A Call From... Toby Hoover

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Toby Hoover. Toby has been working tirelessly in the fight against gun violence for over 40 years. She founded the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence and has proven to be synonymous with this fight in the Toledo region. I have enjoyed getting to know her so much over the past few months. She is one of the most passionate people I know and she energizes me in my interest in working toward a more peaceful world. While the topic is intense, we even played a game at the end! In “Did You Know _____ about gun violence in Ohio?” Toby helps us understand some of the lesser known realities of gun access and rights in our state. And, at the end, she talks about what makes a “good guy” and what makes a “bad guy.”

Also, please hop over to Facebook and check out our event “Guns to Gardens” happening on October 29th. I would love to see you there.

A Call From... TEDxToledo

A Call From... TEDxToledo

by Sam Melden

This week I got a call from… TEDx Toledo! So, TEDx Toledo can’t technically call me but this episode is pretty close. My good friends Will Lucas and Molly Luetke stopped by the podcast to help me preview this year’s TEDx Toledo. I have enjoyed organizing this event with Will and Molly for the past few years and as I thought about this year, I realized that 3 of our speakers this year have already been guests on the podcast! So, I decided to give a little preview of this year’s event. Amelia, Scott and Adam’s TEDx talks will certainly be different from these conversations, but this is a great primer for Thursday.

And, of course there is still time. Get your tickets at www.tedxtoledo.com

A Call From... Frank Szollosi

A Call From... Frank Szollosi

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Frank Szollosi. Frank, an environmental organizer who works for the National Wildlife Federation, has served on City Council and was a perfect candidate to close out our water series. In this episode, Frank helps us understand more about the political facets to this problem as well as how we can use our unique political geography to voice our concerns. Then at the end of the episode we discussed how a communal approach to advancing the common good is always the best approach.

A Call From... Warren Henry

A Call From... Warren Henry

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Warren Henry. Warren has vast work experience throughout his career and in August 2014 was brought in as the new Water Program Manager for the City of Toledo. I was excited to have him on the podcast in our 3rd week of talking about water. While it is definitely important to talk with politicians and policy makers and dreamers and activists… and sometimes, you need to talk to the one overseeing the nitty, gritty details.

When it comes to drinking water in the city of Toledo, Warren Henry is that guy. In this episode we talk about some of the real improvements made to our water system.

Also, at the end of the episode I mention a few upcoming events I am a part of, and I would love to have you involved!

Mentioned in this episode: TEDxToledo Guns to Gardens. (No link yet, more info coming soon!)

To reach me, email sfmelden@gmail.com

A Call From... Andy Stuart

A Call From... Andy Stuart

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Andy Stuart. When I think about clean and safe drinking water I don’t know if I can think of a better visual for the common good that clean and safe water available to all. We all need it, all the time, every single day. And, in this episode I talk to Andy, Regional Vice President at Cumulus Media and unlikely water expert. Two years ago, through his role as President of Toledo Rotary Andy began working to mobilize Rotarians to learn about and solve our water issues in Northwest Ohio. In this episode we dive into the many facets of this complex problem. We talk about leadership and collaboration and how to figure out a way forward when no one is “in charge.”

And, at the end of the episode I talk about self-awareness as a prerequisite to community involvement and about a few things you can be involved over the next few months in this community. The common good is a group effort, and it will take all of us to move the ball forward.

Mentioned in this episode:

Leadership Toledo

TEDxToledo

Rough Draft Diaries

To reach me, email sfmelden@gmail.com

A Call From... Mike Ferner

A Call From... Mike Ferner

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Mike Ferner. Mike is a former City Councilman and mayoral candidate and is currently organizing a group called Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie. Nearly two years ago we experienced the “water crisis” of 2014 and this is the first of many episodes where I will talk to people involved in solving our water issues in Northwest Ohio. Why are there so many different perspectives and seemingly so little progress? Is it a communication problem? Government inefficiency? Do we know the way forward?

