An Independent Researcher who Loves Coffee and Good Books

An Independent Researcher who Loves Coffee and Good Books

Meet Bacarri Byrd

Bacarri Byrd is an independent researcher, a coffee connoisseur, and avid reader. We think she’s awesome. She’s doing amazing work on African-American history. Now, we’ll let Bacarri tell you a little more about herself!

Let’s talk about what you do for work

Due to my cool sense of curiosity, I have a great opportunity to research on a variety of topics including but not limited to: language, culture, and digital spaces.

Okay, what are you passionate about? What brings a smile to your face? 

My passion is tapping into the unknown so that the world can be a far better place. I absolutely love reading books around history, tech and rhetorical theory!

In my spare time, I can be seen grabbing a cup of coffee at Big Bucks (Starbucks).

Give us your best piece of money advice 

One personal finance tip I would give is to invest early and it’s never too early to SAVE. As a sole proprietor it is so important to save money for rainy days. 

Having a cushion to fall on in times of uncertainty is so beneficial to your business.

Tell us about the biggest challenge of your journey 

Being disciplined. With the new freedom of remote-work, you can easily fall into the trap of finishing at a later time. Full stop. Always finish when you can and do not wait until later!

Now tell us about the best part of your journey! 

Flexibility & having full control of how I spend my time.

How Has SOCO Supported You? 

SOCO has provided me with a space and community of professionals who are all passionate in their work. Through my membership, I have a place I can come to in the late night hours to refrain from keeping my family up.

More importantly, I have engaged in several meaningful conversations that have opened my eyes to various possibilities. Thank you, SOCO!

Let’s Meet Hannah Lee

Let’s Meet Hannah Lee

Hannah is another one of our new team members. She’ll working as our ops support manager. You’ll see her out and about at 80808 and Bull Street. We know Hannah is going to make this place run like a well oiled machine so you’ll have an even better experience. We’ll let Hannah take over and tell you about how cool she is.

Who Do You Work For?  

I am the Operations Support Manager for SOCO.

Tell Us About What You Do.  Brag a Little (50 words or less)

From administration to facilities, I keep the wheels in motion. My job is to identify problems and find solutions that streamline our operations, so we can be our best and most consistent for our members!

What Are Your Passions?  What Do You Love Doing?  Business or Personal.

I am really passionate about spending quality time with the people I love. I also love time spent outdoors, especially if there’s music involved!

What is one wealth building, debt elimination, or personal finance tip that you would share with the community?

STICK TO YOUR BUDGET!

What’s Been The Hardest Part of Your Journey?

The hardest part of my journey has probably been fighting burn out from retail operations, and actively trying to make a path into a work-life balance I love.

What’s Been The Most Rewarding Part of Your Journey?

The most rewarding thing for me is seeing my efforts make a difference. In terms of my journey, it would be achieving the work-life balance I was striving for by leaving my 60 hour work-weeks behind.

How Has SOCO Supported You On This Journey?

SOCO has given me the opportunity to work with an amazing team that is extremely driven, but by a love of people and community!

Let’s Meet Whitney Balish

Let’s Meet Whitney Balish

Whitney is one of the new folks on team SOCO. She’s a pretty awesome person and we’re super pumped to have her on board as our Director of Business Development (and first full-time hire!). We can’t wait to see all the cool stuff she’s going to accomplish here. But enough of us talking, we’ll let Whitney tell you about herself.

Who Do You Work For?  

SOCO 🙂

Tell Us About What You Do.  Brag a Little (50 words or less)

Business development & sales. Finding new members and expanding events at SOCO.

What Are Your Passions?  What Do You Love Doing?  Business or Personal.

Business – Developing relationships with people and a community.

Personal – Reading, walking with my husband and our dogs, visiting local breweries and biergartens.

What is one wealth building, debt elimination, or personal finance tip that you would share with the community?

I am definitely not the person to ask hahaha! (Whitney will like our personal finance boot camp!)

What’s Been The Hardest Part of Your Journey?

