Building on successes from the past year means that NeighborWorks America is not starting the new year saying, "out with the old." But NeighborWorks' senior leaders also have lots of new goals and ideas for the year ahead.
Katie Watts, senior vice president of Field Operations
"One thing we're focused on in the year ahead is leaning into our strengths. That means investing in small pilots and ideas at a regional level and then doing a better job about sharing. What did we learn? How do we connect and uplift so other organizations can learn from the investments we've made? We're trying to increase peer connections across the network even more, so we can all get the most out of what we're learning. Some of those areas include technology and supporting organizations with race, equity, diversity and inclusion (REDI).
"We will also be focusing on organizational resilience and business continuity planning, looking at what we've learned from the pandemic and how we can prepare for the next major disruption, which will come sooner than any of us wants."
Douglas Sessions, senior vice president of Training
"We've set ambitious goals for the year ahead, including working to update our tools and systems to continue to provide the best customer learning experience possible. We've converted even more of our course catalog and new offerings to in-person and online modes of delivery and have brought in sponsors to continue to offer fully subsidized scholarships and discounted tuition. And we're adding new voices to our learning and training, while meeting our customers where they are at in their learning journey."
Lisa Getter, vice president of National Real Estate Programs
"In terms of 2023, National Real Estate Programs sees an opportunity to evaluate several of our real estate-focused programs. The goal of the exercise will be to ensure that our programs, such as Portfolio Strengthening, Business Strengthening, and the Rental Growth Cohort, are optimally designed to position us to maximize our ability to meet the current needs of our diverse network of developers. In an environment that is delivering significant capital, operating and development cost challenges, NeighborWorks America's ability to maximize our support of network developers will be critical. Identifying how we can better layer and sync our work and resources with the work and resources of other NeighborWorks America divisions and our capital corporations will be a big part of the exercise. The new year will be about tweaking and/or pivoting, in order to maximize impact with our available financial and human capital resources during these challenging times for communities and the network's affordable housing developers."
Mel Willie, director of Native Partnerships and Strategies
"The hope is to launch a virtual learning series in 2023 to share the best practices and lessons learned directly from NeighborWorks network organizations who were funded in 2021 and 2022. By sharing direct examples from our network organizations, we can overcome the stigma and fear that other organizations may feel when engaging with tribal communities. This series will be available to both network organizations and NeighborWorks staff."