Also, be sure to listen all the way to the end. I have a few questions for you and would love to have you involved in a few projects I am attempting to organize. The common good is a group effort so we need to push it forward together.

Mentioned in this episode:

Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie

Toledoans For Safe Water

West Toledo Democratic Club

A Call From... Joel Shenk

A Call From... Joel Shenk

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Joel Shenk. Joel is the pastor at Toledo Mennonite Church. As we move forward with this podcast about exploring the common good, it was important to me to begin to incorporate faith leaders into the conversation. There are people all over the city who lead congregations of many kinds and encourage and challenge them to be about the “good of their city.” This is Joel. In this episode he shares some of the different experiences that made him consider this profession and, he shares a few stories from his congregation and the work they do in our city.

(Also, until this point I have been posting two episodes a week, and while it was fun to pair up different conversations that played off one another, I am looking forward to talking more about other “common good” issues at the end of each episode. So, as they become a bit longer I am going to try to release one per week. Then we can have one conversation with more focus. Also, make sure to listen all the way to the end. Thanks!)

A Call From... Kurt Bench

A Call From... Kurt Bench

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from… Kurt Bench. Kurt is a vegetable farmer. He is a staple at your local farmer’s market and is often wearing his “Who’s your farmer” shirt. I find his story to be fascinating and his work to be admirable. I love hearing about his family and the incredible risk they took to give the Toledo region the gift of Shared Legacy.

New to the podcast this week! Make sure to listen all the way through to the end too. I am going to be sharing a few things from my work in the community at the end of each episode, as well as asking a question to think about or even offer a few thoughts on how today’s topic connects to our city and how you can be involved. The common good is definitely a group project so I thought the podcast should reflect that.

A Call From... Prakash Karamchandani

A Call From... Prakash Karamchandani

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from… Prakash Karamchandani. Prakash (PK) is one of the most thoughtful, generous and innovative entrepreneurs in our city. Together with his business partner HoChan Jang (CJ), PK has created Balance Pan-Asian Grille. Anyone who has been to Balance knows why PK & CJ make such a great team. And I was really interested in this episode to hear about how they have created the Balance culture with such intentionality.

New to the podcast this week! Make sure to listen all the way through to the end too. I am going to be sharing a few things from my work in the community at the end of each episode, as well as asking a question to think about or even offer a few thoughts on how today’s topic connects to our city and how you can be involved. The common good is definitely a group project so I thought the podcast should reflect that.

A Call From... Jason Kucsma

A Call From... Jason Kucsma

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Jason Kucsma. When you think about public institutions that exist for the common good, you can’t get very far without mentioning the library. However, in an early conversation I had with Jason, I was really impressed by the ability of a long-standing organization like the library to evolve the way it has. In this episode Jason breaks this down for us and we also get a glimpse into his background and what connections he has made along the way.

A Call From... Adam Levine

A Call From... Adam Levine

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Adam Levine. Adam is the Associate Director at the Toledo Museum of Art. When I wanted to dive in to the role our Museum plays in propelling the common good, I knew I had to start with Adam. And, if I can be honest, recording this episode reminded me why I love this podcast. Adam’s take on art & empathy is something that will stick with me for sometime. So, I am really glad I recorded it and can share it here.

A Call From... Drew Ruiz

A Call From... Drew Ruiz

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Drew Ruiz. Drew loves to create. And anytime we get a chance to talk I enjoy hearing his unique perspective on his craft and how that connects to other things he is passionate about. I really wanted to get his take on his latest creation, “Chef Ruiz on the Go.” How does he connect his love for cooking and his love for cycling? What might that connection be able to teach us about our food system as a whole? It’s always interesting conversation and I even learned a few new pieces of Drew’s story in this episode as well.

A Call From... Scott Delaney

A Call From... Scott Delaney

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Scott Delaney. Scott works with one of the most impressive urban agriculture programs in our region at The University Church in south Toledo. Through their expansive garden, after school program and other food programs, Scott is leading an incredible effort to reimagine the way a community relates to food. I’m slightly surprised we even got through this conversation without our normal level of sarcasm. But we did! I really appreciate Scott’s faithfulness to his work and the compassionate way he handles every thing he does.

