March 7, 2018

Open Letter

Dear Johns Creek Mayor and Council,

Congratulations on unanimously and enthusiastically passing the iHeart Johns Creek resolution!

The on/off effort over the last couple of years seriously would not have been possible without the many supportive people throughout the community. Engaged residents, helpful city staff, community leaders and council members were all generous with their time, references and perspectives.

Passing this resolution also directly appreciates and recognizes their cumulative and on-going efforts to make this possible.

A mentor once shared with me that a community is defined by its engaged members. No matter our situation, bandwidth or place, we carve out time to locally serve. I was happy to leverage some of my experiences to apply to an interest to play a part for our community. In spending quality time with folks throughout the community, Johns Creek has an incredible number of talented, experienced and engaged people with amazing stories.  

My hope is this resolution will also encourage more local engagement where residents will find an interest, health or otherwise, and want to be more involved.

Having a sense of purpose and aspiration is powerful for an individual, organization and even for a community. The city of Johns Creek is repeatedly recognized for education, safety, place to raise a family and well-being. These traits run strong throughout our community. However, those once unique traits are slowly becoming more common across our region. In plans moving forward, there was a need to explore building upon our cumulative successes and existing strengths to preserve the associated benefits of those traits.

Research began by simply listening for months. I learned more about our residents, communities, economic development, long-term plans, challenges, and opportunities. The website reflects this research and feedback. Through this process it became evident that there is a desire for well-being and resilience among the residents of this city. Residents of Johns Creek truly aim to instill these aspirations into their lives and the next generation.

With an entrepreneurial background who follows, advises and engages in the tech/startup world, I’m very aware of the trends, especially those related to cities. However, I believe successful communities, like people, teams and organizations, build upon their natural fit and unique strengths. In reviewing our plans, health and wellness kept emerging as a specific naturally fitting theme throughout the community. Satisfying so many needs and desires, this theme spans across lifestyle preservation, collaboration, community engagement, and innovation opportunities. It was something relevant worthwhile to press upon.

Johns Creek has dozens of active organizations, many communities and hundreds of highly engaged residents. This resolution signifies an opportunity for anyone to resonate on health and wellness without straying from their core mission or livelihood. Fun or work, more or less engaged, the more collective activity builds a greater vibe. Is that asking a lot? With this community, we already have the strong tailwinds.

So, why a need for a resolution? Given the scope and strategic opportunity, we wanted to ensure a good representation was on-board. A gut check. We have a diversely represented mindset of the community on the Council. Striving for a unanimous resolution helped further shape the aspiration to better align with a community-wide identity. 

With this resounding agreement by Council along with support from many engaged community members and leaders, some upcoming high-level next steps include:

  • Gather diverse stakeholders from across the community to share, offer support and recommend goals. Catalog what we have and where we want to go.
  • Determine a framework/channels where the community(ies) can share, connect and inform.
  • Find a meeting cadence to revisit plans and adjust to the feedback.

With these reasons, the community can collectively aim for top accolades related to health, wellness, and healthcare innovation. At the very least, Johns Creek will have another unique dimension to collaborate, create and contribute for decades to come.

Best Regards,
Anand Thaker