“What I love about the work I do and being at Public Works Partners is the amount of creativity the role requires and the positive impact I can have on cities, communities, and individuals.”
I would describe my journey to Public Works Partners as somewhat unconventional. I began my career in the hospitality industry as a barista, working my way up the ranks until ultimately becoming an Operations Manager for a restaurant group in Washington D.C.
However, I was interested in pursuing altruistic work and looking for more of a challenge in my career. I enrolled in George Washington’s Masters in Sustainable Urban Planning, knowing it was an all-encompassing degree touching on transportation, affordable housing, and many other issues that tied together in complex and exciting ways. While at the GW program, I met my partner, a Brooklyn resident, and made trips to the NYC area almost every weekend. I fell in love with the city and its endless opportunities in the Urban Planning field.
I moved to NYC in summer 2016, and I transferred to Pratt Institute to finish my planning degree. It was there that I became immersed in my courses, learning the hard skills, but also getting hands-on experience talking with people about issues that affect them directly. While at Pratt, l became a fellow with the Pratt Center for Community Development. This fellowship exposed me to very interesting work including a rezoning project in East New York that centered around evaluating the feasibility of an accessory dwelling unit pilot project.
While working with another planning consultancy, I was able to hone my project management skills and engage with clients. When it came time to make my next move, I immediately thought of Public Works Partners due to my familiarity with their work from my thesis project. I was extremely impressed by the role Public Works Partners played in reaching the agreement for the Garment Center rezoning, and I saw firsthand how Public Works worked with the stakeholders to reach consensus. The Public Works team was instrumental in facilitating the dialogue among stakeholders, and I knew that was the space that I wanted to work in.
I am now a Manager at Public Works where I lead the day-to-day coordination of multi-stakeholder projects such as DSNY’s commercial waste zones. I am currently supporting the concluding process of an environmental impact statement and leading outreach to local businesses. The team and I not only aim to educate the community on the commercial waste zone plans but want to address any concerns so there is community buy-in throughout the process. My upcoming projects include conducting a landscape assessment to inform a national foundation’s workforce development investment. I am especially excited to work on this project since it will focus a lot on the hospitality industry, which resonates with my own career beginnings.
Outside of work I enjoy savoring local coffees and listening to podcasts – Gotham Gazette’s Max & Murphy is my jam. I also like exploring Brooklyn neighborhoods and of course spending time in Prospect Park.