Barn-Raising Community - Missing Jake Brewer

Picture of a barn being raised.

One of the remarkable things about working on team CTO as part of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the Executive Office of the President (EOP) is that a very large percentage of our teams are temporary. That means that the very small more permanent staff here builds and rebuilds teams even more quickly than startups in Silicon Valley.
Picture of completed barn

What is remarkable is not only that those quickly made teams work together well, but also that they come together as a community so thoroughly. This barn-raised community can seem constructed or fictional at times. We work hard together and the focus is often on getting work done rather than building community so we don’t always realize that we are building a strong community.
Blueprint of barn

Then on Saturday, Jake Brewer, a Senior Policy Advisor on team CTO and huge inspiration to many inside and outside of government died while participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Jake joined team CTO in June and has been working hard on connecting the nation’s tech and innovation assets (people, places, tools, data, and methods) to its opportunity creation efforts, enabling all Americans to take part in, contribute to, and benefit from the economy of the future. More than that, Jake was an overwhelmingly friendly, crazily optimistic, always energized, and incredibly caring part of the team CTO, OSTP, and EOP communities. The reality and strength of those communities was made startlingly apparent by his passing. The barn we were raising is now missing a wall and every other bit is shuddering from the blow.
Cross section of a barn

Jake was a big part of the strength of our team and we will miss him dearly. I will miss his smile, attitude, and presence. I am also sad that I won’t get to see his next set of wonderful things come to pass in the world. But I am thankful to have known and worked with him. I am thankful he was part of our community and for the dents he made in the universe.   

All images from The James Way, James Manufacturing Co., Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin (1917) and available in the public domain via Google Books.

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