Looking Back on 2015; Looking Forward to 2016
2015 was a great year for JGL Strategy. It was a year of learning, growth and gratitude.
The learning of 2015 took place primarily through gaining more experience operating the firm and especially through taking on exciting projects that were previously outside of my wheelhouse. Before this year I had mostly operated in the health & human services and education sectors. It was incredible to stretch myself learn about fields such as: community development, through my strategic planning work with the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation; real estate, by working with a developer on a vision for a high impact mixed-use development; and the City of Cleveland’s push to become a more Age Friendly city, which relates to a nascent project.
2015 saw growth both for JGL Strategy and for me as an individual. I grew a lot by broadening my reading list: to keep up with what I’m reading professionally, please be sure to follow @JohnGLynch and @JGLStrategy on Twitter for curated suggestions.
The fact that JGL Strategy reached its first inflection point re: capacity makes me very excited for what the future holds and inspires me to continually search for new efficiencies so I can take on more projects instead of turning very exciting ones away because of limited bandwidth, which happened in the second half of 2015.
What I really want to focus on in this blog is the gratitude I am feeling as we turn the calendar from 2015 to 2016. First, I am very fortunate that business was good enough in 2015 for JGL Strategy to show its gratitude to Cleveland-area organizations doing great work; this came in the form of the company’s first corporate sponsorships ever!
In October JGL Strategy was a sponsor for a Toast to Tech, the annual fundraiser for Her Ideas in Motion. Her Ideas in Motion is a volunteer-led organization that empowers middle school girls through hands-on education in tech, coding, filmmaking, robotics and other STEM fields. The work this organization does is transformative in the lives of the girls who attend the programs and I believe could be transformative for the entire Northeast Ohio region as part of a larger ecosystem focusing on women in tech—just imagine if Cleveland became the city that women in tech moved to because it was the best for their careers.
In November JGL Strategy was a table sponsor for the Old Brooklyn Development Corporation’s new signature event, An Old Brooklyn Nite. With a population of 35,000+ and 6.2 square miles of land Old Brooklyn is Cleveland’s largest neighborhood served by a single CDC. OBCDC does incredible work supporting a neighborhood that is young, diverse, multi-generational, safe and family friendly; the organization’s leadership in Executive Director Jeffrey T. Verespej and Board President John Young are unparalleled in their commitment and vision. An Old Brooklyn Nite was held at one of the neighborhood’s anchors, The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo at its new event venue Stillwater Place. It was a fun evening for all and I was glad I could support such a worthwhile cause.
I also need to thank all the friends, colleagues, peers, mentors and clients that supported my business in its infancy and provided the real gateway for 2015 to be such a year of learning and growth. To anyone who I met with this year to work with, to brainstorm, to share information or simply to talk about life and work: thank you!
While there are far too many names to list exhaustively I do want to highlight a few mentors, some new and some old, who were tremendous sources of learning and inspiration over the past year: Marty Pollock, Judy Peters, Sharon Sobol Jordan, Chris Thompson, Leah Gary, Victor Ruiz, Bernie Kerrigan, Amy Morgenstern and Chris Ronayne.
Thanks for a great 2015 everyone. Here’s to an even better 2016 for JGL Strategy, for Cleveland and for all of you!
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