Windell Mitchell Set A Clear Vision For The Future

July 2008, Government Fleet - Cover Story

by Cheryl Knight - Also by this author

Windell Mitchell, fleet manager for King County, Wash., Department of Transportation, journeyed to the U.S. from Jamaica as a teenager. With little money, he finally settled in the Seattle area with an older brother. He went on to graduate from college and earn an MBA degree from the University of Washington.

Mitchell moved to the United States to study architecture. "I was inspired to further my education by a powerful inscription by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I had read in the lobby of the boy’s dormitory of a college in Jamaica," Mitchell said. "The inscription read, ‘Couldest thou, in a vision, see thyself the man God meant, thou nevermore couldest be the man thou art content.’ "

He thought it was a wonderful opportunity to go to school in a country that had the best higher education system available.

"Growing up, America was viewed as the ‘promised land,’ a place where opportunities were limitless and anyone could realize his or her own vision," said Mitchell.

Mitchell had a burning desire to succeed, and he knew America would provide him the opportunity to pursue his goals and realize his dreams.

He originally joined King County in 1973 after driving a friend to the County offices to drop off a job application.

"After waiting for him for an extended period of time outside in my car, I decided to go inside to find out what was causing his delay in returning," Mitchell said. "I noticed a job announcement on the bulletin board for a supervisory position in the Department of Assessment. I thought that this job was a perfect fit for me since I had just completed an MBA at the University of Washington."

A few days later Mitchell joined the County as a budget analyst.


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