Brian Batchelder

Catalyst Interview Series: Brian Batchelder

What initially got you interested in KCCI?

I’ve want to become more involved in the Tallahassee community for some time. However, I moved my family to Boston for a new position in 2015. Long story short, my family realized Tallahassee was special and our home…forever. We moved back in 2016, and I started looking around for opportunities to get more involved. A friend mentioned the iHeartTally KCCI project and thought I should apply. Since I lived the true meaning of iHeartTally, it was a perfect opportunity to start giving back to this community.

Can you give us a brief summary of the #iHeartTally project? 

The iHeartTally project has multiple parts.

  • Designing a piece of urban art that represents the iHeartTally mission
  • Installing this art in a up-and-coming area to help activate the area and drive its growth
  • Meeting and promoting the project to generate a buzz around #iHeartTally

What did you enjoy most about working on the project? 

I enjoyed meeting the community and learning about parts of Tallahassee I don’t normally go to. It gives you a much better perspective of just how great our city is. I also liked working with the 2017 KCCI Community Catalyst team. They are a fantastic, energetic, passionate group of rock stars. We had a well-rounded group with skills that really suited this project

What was the biggest challenge you encountered while working on the project?

Fundraising. In theory asking for money is easy, but in practice it’s not so easy. I feel most of our team struggled at this; however, a few Catalyst rock stars paved the way for a successful fundraising campaign.

What are some of your favorite places in Tallahassee?

Parks, trails, restaurants and places like Park Avenue. Tallahassee does a really good job of leaving the environment intact and building around those unique natural attributes. This helps you feel less like you’re in the city and more like you’re in a quaint little town where everyone knows your name.

Who should apply to be a KCCI Community Catalyst?

Initially, anyone who wants to get involved in a community project. Second, make sure you understand the project role and are passionate about it. Third, talk to past KCCI members and KCCI representatives. The project is a time commitment, completely rewarding, however the commitment maybe more that you initially understand.

An example:

In the 2017 Community Catalyst team, one of our team members is an architect. He spent countless hours designing the look of the art, meeting with engineers and the City of Tallahassee, and just being present at the majority of meetings due to his background. In the end, the time he put in was pivotal to the success of this project. However, I guarantee he was not aware of how much this project would rely on his skills, expertise and time.

What does your career entail, and how did your professional skills factor into your work with KCCI?

I’m a consultant who works in Technical Operations. I help companies work smarter by implementing people, processes, or tools. I think my biggest asset to this project was my ability to creatively think outside the box. (Sometime so far outside it might not have been helpful!). Typically, this type of brainstorming can help a group get past being stuck or focus the group to make the decision that needs to be made. In my career, I constantly need to find a new angle or change a tried and true process so it works for an individual company. I’m always looking for improvements or learning the what, when, where and why before talking about a solution.