The Adventure Begins with a Toast!

Since being accepted into the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program I have been looking forward to this amazing opportunity.  To be able to travel to the Philippines and exchange ideas and best practices with fellow local government professionals is one very few get to experience and one that i will hold close to my heart.  While this experience is just about to begin i can’t help but look back at the wild week to get here!

The week started off with President’s Day Holiday.  Normally, this is a nice three day weekend for most local government employee but this year i spent my Monday holiday busy dealing with making sure the renovation to my condo would happen the way i want it to with me on the other side of the world.  I mean who doesn’t think the idea of a complete kitchen and master bath renovation while on a trip like this makes sense!

Tuesday, started off with a early morning Tri-Village Chamber board meeting and ended with a late night City Council meeting that lasted past 10:00 PM.  Not leaving much time to prepare for a trip like this.  I was just happy to see the day end.

Wednesday will go down as one of my proudest days in my professional career.  2018 is the City of Upper Arlington’s Centennial.  And we have decided to mark the anniversary with a year long celebration.  One of the more unique events, and one that i took the lead on, was a craft beer release.  While trying to figure out how to get restaurants involved with the centennial celebration, I suggested we find a brewery who would create a craft beer that would only be carried by Upper Arlington restaurants.  This type of event would create a buzz in not only Upper Arlington but also in the Columbus Region, as we are a growing craft beer destination in the US.  12 restaurants/establishments decided to participate and I was able to get a Columbus Region brewery called, Combustion Brewery and Taproom, to brew it.  The session IPA beer is called “1918”, named after the year the city was founded.  The beer release has been in the works for nearly 6 months and it wasn’t until the last few months or so that we realized i would be leaving a day after the beer would be released.

The Wednesday night before the beer was released we held a tapping party at Scioto Country Club in Upper Arlington.  This event brought together nearly 100 people who are and have been working hard to make the Upper Arlington Centennial special.  We toasted everyone who has been working hard to make this years celebration a great one.  While creating a beer and putting on the event may not seem like something that someone in the profession of economic development does.  To me, it is exactly what we should be doing and one that i am proud of.  I was able to bring the passion i have for good craft beer together with job in Upper Arlington.

So that left just Thursday night to get ready.  There is always so much to do before you leave on a trip, but for me this past week takes the cake!  Between City Council meeting, the beer tapping party, MODE meetings, current development projects and all the personal life events happening this trip was somehow able to sneak up on me.  So after a late night packing session it was off to the airport to begin my 29 hour trip to the Philippines.  Now that i am here i am ready to start this amazing adventure.   I want to thank everyone back in Upper Arlington, The State Department and at ICMA for allowing me this opportunity!

And away we go!



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