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Thank you to the people that make the city

Posted by: Blake Johnson
Posted: June 29, 2022
Categories: IndyHub

For the last four years of my life, almost each and every day has included the phrase, “People make the city.” A few times a week, I’d wear a t-shirt that placed it across my chest, or I’d don the trucker hat we recently printed. It’s a sticker placed on my laptop and on notepads, a hashtag written regularly in our social media posts, and a line included in every set of remarks I’ve delivered as president and CEO of IndyHub.

I’ve always loved the phrase, both as the organization’s mantra but also as an organizing principle for why and how we do our work. But throughout my time in this job, it’s become far more than words on paper. It’s become an undeniable truth – one that has been a constant in some of the most difficult moments life has thrown at our family, a critical challenge to breathe hope and opportunity and encouragement into everyone we come in contact with, and a steady reminder that our people are a most valuable asset. And when we focus on people, our city thrives.

When I announced my upcoming departure from IndyHub, I shared some things I’m proud of, but at the end of the day, it won’t be the way we grew IndyVolved or brought on new donors and partners or the interesting new programs we launched that will stand out for me about this chapter of my life, it will be all of the people who shined in those moments. It’s easy to be optimistic when your day is filled with people who give a damn about our city and who give of themselves in countless ways to make us a more inclusive, more vibrant and more incredible place to call home.

So rather than a long-winded post about accomplishments and improved statistics and program descriptions, I just want to say thank you. To Sarah and Justin and Trevor and Desma for being excellent board chairs, mentors and friends. To the entire board of directors for helping us weather a tumultuous couple of years and trusting me to helm this incredible organization. To Katelyn, Ashley, Hailey, Hannah, Laura, Karissa, and the many interns who made going to work not feel like work at all. To the many partners who invest in our work and prioritize getting people connected, involved and making a difference. To the countless volunteers who sat on panels, showed up at events, met new arrivals for coffee, guided us to big new ideas, and who – frankly – made everything we did more fun and more worth doing. And to Molly, for paving the way for me to have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this.

Thanks to this job, I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the lives of wonderful new people – new jobs, new babies, holidays spent with now lifelong friends, laughing so hard it hurt, and seeing so many people find their place here. I’m immeasurably lucky.

Thanks for being the people that not only make this city, but that have made my life richer and fuller. See you around the city.

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