At the diner with Andrew Rose

A grilled blueberry muffin with a side of fruit. A cup of coffee. A large glass of grape fruit juice to be served with breakfast. Andrew Rose’s breakfast order is a routine that rarely changes. Conversely, the remainder of his breakfasts at Towson Diner change business throughout the area routinely.

For over a year, I had heard stories of the magic of Andrew Rose. It is not a matter of flattery. Many would attest to it. It was the same reaction from every new connection I came across. Each week someone sits down at the diner with Rose and walks away the better for it. Some come away with a new connection that opens a new door. Some come away with a fresh idea that rejuvenates their business strategy. Everyone comes away with a good conversation.

Zest Social Media Solutions CEO Ali Lemon often shared with me her experiences of breakfasts at the diner. Lemon is one of Rose’s youngest protégés and a rising star. The impact that his ideas have on her is evident. Every conversation sparked innovation and motivation. It seemed that with each breakfast, she came away with a new interesting character of a connection, a new incredible story, or a new valuable moral.

I began to feel like I was a kid again. See, I was deprived as a child. Not really, but I never got to go to Disney World. I loved Disney just as much as the next kid. I melted into the magic every time the music came on at the beginning of a movie. You could watch the fireworks shoot over the Disney castle in my starry eyes as I stared with my mouth open. But I never got to experience all of the characters, all of the stories, and all of the magic in real life.

Finally, I got my chance to experience the magic. At least with Andrew Rose, it does exist.

My first breakfast was fresh off of the hot ticket item annual party for the Marketing Directors Support Group. Rose founded the organization in 2003. The organization has not stopped growing since, and now serves as one of the best resources for professional marketing expertise in the area. This year’s party did not fail to impress. The event was more than fully catered on behalf of Vmeals owner Eric Bonardi. Almost a dozen different restaurants dedicated the time and resources to partake and provided delicious food to the attendants.

The vibe of the party was set by the live musical contributions of Hanover Blue and the Fallstaff 5+2 Dixieland Jazz Band. The two bands set the bar high both with and without instruments. Hanover Blue lead gal Myra Norton is the CEO of Community Analytics and was recently named to Baltimore Magazines “Top 25 CEO’s you need to know”. Meanwhile, celebrating his 80th birthday, Naden/Lean founder and trumpeter extraordinaire Paul Naden was undoubtedly the most lively person in the room.

“It was such a fantastic turnout,” said Rose. “We were so fortunate to have such strong support to be able to make it happen.”

Rose was finishing breakfast with MDSG party attendant Kathleen Bands when I arrived at the diner. Bands is one of the leading minds at My Cleaning Service, voted Best of Baltimore 2010 for its industry. She was one of the many still buzzing from party. For days the buzz of the party had spilled into conversations everywhere, especially on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Rose had one thing in particular on his mind. He said quite elegantly that he was pissed off. He reminded me of a former coach of mine after a lazy performance.

“I want to see more action and less talking,” said Rose. “We come across opportunities to do good every day, and too often do people talk about them as they pass us by rather than act when it counts.”

It is a simple concept. It has been said a thousand times. However, this time it was being said in the wake of a tremendous success and not after some sort of tragedy. Rose’s party opened doors and connections for hundreds of people. Yet, he wanted more. Not for himself, but for other people. There was the magic.

All the comments, “likes”, tweets, and mentions in the world do not really matter. The words are essentially meaningless unless people act on the opportunity to make something good out of the all the talk. So, when you go to talk about this article, what good will you make out of it?

I’m ready for the check, please.