Vice President, Community Development Manager
Can you describe your work and how your planning degree contributes to it?
I am the Community Development Manager for Washington and Idaho. In this role, I am responsible for the development, coordination and management of community relations and development activities within these two states. I collaborate with community groups focusing on affordable housing, small business development, capacity building and financial education. The primary focus of my work is serving community needs within low-to-moderate income neighborhoods and meeting corporate Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) objectives. I also work with local market teams to manage corporate giving budgets within Washington and Idaho. In this role, I am applying many of the community development strategies I studied while in graduate school.
What do you like most about your current job or related work in planning?
My clients are community non-profit organizations. I enjoy having the opportunity to learn about and support the great work these organizations are doing. I believe strongly in the role the Community Reinvestment Act plays in community development, and like being in a position to guide the bank’s resources to meet community needs.
What advice do you wish you had gotten as a MUPP or, conversely, what advice would you give to young planners today?
Improve your writing skills. Planners need to be able to write for a variety of audiences and purposes – technical reports, grant applications, press releases, public information materials, blogs, websites, emails, etc. I recently read an article that said “being able to write well is a skill which will get you a long way in the workplace, partly because it is fairly rare in many places.”