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). Next City will soon announce the host city for the 2014 conference.
Below is a list of 2013 Vanguard members. This page will be updated with information on past Vanguard classes this winter.
Guided by her creative conscience, Kareeshma is a designer and planner, exploring the impact of the built environment on one’s physical, social, and mental welfare. Her firm beliefs on the emergence of design and community development drive her efforts in creating positive transformations and empowering communities.
The Civic Hub
Mallory is an urban designer and civic specialist. Certified by AICP, LEED, and CNU, Mallory is the founder of The Civic Hub, a civicism incubation firm blending her design and implementation skills with her passion for small towns and the community-supportive systems that help them thrive.
Stand for Children
New Orleans, LA
Westley is the New Orleans Director with Stand for Children. A native of the Big Easy, he is also a politico, builder of community capacity, financial dignity and social justice activist, LGBT rights advocate, feminist, lover of experiences, member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. AND LSU alum.
San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation
San Diego, CA
Having lived all over the U.S., Efrem currently lives in San Diego, CA and works as an Economic Development Manager with the San Diego Regional EDC. Outside of work, he is involved with a few community organizations and is an avid half-marathoner and home brewer.
City of Holland
Brian is a communications professional with more than 12 years of experience leading national public relations campaigns and community engagement programs. As a Holland (Mich.) City Councilmember, he supports urban growth through public/private partnerships and is a decisive leader with experience facilitating dialogue between community advocates and business.
Living Walls: The City Speaks
Monica, a native of Peru based in Atlanta, GA is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Living Walls: The City Speaks, Inc. Living Walls is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote, educate and change perspectives toward our public space in our communities via street art.
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Matthew is an architect, planner and policy maker. He works for New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the largest funder of culture in America, managing the city’s cultural building projects. Matthew is a former board member of the AIA/NY and is on the Young Urbanists Council at the Municipal Art Society.
After graduating with a Masters in Architecture, Michael moved to Cleveland to work on a variety of urban redevelopment projects throughout the United States, affording him a deep appreciation for the urban environment and how people engage with it. When Michael is not in his office at Vocon, he is immersed in a variety of initiatives to leverage Cleveland’s assets and creative efforts into tangible results.
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Jason is a professional place lover for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He’s fascinated by everything urban – an obsession he blames Sim City for. A perfect day equals his camera, a bike, and someplace rusty. Ultimate goal is to open a coffee shop. Motto (thanks to Austin upbringing): Always keep it weird.
Stephen works to reduce our use of automobiles both to limit environmental impact and promote city living. You might call him a transit geek, but geek is just another word for someone who is passionate about something. Always outgoing, Stephen wants to hear about what makes you a geek.
Ennis Armon Davis
Davis Planning & Design, LLC.
Ennis of Jacksonville, FL has over a decade of professional experience in the fields of architecture and urban planning. A Certified Planner, Ennis is currently an independent consultant/proprietor of Davis Planning & Design, LLC., published author, and co-founder of urban advocacy groups, Metro Jacksonville and Transform Jax.
City of Salisbury
Jake Day, Assoc. AIA is President of the City Council for his hometown – Salisbury, MD. Jake is an urban designer and an Army Cavalry officer. He served as founding director of the Center for Towns community design program and is a graduate of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon and Oxford universities.
Boston Children’s Museum
Megan is an experience designer who partners with individuals and groups to create immersive, intergenerational spaces that leave lasting impressions on communities. In the past ten years at the Boston Children’s Museum, Megan’s playful projects have included Boston’s Longest Dinner Table, a three-month community project focused on family dinner, and GoKids in Boston Neighborhoods, a health and nutrition project co-designed by Boston Housing Authority family development tenants.
Levien & Company
New York, NY
Kimberly is an innovator, connector and change agent. Trained and licensed as an architect, she uses design as a tool for positive change in the urban built environment to create stronger communities. This ambition was born from Kimberly’s childhood in Detroit and has been cultivated by professional experience in D.C. and New York City.
