I open this episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast by mentioning that it seems as though every time I turn around, Steve Bennett is there. It could be a meeting for a chamber of commerce, business council, a charity fundraiser, school harvest festival, and of course everywhere on Facebook – there’s Steve Bennett. So I began to ask the question – who is Steve Bennett, and why is he following me? 🙂 One thing was clear: Steve Bennett is quite the man about town.
Steve currently works for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, but as you’ll hear from our talk, he’s had a bunch of different jobs with a number of newspapers both here in California but also up in Oregon and Idaho. Recently, he spent a number of years working for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County. Steve grew up up on the foggy shores of Pacifica, just south of san Francisco and spent the earlier years of his life exploring the San Francisco nightclub and music scene, before he battened down the hatches and went to college, earning degrees in broadcasting and journalism.
He’s friendly, outgoing, and a great conversationalist – but that doesn’t explain why I see him everywhere I look. As you’ll learn in this episode, Steve is a master networker. It seems that he knows everyone in town, and that helps him with his greater mission: to make our community a better place. He was taught early on the importance of giving back and working in your community, because we don’t live in an amazing place purely by accident. It takes work from people like Steve Bennett who actually care about what goes on in their community.
Not coincidentally, all this networking also helps Steve in his job, which at the moment is managing advertising sales for the Santa Cruz Sentinel. We spend some time talking about sales, too – and how Steve encourages the salespeople on his team to get out to these functions and do their own networking. And that’s crucial, because a warm relationship is so much better and more effective than a cold one. And that’s a lesson that everyone should learn, regardless of their mission or the business they’re in, and that’s what makes this episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast so worth listening to.