Posts By Rural Sourcing

Oklahoma City Development Center Spotlight

Oklahoma City has seen a major tech resurgence in recent years, and our fifth development center is proud to be a part of it. With living costs as much as 40% lower than the national average and world-class workforce development programs, it’s no wonder that Oklahoma City has attracted some of the country’s best tech talent. We talked to our OKC colleagues to learn about what life is like in the Sooner State.Tech-focused environmentBusinesses in OKC are booming, and with a supportive environment for tech workers, this comes as no surprise. Rural Sourcing colleagues have attended many opportunities for networking and professional development in the tech space including Techlahoma, Infragard, and the OWASP Foundation. Our Development Center has also hosted State government officials, arts council members, and Oklahoma City Public Schools students.Bricktown Canal in Oklahoma CityTaking in the sightsLiving in OKC means there’s plenty of opportunities for fun with your family and your colleagues, including visiting the Myriad Gardens Crystal Bridge, Bricktown and the Canal area, and the Oklahoma City Zoo. Past events at the Center have included a chili cook-off, cereal bar, scavenger hunts, and summer family nights.Putting clients firstJust as Oklahoma City is becoming a place where many different industries are thriving, our OKC Development Center keeps growing with diverse and talented tech professionals. As one of our colleagues puts it, Clients working with our OKC Development Center receive the “Oklahoma Standard of Service”; ensuring client success is at the forefront of everything they do. Learn more about Oklahoma City by reading up on our featured OKC colleagues Joan and Mitch.

Albuquerque Development Center Spotlight

Known for its beautiful scenery, Spanish history, and the International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque is home to our fourth development center and nearly 200 of our colleagues. Development Center Director Margret Bailey shares what makes ABQ so special.Always learningThe culture in our Albuquerque Development Center is “a crucible for leaders of all varieties,” and personal accountability combined with the Rural Sourcing focus on teamwork, collaboration, and collegiality produce an ownership approach to everything, “which is fantastic if you want a center full of smart, confident trust-but-questioners,” says Margret. In ABQ, everyone is encouraged to be themselves wholeheartedly, whether that’s by drawing comics, 3D modeling and printing, or sharing your passion for neurolinguistic programming. All of our colleagues truly enjoy learning from each other, which facilitated the creation of the Maker Space, where colleagues lead workshops including acrylic painting and tie-dying. Senior Consultant Mark Winchell even taught the center how to build a functional camp stove from aluminum cans!Trick or treatWithout a doubt, the most popular center holiday is Halloween (in fact, it sometimes involves a month of activities!) Horror movie lunch trivia, costume contests, and pumpkin decorating rounded out last year’s spooky season celebrations. ABQ also loves a little healthy competition, especially against colleagues in other centers, and had a great showing in the firmwide lip sync competition this year. Caring about the communityCommunity engagement is important to everyone in ABQ, especially when it promotes STEM education. CodeClubs.org is a non-profit organization founded by Paul Perez, a Principal Consultant in ABQ, which partners with Girls Who Code and local schools to bring coding classes to kids ages 11-18. Senior Consultant Bresdin O’Malley is now the Executive Director of the organization, and the entire center loves to get involved either through teaching or spreading the word at local events. Margret shares, “The scale to which our colleagues devote themselves to these activities is impressive. I’m very proud of our center’s involvement with the community.”To learn more about Albuquerque, read up on our featured ABQ colleagues Abdul and Brandy.

Mobile Development Center Spotlight

Located on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, Mobile is home to our southernmost development center as well as nearly 200 of our colleagues. Development Center Director Trey Sparks tells us all about life in “The Port City.” The home of Mardi GrasWhile many people associate Mardi Gras with the city of New Orleans, Mobile was actually the first city to observe the event all the way back in 1703. Mobile residents are very proud of their history, so the annual Mardi Gras celebration is simply a can’t-miss event (make sure to have a moon pie!) Another unique happening in Mobile is called the Jubilee. It’s a natural phenomenon where crab, shrimp, and other fish all swarm the shore at the same time in Mobile Bay. With such easy-to-catch seafood, it definitely draws a crowd.Development center funJust like in Mobile Bay, food brings everyone together in our Mobile Development Center. What’s been the most popular event? “Anything that consists of food or beverages will most likely win every time: we’ve had events like the mimosa mingle, chili cookoff, and macaroni and cheese cookoff,” says Trey. Nerdlympics is another popular event because our colleagues love a little healthy competition.Colleagues coming togetherWhen it comes to what makes Mobile special, Trey says it’s the people. “Our colleagues are definitely the heart of our centers. They make it a point to ensure that there’s a strong culture of collaboration and inclusion, and they’re not afraid to speak out for the good of the group, or even for the benefit of one individual.” That’s why the Mobile center has such a deep involvement with the local community. In addition to working with the Ronald McDonald House and Angel Tree, through The Salvation Army, Rural Sourcing also holds a spot on the advisory board with the University of South Alabama. Trey says, “Even though we share many of the same values, it’s impossible to try to fit our colleagues into a mold when describing them. We really benefit from working with individuals from different backgrounds, experience levels, and personalities.” To learn more about Mobile, read about our featured MOB colleagues Nina, Savannah, and Jaforrest.

