I am a graduate of St. Mary’s College with a master’s degree in organizational leadership. I also have a BA in Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary studies from San Francisco State University.
I am the former Executive Director of the Richmond Main Street, Initiative in Richmond, California where I was responsible for managing and supervising the activities, operations and services of the organization; developing strategies for enhancing the downtown economy; establishing working relationships with the community, city and county government; and maintaining ongoing collaborative relationships with community agencies. I was responsible for producing large-scale community arts and entertainment events; and worked with the Main Street board and staff to cultivate relationships with foundations, corporations and individual donors and sponsors. In 2012, I worked with key stakeholders to develop an outreach strategy to implement the first and only Property Business Improvement District in the City of Richmond and West Contra Costa County which was renewed in 2017 and has leveraged over $200 million dollars in public and private investments providing sustained funding for the organization through 2022. I am most proud of my collaborative work with partners to fill a long-standing vacancy at the Richmond BART garage on Macdonald Avenue with a new co-working business incubator, coffee shop, and restaurant.
I have worked for a number of non-profit organizations including the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, and the University of California, Berkeley Department of Dramatic Art. I also worked as program assistant at KQED (TV) and KOFY/TV20. I completed a news internship at KPFA public radio in Berkeley and worked as a volunteer reporter and co-host of a public affairs program.
I am the recipient of community service awards from the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Black American Political Action Committee and Full Vision Arts Foundation. I am an Economic Development Commissioner for the City of Richmond and a former board member of the Community Housing Development Corporation and the California Main Street Alliance. I also served on the steering committee for the California Endowment Building Healthy Communities 10-year Initiative. I have two adult daughters and one granddaughter. I am a singer and songwriter who occasionally can be found singing at Bay Area events with my husband, educator, pianist and songwriter Terence Elliott.