a Pandemic!

by | Nov 17, 2020 | Neighborhoods & Housing, Networking & Connections, Newcomer Profiles, Public Spaces, Parks & Recreation

All the traditional ways a newcomer might make friends, get to know their town, feel connected and become a part of the fabric of their new community have been upended by the global pandemic. That’s not stopping Executive Arrangements from finding ways to create social circles and safely host masked and socially distanced in-person outings so that recent transplants to NE Ohio don’t feel isolated in their new town.

For Newcomers Who Like to Walk and Explore

We kicked off our Second Saturdays EA Hiking Club on November 14th, meeting at Civilization coffee shop in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood so those who needed hot coffee could grab a to go cup while others petted Caroline’s therapy dog, Sochi (check out her Instagram),because we all need a little doggie therapy these days!
Although temps were in the low 40s, the bright sunshine and fun company made for a pleasant walk. Recent transplants, who relocated with the help of Executive Arrangements in the past year or so, will meet every month to explore a different neighborhood or public park for equal parts continuing education, exercise and socialization. Dogs are encouraged! And, we are also looking forward to future outings with kids and significant others (unless they are watching the kids to give you a timeout and be an adult).
The chill of winter won’t stop us from exploring NE Ohio every month of the year. We will layer up; throw on puffy jackets, hats, gloves and hiking boots. The group¬†hiked sections of the newly opened Towpath Extension Trail that hugs the Cuyahoga River and has fabulous cityscape views. Then headed down Professor Avenue past many of Tremont’s signature restaurants and a half dozen real estate developments; new apartments, co-working spaces and condos in the neighborhood. After our hike which ended around noon, some of us stopped at Corner 11 to grab lunch to go. They create awesome poke bowls and ramen noodles and worth the trip to Tremont to support an independent restaurant.
After each hike EA will create and share a Google My Map with all who attended so they can return and replicate the route with a friend or family member. We were safe, the only time we took our masks off was for the photo. One newcomer shared, “Thanks for organizing this hike, I would have felt so isolated this year without EA.” It’s ever important that companies provide our services for their job candidates and new hires, Executive Arrangements is an indispensable service!

Invigorated from a brisk walk and meeting new friends.

EA’s Eastside Book Club Continues-Sometimes in Person and Sometimes in a Zoom

With the temperature in the high 40s, the mid-October gathering of EA’s Book Club attracted 8 of its 12 members to the back patio of recent transplant Beth Baker’s home in Pepper Pike. Beth provided hot cider, coffee and delectable desserts from local Luna Bakery (Thanks Beth, for supporting local spots so they are still in business when this is over!). Her husband Aaron, a MetroHealth doctor and the reason for their relocation to Cleveland, brought 3 year old daughter Sullivan (fresh from her bath and in her jammies) out to say goodnight. Priceless.

Masks not only kept us safe but warm as did our down coats and wool mittens.

Book club members shared updates on their lives, talked about the then upcoming election and their hopes for a vaccine to end the pandemic. Next book is, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, an appropriate read given that the premise of the story revolves around a man who is sentenced to house arrest in a hotel in Moscow in the 1920s for being on the wrong side of a government conflict. Can’t we all relate to some form of “house arrest” right now?
The book club began in December 2019, with a kick off gathering at The Van Aken District in Shaker Heights, and all agreed to keep meeting during COVID-19 for the connectivity it provides, with a preference for in-person versus Zoom gatherings. The group is a mix of young moms and empty nesters, career women and stay at home moms, from cities all over the US, Canada and England. All have found common ground through their love of reading and also binge-worthy shows, because who doesn’t need a recommendation or two for streaming!

Coffee, hot cider, and a little rum kept us toasty warm.

We are happy to share that for the candidate orientations we are doing in-person, we have been successful in finding community guests to join us for lunch or coffee on a patio with heaters or during a walk outdoors. Locals are as starved for connectivity as newcomers and jump at the chance to meet a potential new transplant to share stories.
If what EA is doing, helping newcomers become invested and connected in their new town, is important to your efforts in recruitment and retention give us a call at 216.231.9311. We’ve also launched Virtual Only Support services due to COVID-19 which will give your candidates access to our online tools to help educate them about NE Ohio. Your candidates and new hires will thank you for engaging EA, we’ve heard it time and time again!