One of my passions is getting involved in the community. My husband and I moved a good bit, and it was difficult to get established in a community when you don’t have any contacts in the area. It was really challenging having to start over from square one repeatedly. We are happy to be back home!

What’s Been The Most Rewarding Part of Your Journey?

Usually some of the hardest parts are the most rewarding. I am thankful I was able to join and help build communities/relationships in the different places I lived. I always learn something new to take with me. There is nothing better than watching something you helped build flourish!

How Has SOCO Supported You On This Journey?

Offered me an amazing opportunity!

“I am a behavior analyst and a gerontologist – nothing less and certainly nothing more”

“I am a behavior analyst and a gerontologist – nothing less and certainly nothing more”

Member Profile-Ley Linder

Ley’s an awesome human. You’ll see him at both 80808 and Bull Street. Ley does good work: he helps people facing mental illness and challenges. In many ways, his work pays homage to the legacy of Bull Street and the patients who received care in the South Carolina State Mental Hospital. We could go on about Ley, but we’ll let him do the talking.

Who Do You Work For?  

Crescent Behavioral Health Services

Tell Us About What You Do.  Brag a Little (50 words or less)

I am a behavior analyst, a gerontologist, and a small business owner. My specialties include behavioral gerontology and the behavioral presentations of neurological disorders, in addition to working with criminal offenders with intellectual disabilities. Primarily, I work with adults with a dual diagnosis of intellectual disability and mental illness living in community residential homes, providing behavior analytic services.

What Are Your Passions?  What Do You Love Doing?  Business or Personal.

Simply put, my passion professionally is helping people with unique challenges live higher-quality lives, whether they are 1 day old or 100+ years old. 

Personally, my passion lies in becoming a global citizen through participating in my local community, advocacy for the silent, life-long learning, and trying novel experiences.

What is one wealth building, debt elimination, or personal finance tip that you would share with the community?

Treat your personal finances like a business. If your personal finances were a business, would you be open or closed?

What’s Been The Hardest Part of Your Journey?

I am a behavior analyst and a gerontologist – nothing less and certainly nothing more. I never set out to be a business owner. The ongoing challenges related to business strategy and business management, in addition to the continuing education related to navigating business ownership, are constant companions.

What’s Been The Most Rewarding Part of Your Journey?

The most rewarding part is knowing our team makes a positive difference when we work – every day. We are catalysts for happiness, promoters of success, and advocates for those who have no voice. Intrinsic value is difficult to quantify but to qualify personally, I would describe myself as an incredibly wealthy man.

How Has SOCO Supported You On This Journey?

Confidence. Support. Trust. Friendship. Guidance. Who has a thesaurus? SOCO has taken professional networking, dumped it in the trash, set it ablaze, and pushed it out to sea. SOCO is based on naturally occurring conversations, happening repeatedly over time, which form into friendships and true connectedness, as opposed to professional speed dating at networking events. From a small business perspective, SOCO will be an imperative component for the next levels of success I achieve, no matter what that may look like. It is impossible to overstate the benefits of being surrounded by other business owners who encompass the entire continuum of business, from conception to success (as identified by the person!).

Get to Know: Casey Kennedy

Casey Kennedy is a practicing attorney and founder of Hogan Land & Title, a premier real estate title abstracting and genealogy services company. When she’s not flipping through old dusty deed books or driving to counties with no online records, she’s spending time with her adorable toddler, husband, 47 house plants, and two dogs. She’s a muralist, avid gardener, and enjoys cycling, kayaking, and hiking.

Cool! We have a few questions… 

What jobs did you have before you landed where you are today?

I’ve lived many, many lives:

  • Deckhand on Commercial Fishing Boat in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
  • Barista
  • Assistant on an Alpaca Farm
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Planter at Family-Owned Greenhouse
  • Title Abstractor
  • Corporate Energy Associate

It’s been a wild ride so I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but I like to say I’m “well-rounded.”

What do you wish outsiders knew about your industry? 

