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MAX Blog

  • 13 Feb 2018 9:27 AM | Anonymous
    On Sunday, January 28, MAX held a special afternoon reception for our MAX Founders group: those men who have contributed both money and energy in the past 18 months to help get the new MAX restarted.  Over 120 people attended this special event, which was held at the new private gay men’s club The Academy. 

    Enjoying wines donated by Wente Vineyards and one-of-a-kind appetizers created by private chef Shane Meistrich and Canela SF, our guests enjoyed an afternoon of animated conversation and fun.  The new Academy SF space – the brainchild of its owner/manager Nate Bourg and business partner Paul Miller – emulates a sophisticated urban living room, providing a perfect reference to our past, as MAX was started in the living room of one of our founding members. 

    The afternoon was highlighted by an impassioned presentation by Phil Walker as to the importance of MAX and its role in bettering the social lives of gay men in San Francisco.  “The gift MAX has given us all — for the past decades and right until today — is a place for all of us to call ‘home’, with connections and community that make our lives better and richer with each passing year," he said.

    “I was involved in the ‘old MAX’ years ago and met many of the friends I have today at MAX events.  I have to say that I think the ‘new MAX’ is becoming something like ten times what the ‘old MAX’ was due to some great leadership and new member participation,” said MAX member Barry Cardoza.

    Special thanks go to the following event sponsors and supporters: 

    The Academy SF

    Chef Shane Thomas

    Canela SF

    Wente Vineyards

    MAX member Andrew Freeman, AF&Co.com

    - Stuart McFaul

  • 9 Feb 2018 9:15 AM | Anonymous
    When MAX was first started, the name “MAX” was selected for its friendliness and easy memorability; the founders wanted the organization to be viewed more as a friend than an organization. The official registered name – Men’s Associated Exchange – was a bit force-fit to explain what the group was about. While no one was particularly keen on the official name, it still worked – and stayed in place for decades.

    When we looked into reviving MAX, we knew we didn’t want to play with the brand too much; after all, the many years had reinforced MAX as the name of a successful organization that brought gay men together. But how could we make MAX relevant to a new audience while preserving the iconic name?

    The answer came from the member research we conducted in mid-2017. We learned that our key strengths were seen as bringing gay men together in a friendly social environment… but always with a twist. We were known for adding something special to the events we held. This insight allowed us to reinterpret the name MAX in a fresh new way, with each letter representing one of our strengths: Men, Activities and (we look some license here) something eXtra.

    For our new logo, we wanted a simple symbol that would be immediately recognizable as uniquely MAX. The stylized ‘M’ MAX logo — designed by artist and MAX member Richard Laeton — alludes to our founding during the AIDS crisis by emulating the patchwork look of AIDS quilt… to our present by representing the multiple facets of our diverse membership… and to our future mix of colorful and interesting programs.

    - Stuart McFaul

  • 2 Feb 2018 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    In mid-2017, MAX turned the tables and reached out to our members to ask a couple of simple questions: who are you and what do you want? The feedback was overwhelming: even though the two surveys we sent out (one was anonymous) were long and involved, we received an over 15% response rate, which – in market research terms – is astonishing.

    The results were enlightening. While in many cases we weren’t surprised by what we heard, we still learned a few things that have guided us to develop the kinds of programming you see being introduced today.

    Here are some research highlights:

    We join MAX to regularly meet old friends, meet potential friends/partners, participate in a variety of interesting events, be part of the community and have fun.

    • Seen as great alternative to the bars
    • Hook-ups seems to be very much a minor consideration.

    We are in our 40’s and above, active in the workforce, and well-educated.

    • 74% work; 20% are retired.
    • 85% of the members have college and/or post-graduate degrees.

    We live in SF and the East Bay and are evenly split between singles and couples.

    • 70% of members are in San Francisco.  85% are in San Francisco and East Bay.
    • Single:  47%; in relationship:  42%

    We are financially comfortable, but cautious.

    • Comfortable, but not wealthy. Individual income spread pretty evenly in all five quintiles with 27% in $100,000 to $150,000. 
    • Price is an important consideration for 81% of members.

    We like to be social, but are not big partiers.

    • 74% go out to restaurants about two times a week.
    • 60% go to bars about once a week.
      • 2/3 of members drink wine, cocktails, and beer; 1/3 do not drink.
      • While we have some beer drinkers, our members tend towards cocktails and wine.
    • 63% would attend an event with marijuana.

      We often belong to more than one social group. Our biggest overlaps with other groups include Bridgemen, California Men’s Gathering (CMG), East Bay Network, Equality California, Horizon’s Foundation, Gay Men’s Chorus.

      We like many kinds of events: travel (especially touring the City, Bay Area, and California), attending TGIF, going to theater events/art galleries/cabaret, dining with others, attending unique events, and are interested in health and fitness.

      We like to travel: 90% travel within California 1 to 3 times per year; 86% travel US/International 1 to 3 times per year.

      We are active social communicators.

      • 74% use Facebook.
      • They hear about events through friends and word of mouth.
      • 89% learn about MAX events from email.

      - Stuart McFaul

    584 Castro Street, Suite 235
    San Francisco, CA 94114
    (415) 562-5582

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