May eNews Guest Editor – Lisa Bretz, LT 36

I have been proud to call Tallahassee home since 1991. I came to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University and stayed for love. I truly cannot think of a better place to have raised my family and to ultimately retire. For over 27 years, you could say I had tunnel vision, especially in my professional career. I have been an advocate for older adults and issues that impact their quality of life – it’s become my mission and passion. I can tell you about all types of resources and organizations that can help older adults, but honestly, I can’t tell you much about Tallahassee outside of my non-profit human services bubble. Well, let me change that up a bit. Before my LT (Class 36) experience, I couldn’t tell you much about our great city of Tallahassee.  Now, thorough my LT experience, I am better equipped to share facts with others about what makes our city so great – our impressive law enforcement and first responder network, how important fire is to the Red Hills ecosystem, plans for business growth and development, our outstanding health care network, excellence in education and workforce development and a vast array of arts and culture. I have also gained knowledge about opportunities to plug into various sectors of our community outside of human services.

My LT year began with me crying on the phone to my husband the first night of our opening retreat asking “what have I gotten myself into?” #TeamGreen and ended on the last day of our closing retreat with me saying “I can’t believe it’s over.” So, what did I get myself into? Well, many wonderful things actually. My gratitude for my LT experience is immeasurable. I appreciate the opportunity LT afforded me in being able to network with others outside of my scope of knowledge and experience, broaden my knowledge by learning from leaders in the varying sectors of our community, and engaging in healthy discussions with my classmates and community leaders on issues affecting us as citizens of Tallahassee. Most importantly, I have been able to work on establishing and building long-lasting relationships with my awesome classmates. As if these aren’t great results in and of themselves, there are bonuses too! My agency is doing business with two of my classmates for rebranding and marketing; I became friends with one of my son’s favorite high school teachers; I had the privilege of witnessing great community award achievements of my fellow classmates; and I was part of a class that celebrated the birth of one of the youngest (honorary) LT members ever.

What’s next? I hope to have many opportunities to share my love of Tallahassee and my LT experience with others who may be seeking to get outside of their own bubble. I am looking forward to becoming more actively engaged in the community, particularly by enjoying Arts and Culture – but I don’t dance and I don’t sing. #LT36 #BestClassEver #SmartestClassEver #Thankyou

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