Calling All Tech Workers
Written by: Alex Curtis | Posted Jan 22, 2016

Guest post by Stephanie Winn, manager of talent retention & attraction, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce


Maybe it’s just me, but I have often found the hardest part of a job is the best part. It’s the reason you wake up early to get to work and the reason you stay late. It is the physical line dividing work-life balance. It’s the reason that, once you’ve completed it, you feel like you could go climb a mountain, crush 75 hot dogs and then binge-watch Netflix for 2 days straight. (No judgment on how you celebrate a job well done.)

For me, that feeling is what motivates me to gear up to do it again.

This feeling, this task and the thing that I enjoy most about my job is the Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs). And before you say, “Wait a minute! This isn’t tech,” let me tell you, mon ami, it is.

Every year, we receive more than 500 nominations and 200 applications from young professionals vying to receive the top honor in their industry. Our technology category consistently has one of the biggest pools of applicants for the NELAs. When I read these applications, I’m always astounded at the amount of work folks in tech put in. Many of them write about those late nights they spent saving a server or writing code, only to go to work again the next day. Truthfully, sometimes I worry if you sleep at all.

All in all, these applications are impressive not because of the late nights or weekends, but the passion that oozes between the lines. When I think of our technology field, I think of individuals who are capable of getting the job done, no matter what. You’re the people who are behind the scenes coding our future, fixing our computers, and building the next killer app. And your work is making Nashville one of the strongest, most vibrant tech hubs in the country.

I’ve heard many in the tech industry say it’s a thankless job. So I’m here to say thank you. Thank you on behalf of all the office workers who rely so heavily on your expertise, your late nights and all the times you plugged our computers in when we were convinced they were broken beyond repair.

The NELAs is the best part of my job because I get to thank all of those young professionals who go above and beyond the call of duty to put Nashville’s technology industry on the map. If you know a young professional under the age of 40, who excels at both bettering career and community accomplishments, and who would never utter the phrase “That’s not my job,” nominate him or her today and say thanks.

Nominate a technology leader here.
Download the application here.


Nashville is extremely lucky to have as much tech talent as we do, and here at the Tech Council, we are fortunate enough to experience that every day. I’m proud to work at an organization that promotes and appreciates this talent, and it excites me to see the tech community grow and thrive more & more. If you haven’t seen them yet, take a moment to watch this videos on our community connection platform, We Build Tech. The passion, dedication & work ethic these Nashvillians working in tech have is extremely evident and highly contagious. The Nashville Technology Council would also like to say thank you for all that you do!