Jonesboro Development Center Spotlight

Jonesboro, Arkansas is the home of Rural Sourcing’s very first development center, established in 2004. We talked to Development Center Director Darrell Runyan to learn more about what it’s like to live, work, and play in “The Natural State.”The importance of giving backCommunity involvement is core to Rural Sourcing’s corporate ethos. There are many community engagement projects that Jonesboro colleagues have been proud to be a part of over the years, including efforts in the business and educational communities, as well as at non-profit organizations. Darrell himself is a frequent speaker at schools where he teaches about what it’s like to work in technology, and is also on Arkansas State University’s curriculum advisory board. Jennifer Rorex, the Human Resources Manager in JBR is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce and is on the Home Selection Committee for Habitat for Humanity. The entire office has also enjoyed volunteering for the organization. Besides being a community of charitable people, Jonesboro is also a thriving agricultural and industrial center, and is home to large production facilities including Post, Unilever, Nestle, and NicePak.A family-like atmosphereBecause of the Jonesboro center’s longer history, many of the colleagues in JBR have worked together for a very long time. This has created a family-like culture, where everyone knows each other and their families, and they enjoy spending time together at work, and out of the office. Darrell shares, “Colleagues here love to play games together and celebrate holidays, even random ones like ‘National Chocolate Cake Day.’ And even though our NERF guns haven’t been used as much recently, they’re still in the office. If it’s your birthday, watch out for the birthday NERF bullet!”Hometown prideIn Jonesboro, you’re working with a team who truly loves what they’re doing, and brings a lot of passion to the table. Darrell says, “Many of our developers graduated from right here in the Northeast Arkansas area, and not only do they love what they do, but they love where they do it.” To learn more about Jonesboro, take a look at our featured JBR colleague Rosemary.

Augusta Development Center Spotlight

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Augusta, Georgia?” As host of The Masters, the first major golf tournament of the season, Augusta is used to this upper-crust affiliation. The Garden City is still humble, though, and it’s home to our second center and more than 120 of our colleagues. We talked to Augusta Development Center Director Dr. Tony Robinson to learn all about it.Making an impactOur Augusta Development Center is heavily involved in the local and statewide business communities, through active involvement locally with the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce and Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, and statewide through Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan’s task force: Georgia Innovates/Rural Initiatives. Tony shares, “By serving on this task force, our center gets the chance to help cultivate opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses throughout the state.” Enjoying their downtimeWondering how our Augusta colleagues have fun? Look no further than the always popular Nerdlympics competition, where colleagues have invented a number of technology-themed games including Planning Putt Putt and Blocker Resolution and Cup Stacking. Tony says, “Whether you’re on a team or just watching the competition, it’s always fun to see the innovative ideas our colleagues come up with!” Plus, the variety of parks and recreation in Augusta, including the Savannah River, and numerous cultural events like Arts in the Heart of Augusta, the Westobou Festival, and the Greek Festival give everyone the chance to get outside and enjoy the great weather you tend to find Georgia.Supporting the communityCommunity engagement is a big part of life at all of our centers, but in Augusta, it’s truly at the heart of everything they do. By working closely with educational partners like Augusta University, USC Aiken, and Augusta Technical College, our colleagues get involved with STEM-related activities like the Augusta University STEAMIFY Competition, where college students have gone on to compete and place in international competitions. Plus, through board leadership and classroom activities, our Augusta colleagues have been involved in technical programming curriculum development, and coaching engagements. To top it all off, the center was recently recognized with a philanthropy award based on the impact of their fundraising efforts for the United Way of the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).What’s one of Tony’s favorite parts about Augusta? “The diversity of the community and educational opportunities combined with all the great amenities we have, make this city a very special place to live and raise a family.” Learn more about Augusta by reading up on featured colleagues Samaiyah, Nick, and Richard.

Fort Wayne Development Center Spotlight

Located in the heart of Fort Wayne’s reinvigorated downtown neighborhood, our newest Development Center is full of colleagues who have an “engineer’s mind and a teacher’s heart” as Development Center Director Bill Rose puts it. “I like to describe the culture at our center as being colleague focused and delivery driven. There’s a strong Midwestern work ethic here, and everyone is very passionate about what they do.”Giving backAs Bill says, “Fort Wayne loves Fort Wayne,” which means the business community, and the city as a whole, is very tightknit and supportive. In addition to being involved with the Northwest Indiana Regional Partnership (the local economic development agency), our colleagues get very motivated when it comes to helping with STEM activities. A few events they’ve participated in include the Fort Wayne STEM Fest and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants STEAM Fest. Coming up this fall is a workshop that one of our colleagues will be leading for the area Girl Scouts Council, where they’ll learn about digital game design as part of the Coding for Good camp.Thin Mint taste testFort Wayne Mad Ants STEAM FestSalsa making competitionA competitive spiritThere’s definitely no shortage of fun in Fort Wayne, even when you’re in the office. Some of our colleagues’ favorite activities have included throwing pies in managers’ faces for charity, a virtual background competition, the annual Nerdlympics ceremonies, and, well… just about anything involving food! For those who would rather watch the competition than take part in it, Fort Wayne has minor league baseball, hockey, and basketball teams to enjoy. Plus, starting later this year, one of our colleagues will be playing in the brand new semi-pro soccer team, the Fort Wayne Football Club. As Bill explains, “Our colleagues are creative and supportive, and they never stop caring, exploring, or laughing!”Learn more about Fort Wayne by reading up on our featured colleagues, David and Blake.