OK, I heard one too many people make disparaging remarks about Kentucky and how it is populated solely by hicks and losers.
A number of persons in my immediate group of friends, including, but not limited to Bert Walther, David Pitts, Ken Rietz, Rick Cook, and to some extent myself, have given indivudually hundreds, and collectively thousands of hours towards the goal of making Kentucky a place where technology is a viable industry. And we have enjoyed a certain amount of success. There are at least three organizations (LPLUG, Lexington IT, and LITF) which we have either founded or participated in, which promote Technology in central Kentucky with some success.
Additionally, a number of my wider group of acquaintances have been influential in promoting Technology in Kentucky. In particular, I would point out Jim Clifton at the KSTC, who has made a significant amount of money available to entrepreneurs in this area in investments and grants.
I grow weary of the snide remarks that are made by people about the condition of industry and education in Kentucky, who are clearly not willing to do anything about it, and more importantly, who are ignoring the advances that Kentucky has made, and is making, under the leadership of great men like Dr Lee Todd. I consider it a great privilege to have worked for Dr Todd at DataBeam, and great asset to myself personally, as well as to my resumé.
To be blunt, if you don’t like Kentucky, feel free to leave. Those of us that are here and are giving our lives to the betterment of Kentucky simply don’t need your negativism. Yes, we trail the nation in many important areas, but we are working hard at changing that. We have a lot of problems to overcome, and if you’re not part of the solution, chances are pretty good that you’re part of the problem. We’re trying to work here, and having you heckle from the sidelines does nothing for our progress.
The people that I’ve mentioned here are folks that I respect enormously, and whose vision I have caught and worked to make a reality. And when I hear comments like the one that I heard today, I find it profoundly disrespectful to these folks.
Special Kudos also go to Terry Burkhart, who has made the LITF work, and to all the fine folks that are running small technology companies in the area.