Category Archives: Portfolio

ASU MLFTC

Principled Innovation

JDD Specialties has contributed editing and writing technical assistance to the ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College’s principled innovation initiative since 2018. That work continues in 2020 with heavy support of a variety of storytelling projects that accelerate awareness and understanding of principled innovation.

Artistic intellectual

Painting with beads

This personality profile about Marlena Robbins is about how she puts all of herself into her work. And there is so much to the person that she is. She is an artist with a keen intellect and a biding respect for indigenous culture. (The article appeared in the holiday 2019 issue of The Red Book magazine.

(Photos by Tina Celle.)

 

IEDC article

IEDC Economic Development Journal

JDD Specialties helped meet the quick-turnaround challenge of producing a double-byline journal article for an International Economic Development Council publication. In about 10 days, a barebones outline about LISC-inspired inclusive prosperity efforts in Indianapolis became a crisp, readable 2,500-word article co-authored by Elizabeth Demetriou, national director for economic development at LISC, and Emily Scott, economic development program officer at LISC Indianapolis. Four years of writing articles for LISC Phoenix helped prepare JDD Specialties for this project.

Outstanding graduates

ASU Watts College

ASU Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions assigned to me a project that made my heart sing. I wrote profiles of the six outstanding graduates for Spring semester 2019. Jennifer Harrison, Kelly Walsh, Josh Loescher, Aly Perkins, Katharine Leigh Brown and Joanna Williams are phenomenal students and exceptional human beings.

 

 

2018-19 Phx Arts Heroes

(Photo credit: Howard Paley)

Leaving legacies

ON Media celebrated the third year of its Arts Hero program in Phoenix. (It conducts the same program in Tucson.) This has become one of my favorite annual projects because of all the talented and extraordinarily decent people I meet.

Fran Cohen Smith, a champion of modern dance in Arizona and a driving force behind Wolf Trap, an arts-integrated, early-child-learning program, was one of my favorite interviews of the 2018-19 season. We laughed and talked for hours at First Draft. Her profile appeared in March programs at Valley venues, about two months before she died at 87. Fran was seen dancing on stage with children just weeks before she died.

(Photo credit: Howard Paley)

 

Project DreamCatcher

Empowering Native American women

The third cohort of Native American businesswomen completed the Project DreamCatcher program in May 2019. Project DreamCatcher is funded by Freeport-McMoRan and implemented by the Thunderbird School of Global Management. The article about the program and its commencement ceremony was posted to the Thunderbird Knowledge Network website, which receives content support from Castelazo Content.

People-first development

Strong Towns’ guru speaks

Editor’s note: Charles Marohn, founder and president of Strong Towns, shared thoughts about Phoenix-area development during a 2018 visit. This article was written for LISC Phoenix, one of the sponsors of Marohn’s visit.

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” — Jane Jacobs, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”

The definition of insanity, the adage goes, is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Charles Marohn, founder and president of Strong Towns, argues that current development patterns force people, especially those in the Southwest, to live some variation of Crazytown, USA.

The horizontal expansion development patterns we see today make life unnecessarily difficult for some residents and are not sustainable long-term, Marohn said. Cities and towns can’t afford the post-World War II, automobile-centric, sprawl development pattern seen coast to coast, he said.

“You’re in a dysfunctional system designed to do a dysfunctional thing over and over again,” Marohn said.

“Phoenix, the state of Arizona, a lot of the Southwest, is designed to grow in a very certain, specific way. … Not only is the landscape perfectly adapted to that, but the structures that we’ve created — socially, politically, culturally, economically — are perfectly aligned to do that,” he said.

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Act One

Making the case

“This is who we are. This is what we do. This is why it matters.”

Geri Wright, president and CEO of Act One

JDD Specialties prepared a case statement for the Act One Field Trip Program that told the story of the Phoenix-based nonprofit. Act One removes financial and logistical barriers to ensuring students in Title I schools have an arts-related field trip experience.

 

Communities on the Line

A new series for LISC Phoenix

In 2015, LISC Phoenix added an economic development component to its strategic plan to revitalize neighborhoods. In 2016, the nonprofit identified four corridors along the Valley Metro light rail line that could benefit from LISC-style comprehensive economic development efforts. In 2017, LISC Phoenix, with the help of JDD Specialties, will highlight the challenges, opportunities and successes of those corridors through a series called, Communities on the Line. 

