The Intercity trip to Chattanooga proved to be a great success. It was so humbling for me as young professional to be in the presence of many game changers and leaders in the Greensboro community. Going into the trip I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew what the itinerary and schedule was, but I wasn’t really sure how we could take the information we received to truly transform Greensboro. However, after the first session I immediately became fired up and knew what knowledge we took from this community had the possibility to shape and push Greensboro in the right direction.
There were many components of the trip I enjoyed like, eating lunch on the beautiful Walnut Street Bridge, riding around downtown on the BrewChoo, and of course visiting the beautiful Rock City at Lookout Mountain. However, what stood out even more than all the amazing sites, was the positive energy and collective vision that each individual we came across had for the city. In one of the sessions we spoke to different individuals on a panel about Entrepreneurship in Chattanooga. I was amazed at the number of startup companies in the area and how their community was attracting millennial because of this opportunity. One thing was very evident in Chattanooga, they were listening to what young professionals had to say and opportunity was being created to attract them to the community.
I was extremely impressed with one of the organizations called the Lamp Post Group. This organization served as an investor to many of the startups as well as provided an opportunity and space for growing companies to network and interact with one another. Tiffanie Robinson, Director of Operations for Lamp Post Group spoke passionately about how Lamp Post acted as an incubator for ideas for the millennial population and as a result they had new projects underway like a housing development downtown for individuals looking to begin a startup.
Another unique opportunity we were able to participate in was the bike share program. As a outdoor enthusiast I found this experience very rewarding. I believe that having programs like bike share has the ability to encourage healthy living in our community as well as promote tourism. The ease of the getting a bike made exploring the city that much more interesting. Throughout each session I attended you could hear the passion in the voices of those who spoke with us and see why Chattanooga was chosen as the city to visit.
As we began to evaluate all that we learned from this intercity visit, I am excited about the next steps. It would be easy to come back to Greensboro and let the excitement and fire fizz out. However, it was very evident from those who went on the trip that transforming Greensboro and leveraging our resources and talents to make Greensboro a better place is definitely a goal we aspire to reach. I am excited as a young professional to have had this opportunity and one of my personal goals is to help reenergize the millennial here to get involved and play more of an active role.