A Note from the CEO:
I grew up the youngest of three children in a small Midwestern factory town. When those manufacturing plants and factories began closing, quality of life changed dramatically for my family and so many others in our community. As my young mind searched for meaning amidst all of this decay, I learned terms like down-sizing and out-sourcing. I saw the devastating effects on every facet of the community; homelessness, substance abuse, unemployment, deteriorating environmental conditions, adverse health consequences and so much more. What had really been hollowed out in so many places just like this across America was the very faith that these towns had in themselves and their ability to create a bright future for their children.
As a young adult I was determined not to go work in a factory, like so many contemporaries. My dreams of a college education and further still a graduate degree seemed so far away, since that would mean I was the first in the family to obtain a college education. Yet with the grit learned from a thrifty and sensible Midwestern Mother and the circle of love and possibilities created from a once-orphaned Father, I was taught that I could do anything, if I worked hard enough.
I set my mind to acquiring the education and experience needed to be successful in my field. I spent years immersed in the grants process, economic development and ultimately city management. Learning how things were done, I gained accolades and innovated where I could, but never felt fulfilled that economic development was reaching as broadly as it could. I yearned to change the development paradigm. Currently only cities of a certain size and income level believe they can promote an effective economic development program. I hope to make these vital steps that every community needs to take more attainable and appreciated as the useful tools of economic mobility and empowerment that they are. It’s readily apparent that small to medium sized cities, as well as classically disadvantaged and underutilized areas, are being left out of Economic Development.
With this new venture, we have it within our power to change that. I’ve brought together professionals from every angle of designing healthy communities into one enterprise, with one overarching mission… to help Main Street craft a revitalization plan and then access the resources necessary to bring unimagined projects into fruition.
Through Economic Development Strategies. I envision rebuilding areas in a way that’s conducive to future growth while avoiding the displacement that often occurs. All too often our current development environment offers expensive cookie-cutter solutions. My belief is that growth and development isn’t a privilege reserved only for wealthier communities, but must be accessible and affordable for cities and towns of all sizes. It’s possible to craft creative solutions designed for a specific community’s natural strengths and challenges. Unlike other firms charging exorbitant fees offering a solution in search of a problem, we’re looking to understand the problems and challenges of each client area and our solutions are crafted to address their unique circumstances. In this modern age, all size communities should have the capacity of smart professionals guiding them through all the relevant processes, from conceptualization to financing, development, implementation and all the red tape along the way. We specialize in the work of an entire Economic Development Department, for a fraction of the cost.
I visualize more comprehensive services available that address “Food Deserts”, public health, “ageing in place” as well as more typical economic development issues like land use, neighborhood revitalization and job growth. I work to enable smaller jurisdictions to finally compete in the marketplace of capital and ideas. Together we can empower American cities and towns to take the next great leap in cultivation and development of their resources, regardless of their size.
Now Let’s Build Something Influential and Great- Together! – Miranda Braatz