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Relationships More Important than Ever During Times of Crisis

As President and CEO of the EDGE Mentoring, Dave Neff’s mission was to help connect young professionals in meaningful mentoring relationships that promote whole-person development.  This work was done through small mentoring groups, as well as, big ambitious and inspiring events like the annual EDGE X conference.

In his new role at Prolific, a strategic growth and marketing firm, Dave believes that connecting with people is more important than ever.

“Relationships are more important now than ever,” said Neff.  “We all need to rally around those around you, live faithfully and stay connected.”

Prolific does that with activities like virtual Happy Hours and other virtual team events.  While “Zoom fatigue” is real, they are finding ways to stay connected with each other and their clients.

So far, Prolific’s diversified client base has remained intact.  The first quarter of the year had been very strong.  When the pandemic hit business slowed but Prolific has focused on how they can help clients through this extraordinary time and that has helped them retain all their clients so far.

Community Steps Up for Each Other

Like many members of the community, Neff jumped in to help those in need.  As a longtime volunteer at Shepard Community Center, he witnessed the incredible support that was offered to help the organization keep up with the growing demand for food.  The generosity was overwhelming.

Neff has been active in keeping his network of friends and colleagues connected, as the need to keep spirits up is enormous.  “Suffering is unifying,” he says dryly.  One way he and his friends have not only coped but also continued to build relationships is by hosting small group calls that always include some new people. 

“We can build some bridges now and be ready to go when things get back to normal later.”

Neff is confident that Indiana as a state and Indianapolis as a city will bounce back quickly.  “The ease of doing business in Indiana is a huge plus,” says Neff.

A Connected City is a Better City

Additionally, Indianapolis is an easy city to get connected, with people ready and willing to share their networks with each other. “A connected city is a better city,” says Neff. 

The Indianapolis business community believes connecting people leads to new markets, which helps talent stay in the area, which helps attract more talent.

Neff is optimistic but the challenges are real.  Unemployment is very high and people are struggling.  Local businesses and non-profit organizations that serve the community are going to need help.  Families and basic societal structures are strained.

But the spirit of Hoosier hospitality is very real too, says Neff and anyone who wants to become a leader can do so.  Neff believes that the community will come together like it has so many times in the past. Together its combined social capital will help lead the state and the city out of this crisis.

See how economic development leaders helped Indiana navigate through the COVID crisis.