This year Nic had the privilege of attending Introduction Knoxville as part of the 2018 Winter Series class. If you're unfamiliar with Intro Knox, it's just that... an introduction to Knoxville. This course, put on by Leadership Knoxville, dives into the history and culture of Knoxville, over six weeks.
Each session focuses on the history and education of a different facet of our great city, including panels from guest speakers and local entrepreneurial business people, field trips and bus tours. The general overview is:
- Exploring Knoxville's History
- The Political, Business and Economic Community
- The Educational Community
- Our Regional Partners
- Quality of Life
- The Arts and Cultural Community
I sat down with Nic to get a recap and pick his brain about what he found most beneficial.
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Kristen: Can you give me a rundown on what you were able to do over the six weeks?
Nic: There's so much. One week we got to spend the day at Ijams, learning the history of Ijams, as well as Legacy Parks. A park ranger gave us a lesson on the history of the Great Smoky Mountains and the impact it has on our economy. We toured Meads Quarry that day as well. Another week we spent the day at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. We got the history of the atomic bomb, Secret City, the super computer, and toured the future of 3D Printing. One week we heard from several people about first and secondary education in Knoxville. One of my favorite weeks ended with a program that showed a lot of the different options we have for the arts in Knoxville.
K: Yikes, seems like a lot.
N: Every week was jam packed with stuff. I know I'm leaving out a lot, too. They really pour a lot into building this program and planning each session.
K: So what kind of arts are there in Knox?
N: We saw a performance from the Children's Theatre, the Knoxville Opera, and a men's A cappella group (VOLume) from the University came. There was a string quartet from UT, and some other artists. Lots of good, local talented artists.
K: Did you try to audition for the A cappella group?
K: Ok, ok. Does anything stick out as being really eye opening to you?
N: We were able to learn about all of the unique assets we have, both environmental and business-wise. There is so much talent in Knoxville, and it really helped me gain a better understanding of the importance of retaining that great talent. Businesses and foundations such as Leadership Knoxville help to create a culture which draws these people to Knoxville.
K: That's awesome. So you made tons of new connections, right?
N: Yes. I love meeting new people and building on those relationships. It's good to meet people from different walks of life as well as different businesses and industries than I wouldn't normally come across in my own business world. It really helps you gain an appreciation for the variety of leaders in this community. It's good to see both young and old leaders have a place to come together to build relationships while working together to continue to grow this thriving city.
K: What's one of your biggest takeaways?
N: It was so impactful to me that we're sending another agent through in this very next class. I love the camaraderie that Intro Knox has and that graduates from past classes continue to invest in this great program. I'm excited to have Scotty join that same community and also have a hand in their class over the next several weeks.
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So watch out, Spring class - you'll probably see Nic hanging around from time to time... : )
If you're interested in learning more about Intro Knox, or more of the offerings that Leadership Knoxville has, visit www.leadershipknoxville.com
Thanks to Leadership Knoxville for taking photos throughout the course! Check out some of Nic's favorite moments below.