MEET Mike Lorey: FEED contributor, Crop Mob enthusiast and Mead Maker extraordinaire
Meet Mike. An all-around great guy to know in Atlanta, Mike has been working on innovative and engaging projects promoting local and sustainable food for a few years. A co-founder of Crop Mob Georgia and active volunteer with Georgia Organics, Mike is your go-to guy to learn about sustainable food in Atlanta. He doesn’t just preach local sourcing- he practices it in his endeavor to make sustainable and locally sourced mead and beer. Although not yet available on the open market, these all natural brews are sure to intoxicate your senses. In addition to all this local-yummy-goodness, Mike also runs his own marketing and design firm focused on good and sustainably minded businesses. Go Mike.
What current projects are you working on?
That is a lot of projects! How did you get started with some of them?
Rationally Creative was started to formalize my work with Georgia Organics and other local food/socially conscious organizations. Crop Mob Atlanta (Georgia) started back in April of 2010. As an admin of GO’s facebook page I reposted a NYtimes article on the original CM in North Carolina. There were such positive responses and a young woman named Kimberly Coburn took the initiative to contact the founders in NC and got approval to bring it to Georgia. Mere hours later I offered to help her with the website, creating the necessary online community, and various other marketing/graphic design tasks.
Organizing a Mob seems intense. How did you move to action?
We tapped into the networks that I had identified and established already. Crop Mob Atlanta was kicked off at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market as an informational meeting of like-minded folks. Watch it here.
What challenges do you encounter and how do you deal with the biggest ones?
Getting everything to run smoothly before, during and after a mob. We have established a sort of formula to event planning, promotion, supervision during the event, and post-event follow up that works well for our community.
What inspires you?
New ideas, new solutions, new connections…I thrive off of gaining knowledge and continually innovating.
What are some of the impacts you are having in our community?
Working to build an integrated and resilient network of volunteers and small-scale farmers to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the areas of sustainability and local food.
In your opinion what are some key issues facing Atlanta outside of your project area?
A serious deficit in convenient (and safe) public or alternative transportation.
Who else are you collaborating or working with?
I’m currently working with iFusion Marketing as an Account Executive. We help local technology start-ups launch their company and grow their customer-base. I am also collaborating on the FEED Atlanta as a contributor and developer of this great website! In my spare time I am working with Montaluce Winery to create a line of mead produced with raw local honey.
How might this project be expanded or replicated?
Crop Mob Atlanta has recently helped get Crop Mob Savannah up and running. Both groups now exist under Crop Mob Georgia. We plan to continue expanding across the state of Georgia.
What kind of help does your project need? What kind of connections are you looking for?
We need more volunteers that are willing to help us continue developing the Crop Mob across the state. There are usually enough volunteers at the event but we are wanting to make a big impact outside of the mobs as well.
When and where can interested readers ﬁnd you?
You can read up about Crop Mob at http://www.cropmobgeorgia.com/. I spend a lot of time at client offices in Midtown, at Strongbox West and in my home office in Alpharetta. If you’d like to meet up look me up on twitter @mdlorey
What are some of your favorite projects or organizations around the city?
What are some of the most helpful resources you have found around Atlanta or online?
The most helpful resource I have is the network of wonderful people that I have created over time on Twitter and Facebook.
In your opinion, who should we add to our list of “must interview” Atlantans?
Katie Hayes, Judith Winfrey, Suzanne Welander.