Next City convenes a network of young, urban leaders on an annual basis at its Vanguard conference. The conference has been held in four cities (2009, Washington, D.C.), (2010, Philadelphia), (2012, St. Louis) and (2013, Cleveland). The 2014 Vanguard conference will be hosted in Chattanooga, TN from April 24 – 26. Members of this year’s class are below.
Citi Community Development
An Englishman. A Jack of all trades. A New Yorker. Father. Husband. Urbanite. Foodie. A Londoner. Convener. Pragmatic Romantic. Lifelong student of cities. I am fortunate to work at a bank that forges the most innovative partnerships for the benefit of cities.
Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation
Ian was forged in Youngstown and is the Deputy Director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation. He has spent the past five years building capacity for neighborhood revitalization. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and lives in Youngstown with his wife and Irish Wolfhounds.
Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department
John is Program Manager for Step ONE and the Chattanooga project director for a grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Under John’s leadership, residents, partner organizations and government agencies have collaborated on more than $1.37 million of programmatic and infrastructural improvements.
Co-founder and CEO of MindMixer, fascinated by the intersection of cities and technology, recovering urban planner and proud downtown dweller.
City of Mason, MI
Marlon works as a Budget and Policy Analyst in the Michigan State Budget Office. He is also a Councilman for the City of Mason and serves as Treasurer of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce. Marlon is committed to a life of public service and civic engagement.
Noah is a native Vermonter who never thought of moving to the big city and, now, can’t imagine leaving it. He’s played a major role in mainstreaming bicycling, introducing bus rapid transit and making traffic safety a top-tier public policy issue in New York and other cities.
Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation
Demion is a native Tucsonan. Graduating with a background in art, art history and design, he created a career advocating for Tucson’s historic urban resources. He attended college in L.A. and a post graduate program in Milan, Italy. Demion serves on numerous community boards focusing on projects affecting the built environment.
Prince George’s County (MD) Redevelopment Authority
Monty practices law with Sedgwick LLP, where he specializes in commercial litigation. He is also chairperson of the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County, the county’s principal development and redevelopment entity. Its focus is to develop mixed-income/mixed-use projects and affordable housing in urban communities and near transit centers.
Rondell Crier Design
In 1991, Rondell began his art career after joining a youth arts organization called YAYA. During his participation in the program, he gained worldwide experiences through commissions and travel opportunities abroad and in numerous cities across the States. Currently, he continues to practice and mentor art in his community
Rock Ventures, LLC
As a Detroit Revitalization Fellow, Melissa educates the public about the importance of architecture in the regeneration of cities. As the senior in-house architect for Rock Ventures, Melissa is responsible for the design review of current architecture projects and the research, analysis, programming and conceptual design of future projects.
Natural Resources Defense Council
San Francisco, CA
Amanda is Deputy Director of Urban Solutions with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). She was instrumental in passage of California’s landmark Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Law (SB 375) and leads NRDC’s work to create stronger, healthier communities with sustainable transportation choices as part of California’s comprehensive climate program.
R. Denise Everson
DC Housing Authority
Denise is a Redevelopment and Green Building Specialist in the District of Columbia. A native of Decatur, Ga., Denise is an active associate member of the American Institute of Architects and numerous civic boards. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Hampton University and a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University
Hamilton County Department of Education
A native Memphian, Lakweshia has resided in Chattanooga for five years. She is a graduate of Austin Peay State University, holds a Masters in Education from Tennessee Tech University and is currently a PhD student with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. Lakweshia is employed as the District Family Engagement and Community Partnerships Coordinator for Hamilton County Department of Education.
Mike is a community activist focused on improving the form and function of his city’s urban core and in-town urban neighborhoods through tactical urbanism and engaging both young professionals and would-be placemakers to become leaders in the community. Mike holds a Bachelors in Economics from Florida State University and is a Senior Analyst at JP Morgan Chase.
Cristina is Cofounder at OpportunitySpace, a civic technology start-up that helps governments manage public land to maximize public good. Her research measures the social impact of real estate and economic development investments. She has degrees in architecture from Washington University and public policy from Harvard.
