As the New Bedford Fellow for MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI), Jim works with local partners to advance economic development priorities within a strategic downtown area. “Creating new connections out of the mix of conversations and projects I have the pleasure to be a part of is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work,” says Jim.
What do you do professionally?
As the New Bedford Fellow for MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) I work with local partners to advance economic development priorities within a strategic downtown area. TDI activates all the tools MassDevelopment offers, from financing, to community development programs, to real estate services, as well as providing new tools in the form of small grants and technical assistance. It is my job to coordinate these resources with the local businesses, organizations, and institutions who are leading downtown revitalization efforts, and support the growth and development of collaborative groups that can sustain them. My work ranges from small place-based interventions and public art projects to assisting with larger development objectives.
How are you involved in the community and what motivates you to engage?
All of my work happens through local partnerships, requiring close collaboration and listening to the needs and concerns of the broader community. I have the honor to work closely with a variety of local champions, including many of the engaged citizens, artists, businesses, city officials, and others who are leading positive change in the city. TDI strives to be a close community partner, to respond to the local community with creative and flexible programs. Creating new connections out of the mix of conversations and projects I have the pleasure to be a part of is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work.
What did you find most valuable about the LSC experience and how did it contribute to your community leadership?
I was impressed with the thoughtful and balanced approach that LSC uses to combine skill building and leadership training with an immersion into the issues and challenges confronting the South Coast today. But particularly valuable were the new connections and friends I made among my cohort and the broader LSC community. The talent and dedication I experienced among LSC alums and affiliates is nothing short of astonishing, and bringing seasoned and emerging leaders together over issues that matter most to the growth and health of the region is essential work. I am grateful to have been a part of it.
Describe your leadership in one word.