INSpire Talks: 'There's no other place like Wilmington' - Technical.ly Delaware

Civic

May 1, 2018 12:04 pm

INSpire Talks: ‘There’s no other place like Wilmington’

IN Wilmington posed the question: “Why Wilmington?” The answers did not disappoint.

Janelle Bowman of Zip Code Wilmington speaks at INspire Talks 2018.

(Photo by Holly Quinn)

There’s this running joke: elected officials in Delaware are so accessible, you get tired of seeing them.

It was a favorite gag in the “Options in Delaware” video for the state’s Amazon HQ2 pitch, and it came up during IN Wilmington’s first round of INSpire Talks at The Mill Auditorium on April 26.

Which, as it happened, had a talkback session moderated by Gov. John Carney.

The thing that makes the gag funny is that, in most places, having access to the governor, or senators, or the former Vice President of the United States, is a big deal.

“There’s no other place like this,” said speaker Robert Herrera, founder of The Mill, who noted that when he made his pitch to occupy the space, the building’s owners told him they’d bring in the mayor, governor and senators in the next day to discuss his plan’s impact. They were only half joking.

“Given a week, we could have gotten the [then] Vice President,” Herrera quipped.

Eugene Young, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, spoke about the benefits of a tight community. “Remember the old Wilmington slogan, ‘A Place to be Somebody?'” he asked. “I mean, it’s true. Your name is just ‘dude’ in other places. Nobody knows your name.”

For Janelle Bowman, marketing manager of Zip Code Wilmington, access to decision-makers is only part of it. “We have all kinds of access,” she said. “Access to leaders, to big cities, to business, to tech.”

Advertisement

Brennan Stark of Y Innovations speaks at INspire Talks 2018. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Brennan Stark of Y Innovations speaks at INspire Talks 2018. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Brennan Stark, founder of Y Innovations, answered the “Why Wilmington?” question with another question: “Why not Wilmington?”

Stark, a recent Archmere grad, has chosen an unexpected path — instead of devoting his time to freshman college studies, he has designed and is building an eco-friendly house for a family in need in the 9th Ward, along with his his business partner, Steve Burns.

“Wilmington is my home,” he said.

“People come here to be a part of a community,” Young said. “We can use that closeness to make our city better.”

Rob Pfeiffer, "The Mayor of Tiltlandia." (Photo courtesy of Brooke Chase)

Rob Pfeiffer, “The Mayor of Tiltlandia.” (Photo courtesy of Brooke Chase)

Which brings us around to the first speaker, who casually delivered the bottom line as to why people come to Wilmington, and why they stay.

Rob Pfeiffer, head brewer at Brew Earl Brewing and unofficial “Mayor of Tiltlandia,” the eclectic West Side neighborhood of Tilton Park, told stories of living in California, West Virginia and Oregon before settling in Wilmington.

“Why Wilmington?” He shrugged. “The people.”

This simple reason, which threaded itself through all of the subsequent talks, really is why people choose to stay in Wilmington.

To quote Bob Downing, founder of Delaware Sports League, during a different, but related, conversation, “People are going to stay in Delaware for the location, or even for the jobs. They stay because of relationships. Could be a boyfriend or girlfriend, family or friends in the community, it doesn’t matter — people are why people stay.”

And that, I think, really is the key, and something that is often missing from a conversation that often revolves around industry and geography. If we want people to come and live here, we have to let them know that there are people here they would want to hang out with and communities they would want to be a part of.

Check out DTV’s short video for the INSpire Talks, featuring emcee Brianna Hansen of IN Wilmington:

You must appreciate accurate, relevant and productive community journalism.  Support this sort of work from professional reporters with seasoned editors.  Become a Technical.ly member for $12 per month
Organizations: The Mill
-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

Advertisement

5 things to do in Wilmington if you’re not going to Firefly

Need marketing advice? Check out this free West Side Grows workshop

Wilmington Renaissance Corporation to kick off 25th anniversary at The Queen

SPONSORED

Delaware

10 Delaware brands totally crushing it on social media

Calowhill, Philadelphia

Message Agency

UX Designer

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Think Company

Technical Lead

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA OR Remote

Stitch, Inc.

Director, Alliances

Apply Now

TeenSHARP Delaware celebrates college-bound class with Hercules gala

DCAD celebrates 20 years of change in Wilmington

STEMRobotics aims for 200 robots in Delaware by 2020

SPONSORED

Delaware

13 innovative technologies being developed in Delaware

Home/Anywhere

The One and Only Corp

iOS/Android Developer

Apply Now
Wilmington, DE

CSC

Software Test Engineer

Apply Now
Wilmington, DE

CSC

Security Analyst

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!