A Call From... PG Sittenfeld

A Call From... PG Sittenfeld

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from P.G. Sittenfeld. P.G. is a Cincinnati City Councilman and recently ran for the US Senate. It was in this recent primary race that so many people were able to connect with P.G. and hear about his take on the issues that matter. One of those issues was common sense gun reform. In my opinion, P.G. tackled this issue with bravery. This is one of the reasons I found his candidacy so compelling. So many people talk about the need for fresh faces to inhabit our public offices. Well, P.G. is clearly up to the task and will be working at this for a long time. It was important for me to have him on this podcast, even though he isn’t working day in and day out on Toledo’s common good, because when a candidate in our state stands up for issues the way he has… we all benefit. And, we are all reminded of the work yet to be done.

A Call From... Nick Komives

A Call From... Nick Komives

by Sam Melden

Today, I got a call from Nick Komives. Nick is the Executive Director at Equality Toledo. I believe Nick is one of Toledo’s current great leaders and organizers. I love seeing his work and the passion behind what he does. That is, until his work leads him to respond to a terrible tragedy like the recent events in Orlando. Then, rather than look on with admiration and cheer, I join him in mourning with those who mourn. And I simply try to stand with him. Thankfully, for our community, when tragedy like a shooter in Orlando takes place, we have leaders like Nick ever committed to pushing forward the common good… for all people.

A Call From... Amelia Gibbon

A Call From... Amelia Gibbon

by Sam Melden

There are so many ways to describe Amelia. And while she is one of the most kind and encouraging friends I have, I also believe she is one of the most thoughtful and wise leaders in our city. I first met Amelia when I was at Food for Thought and we immediately hit it off. I had found someone to listen to and learn from, and she was willing to pick up the phone when I called. From her post as the Executive Director at The Friendly Center she is consistently pulled in many different directions and asked to serve on countless boards and committees. (I always love to hear how she decides which commitment to take on.) This conversation could have taken a number of directions and still applied to the common good, because that’s what Amelia spends her time on. And we are a better city for it.

A Call From... Brittany Ford

A Call From... Brittany Ford

by Sam Melden

While working as the Executive Assistant to County Commissioner Pete Gerken, Brittany began learning about diversity and inclusion issues in our region. And I am convinced her work with Welcome Toledo Lucas County is some of the most important work in our area. I can not think of a project more central to our work of creating an inclusive community where we honor all forms of the human expression than this initiative. Yet, this work has been met with some solid resistance. I am so glad Brittany decided to have this conversation because I want everyone, everywhere to learn more about the work of Welcome TLC, but more importantly, we all need to hear about the heart behind the work. Brittany knows how to take us there and make the case for the type of community we should strive to become.

A Call From... Jill Bunge

A Call From... Jill Bunge

by Sam Melden

Jill is the Executive Director of Food for Thought. Food for Thought is committed to feeding Toledo-area residents in a thoughtful way. In this episode we talked about the unique and even unexpected ways she prepared for her current position.

A Call From... Julian Mack

A Call From... Julian Mack

by Sam Melden

Julian is involved in so much of what is pushing forward the common good in our community. From his efforts with Black Lives Matter to the class he facilitated at Imagine Clay Avenue Community School this past year… I find his work inspiring. In this episode we discussed how Toledo history fuels his work and informs his LEAD program.

A Call From... Sean Nestor

A Call From... Sean Nestor

by Sam Melden

Today I got a call from Sean Nestor. It’s difficult to describe all that Sean does in our community. He is involved in so much, and in my calculation is one of the most community-minded people I know. The Phoenix Earth Food Co-Op, Lucas County Green Party, Toledoans for Safe Water… his finger prints are everywhere. And, yet, today’s show wasn’t about any of that. Instead, we talked about the new radio station he is involved with. WAKT FM will be on 106.1. Learn more here: waktlp.org