Art of Volunteering is a dba representing my service attitude toward my community and the events that shape our lives. As a resident of Hawai'i Nei since 12/15/1998, I have been deeply inspired by south sea island culture and the concept of malama 'aina (care for the land) and the many cultural jewels under the overarching state-of-being known as aloha.
Keith Ranney dba Art of Volunteering
I was raised in Ohio in the '60's by model parents along with two younger siblings. My formative years were influenced by my football hero father, Bill Bosworth Ranney (captain of Kenyon Colleges undefeated '52 season) and a dynamically talented mom, Joanne Ranney, who excelled on the tennis court. Through dad's influence I was literally born with a football in my crib, but over time found my way to the sports of springboard and platform diving. From the perch of Southern Methodist University's 10 meter diving platform I developed a strategic mind, graduated with a degree in film and multi-media ('77), earned All-American honors on the 3 meter and was a top 6 finalist on 10 meter at the National championships.
I moved my training to the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1978 and trained there for the 1980 Olympic Diving trials platform event. I retired when politics truncated my Olympic dreams and began transitioning from being a self-focused athlete to a person in sacred self-less service to those who could not take care of their basic needs. My mentor in this endeavor was my diving trainer, a man who instilled service values into my operating system.
In 1985, my trainer-mentor and I moved our operations to Gig Harbor, Washington. A year after the move I decided to leave the partnership and pursue an MBA from Pacific Lutheran University. I met my former spouse the next year and she and I created a production agency near Ashland, Oregon. Following my penchant for social networking (well before Facebook), I took an active role with the local chambers of commerce and became president of the Southern Oregon Film & Video Association.
The early ‘90’s represented another transition period, this time more technology focused. My undergraduate training in visual arts was strictly analog. The production agency was all digital. My clientele included politicians, small business owners and anyone with a story to tell that would benefit from the power of moving images, graphics, animation and music.
Carrying the weight of a mortgage, a home-based studio, employees and the overhead of technology whose effective usefulness was short-lived led to divorce and a new life back in Washington where I set up shop in Issaquah in 1995. While shopping a business plan to the plethora of Nuovo riche Microsofties I was invited to join a dot-com startup we named Netstock Direct Corp. The next 2.5 years were a course in fast paced brand development in the new wild west of eCommerce. As Vice President in charge media production I created the company's first websites, crafted the business plans that would raise $600K in the seed round and then $2.6M in the next. In July of '98 we hired a new CEO and by August I was released, having fulfilled the needs of a startup focused on establishing a brand. From then on, the company, now Sharebuilder.com, would be focused on software development and finding its place in the highly competitive online brokerage niche of financial services companies.
I’ve described my journey to Hawai'i as a sabbatical, but it was much more of a healing journey. High diving had left its mark in my upper back and neck. Combined with years of unconscious posture at my computer workstations, I was dealing with a painful and debilitating neuromuscular pattern of dysfunction I now know as sensory motor amnesia. My two-month sabbatical was on Kauai, but new business opportunities moved me to Maui where I’ve been ever since.
I spent my early years in Hawai’i developing a business plan for an Expedia-like online clearinghouse of island vacation activities I named Activity Explorer. In 2001, the year the Activity Explorer plan was crushed by the events of 9/11/2001, I was invited to join the Maui Film Festival as their volunteer coordinator..
The events of my first couple years on Maui completely changed my life perspective and I experienced significant healing of heart, mind and body. My heart was expanded first by a love that could not follow my path, followed by one that continues to this day, with singer-songwriter, Bentley Kalaway. My mind was healed as I peeled back the conditioning of the artificial matrix that celebrates predatory capitalism and justifies the monetization and destruction of the planet that supports life – further supported by indigenous values. My body was healed when I because a certified Hanna Somatic Educator.
In 2006, I was living in community on the 4 acre family property being stewarded by Bentley and her land partners. While cleaning a roof I fell 14’ and landed on my sacrum. It was a wake-up call. As I was healing I had a profound download that my future was working closely with the land, in agriculture, as a practical move away from the pursuit of dollars and aligned more with a safe and secure food supply for my family and community. In the meantime, I continued to stay open to service that would be a good match for my diverse background and experience.
After 7 years of managing volunteers for the Maui Film Festival, using a spreadsheet and a phone, I began researching volunteer management resources online. In 2008, I subscribed to a system out of Burlington, Canada now known as Better Impact, launched my dba Art of Volunteering, and began orienting volunteers to using an online registration and scheduling system.
Shortly after 2015 Maui Film Festival I was invited to be the communications chair for the 8 chapters representing Hawai’i Farmers Union United. The knowledge gained and the good company I keep within HFUU is furthering my confidence and is now showing up in my various ag projects.
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