For 20+ years, I have worked in the public and private sectors supporting teams as well as individuals. My experience helping organizations and collaborative groups to set goals, work to resolve problems and strengthen systems with data has set the stage for a new chapter in my career.
Addressing community problems is in my blood.
My father was a researcher looking at social issues like consumer reactions to the oil shortages of the 1970s, and policies like family home care. When I was a little girl, he sometimes asked me to help him collate data from those old school computer printouts they used to have. I would make chicken scratches in hand drawn matrices. I loved that time with him, and think I learned a fundamental truth – that while doing worthy things is good in and of itself, studying it to see how well the work is achieving its goals is the way to reach another even more crucial level of excellence.
In college I thought I wanted to be a therapist and then eventually I broadened my sights, wanting to work on behalf of groups of underserved people. This led me to my Master’s program in Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research, where I did my thesis on a program placing homeless families into city-owned apartments.
This led to a career-long commitment to working in government and the nonprofit sector, and then as a consultant working at a national level – much of this within the complex space of homelessness.
From 2001-2009 I was the Chief Executive Officer of Housing Families Inc., headquartered in Malden, MA and serving several communities north of Boston.
I was fortunate to join a strong organization that was poised for tremendous growth linked to the development of a major affordable housing project: 19 new-construction family units with onsite services, a $6.3M project with the typical array of funding sources.
I learned about the complexity that comes with sudden growth – and indeed, with any major organizational disruption. I found my voice as a leader and convener in local and state-wide arenas focused on policy and strategy. I came to recognize my passion for, and skill at, supporting the professional growth of others.
In 2009 I moved to The Cloudburst Group, where I worked part-time as Subject Matter Expert/Housing and Homeless Programs until 12/31/19.
In my role at Cloudburst, I led small teams of experts working closely with community leaders to develop and implement large scale public-private system change initiatives.
Major Cloudburst Projects:
Assisting five contiguous communities in the St. Louis Area to form a Regional Commission on Homelessness (2017-2018)
Supporting the City of Flint to shift administrative responsibilities to nonprofit agencies to ensure that federal funds for youth recreation, home repair and homelessness were fully expended and reached residents in need (2012-2015)
Helping Nashville to create a single, unified leadership structure to improve outcomes for its homelessness service system (2016-2018)
My greatest lesson from this work is the power of the simple act of inquiry. People in all walks of life want to know they are heard and their concerns understood. One of the best ways to help prepare groups to move forward is to bring their own diverse experiences and concerns to light, for all to see.