Friday, February 3, 2023

Meet the Mayor 2023

Yesterday I got to meet the mayor.  The mayor's office wanted to hear from people about how to better meet the needs of foreigners as the city continues to grow as a centre for technology and innovation.  

Kyndryl is the city's largest private employer with about 1700 foreigners working here in Brno.  We were provided two tickets and I was lucky enough to be asked to go. 

After work I showed up at the town tall for the event.  This was my first time inside and I was floored.  

Some of it has been recently renovated and I had no idea of just how beautiful it was.

JUDr. Markéta Vańková has been Brno's mayor since 2018.  Before she was mayor, she was a representative for the South Moravian Region.

One of the chaps from the Brno Expat Centre knew me from my blog.  That was a surprise but then later on I remembered that my blog had been mentioned back in 2017.

I was impressed with how the city is trying to bring in more highly-qualified expats, especially in the field of nanotechnology, and what the city can do to help people settle in.

There are foreigners from 149 countries registered in Brno.  Slovaks don't have to register as foreigners in Czechland so their numbers aren't included.  The largest number of foreigners in Brno are from Ukraine, followed by Vietnam, Russia, India, Romania, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Philippines, USA, Poland, UK, and Belarus.  

I was gobsmacked to find out that there are 629 Americans living in Brno.  I have no idea of where they are hiding because I don't know them.  How are there more Americans here than Poles when Poland is next door?  I honestly only know a few Americans here.  I know way more people from Italy, France, Spain, and Germany here in Brno and these countries aren't even on the list.

There were maybe 50 or 75 people that were invited and I got the chance to meet up with a few friends from other companies that I haven't seen in a while. 

It really was a great experience and I count myself very lucky to have had the chance to participate.

Now to figure out where are of these other Americans are.

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