UIC Urban Planning and Policy Student Association, 2018
 

Kimbra Wellock, AICP

MUPP 2003

U.S. Bank

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.”