When I showed up for my first day of work at the Cultural Trail I had 3 co-workers. We were sharing desk space with the Monumental Marathon and DigIN as we began the process of setting up a website for the Pacers Bikeshare program. The 250 gold bikes were en-route to our city and the kiosk locations were being finalized. This was my first job out of college and I was in over my head.
We rented a storage building to assemble the bikes, set up a call center, and host volunteers. I’ll never forget those late nights before we launched emailing hundreds of volunteers who were eager to help us distribute bikes, wearing gloves to combat the cold in our poorly heated, newly christened Operations Center at 132 W Walnut St. When it rained, water dripped down onto my desk. On hot days we’d wear tank tops. But I loved it. I was a part of something amazing that was transforming our city.
(not an actual selfie stick, just a litter grabber)
Almost three years have passed since then and while that may not feel like a lot of time for some, that’s over 10% of my lifetime dedicated to the Cultural Trail and Pacers Bikeshare. Quite a lot has changed. We transformed that old storage space into a sexy new headquarters, the gold bikes were released for public use and have been used for over 300,000 trips, and ICT, Inc. has grown to 9 employees.
So why am I leaving? Well, my wife and I can’t quite shake this desire to see a lot of places and do a lot of things while we’re still young and free. We don’t plan to stay away forever, we love it here. Call it the Millennial Curse, call it a quarter-life crisis, whatever it is we feel this is a good time to check some things off our list while we don’t have kids, dogs, or other responsibilities that adulthood tends to bring.
I’ll never forget my time at ICT, Inc. I’ll miss being surrounded by a team of dedicated, passionate individuals that feel more like family than coworkers. I’ll miss the hundreds of volunteers I’ve had the privilege of working with who have helped me see the engaged and altruistic nature of residents of Indianapolis. Most of all, I’m going to miss representing an organization that, when people hear where I work, offer me suggestions of what could be fixed, added, subtracted, or altered. It sounds annoying (and my wife sure thinks so) but each time this happens I’m reminded of this quality that makes our city so great: people care what happens here.
So thank you Indy. Thanks for showing me what an engaged and enthusiastic community can do when they all decide together they want to make something great. And thank you Cultural Trail for setting an example of what a beautifully connected city can look like.