BHM employee spotlight: Tamara “Isha” Guthrie
NTS Driver Supervisor Isha Guthrie is a critical part of Team Horizons. We sat down with Isha for a virtual interview to learn more about her take on our community and the work we do.
Q: How long have you been with NTS, and what is your role?
A: 11 1/2 years. Started off working part-time in the office and driving part time as well. Gradually became a full time driver, then I was promoted to morning Driver Supervisor.
Q: What high school did you go to? What was your graduation year?
A: Washington High School class of '97
Q: Will you tell us about your family ties to Cedar Rapids? Who was the first to come to this community, and what brought them here?
A: My grandfather moved his family from a small town in Illinois to Tama around 1950 because the plant he was working for moved to Iowa. They were the only Black family in Tama at that time.
Q: What has it meant to you to live in Iowa? What is it about this community that you love? Anything you would change?
A: This is my home. I was born and raised here. That being so I've met and befriended many people in my lifetime whether it was through school, work, or just being out and about in the community. What I love about this community is knowing that we can come together and help each other in times of need.
The response from the community after the Derecho is proof of that. It's a great place to raise a family. Something that I would like to change would be that we should be able to come together as a community and it shouldn't take a tragedy to do so. We chose Cedar Rapids as our home we should be able live here peacefully.
Q: What are your hopes for future generations of Black residents of the Cedar Rapids area?
A: That we stop the violence. So many of our black youths are dying by the hands of other black youths. We need more positive outlets for the young community to utilize. Divert their attentions from doing negative things.
Q: What do you want people to know about you?
A: I have two grandbabies. One is 2, the other is 2 months. I enjoy working for NTS because I get to see and talk to the people that we help.