I wish outsiders knew how important quality title searches are to even the most basic real estate closings. A sloppy title search or a poorly researched family tree can give you information that looks right—but is fundamentally inaccurate. 

What’s the #1 question clients or customers ask you? 

It’s usually, “Can you do a title search in [rural location]?” So many rural counties in West Virginia and South Carolina have not scanned all of their records to a searchable website yet. Being able to conduct an in-person search in a dusty old office on short notice is typically what people are looking for. 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned the hard way?

You have to teach people how to treat you. Boundaries are important in all relationships—personal and professional—and you lay the ground rules by how you respond to various situations. If you always answer immediately, your clients will always expect you to answer immediately. If you’re available by text, your clients will regularly text you. If you’re always the guy volunteering to stay late, you’ll be staying late a lot. There’s a balance between being dedicated and client-focused, while still maintaining healthy boundaries that are sustainable for life. 

What’s one book, podcast, series, or movie you’d recommend…and why?

If you’re a true crime junkie like me, I can’t recommend the podcast “My Favorite Murder” enough. I’m a bona fide #murderino. Georgia and Karen are VERY funny, genuine, and when they’re not telling horrifying and bizarre crime stories, they’re taking you on a journey examining a wide range of social issues earnestly and with open minds. 

What’s one way the SOCO community has shaped your life?

Honestly, SOCO saved my company (and my sanity) this year and that is no understatement. When courthouses closed in March, I was uniquely positioned in possibly the worst-case scenario for a title search company. The SOCO Community not only helped keep my spirits up with weekly Zoom meetings, but they also got down in the trenches with me with critical information needed to survive the complete standstill in work. Although I wouldn’t say we’ve fully recovered yet, we are still here and getting by, and I will never be able to thank Greg, Lynn, and the Community (and coffee) at SOCO enough for that. 

What improvement do you hope to see in your own life in the next 12 months? 

I really want to digitize/automate more of my workflow and systems. I still do a lot of menial tasks by hand that could all be automated. Attorneys have a tendency to be very behind in tech, and I’d like to think I’m not as bad as some, but I have a long way to go.

Get to Know: Derek Tsuboi

Connect with Derek on social:

I’m a paid advertising and digital marketing guru who likes craft beer, video games, and playing music. I used to play in metal bands, and I’m looking forward to teaching my kids how to play when they get old enough. I’m always looking to expand my knowledge, and I’m always on the hunt for delicious food and craft brews. 


Cool! We have a few questions… 

What jobs did you have before you landed where you are today?

  • Salad Maker at The German Gasthaus 
  • Supervisor at Taco Bell 
  • Supervisor at UPS 
  • Supervisor at Gamestop 
  • Route Manager at Trugreen 
  • Marketing Bitch at VOLT Lighting (Where I started my internet journey) 
  • Various Agencies 
  • Various Startups  

What do you wish outsiders knew about your industry? 

Paid advertising isn’t a silver bullet that’ll save a failing business. Businesses themselves actually have the best advantage when it comes to creating the most successful campaigns. 

What’s the #1 question clients or customers ask you? 

“How much should I spend?”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned the hard way?

Perfectionism is the enemy. I allowed perfectionism to hinder me to the point where I never released a product I could’ve back in 2013. My perfectionism caused me to never launch, and someone else ended up doing it and making a killing doing it. 

What’s one book, podcast, series, or movie you’d recommend…and why?

I hate to sound cliché, but Dale Carnegie’s books have been the most impactful reads I’ve found. 

What’s one way the SOCO community has shaped your life?

SOCO has shown me there is a community of like-minded, progressive people here. Being around people who have similar interests and all seem to be striving to live our best lives keeps me motivated. 

What improvement do you hope to see in your own life in the next 12 months? 

I’m hoping to finish building out my business. I’ve evolved it and changed my agency over the years, and I haven’t been able to really scale up as a result. I think I’m closer than ever before, but I want to get things in scale mode within the next year