Catalyst Interview Series: Tom Derzypolski

Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI): How did you get involved with KCCI?

Tom Derzypolski (TD): “Through publicity. I saw social media posts calling for Catalysts, so I applied to the program.”

KCCI: Can you tell us a little bit about the Boca Chuba project?

TD: “My Community Catalyst class was quite large, therefore we broke into a few smaller groups. My group wanted to bring a music festival to Tallahassee. We did the behind the scenes work of what it should look like. We decided upon Cascades Park for the location and Boca Chuba for the name. This eventually led to new connections and relationships and our vision became part of Word of South.”

KCCI: What was your favorite part about working on the project?

TD: “Community collaboration. I met people that came from many different walks of life that brought different perspectives to the project which I hadn’t considered.”

KCCI: What was the most valuable lesson you learned while working on the project?

TD: “Different perspectives are critically important to the success of community wide projects.”

KCCI: How have you been involved in the community since your project?

TD: “I have served on many boards. Additionally my company, BowStern, volunteers together and does many pro bono projects.”

KCCI: Where are some of your favorite places in Tallahassee?

TD: “I like to go to Maclay Gardens, Lake Ella and Tom Brown Park with my family.”

KCCI: Who should apply to be a KCCI Community Catalyst?

TD: “People who love Tallahassee and want to be involved in shaping the future of the things we love about Tallahassee.”