Here at Roots we are all about building community and strengthening the relationships that make up those communities. And so we are excited to announce a new partnership with a company that holds many of those same values. The name of our new partner is Contactually.
Satyam Verma, the Contactually employee who is responsible for initiating the connection between Contactually and Roots, describes his company as “focused on helping clients create long-term relationships to drive long-term growth.” Verma saw an opportunity to help Roots teach its local partners in Haiti how to better cultivate relationships themselves and jumped on board.
To kick off our partnership and to help the members of Contactually gain a more thorough understanding of Roots’ work and the community group we work with, four Contactually employees joined our Executive Director, Chad Bissonnette, on a week-long trip to La Gonave. One member of the Contactually Team, Susan Watkins, shared her enthusiasm and excitement before they took off “I love to travel and I love to experience new culture and meet different people. I love connecting with humans and this trip seems to be all about it!”
While in Haiti, the Contactually team met with APDAG, the community leadership team within La Gonave, to present on the following two topics: How to build new professional relationships, and Maintaining and improving existing professional relationships. The Contactually team held two days of workshops with APDAG. The first day focused on the conceptual side of professional relationships – how they are formed, how they differ from personal relationships, why they are important, etc. APDAG was also taught ways to effectively maintain such relationships
On day two, the team considered the concepts they had discussed the previous day and helped APDAG apply them directly to their current situation. APDAG ranked its current contacts in order of importance, from government agencies to community member groups. It also ranked the “health” of each of those relationships – giving the relationship a plus if it was strong, a check if it was okay, and a minus for a weak relationship. Contactually then presented APDAG with five specific questions to consider when analyzing relationships and figuring out ways to strengthen them. These questions helped define end goals, specific points of contact, and key next steps in building the relationship.
Only one week after the trip, Contactually is already creating plans for the future. They are hoping to follow up with APDAG within the year to monitor the progress made in terms of relationship strengthening. A second trip to La Gonave this year, in order to run a second round of workshops, is also a possibility.
Reflecting on the trip, Contactually employee Brendan Troy says “the embrace that we felt form the broader La Gonave community was out of this world” and that “everyone [both APDAG members and Contactually members] got ten times more out of the experience than we had initially hoped.” Both Roots and APDAG are grateful to the Contactually team for their time and commitment and are looking forward to working together much more!