I should probably warn you that this is not a typical Geek blog. You might not have the usual takeaways, but it will still be engaging and amusing, I promise. I recently celebrated 15 years working for my community. Seems like only yesterday that I was a wide-eyed, enthusiastic Promotions & Marketing Coordinator who was asked to create a downtown magazine and a winter event. Oh, how far we've come. Naturally, I've been feeling kind of nostalgic, so I was reflecting on the favorite things that I've done, and more interestingly, why I stay. There were so many to choose from, so I had to limit myself to three.
The Big, Bright Light Show
Main Street Makeover
But after hundreds of event days downtown, multi-million dollar projects and that little light show of ours, what could really top all of that to be my favorite thing ever...and the reason why I stay? I discovered the answer to this conundrum last week when two of my favorite downtown pals came to visit Rochester - Ron Drake & Ben Muldrow. In case you don't know them, Ron is a downtown consultant, author and has more authentic enthusiasm for community development that anyone I've ever met. Ben is an unbelievably talented, branding guru and absolutely the smartest guy in every room. We talked for hours about what we've done, where we've been and more importantly, where we see the future of downtowns and what we might be able to do collectively to contribute to that future (but that is a blog for another day - stay tuned).
And then it hit me. The best of part of having this job is all the people that I've had to the pleasure to meet, work with, learn from and be inspired by. I never intended to be here. Let's face it, kids don't grow up dreaming they will be a downtown director. Quite honestly, most of my downtown peeps, myself included, are here by accident. In my case, I've come to believe than there are no accidents and some things are just meant to be.
Make no mistake, I wouldn't still be here without that love, support and faith
that so many have shown me. I take it to heart and I always strive to
make sure that the trust placed in me to care for and protect my
downtown and others has not been misplaced. I don't know where the next 15 years will take me, but I am confident that I have still have more to give. And I look forward to being on this non-stop thrill ride of community revitalization with all of you for many years to come.
The Downtown Geek