My high school’s 20th year class reunion is this summer – and our President (now a Partner in Rock ‘n Roll Wine in Las Vegas) created a wildly popular facebook group for us to plan in and… well, be crazy.
Our group’s humor is the highlight of each of my facebook visits, in fact. Ha!
But I also posted something serious in there – Saul Kaplan’s recent Harvard Business Review blogpost, “Will the Sun Shine Bright on Kentucky Innovation?”.
And some of the most revealing feedback Kentucky could ever receive came forth – straight from one of Lexington’s native and most creative sons. A 37/38 year-old who is essentially having to raise his family elsewhere, in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area.
I only post this because there are a lot of us that would LOVE to be back home. I’m sure (our class President) would like to have his wine business in Lex… (Jonathan) would love to have his (music) studio and distribution deal in Lex… I work every day to reach a dollar figure where I can move back and not worry about money and be close to my family – but Lexington is closed to all of us – when I do go back home I see the houses and cars that I have here in Dallas – and I say out loud “what the hell do these people do??”
I lived there for 26 years — how can a town that small need so many doctors, lawyers and whatever the hell else people do there?
I wasn’t aware of it when we were growing up – even when I went to Transy – I didn’t notice – it was only when I graduated and started trying to figure out what I wanted to do – I knew, almost immediately that I would have to go to Cincinnati — and that led to Dallas. Now – I’d love to come back — but the housing market – cost of living – and opportunity are amazingly distorted for a city that size.
I’m keeping his name private, but if you could imagine one of the most outside-the-box, creative innovators you’ve ever met, you’d be imagining the guy telling this story.
He – like sooooo many other native Lexingtonians around the world now – has done quite well for himself, professionally and personally, throughout his adult life. But he would prefer to succeed and raise his family right here in the Bluegrass – to be nearer to his parents.
Our task, then, is crystal clear: to create the space for this innovative brainpower to flourish right here in Lexington. And in Louisville. And throughout Kentucky.
Premium human capital is the key to Kentucky’s future – and evidence again illustrates it wants to live and flourish here.