An Exciting Restart for Rising Tide

This is a two part series on the history of Rising Tide Society. Read part one →.

An exciting restart for Rising Tide

In June 2024, the Rising Tide Society is celebrating two birthdays

One recognizing the nine years since its founding in 2015, and the second honoring the most pivotal year in its history – one in which it became an independent entity and a nonprofit serving small business owners. 

An end and a beginning

In 2023, Rising Tide’s former partner separated from the community and shared the intention of closing down RTS. Within days of the announcement, more than 200 of the volunteer chapter leaders had gathered together in online message groups and a petition to share how important the community was to them and their regional members.

Steps were taken to begin an agreement transferring ownership of RTS to the community leaders themselves. After research, legal discussions, and negotiations, Rising Tide Society became an official independent entity.

By mid-year 2023, Rising Tide was a nonprofit organization truly led by the community for the community. A Board of Directors were formed and shortly thereafter an Executive Director was hired. More than 40 volunteers work behind the scenes in areas ranging from marketing and content to education, events, moderation and more.

“It’s been so powerful to see passionate people step up to do specific areas of support in areas where their talent lies. True magic happens behind the scenes with all of these perspectives touching the community.” – Executive Director Wendy Zook

Highlights as we began this year

So far, in 2024, RTS has accomplished numerous exciting firsts as a brand-new nonprofit community:

Featured nonprofit at Lens & Light

Members of the RTS Board of Directors attended the Lens & Light Summit in Mystic, Connecticut, a conference for photographers. There, Rising Tide was the official nonprofit of the conference and had an opportunity to meet with potential partners, sponsors and, most importantly, new members and leaders for regional chapters.

Board members Chris Stiles, Brittanny Taylor, Natalie Franke, Marvin Flavien, and Wendy Zook at the Lens & Light conference

First Regional Meetup

The RTS team also hosted a regional meetup in New England for area chapters and members. It was an opportunity to share our story, answer questions, connect and learn what people are craving in a community.

Three female members at the Rising Tide New England Regional Meetup taking a selfie

Behind the scenes team coworking

Our team has also been lucky enough to have opportunities to get our volunteers, Board Members, and key players from all over the world together in person for coworking and brainstorming retreats to ensure that behind-the-scenes volunteers are supported and connected, stronger than ever.

First global event

In February and March of 2024, RTS also hosted its first-ever Business Boost Summit, a virtual educational series with webinars on topics related to small business ownership.

Board member Emilia sharing her virtual summit presentation on SLO Funnels

DEIB focus

The community is working with an external DEIB expert, Abbiola Ballah, to enhance all decisions and strategy related to the community in a way that will be more inclusive and accessible.

Looking ahead to the future of Rising Tide

We’ll also be working on things like more regional meetups, a future community podcast, and more exciting initiatives.

This is the most pivotal year of growth, change and enhancement for our community and one that is just laying the foundation for what will be an incredible future for small business owners across the globe. We can’t wait to continue to do better and be better.

It’s been a beautiful nine years.

It’s been an empowering first year.

Happy Birthday, Rising Tide! 

Celebrate with us all month long during our Birthday Bash

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