MILPA / The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
Juan is a statewide partner with California’s Boys and Men of Color Initiative, and he’s the co-founder MILPA, a Salinas grassroots intergenerational collective which braids the wisdom of spiritual elders into a modern day place-based racial equity framework. Juan is empowering formerly incarcerated residents to shape Monterey County’s Realignment Plan.
Ashley Z. Hand
City of Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
Ashley is the first Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Kansas City, Missouri and a professional architect. She has dedicated her career to community and civic engagement across North America and currently runs a non-profit, Friends of Hale Cook, dedicated to public education which she co-founded in 2009.
Local Initiative Support Corporation
Over the past decade, Brandon has held various positions in government, the private sector, and the non-profit industry. In late 2012 Brandon was appointed as the executive director of a new office for LISC, the nation’s largest community development intermediary and community development financial institution.
The Asia Foundation
San Francisco, CA
Lisa works with national and local government officials, as well as civil society and business organizations in Asia to improve environmental governance, urban sustainability, low carbon development and climate change adaptation across 18 countries in Asia, while connecting best practices from her home base in San Francisco.
St. Louis City Board of Aldermen
St. Louis, MO
Christine serves as Alderwoman of the 6th Ward in St. Louis, Missouri. She focuses her efforts on issues that are important to her constituents such as government transparency, crime, quality of life, education and development. This year, Christine is implementing the city’s first pilot participatory budgeting project.
City of Oakland
Kiran is in the Oakland City Attorney’s Office, focused on innovation and civic design through her real estate, technology and municipal law practice. She served on the League of California Cities’ Municipal Law Institute and designed the first Kiva Zip/City Trustee partnership to crowdfund local economic development.
San Francisco, CA
Drawing on her extensive involvement with the sharing economy movement, Milicent is Director of Partnerships and Community at Peers. She comes to Peers after co-founding Bayshare, an advocacy group dedicated to building a thriving environment for the sharing economy in San Francisco, and several years as community manager for Shareable Magazine.
Chattanooga Area Food Bank
San Francisco, CA
During her 15 years in the non-profit sector, Megan has held various management and leadership positions, including director of a statewide program for homeless and runaway youth, executive director of a private family foundation and a non-profit management consultant. Maeghan has also worked as a public interest attorney assisting low-income clients to secure basic rights and services.
Health and Hospital Corporation
Michael supports arts, ecology and equitable livability initiatives for the public health department and Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis. Previously a label manager for Asthmatic Kitty Records, Michael currently manages Son Lux. He works to empower others to create and experience surprising beauty
City of Central Falls
Stephen is Central Falls, R.I.’s Director of Planning and Economic Development and the youngest planning director in the state. Since Central Falls’ historic 2011 bankruptcy filing, Stephen has played an integral role in the city’s efforts to bolster its perceived image, quality of life, and long-term economic viability.
New York, NY
Vanessa is the founder of Pinchina Consulting, an international planning firm created in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. As a Haitian-American urban planner, her primary interests are in strengthening vulnerable communities throughout the Caribbean region while also raising awareness of similar challenges here in the United States.
City of Austin
San Antonio, TX
Adrian is an innovator that concentrates on community involvement through engagement acts such as green architecture, active transportation and sustainable food production. She is currently working toward completing her Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the perception of minorities on transportation.
La Crosse Neighborhood Development Corporation
La Crosse, WI
Adrian has become a leading voice for neighborhood revitalization in La Crosse by emphasizing public-private-non-profit collaboration, thoughtful urban planning, entrepreneurship, sustainable living, and placemaking. He has led an effort to create a community development corporation focused on revitalizing two of La Crosse’s most persistently challenged neighborhoods.
Manasvi works at the intersection of transportation, urban strategy and policy at Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global infrastructure firm. She is interested in the ways that mobility and the built environment affect how we experience and engage with the city, and how civic-centered solutions can be scaled across multiple urban contexts.
Justin Garrett Moore
NYC Department of City Planning
New York, NY
Justin is a Senior Urban Designer for the NYC Department of City Planning, where he is involved in transformative projects to improve the quality of urban life in neighborhoods citywide. He also serves on the faculty of Columbia University’s graduate urban design and urban planning programs and is co-founder of Urban Patch, a social enterprise based in his native Indianapolis.
