Editor’s Note: Alex Lassiter is the founder of Green Places to Work, which launched in 2021 and is backed by some other well-known Triangle entrepreneurs.  This post is one portion of a WRAL TechWire series on gratitude, published in November 2021.  

RALEIGH – I started this year in the delivery room with my wife, Anne, where we welcomed our third child, Wyatt Lassiter.  Wyatt is a member of the “Coronial” generation.  In fact, he was born during the peak month of the Covid-19 pandemic, roughly 100 years after his great grandfather George Monk, who, coincidentally, was born during the peak month of a different pandemic: the Spanish Flu.

The three of us started this year alone in a room, wearing masks, and like many others across the world, separated from family and friends. Months after Wyatt’s birth we were fortunate to receive our first doses of the COVID vaccine—and thus began the long process of reconnecting with others after a year apart.  I received my vaccination in the parking lot of a church in Johnston County.  I, along with hundreds of others waited in line for hours to roll up our sleeves and prepare to take our lives back.

That’s what this year has been for me—a long journey to reclaim my life.

I dined out at my first restaurant in March (thanks Mandolin!).  In April, I contacted a few local entrepreneurs and started a company (thanks Jesse, Scot, Joe, Chaz, Todd, and Tom!).

Triangle entrepreneur’s second company, sustainability-focused, in stealth mode with $975K raised

I flew on an airplane for the first time in May to celebrate a friend’s wedding (thanks RDU!).  My kids went back to school in May (thanks Jordan Center!).  In June, I invested in a local founder (let’s go Spiffy!) and another local founder in July (let’s go Kevel!).

From July to November, I hired five employees (thanks Jason, Sarah, Jeremy, Camden, Ben, and Anne!) and we moved into a physical office (thanks Raleigh Founded!).

And, we have now encouraged about 60 businesses nationwide to take climate action—including many in the Triangle—so much so, that there are too many to thank here by name.

I’ve got about 40 days left in the year, and I intend to make the most of it.

In the meantime, this Thanksgiving weekend, I’ll be a happy father, founder, and friend spending time with my family and those that I love.