Catalyst Ranch is Chicago's most creative Meeting and Special Events Space.

Levi is an innovator and entrepreneur who is bringing together other innovators and entrepreneurs in a spirit of collaboration in a no-pressure environment.  He brings this spirit to the West Loop when Coffee & Conversation comes to Catalyst Ranch in February.

Name: Levi Baer

Name of Your Company: Second Shift, teacher at DePaul University, and leader of Coffee & Conversation

Levi Baer headshot

  • What made you get into this business?

I’ve always loved learning how and why people communicate with each other. I also read psychology magazines as a kid and then pursued two degrees in the field of communication. I also love problem solving and engaging in new challenges that need solutions. To cap it all off, I love games and facilitating fun. I was able to combine all those passions by becoming a consultant and facilitator that uses games and hands-on experiences to guide teams to higher performance and effective solutions!

  • What is the most fascinating part of your business that people wouldn’t know about?

Most people engage with me for one service, such as facilitating a team building session, but a lot of people don’t know the full breadth of my work. For example, I am a certified Myers-Briggs practitioner and can lead personality type sessions, I am a public speaking and pitching instructor, I can mentor startup projects, and recently I am expanding my work into diversity and cultural sensitivity training. Each area dovetails with and strengthens the others.

  • If you could tell your younger self one thing about the business that would prove invaluable, what would it be?

My younger self didn’t consider entrepreneurship an option, so even though it has many challenges the rewards far outweigh, so I would tell my younger self to start something on my own earlier!

  • Where was your last vacation and what is your dream vacation?

My last vacation was to Los Angeles in October 2015 by way of Amtrak. My dream vacation is to anywhere tropical! I’d love to go to Panama soon.

  • What is your favorite saying?

I have a ton of mottos, but one of my all time favorites is “With great power comes great responsibility” said by Uncle Ben in Spider-Man. I think applying that to social and economic issues would solve a lot of the world’s problems, but I also see it as an important reminder in interpersonal communication.

  • What was the most influential book you ever read?

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley; that book played a major role in shaping my current views on how communities can support each other and work together towards common goals.

  • What’s your favorite thing about partnering with Catalyst Ranch?

I love that there is no other space in Chicago like Catalyst Ranch. Not only is the space visual and spatially engaging, but everyone there is so nice and welcoming.

  • What musical instrument describes your best feature?

A piano, because every time you sit down at one you can produce something new and I love coming up with new ideas.

  • What are you most proud of?

Many things, however, currently at the top of the list is that I am an adjunct instructor at DePaul university where I can put my facilitation skills to good use and make a positive difference in the lives of young adults.

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Coffee & Conversation is a Chicago-based community of entrepreneurs and innovators who value collaboration and share ideas, resources, and inspiration. We can be anywhere along the start-up spectrum whether you just have ideas to share, are about to start a business, or already have your own company. Even if you don’t have your own business and just like sharing ideas, there are takeaways and great connections for everyone.

Coffee & Conversations comes to Catalyst Ranch February 18th from 10am-1pm.  Drop in any time (Coffee provided!)

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