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Host profile: Get enriched quick with Steve Kopelman

Diversifying your "social portfolio" can mean gains in all aspects of your life.

Steve Kopelman believes that networking can be fun. Kopelman founded and runs the Maryland 501(c)(3) nonprofit Piedmont Learning Center, an environmental education facility adjacent to the 64-acre Gwynn Oak Park on the outskirts of Baltimore City. There, he offers outdoor programs and event spaces for children and adults with an emphasis on responsible environmental stewardship.

In 2017, Mixolo first visited Piedmont for a sunset happy hour, which featured a short hike through the bucolic setting, including a peek at the apiary and a chance to sample small plates by Copper Kitchen, a farm-to-table catering company that makes honey, smokes meats and grows produce on the premises. This enticing introduction convinced us that Piedmont is a perfect location for Mixolo events, and that Kopelman is a host who “gets it.”

Mixolo solos beekeeping at Piedmont Learning Center. Happy hour - elevated.

Kopelman hosts all manner of group experiences, at both Piedmont and through his other organization, Active Excursions. He immediately recognized how Mixolo aligns with the goals of his dual enterprises. Both bring groups of people together for enriching experiences, and provide the opportunity for participants to interact and get to know each other in a friendly and supportive setting.

While many of Active Excursions events are designed with corporate team-building in mind, Kopelman is quick to point out that his events can serve a wide range of audiences. “We typically offer unique and fun opportunities to groups of people already familiar with one another,” he says. “But the model is ideal for those looking to interact with others, whether or not they know each other…yet.” Mixolo understands that much of business grows from social interaction, and building social capital–both inside and outside of the workplace– can enhance personal and career satisfaction.

Active Excursions organizes everything from kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay to scuba diving in the Bahamas to exploring local wineries. And group experiences also go indoors–with such events as wine tastings and hands-on workshops at maker spaces.

Group scuba diving in the Bahamas and encountering a sea turtle.
Photo Courtesy of Active Excursions - Nassau, Bahamas

“If you can think of it, we can make it happen,” says Kopelman. “We offer workshops and trips where people can find connection with others while having fun experiences."

“Mixolo is a perfect fit for Active Excursions,” Kopelman says. “We offer social, educational and dynamic escapes. These kinds of experiences are exactly what Mixolo members are looking for.

Steve (top left) greets our Mixolo guests.

Kopelman, like other Mixolo hosts recognizes that some potential guests may opt out of experiences because they feel pressure to find a plus-one. These hosts realize that such an approach leaves out an important and growing demographic. Think of the solo-preneur who might hesitate to purchase a table at a fundraiser, or would-be adventurers not sure if they’ll have a belaying partner at a rock-climbing workshop. Active Excursions can create team-building workshops for Mixolo members or mix corporate groups with new faces.

Living and going solo is a cultural movement. More people today identify as solo than any other customer base, yet most marketers and businesses remain focused on accommodating couples.

Mixolo hosts like Steve Kopelman are doing their part to shift that dynamic. “We're very excited about partnering with Mixolo,” he says. “We are ready to welcome Mixolo groups coming together in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle and a connection with like-minded enthusiasts."

Self-service food servings.  People serving themselves.
Fresh fall harvest, smoked meats prepared by Copper Kitchen.

And there’s more! Copper Kitchen, one of the Baltimore region's premier farm-to-table caterers, is part of many an Active Excursions event. Though its commissary is in southwest Baltimore, Copper Kitchen has an active presence at the Piedmont Learning Center campus. There, the catering company shares the herb garden, an apiary where they harvest honey, and a refurbished 160-year-old on-site smokehouse, where all the smoked meats are prepared. Look for Copper Kitchen’s delicious offerings when you sign up for a Mixolo event with the Piedmont Learning Center.

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