David Thomas Moran
Geo-social Photographer & Urban
David is a freelance writer, geosocial photographer, mobile game designer and digital media artist. His creative work mostly focuses on public, street life, pedestrianism and community mobility throughout the Orlando metropolitan region. David is also the Operations Director for the Transit Interpretation Project (TrIP).
I’m a graphic designer, serial entrepreneur, community activist and magic-bean buyer. I work in the marketing & communications department at CAP Tulsa, an antipoverty organization and national leader in early childhood education. I’m also the President of TulsaNow and Storyteller of Code for Tulsa, local affiliate of Code for America.
Ananda “Andy” Palanisamy
Seasoned technology, communications, and policy professional with nearly 14 years of experience in the transportation industry with a strong exposure to domestic and global sustainability and transportation issues; blogger and new media expert; recipient of Top 40 Under 40 Transportation Demand Management Professional award.
Regional Planning Agency
With a background in transportation and public administration, Jenny is senior planner for the Regional Planning Agency and Open Government Specialist with the City of Chattanooga. Whether planning smart, equitable transportation for the region, or making City processes and data more accessible, Jenny integrates innovative communication techniques to promote citizen engagement with government decision making.
Causa Justa :: Just Cause
Maria is the executive director of CausaJusta::JustCause, an organization that fosters racial equity by uniting working-class African- American and Latino communities. CJJC initiatives improve economic development and commit to longtime resident engagement.
McKinsey & Company
Sarah has extensive experience advising public and private sector leaders, via her current role as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and in her prior work across two city governments and three federal agencies. Sarah’s focus is transforming public sector operations to improve quality of life in cities, which she did most notably in Memphis as Team Lead for the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative.
Lindsey is a London-based urbanist and founder of Scout, an urban design consultancy with a specialization in the revitalization of underutilized spaces.She holds an MSc in City Design from the London School of Economics and B.S. in Business from the University of Southern California.
U.S. Social Security Administration
Peter is an attorney, economist and entrepreneur. He serves as a policy adviser for the U.S. Social Security Administration working on crossagency open data and information sharing collaborations. He is also founder of Condesa Union, a public interest law firm providing legal services to help Baltimore-based entrepreneurs launch their businesses.
MTA New York City Transit
Staten Island, NY
Boris is a Principal Transportation Planner working for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. His projects center on using data analysis and visualization to improve transit operations and bring new quantitative insights to transit planning. In his free time he volunteers with Transportation Alternatives in advocating for better pedestrian and bicycling conditions in New York City.
Boston Public Schools
Kim is currently the Farm to School Coordinator for Boston Public Schools (BPS). Kim has received local and national recognition as a leader in the school food movement, including the Stealth Mover and Shaker Award from School Food FOCUS. She is a Boston native and loves biking around her hometown.
William is the founder of TateSpace LLC, a social enterprise that addresses socioeconomic issues within the urban context using design. After attending Columbia University (MSAUD), he participated in Global Studio Johannesburg, where he conceived the concept for his company. To this end, community engagement has become a critical factor in his design process. William’s passion is reinterpreting historic infrastructure for modern usage in post-industrial cities.
The Nature Conservancy
Julie works for The Nature Conservancy and is passionate about re-envisioning the relationship between cities, communities, and nature. A systems and interdisciplinary thinker at heart, she loves highlighting the innovative and beautiful ways that cities can positively shape the lives of those around them. She has a Master’s of Urban Design from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and is a Senior Fellow with The Environmental Leadership Program.
Los Angeles, CA
Alissa is the urbanism editor at Gizmodo and a regular contributor to Los Angeles Magazine, Dwell, T Magazine, and the KCRW radio show DnA: Design and Architecture. She lives in a Dodger blue house in Los Angeles where she throws ice cream socials, tends to a drought-tolerant garden, and relishes life in L.A. without a car.
Kansas City, MO
Grew up rough in a tiny Midwest town. Took great pride in being the dumbest person at MIT. Started a web development shop for cities and real estate as an undergrad. Obsessed with cities and technology. Constantly curious and indescribably grateful, Jase wants to help communities everywhere.