My name is Dave, I’m a Master of Community Planning and I have had the distinct privilege to do some really cool things in the past several years since getting to Cincinnati. Before I get into that though, let me tell you a bit more about myself.
I was born in Youngstown, OH to a wonderful set of parents that raised me in Columbiana, OH. Columbiana is a small town south of Youngstown that achieve city status right as I moved out for college. Columbiana has an interesting history as a small town and, for a long time, a movie theatre. My father, David Sr., a former mayor of Columbiana, still lives there with my mom.
I’m an avid fan of video games
and I sometimes wish that someone would re-release the NES from 1985 so that I could go back to playing Mario and the Duck Tales game all the time–they are certainly very different from the unrelenting violence and fast-action-pace of today’s video games. As of 2020, the NES Classic was released and the Ducktales game was remastered and released for modern consoles. I find myself wondering, if my nostalgia doesn’t amount to a rosy perception of what was otherwise swept up in the progress of technology. If that is the case then perhaps, I should appreciate each decade of games the same way we appreciate change in the decades of film or music.
Beyond video games, I am a homebrewer and enjoy making my own beer and cider–not for the alcoholic content but for the science and experimentation that it allows. I’m usually working on an IPA or a Porter recipe.
As for Cincinnati, I’ve been here for a decade. In that time, I’ve worked for a non-profit that I loved and a city that kind of reminded me of home, worked for the Associate Dean of Research in DAAP on a number of design and planning collaborations and projects, and found some of the best professional peers and friends anyone could ask for. I took some classes at UC that contributed toward a PhD in Regional Planning and Development, something I became interested in after completing a thesis on the problems of economic development at a local scale without deference and caution given to regional trends and decisions.
In 2011 I completed a few contributions to a project for the EPA that focused on environmental, social, and economic guidelines for sustainability. The project was interesting, but more importantly, I found a particular fondness for the way in which Kentucky does economic development and planning in general. I firmly believe that the District Development model that Kentucky utilizes is something that may be an example of how things could be done differently in Ohio. Not because they usurp power from local governments but because leaders in Kentucky had the foresight to understand that economic development cannot be done alone or without consultation with other places nearby. The zero-sum game that results from such activity continues to hurt Ohio, especially Youngstown, as cities cherry pick strong businesses from one area to the next over economic development incentives.
In 2013 I started a job with the Northern Kentucky Area Development District and had the opportunity to be involved in a number of interested and exciting projects. In my role as a Public Administration/Community Development Specialist I’ve gotten to work with cities to provide public administration and planning support. The most rewarding thing about my job is the variety of work I get to do and the fast pace at which projects and problems come. I’m never bored at work, I’m always busy. After two years there I became the loan fund manager for the EDA Small Business Revolving Loan fund. I learned a ton about financing as well as small business development and job creation.
From 2016 to 2020 I worked for Hamilton County, Ohio as a Program Manager. I’ve gotten to apply everything I learned about CDBG and Revolving Loan Funds to the work of the Community Development Office. I also work on programs to assist disabled renters and people who have trouble with their water and sewer lines with low/moderate income.
I currently work for the Early Intervention Program in the Emergency Medicine Department of the College of Medicine within the University of Cincinnati. In the nearly three years I was there we helped deliver COVID testing to the community and the campus alongside our regular intervention programs and research. Now I’ve completed half of a Masters of Health Informatics and I’m leaving UC to work for Ohio State University in July of 2022.