Smart Growth America
Alex works at the intersection of digital strategy, public policy and urban planning. As Online Communications Manager at Smart Growth America, she brings federal urban planning issues to the widest possible audience. Alex grew up in northern New Jersey’s mid-century suburbs and aspires to be a full time flaneur.
The American Assembly
New York, NY
Cities program, where he is leading the creation of a national legacy cities network. He is also Co-Director of Cairo from Below, an international collaborative encouraging more inclusive and transparent urban planning in Cairo, Egypt. His background includes policy and architecture.
MTA New York City Transit
New York, NY
Jules is Chief Recovery and Resiliency Officer in the Department of Subways at New York City Transit, helping lead extensive post-Superstorm Sandy repairs and system strengthening investments. Jules is also a board member of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.
Joe graduated from the University of Cincinnati with an Electrical Engineering degree and worked for nine years as an Strategy Consultant at Accenture. During this time he helped to create and grow Give Back Cincinnati. A serial social entrepreneur, Joe has helped grow or launch several initiates, such as Fall Feast, Paint the Town, Fuel, Lily Pad, and UGIVE.ORG. He is now the President and CEO for Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest continuously operating public market.
Code for America
San Francisco, CA
Lou is an urban designer from San Francisco and a fellow at Code for America, currently working with the City of Las Vegas on improving economic development and citizen engagement through technology. He is the project lead on Streetmix, an interactive street section creator.
Nicole Hudson Hollway
St. Louis Beacon
Glen Carbon, IL
Nicole, general manager of the St. Louis Beacon, has spent her career applying digital strategy in industries ranging from Broadway to finance. She is a co-founder of St. Louis for the Love, a group that organizes the love focused on this dynamic and innovative city.
California Strategic Growth Council/Office of the Governor
Allison Joe, AICP, is the Deputy Director of the California Strategic Growth Council. She works with regional and local governments to create livable and vibrant communities, translating state policies and more-complicated-than-necessary words into implementable places. She is also a member of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.
Arizona State University
Aaron holds a B.S. in Design from Arizona State University and an M.A. in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. Currently, as Assistant Director of Community Engagement with ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, he is committed to redeveloping the Phoenix Metro Area through project coordination of research and to promoting continued education through workshops and outreach events.
Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative
David is the Associate Director at Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC), where he wears a number of hats and the occasional bear suit. Through professional practice and teaching in the graduate curriculum, David’s research explores temporary urban activation, vacant land reuse and public engagement strategies.
Community Solutions/Brownsville Partnership
Quardean, M.ARCH Candidate at Harvard, is a designer, a community planning and youth creativity advocate, and a global citizen from Brownsville. With an affinity for placemaking, he thrives to empower residents of all ages to positively impact their physical environment and hopes to contribute tools necessary to do so through the Made In Brownsville incubation project.
Detroit Future City
Dan is the Executive Director of Detroit Future City (DFC), a comprehensive strategic framework to guide decision-making and investment in Detroit. Dan – who is also the Founding Principal of Allied Design and Urbanism – leads a dynamic team of urban experts fulfilling ongoing civic engagement, regulatory changes, and implementation pilot projects throughout the city.
Partnership for Downtown St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Rosa works for the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis in economic development and has been heavily involved with the coworking movement. She moved to St. Louis from New York and has loved what this rust belt city has to offer.
Daniel is a founder of Fundrise, a real estate equity crowdfunding platform, and co-founder of Popularise, a real estate crowdsourcing website. Daniel is also Managing Partner of WestMill Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate development company.
Strong Cities, Strong Communities
Dekonti is a fellow with the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative in Detroit. Her role includes improving operational efficiency of the City’s law department and streamlining the City’s demolition process. Prior, Dekonti worked on revitalization and regional investment projects in the United Kingdom, Iraq and Zambia.
City of Vancouver
Kevin serves as Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Director of Policy and Communications, where he oversees short- and long-term strategic planning on a wide variety of policy initiatives. Kevin has a Masters in Urban Studies from Simon Fraser University, with a focus on community economic development. He likes karaoke and has thick glasses.
