Forging OG Community with Memorable Event Experiences – Rick Tu, SVB

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Quality begets quality. That’s what’s so special about the OG, the combination of online connection for short-term knowledge and in-person experiences for longer-term networking. It offers a lot of opportunities for you to grow as a person and in business. – Rick Tu

There’s no shortage of networking events in the Bay Area, and city to city, there’s plenty of general happy hour-like networking meetups available on most nights, but OG aims to be different. 

Rick Tu, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank, has been a valuable member and partner of the Operators Guild since near the beginning and remains a champion for the Operator community today.

As a member, you’ve probably met and chatted with Rick at a recent event, whether at a Giants game, clay shooting, holiday parties, wine tasting or ignite talks, Rick helps develop creative events that forge the online connection to in-person experiences. He offers his perspective of the community members, events, and the value of the OG. 

We’re really excited about the Smooth Scaling Summit, we have a great location in the Presidio overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a nice area where you can step outside and even go for a light hike during the day, excellent views and good event space.

You can find Rick Tu on LinkedIn.


The combination of online and offline collaboration in the Operators Guild is key to leveraging the value of the group.

The collaborative community offering both small sessions and larger group events bring together the Operator members to truly create unique connections and build personal and professional relationships.  

Rather than casual events, we like to step it up and really do something new which I believe brings out people’s more genuine-side. The combination of interacting with peers, while at the same time bringing neat ideas in terms of venue, food, drinks and make it appealing, really opens up the discussion. 

From the initial days of organizing 15-20 person cohorts over lunch, the Operators Guild now has over 400 members and several new city circles launching every year, including Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Toronto in 2020. 

You can read more about how OG member and serial entrepreneur, Adam Wood is leading the charge for the Vancouver circle this year. 

It’s a real-time communication engine. Operators can ping each other for ideas, and there may even be a bit of a competitive nature to some of the companies people work for, but helping others in this unique role on basic things that apply to operations, or even on urgent matters and recommendations, it’s useful for any operator of finance person. It’s a great way of having group collaboration and it’s powerful. 

Yes, tech and growth-like environments are available all over, but the OG with it’s focused Operator-nature of the community is unique and refreshing.

CEO, Founder, and CFO-like groups are common, but folks who support these roles have the opportunity to mature in their careers at an accelerated rate, since working in earlier-stage companies. Their companies can grow, or they’ll join larger entities with professional management and scaled out teams, or if they specialize in a particular growth phase, shift to other businesses.

Even while businesses grow, or professionals change companies, the group is consistent. 

There is a continuous movement amongst these Operators so the community is a stable source of opportunities, whether seeking short term knowledge or long term networking, the club-like nature offers that true sense of a connection because of the similar day to day dealings in business.

Something else about these members I notice is loyalty.

I always see the same people. It seems that once you’ve experienced being a member, reaching out for a specific technical answer, a referral, or a story about how someone else went through the same thing your company is doing right now,  plus maybe spent a half-day together doing something different, you understand what the community is really about. 

Most members who were around 2-3-4 years ago are still involved. The engagement beyond the forum is noticeable too, many members take on leadership roles by organizing events in their cities and volunteer in other ways of admin tasks or helping spread the word to peers. 

There’s a lot of ways the Operators Guild will continue to get even better too.

We’re always looking for ways to incorporate new experiences and utilize these highly-skilled and smart Operators. 

Like, the Mentorship Program. That will be high-impact. 

It’s not only about scaling up events, like the Summit but providing ways for one-on-one mentoring that will be important for members. As it grows, the group cannot be one-size-fits-all, so the cohorts based on location, or affinity – early or late-stage groups – are resourceful for tailoring content appropriately, from the forum to the in-person events and experiences. 

Thanks to Rick for his thoughts. You’ll surely be seeing him at an upcoming OG event.

You can find Rick Tu on LinkedIn.


Join us for the Smooth Scaling Summit

The first Operator-dedicated summit bringing you the best and brightest at the forefront across operations, career paths and business building.

Mark your calendars – May 5, 2020 @ Presidio Log Cabin, San Francisco

Click here for early access to tickets


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