I have no clue where to start. It’s been an amazing ride these past two and a half years! When I first walked into the old LUTES office as a freshman, I had no clue that I would end up in charge of LUTES for a whole year a half!
In 2021, I became the community manager for LUTES. My biggest project was revamping Parvi. But behind that goal was an even loftier goal, which was to create a community of doers, as we have often liked to brand ourselves. When I first started as a chairman, my initial goal was to facilitate helping LUTES to be able to best serve its community members by giving them the tools necessary to accomplish things greater than any of us ever could have imagined. To illustrate, I know that no one on our board would have believed me if during our first board meeting, I told them how much we would have successfully gone on to accomplish throughout this past year. Although at times an emotional roller coaster of joy, excitement, and even tears, I’ve loved every single moment of it.
LUTES offers an environment where members can grow and reach their greatest potential. At times it may feel like a lot of pressure, but as they say, diamonds are just rocks under pressure. This pressure allows our best selves to come out. And I know for certain, I’ve put pressure on every single board member. For example, I told Venla & Nette, who hadn’t had any previous experience with the startup accelerator program, “This is too big to fail!” Fortunately for me, they believed me. What has been the result? Two startups are now incredibly close to receiving their first round of funding from investors! We have many stories with a similar theme in which investors jump at a project because someone believed in their idea. If our number of successes can be quantified by empty pizza boxes, we’ve eaten many more than we can count this year!
Another notable consideration is that almost everyone in the LUT community is aware of LUTES and respects and values and our mission. As I’ve mentioned before, the LUTES mission is to “gather extraordinary, passionate people who want to change the world and do the hard things that others can’t.” Thanks to Maria and the marketing team, our mission and vision have been clearly portrayed to everyone in a way that is easy to understand.
“You get out of LUTES what you put into LUTES.” This phrase was coined by Mikko Pajula, LUTES’ Chairman of 2020 and has become one that we continue to use today. In line with this, Meerimaria has always done a great job of creating value for our community members by making sure that everyone feels welcome at Parvi, for example, by organizing our weekly team breakfast.
We have two “magicians” on our board this year – Eetu and Joel, who have put in extraordinary effort into founding new partnerships and securing funds for our organization, especially amid this rocky year of transitioning Parvi’s location. Eetu and Joel made it their mission to build our new partnerships, thus setting LUTES up for future financial success for years to come. Whenever we throw out an idea regarding what we need for LUTES, these guys make a few phone calls and there we have it. We already magically have what we need (at least most of the time 😀 as I’m still missing own phonebooth…)
Finally, we have our ecosystem – incredibly active nowadays. We have everyone working towards the same goal, which is to continuously do things together. In fact, we are hoping to see the next unicorn come out of South-Karelia, because when our ecosystem is growing, Parvi is, too. I’m happier every day that I walk into Parvi and see that it is fuller than the day before. A lot of people are using the space, even though I’m still one of the only ones cleaning the coffee cups :D. After all, I think that’s the most important role of chairman: clean up after those who are out there changing the world.
I want to say thank you to the board of 2022, to our teams of 2022, and to everyone in our ecosystem with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. Last but not least, I’d like to thank some of our core LUTES family members, including Mikko, who first introduced me to LUTES, Lexi, who asked some very important questions last year when we were building Parvi and would help bring us back down to earth when our dreams were becoming too farfetched, Jimi, who impromptu stepped into our secretary role in middle of the year, meanwhile being able to follow our discombobulated board meetings, and Ilari, who has always made an effort to help everyone and who has been our “luottopakki” during this year.
There are still many other things what I would like to say about LUTES. Personally, I don’t know where I would be without LUTES, especially since through interacting with our community members, I have learned many new things about myself. But now has come my time to stand back and let others continue the magic. Although I won’t be leaving LUTES or Parvi completely, I will still be around to at least to play minigolf (and sometimes work).
See you in 2023!