Valor on Eighth marshals resources, inspires hope for veterans

LISC and Kiva help local shop owners gain critical access to capital

Affordable loan opportunities growing from LISC partners

LISC push on economic development strikes a chord

Long-awaited redevelopment heating up in Apache Blvd. corridor

Creative economic development efforts grow success in downtown Mesa

Bazaar days make a world of difference at 19th Ave. and Camelback

Mesa Artspace Lofts will have good bones

‘Happy City’ author urges push for safe, healthy transportation corridors

With new clinic, MPHC no longer hidden treasure in Tempe

There’s more than meets the eye on West Camelback Road

Visitor center enriches public understanding of indigenous people

NAC combines power of housing first and TOD at Camelback Pointe

A second chance for McDowell Road’s Miracle Mile

 

LISC CEO’s message

Maurice Jones gets to the heart of matters

The president and CEO of LISC, a champion of inclusive economic development, was the featured guest at the LISC Phoenix annual breakfast and awards ceremony on Nov. 1.

“Sometimes in our work we get caught up in what’s the capital stack that we need, where does philanthropy play, where do banks play, where does local government play, where do we play,” Maurice Jones said. “The real issue is do I see the face of my daughter in that homeless guy. …The most important muscle in the work that we’re talking about now is the heart. It’s not the other stuff. We know how to do it. It’s whether we have the heart to do it.”

 

 

The Red Book Magazine

‘Leap for Joy’

The Red Book, a resource for those involved in the social and philanthropic community, and azredbook.com launched a new magazine. The Red Book Magazine will have a single focus. The premier issue published in September 2017 focused on the arts. JDD Specialties was honored to write a feature, “Leap for Joy,” for the first issue of The Red Book Magazine

 

Community development

A focus on urban living

JDD Specialties has expertise writing about community development, urban design and sustainable communities. An article for LISC Phoenix that recaps “Happy City” author Charles Montgomery’s May 2017 visit to the Valley of the Sun is an example of that work.

South Central Extension

Disseminating information

There are many stories to be told about the 5.5 mile South Central Extension of the Valley Metro light-rail system. An article about a Ford Foundation workshop on equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) for the underserved South Central corridor is the first of many articles JDD Specialties will write about the $700 million public transportation infrastructure project and its impact on residents and businesses.

South Central route

LISC Phoenix

Writing and editing services

JDD Specialties has a consultant’s contract with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to do writing and editing services for its Phoenix office. LISC Phoenix’s primary initiative is “Our Future is on the Line,” which helps advance economic development and neighborhood revitalization along the Valley’s light-rail route. The nonprofit is a key player in creative placemaking and transit-oriented development.

Green Living article

Benelli Arizona_Republic_20150829_A01_0

Vitalyst Health Foundation

Advancing public discussions

Policy primers and briefing papers produced by Vitalyst, formerly St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, contribute to public discussions about improving Arizona’s health-care infrastructure. JDD Specialties provided writing and editing services that led to publication of “Fired Up: Community Paramedicine Models Blaze a Trail for Healthcare Delivery Reform,”  “Community, Health, Savings: The Power of Community Health Workers in an Evolving Healthcare System” and “Connecting the Dots: A Healthy Community Leader’s Guide to Understanding Hospital Community Benefit Requirements.”

Wildlife center rescue

Championing a cause

JDD Specialties helped the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust with a multipronged effort to promote public support for the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center whose 22-year existence is threatened by a new neighbor’s complaints. Preserving endangered Mexican gray wolves is among the accredited sanctuary’s noble deeds. JDD Specialties wrote the Pulliam Trust news release that informed media coverage of the issue; a guest column that provided some inspiration for an editorial and an “advertorial” that encouraged donations to the center.(Photo by Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.)

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Native American center

Promoting cultural connections

LISC Phoenix was among the early supporters of a plan to turn the historic music building at Steele Indian School Park into a Native American cultural center. LISC Phoenix executive director Terry Benelli said the renovated center could be one of the region’s best examples of creative placemaking with cultural emphasis.

Arizona Health Futures

Reporting on public policy

JDD Specialties applies journalism skills to help clients explain complex issues, such as this Vitalyst Health Foundation policy primer on the community paramedicine component of mobile integrated healthcare. The February 2016 report required interviews with several leaders of Arizona fire departments and districts. Additional profiles on Arizona fire-service based community paramedicine programs will be posted on the Vitalyst website.