This is a guest post by Jess Junke, Neighborhood Partnerships’ new Director of Economic Opportunity.
When I first started at Neighborhood Partnerships (NP) three years ago, I put a Post-it note above my desk that said: “I am thankful for the many challenges that enable me to grow.” I still look at that sun-faded piece of paper whenever a particularly difficult knot crosses my desk. It reminds me there is a silver lining to any challenge. When we’re able to rely on each other to untie the toughest knots, growth is that much more impactful.
With that in mind, I’m honored to announce I will continue my journey with Neighborhood Partnerships in a new leadership role as the Director of Economic Opportunity. Karie Herrlinger, our deputy director and former IDA manager, will continue to work with me and provide oversight and guidance for the IDA Initiative.
I am grateful for the experience I’ve been privileged to have thus far and energized by our collective passion for building strong pathways to opportunity for everyone in our communities. I’m looking forward to working for the same purpose in a different role through a systemic, collaborative approach. I welcome the intense learning and challenges that will come with this transition at NP.
In this new role, I will lead the IDA team in focusing on Initiative-wide issues of scale. I first look forward to a successful 2015 legislative session that will hopefully lead to a renewal of the 75% Tax Credit and a budgetary increase for the Initiative. I will examine our existing structures — keeping what works and finding solutions to what doesn’t. I’ll learn from other organization’s best practices and explore new technologies to enhance the delivery of IDAs for all of our diverse communities across the state. I will build new partnerships and strengthen our existing Initiative relationships. Together, we’ll explore other asset building strategies that are finding success across the country and examine the feasibility of bringing them to Oregon.
To put it lightly, I am feeling pretty stoked about this opportunity.
I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all of our great partners, and I sincerely thank each and every one of you for sticking with NP and contributing to our collective growth. We will face more knots together. But I truly believe the strongest, most lasting solutions will be found if we continue to work together in a spirit of partnership and collaboration.