Meet the Contributors
Kevin is a legislative performance auditor and political risk analyst in Denver, Colorado. He was formerly a product manager for an online budget simulator at a civic engagement consultancy, and has conducted research, run the operations of a solar energy startup, and worked on grassroots development/social entrepreneurship across West Africa.
Omaha, Nebraska native, Dan Bagley, moved to Raleigh North Carolina in 2006 with his wife and NC State Lecturer Kate Lavia-Bagley. He received his undergrad in Recreation Education and Masters in Recreation Administration from the University of Nebraska. Over the past eight years, Dan worked as the Director of Green Road Community Center where he developed numerous programs for the community and surrounding areas. He also worked with many nonprofit agencies at that time such as the Boys and Girls club and Wake County Health and Human Services. In February 2014, he took a new position with the City of Raleigh’s Housing and Neighborhood Division as a Community Services Specialist where he has a passion for connecting and building strong communities. In 2008, Kate and Dan’s family grew when their triplets Emilia, Quinn and Grace were born. Their son, Quinn, who has Hydrocephalus and Cerebral Palsy, inspired Dan and Kate to start their own organization in 2011 called Beyond Special Needs. It allows families with special needs children to share stories and ask questions, share or sell used equipment, and find therapists to help their children in every possible way. Dan very much looks forward to continuing his work in community development!
Correspondent with the Fayetteville Observer, Former Communications Chairperson for the Fayetteville Branch NAACP; MPA from Walden University 2010; Magnanimity Documentary Director; and a professional photographer
Brian Bowman is an instructor at Campbell University in the field of Converged Media and Journalism. His classes emphasize storytelling as a steadfast component of communication.
Bowman was a news reporter at WRAL and WNCT for several years prior to managing public relations efforts for two North Carolina municipalities.
He is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and Campbell University.
Emily Edmonds currently serves as the Extension & Outreach Program Manager for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, a partnership of North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
She holds an MPA from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in local and regional food systems and economic development through a variety of projects across the East Coast.
More about her work with food system economic development is available at www.ncgrowingtogether.org.
Cate Elander is a Program Manager at MDC, supporting the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Great Expectations initiative. She is identifying best practice and emerging research in the early childhood field to inform the initiative’s strategy, and helping shape a family engagement strategy that brings family voice to the center of systems change work in Winston Salem and Forsyth County. Cate most recently managed outreach and community-based programming at the East Durham Children’s Initiative, and has 10 years of experience supporting community engagement with place-based community development initiatives in Durham, Delaware, and New York City.
Traci M. Ethridge
Traci Ethridge is the assistant director of Corporate Communications & Marketing for the City of Charlotte. Having worked for the city since 2006, she has been involved in many key initiatives, one of those being an effort to enhance engagement between local government and the community.
Traci has extensive experience in the communications field and has worked with non-profits and government agencies in both Virginia and North Carolina.
Katy Harriger, is Professor and Chair of the Politics and International Affairs Department, at Wake Forest University (WFU). Katy teaches in the American politics field and does research on the civic engagement of young people, with a particular interest in deliberative dialogue. Katy has organized deliberations with community groups in Winston-Salem and student participants at WFU.
I am Stephen Hopkins; I’m a 58 years old single father living in Durham North Carolina. I was born here and love the County and city of Durham. I have served on several city boards and have been a community leader for many years. I was a member of the Durham Housing Authority Board, Durham Housing Appeals Board and the Durham Homeless Serves Advisory Committee. I’ve held community leadership positions as PAC 1 Co-Facilitator, Durham’s NAACP Housing Chair, Few Gardens Resident Council President, The Old Five Point Neighborhood President, Co-Facilitator for the Campaign for Safe, Decent and Affordable Housing and the Northeast Central Durham Leadership Council.
I have worked as a community organizer for the past 22years. I’ve worked as a organizer for the Durham Housing Authority and then for Durham Affordable Housing Coalition. I worked as a property manager for Moe Geo LLC and RDC Construction.
I believe I have some ideals about community engagement and what it means to low income communities that might help with some of the issues facing communities all across North Carolina today.
Catherine Lazorko is Communications Manager for Town of Chapel Hill, NC, with interests in new content creation, strategic planning, and partnerships. She is the former communications director for NC State University College of Design and UNC School of Information and Library Science and also formerly a newspaper reporter including El Paso Times. She is President-elect of the NC City & County Communicators. She is also a Philadelphia native, marathoner, optimist, and creative doer.
Beth McKee-Huger is a deacon in the Episcopal Church, ordained to lead the church in serving people in need. She has a Master’s in Social Work and has focused on affordable housing since 1988, as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity, Mary’s House, and Greensboro Housing Coalition.
Now “retired,” she grows vegetables for the Greensboro Farmers Market and continues to advocate for our community to offer opportunities for everyone to have a good place to live.
I’m an associate professor of public administration and government at the UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill, NC. My research, teaching, and consulting focuses on collaborative governance, community engagement, and public leadership. I am particularly interested in citizens academies and other efforts to build capacity for effective community engagement. Follow me on Twitter @MorseSOG.
I work with NC public officials on public participation, collaboration, negotiation and public dispute resolution. I teach MPA students in mediation and facilitation. I am eager to listen carefully to “regular citizens” views on their public participation experiences, and see how we can learn from one another. One “practical guide” that I co-wrote with two School of Government colleagues is: Public Outreach and Participation
Melody Warnick is the author of This Is Where You Belong (Viking, 2016), a book about what makes people love the towns where they live, and why it matters. She lives in Blacksburg, Virginia. For more about Melody and her work, see http://melodywarnick.com
Jennifer Phillips is the Community Participation Coordinator for the Town of Chapel Hill. She enjoys helping organizations think strategically about how to engage the public in planning, programs and special events. Jennifer believes that broad public participation leads to better decision making and improved outcomes for both organizations and the people they serve.
Jennifer has over 10 years of experience in community engagement, project design, management and evaluation gained by supporting organizations in the USA, UK, Ukraine and Jordan.
Kevin A. Smith is a native of Laurinburg, North Carolina. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Kevin dedicated himself to public service, and has worked in a variety of capacities with a focus on customer service.
Currently, Kevin is working for the City of Raleigh in the Housing and Neighborhoods Department. Kevin’s day-to-day focus is on citizen capacity building, leadership training and asset based community development for the city of Raleigh. Kevin’s efforts to build strong neighborhoods have been featured in local and national publications.
Beyond professional work, Kevin has served on a number of boards including, Wheels 4 Hope, Mr. Robbins Neighborhood. Kevin is married to Jamila Mendez Smith, and they have two children, Makeda and Khalif. Kevin currently resides in Garner, NC.
Actively involved in civic engagement; enrolled in the MALS program at NCSU. Focusing on Community/Economic Development with an emphasis on housing policy. Most of my research is centered on the impact fair and affordable housing policy has on socioeconomic equity at the federal, state and local level.