SPIA: August 2003
National Director at CityCraft Ventures
I joined the CityCraft Ventures team earlier this year as National Director of CityCraft Centers. I learned about this position by staying in touch with former colleagues and mentors, and by staying involved in community leadership positions. As a result, when the job was created I was in the front of the mind of company owners, received a call to see if I was interested, and the rest is history!
Prior to CityCraft, I transitioned from working for the largest homebuilder in the country to one of the most recognized sustainability-minded developers in North America. This journey proved to me that there is a better way to (re)develop and restore our communities in a manner that is sustainable and attentive to the triple bottom line. Building upon these experiences, my thoughts on neighborhood development have evolved and led me to follow my passion of revitalizing our cities. I most recently worked at a non-profit, The Sustainability Institute (SI), where I managed the Green Cities Program and provided sustainability consulting services. Prior to my work at SI, I worked for the Noisette Company acting as their Communications Director.
I started my career right out of college with Pulte Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in the country, and I was recognized as a national leader and top performer. I initially found the job through a friend that worked at Pulte. My time at UGA provided many valuable networking opportunities of which I made sure to take advantage of. The networking and forging of friendships while at UGA not only helped me land my first job, but the relationships formed are still a valuable resource for me a decade later. Also, volunteering for positions on committees and being elected to various leadership positions while at UGA prepared me to do the same at a large corporation, where standing out from my peers was sometimes a challenge. Those positions at UGA provided me with experience and confidence to lead and work with diverse people with differing opinions and points of view, critical experience needed for thriving in corporate America. Management valued the extra effort and interest I had in volunteering and taking on challenges outside of my day-to-day job description, and it allowed for additional networking within the organization that led to other opportunities and promotions years later.
If I could share any advice with current UGA students it would be don’t burn bridges. You never know when a relationship or a connection is going to come in handy for you and your career. If a job is meant to be, it will be...in time. Don't get frustrated if at first you are turned down. The timing might not be on the timeline you want it to be, but have a plan and work that plan with specific goals and career milestones. Complete tasks to achieve those goals, and never stop learning.