Meet Colin Murphy: Board Member

SY: Hello Colin! We’re so excited to be interviewing a Board Member for the September issue of the Newsletter! How are you doing? Let’s start with the basics- how long have you been on the Board of the Steel Yard and can you tell me us a little bit about yourself?
CM: I’m pretty new as a board member, about 2 years. My background is design and I am now doing consulting in communications, marketing, and business development. Went to RISD undergrad and loved it. I got an MBA and also am a registered nurse, which were things that interested me. I like to learn and grow with new knowledge. Lately, I have started a teacher training program to teach mindfulness at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University. Not sure why, but, when I tell people that know me, mostly they laugh.

SY: So why The Steel Yard? Can you tell us a bit about what makes our organization’s mission meaningful for you?
CM: The educational mission of the Steel Yard is great. I like that the SY is educating people in creating real things with their hands and that it is accessible to a wide audience. There are classes in welding or jewelry or ceramics for fun or a workplace training program that can turn into a job. That’s super important to me. It isn’t a narrow offering.

SY: Do you identify as a maker? What do you make?
CM: Personal work is mostly photography lately. As a designer, most everything I touch turns into some “making” activity.

SY: How did you find The Steel Yard? What were you doing before you joined the team?
CM: I do some pro-bono coaching and consulting and did some work with the Steel Yard Public Projects to help them expand that. That was my first significant introduction. We were working on defining their markets and sales processes. It was really fun to work with Tim and Jenny.

SY: What do you do in your free time?

CM: Just moved to a new house with my fantastic wife, Katie, and we have two great cats, Max and Ranger. We call them “The Adventure Cats” and we even have a song for them, which Katie tells me I am not allowed to sing in public. Doing some work on the house and enjoying life there when not working.

SY: After nine months of construction, renovations, and upgrades- we’re finally ready to reopen! What’s your favorite part of the new super studio?
CM: Heat! New windows! The ability to be open year-round. This really expands what the SY can offer. I think that is a great addition to the Yard, being a year-round presence!

SY: We talk a lot about ‘Yardies’ here- curious, what does YARDIE mean you to?
CM: It means community. I think one of the most important things about the SY is that we are an open, accepting place that welcomes anyone regardless of any definition or attribute. Anyone can be a Yardie as long as you buy into a few ideas of being a good community member, and of mutual respect and acceptance. Being a Yardie is being part of a vibrant community.

SY: What are you most excited about doing here at the Steel Yard?
CM: As a Board Member, what most excites me is working to ensure that the SY is healthy in the short and long-term. This is an important organization and I am excited to find ways for it to grow and prosper while serving its important mission.

SY: What do you think some challenges might be?
CM: The SY is in a really strong position right now. Great programs, awesome staff, the new Super-Studio! All great stuff, but nothing stands still, so keeping our eye on the horizon for the changes and challenges that are upcoming is really important.


SY: Favorite food?
CM” Right now, roasted summer vegetables.

SY: Favorite movie?
CM: Ground Hog Day. Feels so real.

SY: Favorite book?
CM: Right now, Cook’s Illustrated “The Science of Good Cooking”

SY: What skill would you like to master?
CM: Welding. Looking forward to getting started on that.

SY: Favorite tool in the shop?
CM: The creative brains in all the artists.

SY: Annnnnnnd finally, is there anything else you’d like the Yardie community to know about you?
CM: I really value curiosity. I personally try to cultivate my own curiosity because it seems to open more doors to learning to understanding than any other approach I have tried.
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