August eNews, Lester Hutt, LT 35

I have been with Diverse Computing for over six years, and I’m excited that each year has brought even more opportunities to get involved in the Tallahassee community. My official title is Director of Communications & Community Outreach and, for me, this means that my job is all about making Diverse Computing an integral and influential part of Florida’s capital city.

My wife and I moved to Tallahassee in 2003 with

virtually no connections. We were fortunate to quickly get in contact with a connector in Tallahassee, Jerry Osteryoung LT 20, who was passionate about helping our small business grow. Jerry introduced us to other local connectors, mentors, organizations, and leaders. From that first connector, our network grew exponentially, and he helped my wife and I get where we are today. My experience with this was how Tallahassee Welcomes U (TWU) was born.

The goal of this TWU initiative is to give new university faculty the experience of having their own Tallahassee “connector” — a person or group of people to help these professors put down roots in our community and grow their network. The first TWU welcome reception will be held at the top of the Capitol on 8/22/2018 at 7:30pm, and this networking event will include the new faculty along with Tallahassee’s leaders and innovators.

As we all know, one of the major goals of Leadership Tallahassee (LT) is for graduates to develop an awareness of the challenges and opportunities in the community by examining major issues. One of these major issues is that our city loses a lot of valuable talent, especially in the technology sector, to larger cities like Atlanta, Austin, and Denver. This “brain drain” is a common problem for a lot of cities. With TWU, all of us can be part of the solution.

For people who are new to Tallahassee and not connected, they might feel like the only careers in Tallahassee are those with the university and the government. But all of us LT alumni know that there’s so much more! That’s why TWU focuses on faculty in particular, because they’re in a unique position to spread the word to their students, spouses, and other faculty about local internship and career opportunities.

One of my favorite aspects of Tallahassee is that there are so many people who want to help. In fact, several LT alumni will be attending and volunteering for this event. We want to demonstrate to the incoming faculty and their families that Tally is a place where people genuinely help each other.

Tallahassee Welcomes U is the culmination of my work at Diverse Computing plus my LT training and experience. We’re hoping that, long-term, this program will prove to be pivotal in keeping talent local… not only with those professors, but their families and children — perhaps even for generations to come.

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