Expertise: Workforce Development
Team Member Since: 2019
What attracted you to workforce development?
Lots of things led me to where I currently am in my career. I changed majors several times in college before deciding that I wanted to be an advocate for consumers and workers. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but my research was mostly around housing and financial policy and how redlining and other inequitable practices led to huge gaps in wealth and prosperity. I wanted to be a part of remedying those problems. I also just kept learning and had a really great support network of mentors throughout my career trajectory that informed my decision to work in community and economic development. I want to work for better systems that work for both businesses and workers so that more people have a chance to learn, grow, and contribute.
What TPMA value means the most to you and why?
I’ve done a lot of work and research in the area of entrepreneurship- and even tried and failed at starting my own business a few times- so “entrepreneurship” as a value specifically resonates with me. A lot of people throw the word around and have their own definitions, but to me, entrepreneurship is a mindset. (Thanks Gary Schoeniger- I learned this from you!) I would love for more businesses and governments and organizations to operate with an entrepreneurial mindset. You have to be willing to take risks, think creatively, adapt to your surroundings, and be ready to pick yourself up and try again when you inevitably fail. Those of us who do systems work need to support building environments that allow for real critical and creative thinking, big, bold ideas, and the capacity for real and inclusive change.
What inspires you?
I get inspiration from a lot of places. Mostly, I am inspired by my niece and nephew and all of the young people I know. I like their wonder and perspective and want to continue to work make the world a better place for them. I also have an amazing network of friends and colleagues who work tirelessly to push against the status quo, learn from everything they do, and look where others might not for partners and allies. Those people inspire me daily.
What is the most impactful project you have been a part of?
One of the best projects I’ve been involved in to date was the Cleveland State University Center for Economic Development Advisory Committee, where we examined Groups of Regional Industry Drivers in Northeast Ohio.