For those of you who have been attending BIO events over the past few years, you’ve not only come to know the One-on-One Partnering System, but BIO staff as well. In particular, our Partnering Guru George MacDougall, – the very person our blog is named after! Recently, George accepted a position at another DC non-profit and is moving on from BIO. In honor of all his hard work, exceptional customer service, and contributions to the Partnering System, we thought we’d give him a proper goodbye and a farewell post. So read on to learn more about George, how the blog came to be, and what he considers some highlights over the years. And while George may not physically be here to answer your questions, you can still always ask yourself, ‘What Would George Do?’ for guidance!
So George, when did you start working at BIO?
Oddly, I have two answers to this question. I started as an intern for the Business Development department in August ’08. I then started working at BIO again as the Partnering Coordinator in August ’09. What did I do in the mean time? Only me and my sidekick Robin (picture below) know.
How did the blog come to be?
Our colleague, Joe Colangelo actually came up with the specific idea to start the blog (give him a(nother) congratulatory high-five for that), but we were really looking for an informative, interesting and personable way to proactively get the message out that partnering can be fun and beneficial.
Were there any other blog titles you were considering?
We explored and discussed several names before finding the right one. Some examples: “Plugging in for Partnering”, “Making the Most of One-on-Ones”, “Leveraging Your Company’s Partnering Potential”. As I am sure you would figure, the whole team fell for “What Would George Do?” as the name as soon as they heard it.
How has the Partnering System progressed since you started working on it?
The comparison is really like night and day. The biggest difference, I think, is the level of intuitiveness of the system. When I started (post-2008 convention) the company profile only held about half of the information it does today, there was only one way to search for potential partners (and it was a drop-down!), and users did not have the ability to sort their messages by incoming or outgoing. I am very proud of everything the development team has done to make the system easier to use and understand!
What was your favorite thing about the Partnering System?
My favorite thing about the system is it’s ability to create and facilitate successful partnerships for the industry. Those partnerships then go on to make a big difference in people’s lives and society as a whole.
Okay, then, what was your LEAST favorite thing?
My least favorite thing is when customers and are not able to utilize the system to it’s full potential, i.e. they have technical issues. While these issues don’t come up often and we can normally resolve the issue in a timely manner, it is always disappointing to hear that a customer is having difficulty.
So what are you going to be doing post-BIO?
I will be doing all I can to keep sponsors happy at another DC-based non-profit. Shout out to all of BIO’s sponsors!
They’re sad to see you go, too! Any funny stories about the blog that you’d like to share?
EVERYONE was recognizing me and pointing at me when I wore the same bowtie that is shown in the blog avatar for the first day of the 2010 convention. I felt like a celebrity!
And last but not least, any final ‘What Would George Do’ tips?
When it comes to partnering, always do as Sondra does.* And always send meeting requests as early as possible!
Thanks, George, from all of us here at BIO! We’ll miss you, but best of luck in your new endeavors!