Tag: Ruston

The Move from Ruston

When I moved to Ruston, LA in September of 2003, I never dreamed I’d live there for 13-plus years — but I did. Did being the operative word.

In 2012, I convinced my now wife, Allison, to move from the Washington D.C. metro to this small town in North Louisiana. A place that had grown to be very special to me. Ruston is where I began to understand who God made me to be and more importantly wanted me to be. It’s where I formed bonds with people that will last a lifetime. People I could lean on when times were hard and who could lean on me. This is something I hope doesn’t change.

My Information Technology career began here after graduating from my beloved Louisiana Tech University in 2006. Thanks to Business Technology Group in Ruston for giving this green college grad his first “big boy” job. I moved on to Rogers Manufacturing Corporation as their IT Manager in 2008 and stayed there until May of 2016. RMC took a chance on me and it worked out well for both parties. For the past year, I’ve worked as a Systems Analyst at Northern Louisiana Medical Center, a place I can wholeheartedly say cares deeply for its patients.

Ruston is where I started BleedTechBlue.com with the help of Jason Jones in 2008. Last month, Ben Carlisle took over. With no family in town and no website tying me to Ruston, Allison and I felt a tug on our hearts to move.

But, where would we move?

Would it be Texas? I had a contact in the Houston area who wanted me to work on the same team as him in corporate communications. The timing never seemed to work out for Houston. Then Allison and I started talking about cities we liked, Little Rock, Austin, Dallas and Nashville.

The only place I got any nibbles back from was Nashville. Those first nibbles weren’t good timing in our life to say the least. However, those nibbles we felt were our sovereign God saying, “Nashville is where I want you, but not yet.” While Allison processed the thought of leaving her great job at Holyfield Construction, I waited for her but kept my eye out for jobs that interested me. I saw a job for a Business Development role for an IT consulting company and realized their recruiter was from North Louisiana and I knew of her.

I asked a mutual friend if he would get her work email address for me. Once I had it, I emailed her. While the role I initially was interested in was not a fit, they had a role that was right up my alley. After five technical assessments, they wanted me to go to Nashville for a 2-hour technical interview with their Director of Technology, and a group interview to gauge a cultural fit.

The first week of May, I start as a Solutions Engineer at Concept Technology, Inc. in Nashville, TN.

I owe a lot to Ruston. It’s a place that does not quickly accept people who aren’t from Ruston as their own, but it accepted me.

A true American walks through Ruston

Tuesday, April 13th, my friend Henry McCoy called me and asked me if I wanted to accompany him on a photoshoot he was having that evening. Henry constantly amazes me with his ability to use lighting to really emphasize emotion in his photos so I was happy to tag along. After agreeing to go, Henry told me more about the man he would be taking photos of, Matt Parrish. Matt is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and United States Army medic. What Matt was doing in Ruston, La. was all the more interesting. He was walking across the country for a non-profit foundation, Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a non-profit organization who provides assistance to children who have lost a parent while serving for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps Special Operations during an operational or training mission. This includes some 50,000 military special operations and support personnel in the United States and overseas.

Through total faith, as you will see as he gives a testimony of his journey thus far in the video, Matt set off on a Trek for Hope. This trek would take him from Tampa Bay, Fla. to Los Angeles, Calif. and back to Tampa Bay, Fla. Throughout his journey, he has talked to a multitude of people who are mostly just curious as to what he is doing. Once they find out what he is doing and what Special Operations Warrior Foundation does they are very supportive.

I was fortunate enough to house Matt for a night before he set off westward Wednesday morning.

Meet my friend and fellow American, Matt Parrish.

Links of interest:
Trek For Hope Facebook Page
Trek For Hope Blog
Make a donation to Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Henry McCoy’s photos of Matt
Donald Page’s photos of Matt