Director of Community Initiatives
October 2019 - Present
Where are you from?
Born in Pittsburgh, but raised around the world. (My dad is from Clairton and joined the Navy when the steel mill industry collapsed.)
What are the primary responsibilities of your role?
As Director of Community Initiatives, I create initiatives to facilitate community involvement in the development process so that both current and future residents of Greater Hazelwood can benefit from this new period of investment in the community. You can see me out in the community posting flyers, talking with residents at events, leading greenway hikes, and facilitating our monthly community meetings and environmental development meetings on Zoom. I also work closely with the managing editor of The Homepage to select stories that will keep residents informed of important developments and policies that may affect the community. Additionally, I support residents in danger of losing their housing during the COVID crisis through administration of our Neighborhood Investment Fund (NIF) grant program and assisting residents to complete the County's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) application.
Why is this job important to you and how does your educational, professional, or personal background help you to do your job well?
I graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. in Foreign Service and recieved my M.S. in Public Policy & Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. With a wide range of work experiences in education, healthcare, government, and law I am able to able to easily connect the various concerns and suggestions I receive from residents to create a comprehensive vision for implementation of devleopment goals as they are outlined in the Neighborhood Plan. I am particularly interested in making sure that communities are healthy and climate-resilient. I have trained as a doula, permaculture designer, and Climate Reality Leader. Additionally, I am an EcoDistricts Accredited Professional.
What do you love about this neighborhood?
I moved here from New York City, so I really love the small town feel of belonging to a community where I know my neighbors and there is nature all around. With both forested hiking trails on this hills and car-free bike trails on the flats along the river, Hazelwood is really relaxing place to live.