In 2011, my wife and I started a subscription box company called Bulu in San Francisco. As I look back and reflect on a few key moments in the company, I can't help but think of my first meeting with Councilwoman Leirion Gaylor Baird.
When we started our company, a lot of folks didn't believe in us, the company or the idea. This sentiment echoed through many people, so, when I met folks that were positive and helpful, it really stuck with me.
When we relocated our business to Lincoln from San Francisco in early 2012, we couldn't get a meeting with anyone. After a particularly hard stretch, I was contacted by Leirion. We went to lunch, and I fully expected Leirion would either tell me we were breaking some rules or ask us for money.
She did neither. In fact, she did the opposite.
The councilwoman simply asked "How can I help?" To my surprise, she did exactly that. Leirion made connections via email and phone, and we even setup a followup. To this day, nobody else has done that.
What did she ask for? Nothing. We need great, giving, proactive and positive leaders -- and that's who Leirion is now, not who she says she is or who she wants to be.
During that first meeting years ago, I jokingly-but-seriously said, "You would be a great mayor. Would you ever run?" She had some polite answer along the lines of, "Thank you. I'm focused on being great in my current position."
I responded with, "Lincoln would be lucky to have you as a mayor."
With the equivalent of a few hundred full-time folks working at Bulu, I know when we make a lucky hire. I've spent enough time in local politics to know Lincoln would be lucky to have Leirion Gaylor Baird as our next mayor.
Paul Jarrett, Lincoln