Staff Profile: Raden James

Raden James Senior Community Manager, Jackson Square

Raden gained almost three decades of hospitality experience working in five-star luxury property hotels, including the Ritz Carlton in Miami Beach and, most recently, the Rosewood Sand Hill, where he was Director of Wellness and Spa. 

He joined CANOPY as a Senior Community Manager at Pacific Heights in March 2023 before moving to CANOPY’s flagship coworking space, Jackson Square (JS). Eventually, Raden plans to move back to the East Coast with his husband and launch CANOPY’s New York coworking space, once we find the perfect location. 

In Journal, Raden shares why family-style lunches and the JP Morgan Healthcare Summit rank among his favorite moments and how empathy is a superpower.

What does your role as community manager involve, day to day?

It’s more like minute-to-minute at CANOPY because things can change in a heartbeat! Exciting opportunities are always cropping up.  Our team is already incredibly motivated, and one aspect of my job is to get them activated and empowered to deliver white-glove service to our Members. At JS, I work alongside Isabel, our community manager; Suzanne, our events manager; Frank, our porter; and our barista, Brian. 

I start my day by reviewing emails and our sales leads to ensure we’re bringing new Members into the community. Later, I can be found fluttering about, striking up conversations with our members, sitting down with them at lunch, and being that face of Jackson Square.

What do you like most about your job?

Interacting with our Members, my team, and our vendors and suppliers. I’m driven by seeing other people productive, happy, and thriving in their workspace. I genuinely believe that CANOPY provides that for everyone who comes through the door—it’s a seamless experience. Seeing our Members smiling is the greatest form of appreciation.

What are some of your most memorable moments at CANOPY?

During the first week of January, JP Morgan hosted its Healthcare Summit in San Francisco at the Moscone Center, a vast conference facility nearby. Jackson Square was buzzing: we hosted meetings and mixers for hundreds of people, including CEOs from notable healthcare corporations who came in to pitch our VC Members and external guests. CANOPY Member kineo finance organized a networking happy hour for executives from JPMorgan and Wells Fargo. Seeing everyone’s reaction to the space and how they became energized as they networked was incredible.

Another event that really touched my heart was when Lola Partovi, the six-year-old daughter of one of our members, was fundraising to support a ballot proposition to offer algebra to eighth graders. (In 2014, SF eliminated 8th-grade algebra in the name of “racial equity,” a decision later adopted by the State of California, putting kids that move out of state at a substantial educational disadvantage.) Seeing her passion and enthusiasm as she worked through equations on her board — I was looking for my calculator! — and how the community came out to support her brought a tear to my eye. That girl is a future leader, that’s for sure.

Are there any upcoming events you’re particularly looking forward to?

I’m keen to leverage my experience in the wellness industry to activate our beautiful outdoor space for wellness programs like sunrise and sunset yoga and meditation.

Last week, we had a beautiful Lunar New Year lunch with lion dancers and a family-style dim sum feast prepared by Member Billy Chiu’s family business, Grant Place Restaurant, which has served the community since 1994. I want to host more weekly lunches like this, inviting Members to sit and eat together and build even more camaraderie.

What have been CANOPY’s most significant accomplishments since you joined the team?

One is that Menlo Park was at capacity within a year of opening. All of our locations are pretty much at total capacity when San Francisco, generally, is experiencing high vacancy rates for office space — new Members quickly snap up any openings, which speaks to the unique design-forward boutique experience and curated programming CANOPY provides.

But the standout is that CANOPY became a Certified B Corporation, which is a massive accomplishment. Jessica, our VP of Operations, led a year of work toward this standard: sustainability is one of CANOPY’s main pillars, and it speaks volumes that CANOPY is one of only a couple of B CorpTM workspaces in the US. 

What does sustainability mean to you?

As a senior manager, sustainability means maintaining relationships with our Members so that they want to stay within the CANOPY family, either continuing to renew or upgrading to a Private Office at CANOPY FiDi or Menlo Park as their company grows. Our churn rate is tiny, which again speaks to the product we’re delivering. To be sustainable, I also need to keep my colleagues happy so they can offer heartfelt hospitality. A happy team translates to happy Members! 

What’s your long-term vision for your role and team at CANOPY?

In CANOPY, I’ve finally found a company that stands on its values, core beliefs, and operational pillars. I would love to open a New York location and others on the East Coast, in DC and Miami, so our Members can enjoy reciprocity and the CANOPY experience wherever they travel for business. 

Locally, I’d love to see more neighborhood pop-up and permanent workplaces in SF because not everyone wants to come downtown—I see Noe Valley as an opportunity; the Marina would be great, and there’s nothing in Sunset currently. I’m excited to be a part of CANOPY’s growth.

Do you have any favorite amenities or moments at Jackson Square? 

Every evening before I leave, I walk out on the fifth-floor terrace and watch the sky painted in pinks and blues as the sun sets behind the Bay Bridge and Transamerica Pyramid. No other coworking space has the outdoor terraces we have, overlooking the most iconic aspects of the city. I take two minutes to stop, look at the sky, and think, “This is where I work.”

What skill should everyone master?

Empathy. It’s typically not innate but something you can learn. We don’t know when our Members come in what happened to them minutes before. You have to reframe your mindset to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

What do you enjoy doing most in your free time? 

My husband and I live at the base of Bernal Hill, and we enjoy walking up to the top for a great view of the city. We also love picking different city neighborhoods and spending a day there, having lunch, and going into shops. Cole Valley is one spot that more people should be talking about: Crepes on Cole and Cole Valley Tavern are amazing;  Cole Hardware has everything — you could do your Christmas shopping there.

We found an incredible hole in the wall on our last visit to the neighborhood. We grabbed a number, and when they called us, the server led us to our table on a beautiful outdoor terrace and garden in the back with a waterfall and birds chirping. We thought, “Where are we?! And how have we not been here before.” 

I love to spend time outside and walking on the beach — I could walk from Ocean Beach to Pacifica every single day. San Francisco gets a bad rap, but it’s unlike any other city.

Do you have a favorite destination you love traveling to? 

I love Italy. I tell my husband over and over that I want to retire there. We visited Venice, Milan, and Rome on our most recent trip. Wandering the Colosseum or snacking on arancini in the city’s piazzas never gets old.

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Please stop by and say hi to Raden at CANOPY Jackson Square, or book a tour with him here. You can follow Raden on LinkedIn.