Where are you from?
I moved to Tampere in April of 2014 from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. Oshkosh is a three-hour drive from Chicago with a population of approximately 66,000. The landscape of the area is much like Tampere with cold – although bright – winters, fantastic summers and beautiful lakes and forests. In fact, one of the first things I said to my husband when driving from Helsinki to Tampere for the first time was, “We moved half way around the world and it looks exactly the same!”
What would you like to tell about yourself?
People often want to know why I moved to Tampere, here is the story: My husband, Brian, and I have both lived abroad but never together. In 2013, while making our new year’s resolutions we decided it was time. Within six months we sold our house, moved into an apartment and began looking for jobs abroad. Within a year, Brian was offered a position with his employer that would transfer us to Finland. That brings us to today. We live together with our dog, Luigi, in Tampere.
Why is Tampere the best place to live?
I love the city lifestyle that Tampere offers; it’s just the right size. We have access to a variety of great food and cultural opportunities, yet the city is small enough to go everywhere by bike and it is not unusual to cross paths with friends. Last but not least, the city is nestled among unparalleled access to nature.
Tell about your professional activities?
I am a marketing and design thinking consultant with Blue Door Consulting, a U.S.-based marketing consulting firm. In advance of my move to Tampere, Blue Door Consulting worked with a Finnish firm to plan for the logistics of payroll and taxes. Soon after, I became its first international employee. I work from my home office, meet with U.S.-based clients virtually, and occasionally travel back to the U.S. for special projects.
What is your involvement in international activities?
When I was 18 I decided to study in Florence, Italy; when I was 19 I decided one semester was not enough. Since then, a fascination with understanding cultural relationships has been in my blood.
My favorite projects have been consulting for organizations that are working to build equity in education for students of diverse backgrounds. I am also a member of the Service Design Network (SDN), a great organization for networking and exchanging ideas with design professionals from across the globe.
What is your mission as a Tampere Ambassador?
My mission as a Tampere Ambassador is to provide an experience, during and after your transition to Tampere, that will enable you to find your own. individual happiness, fulfillment and success in the region. Whether you are an individual or a company coming to Tampere, I want to ensure you receive a warm welcome; have access to the region’s abundance of tools, resources and networks; and have a positive integration experience.
What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?
Today, I see a city with an international culture that is just beginning to bloom. Already Tampere has a start-up and business community that is providing products and solutions, not just locally, but worldwide. As internationalization continues, the cross-pollination of ideas and methods will lead to new and innovative solutions that continue to meet both local and global challenges. As companies engage a more diverse workforce they will continue to embrace the Finnish cultural traits that have built the country to where it is today, while adopting new traits essential to engagement in the global economy.
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