What Do Kids, Government, and Healthcare have in Common?

June 11, 2015 By Tom

rooftop shenanigans

…they’re a big part of the last 6 months of my life.

I found myself on the roof of a building yesterday on the Circle in Indy with the rest of Team Nine13 for a very awesome view during a very random quick photo session with one of our collaborative partners. It was a somewhat unexpected and unplanned experience that we more or less fell into and it took my breath away; the raw heat from the first 90 degree day baking down on the black rooftop and it searing through my shoes, the beauty of the Monument with the crystal blue sky dotted with streaks of white clouds as we stood on top of our little corner of the city, and the mental processing of looking around and realizing that this was just part of the new normal of my world.

On that roof yesterday was the same feeling as when I toured our new program and office space for the first time—disbelief, humbling and powerful awe, and raw emotion.

I found myself looking back in the last 6 months and mentally preparing for what the next 6 months will bring. Despite the fact it was the hottest day of the year so far, I had goosebumps on my skin as I watched the people milling about on the bricks of Indianapolis far below us.

Last night after I got home I flipped through a few of my written thoughts from the end of last year. I don’t know what I was looking to find–something about me guessing what 2015 would bring? A checklist that I had laid out for myself of goals to accomplish? I think somewhere, I subconsciously knew I had zero idea what to really expect and that I just had to go with whatever happened and accept that I can’t predict the future.

Since January I have:

  • signed a $375,000 deal with Indiana Economic Development Corporation for hiring incentives and training related to our growth
  • signed a major relationship with an incredible healthcare partner to provide programs in a whole lot of schools
  • brought on a 2nd full time staff member January 1, and a 3rd on June 1
  • prepared to double our program capacity here in Central Indiana by hiring additional staff
  • received grants from organizations that a year ago, had zero idea who we were
  • helped create and manage our new intern program
  • signed relationships with a slew of other corporate partners to further Kids Riding Bikes
  • became the feature piece on a corporate partner’s marketing campaign for video editing
  • learned how to shoot some pretty awesome video myself
  • created relationships leading us to move into our new corporate program space this month
  • provided programs to thousands of kids and supported physical fitness in multiple districts
  • traveled to Portland to see Kids Riding Bikes occur in its new city
  • joined the Indy Chamber’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Environment Council to help make an impact on the many issues facing Indy
  • along the way realized that I’m no longer the underdog and my organization isn’t the unknown entity it was once
  • and a whole lot more…

another day at the office doing interviews and working in front of a camera

Corporate growth? Committees? Government incentives? I guess these are the things that I guess I always dreamed about, but even 6 months ago, wasn’t sure would come together or how to stitch them together. This would not have been possible without a lot of hard work, some great mentors, people who found value in both my organization and having me around, and a little bit of luck.

The energy I have to make all this happen? It’s derived from all the amazing people I surround myself with. It’s related to the electric feel when you stand downtown and look around. It’s a gift from those that have supported my vision and put their faith into making my passion become a reality.

I guess I won’t try to guess what the second half of this year will bring……but I really can’t wait to find out!


Tailwinds & Cheers,