Adam Rosa, AICP is a Senior Associate for the Chicago-based urban planning firm, Camiros, Ltd. In his work with communities from Buffalo to Honolulu (and everywhere in between), Adam continuously strives to generate creative planning and urban design concepts that capture the culture, spirit and potential of the local community.
Queens Museum of Art
Prerana is the Director of Public Events at the Queens Museum of Art in N.Y.C., where she oversees the Museum’s community engagement and public art initiatives. Working with a full-time community organizer, she combines arts and culture with social development goals in nearby neighborhoods, predominately comprised of new immigrants.
Sustainable Community Associates
After graduating from Oberlin College, Josh, along with two college classmates, started a development firm, Sustainable Community Associates, which recently completed the award winning, mixed-use and mixed-income East College Street project in Oberlin, Ohio. His latest endeavor is the re-development of an abandoned 106,000 square foot Creamery building near downtown Cleveland.
City of Fort Worth
Fort Worth, TX
Keome (pronounced Key-men) serves as the assistant to Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. He manages the mayor’s community initiatives which include FitWorth: A Healthy City Initiative, Sparc! Afterschool, the Mayor’s Faith Leaders Cabinet and the young professional leadership development program, SteerFW.
Durham Urban Innovation Center
Wanona is Project Manager for the Durham Urban Innovation Center, a top 20 finalist in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Innovation Challenge. With a Masters of Landscape Architecture and a Masters of Community Planning, Wanona’s role is to creatively solve problems in our inner city communities. In addition, she is certified through the National Development Council as an Economic Development Finance Professional.
The Brookings Institution
As a researcher at the Brookings Institution, Patrick works with mayors, governors, federal officials, and Fortune 500 corporations to develop innovative infrastructure financing tools. Prior to Brookings, he was a consultant to the Clinton Global Initiative focusing on clean fuel and transportation projects. Patrick’s background includes venture capital and philanthropy.
Jessy Kate Schingler
The Embassy Network
San Francisco, CA
Jessy is developing urban community housing for creatives and modern nomads. Her organization, The Embassy Network, is prototyping software tools and real estate development approaches to support high density, collaborative, shared housing environments, and providing a new way to look at our relationship to ‘home.’
Salt Lake City Corporation
Salt Lake City, UT
Eric has spent most of his career working on issues of equitable development and engagement. Through his work in the public sector and philanthropy, Eric has addressed the unique needs of Salt Lake City and communities in Louisiana, Washington D.C., Miami, and Silicon Valley.
City of Fargo
Melissa is proud to serve the City of Fargo, N.D. through non-profit and government work. She was elected to the City Commission in June 2012 as the only woman and the youngest member. She also works as the Director of Agency & Client Services for the Great Plains Food Bank.
Downtown Denver Partnership
Ryan is a landscape architect and urban designer focused on the creative use and activation of public spaces in downtown Denver. He is passionate about ways to better consider our streets as part of a vibrant public space network. He has lived and worked in the Midwest, California and Colorado.
Team Northeast Ohio
Jenny is an economic development professional and community organizer. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Jenny returned to her hometown in 2007 after pursuing a Public Policy degree and spending two years in South America as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer. Jenny is active in her Cleveland neighborhood of Detroit-Shoreway.
Envision da Berry
New Iberia, LA
Creative Director for non-profit Envision da Berry, Phanat is working to improve his small rural Louisiana hometown community through creativity, big ideas and bold vision. His projects are interdisciplinary, combining architecture, urban design, landscape, public art, media and performing arts. Phanat constructs transformative synergies through design, art, research and activism.
Cecelia, Director of Projects for Action Greensboro, directs synerG, an initiative to attract and retain young professionals to Greensboro. She also markets and programs Center City Park, the Downtown Greenway and Opportunity Greensboro, a collaboration of business and higher education leaders. In addition, Cecelia works on Center City Enhancement plans.