Our intern Tim O'Dea talks about why he sees the city of Grand Rapids as all being on the same team.
While driving eastward on Fulton Street after work one day this past week, a couple thoughts went through my head as I quietly observed the glistening lights and fast-moving pedestrians.
I’m no stranger to the hustle and bustle of a big city like Grand Rapids – I’m a Detroit native. One thing that always strikes me about Grand Rapids is, like Detroit, it has a way of giving you everything you could possibly need within the matter of 500 feet. For every office building, there seems to be a new restaurant. For every furniture store and thrift shop, there seems to be another brewery.
Grand Rapids is more than furniture and beer, though. Don’t get me wrong – this is one of the most fun places to be, whether you’re starting out as an adolescent beginning a professional career or a longtime resident who has seen and experienced all the changes made to Grand Rapids over the years. This is a city that has prided itself on its progressive way of thinking, eagerness to promote and display art in all its forms, and above all, its community. You can feel how strong the culture is the minute you get here.
I have never been unimpressed with the genuine kindness of Grand Rapids’ strangers, whether it’s the lady at the ticket booth at 20 Monroe Live, the security guard at the Van Andel or the bartender at New Holland Brewery's Knickerbocker. Sometimes I feel like everyone in Grand Rapids almost works as a team, using teamwork and teambuilding to ensure everyone has the best time possible.
This is a city that reflects urbanity in the simplest of forms, in places we’d least expect it. It’s impossible to walk down Ionia Ave. and not have a sense of familiarity. I think that for everyone, Grand Rapids is just an exaggeration of the downtown area they grew up with, no matter where they’re from. My roommate summarized Grand Rapids in the perfect way the other day: "It’s big enough to never be bored and just small enough to be able to go everywhere."
My name is Tim O’Dea and I couldn’t be more excited to be working for an organization that strives to help build other teams and above all, gives them the opportunity to have fun. And best of all, I get to do it in Michigan's biggest small town.
Co-founder Jill Hinton Wolfe is a communicator, entrepreneur and Army veteran who is passionate about the outdoors and designing surprising and unique challenges for all sorts of clients, all over the world.