Note From Lars
“Four years and eighty one issues ago, our community brought forth in this region, a new platform, conceived in connectivity, and dedicated to the proposition that paying-it-forward brought growth for all.
Now we are engaged in a great…..okay, sorry about the Lincoln bit. I only draw on historical speeches when I’m really excited. And, wow, am I excited because……(drumroll please)……
I’m thrilled and honored to share that Pollen’s current editor-in-chief, Jamie Millard, and creative director, Meghan Murphy, have both agreed to step into a co-executive director leadership role for Pollen, effective immediately.
It is so exciting and rewarding to pass the torch to these new leaders to continue growing the Pollen community. Jamie and Meghan will be taking over operational and strategic leadership of Pollen and they will be communicating about their ambitions and vision for Pollen in future issues. If the past is any predictor, amazing things are on Pollen’s horizon, so please stay tuned.
Why the passing of the torch??
As we reached the 4 ½ year mark of Pollen’s existence, it felt like that summer you have after four years of high school or college where a set of experiences and skills are packed under your belt, the future is bright but the horizon is unknown and because I’m not aspiring to re-enter school as a fifth year senior, I reached the conclusion it was time for me to graduate from day-to-day stewardship of this community.
I don’t plan to become an absent alumnus. As founder and publisher-emeritus, I hope to remain an active contributor, connector, and member and look forward to helping build Pollen together as the future unfolds.
This however is my final “Note from Lars”. I’m excited to see where Jamie and Meghan lead us and want to offer a sincere thank you for letting me into your inbox the past 4 ½ years.
As the torch is passed to our new leaders, I’d be incredibly grateful to hear if/how Pollen has impacted your own life or career the past 4 ½ years (think of it as a request to please sign my Pollen yearbook).
You can email me your feedback/story via larsleafblad-at-gmail.com.
Pollen’s growth from 200 “spam tolerant friends of Lars’” in Feb 2009 to 6,500+ members of “Pollenation” has truly been a digital manifestation of Minnesota’s civic DNA and willingness to pay-it-forward to complete strangers who share the values of connectivity, community building, innovation, integrative thinking and cross-pollinating networks.
Pollen would not exist without the incredible hard work, dedication, and commitment of a small group of exceptional volunteer leaders starting with Corey Anderson and Joel Kramer of MinnPost.com and later expanding to include Jamie Millard and Meghan Murphy of Paper Darts along with Matt Beachey and many other Paper Darts volunteers who evolved the design, impact, and architecture of Pollen in amazing ways. Thank you Corey, MinnPost, Jamie, Meghan, Matt, and Paper Darts.
None of these individuals, including me, have received any financial compensation for their contributions and work on Pollen. Zero.
If you’d like to thank these incredible individuals for their work, you can do so here:
It would also not exist if my former partners at KeyStone Search (Marcia Ballinger, Rebecca Driscoll, Mike Frommelt, and Bob Schoenbaum) hadn’t let me devote time and energy to the side project aka “Larsifesto” that ultimately became “Pollen”. Thank you Marcia, Rebecca, Mike and Bob.
Without the incredible patience, support, and encouragement of Pollen’s number one fan and original Pollenite, Maren Leafblad, who watched me spend thousands of hours the past four years editing, cutting and pasting, and sharing Pollen, Pollen would not have happened. Thank you Maren. I love you!
Finally, Pollen is Pollen because you’re reading this.
You’re sharing this. You’re posting this on your Facebook wall, your LinkedIn status update, your Twitter feed, and passing it along to new colleagues, friends or neighbors who are seeking a new way to get plugged into Minnesota, so thank you. A huge and sincere thank you.
An average issue of Pollen is read by approximately 2,500 members for an average of 6 minutes, so in the past 80 volumes of Pollen, 20,000 hours, yes, 20,000 hours of eyeball time have been spent my our members reading our 2x monthly issues.
So if we use the US median household income of $50,000 which is roughly $25/hour that means that Pollen members have invested $500,000 of their time over the past 80 volumes to read and share this community publication. Wow, thank you!!
I look forward to reading future "Notes" from our new leadership stewards of this community and to building Pollen’s future together.
If we’re not already personally connected on LinkedIn, please send me a request:
And if we’re not connected on Twitter, I hope we can connect there as well:
Thanks again for the honor and privilege of your time, trust, and connectivity. The best is yet to come for Pollen.
Onwards and upwards,
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