Joe Rasnick and Joey Nolasco are representative of Lexington’s “new blood” — a generation that has fallen deeply in love with the city and made the decision to establish roots, open a business and get involved. We invited them to share their perspective on this page.
The collective community of central Kentucky is a vibrant and unique one. For many years now, the Bluegrass region has been attempting to rediscover its identity — or possibly create a new one. When the bottom dropped out of the economy a few years ago, it seemed as though that search would have to be put on hold. The economy was in freefall, so of course, our community would be, too. Right?
When Joey Nolasco and I founded integrity/Architecture in 2011, we didn’t agree. Though central Kentucky suffered its fair share of economic turbulence, we saw a far more resilient collection of people and businesses working through it. Therein lies what I believe to be central Kentucky’s true identity — local pride, a strong work ethic and a willingness to support each other, no matter the circumstances. After all, every great success story began with trials and tribulations.
Why did we do it?
I was always of the opinion that any problem, issue or struggle is only as bad as people allow it to be. That’s what is so great about central Kentucky. There’s a pride that exists here, a belief that whatever the state of the union may be, we are still going to wake up in the morning and go to work.
Joey and I knew we had a great idea, and the only way to bring it to fruition was to set out on our own. We knew that if we were willing to work hard — to get up earlier, go to bed later, pour ourselves into every detail of the work, and above all, conduct ourselves with honesty and integrity — our community would help us make our idea a reality.
Why now, in the midst of an economic crisis?
Is there ever a perfect time, when the path seems completely devoid of obstacles? No. We analyzed the risks and knew our biggest hurdles, which allowed us to properly prepare for the hardships we knew we’d face moving forward. Always in the back of our minds was the tenet that the greatest enemy is the one you cannot see.
How much planning was involved?
Months and months. In our line of work, you have to think in three dimensions, and we wanted our company to be well designed and thought-out. We set clear goals and crafted strategies on how to meet them. We devised contingency plans in case our first method faltered. Our contingencies had contingencies.
We also knew that, as a new company, we had an opportunity to reach out to the community in new ways. Social media is how people communicate and interact with one another nowadays, and we wanted to embrace that as part of our marketing plan. Platforms such as Facebook, along with our website, are our go-to methods for interacting with our community.