Neighborhood Allies continues to build bench strength and expand our expertise in Neighborhood Planning and Community Organizing: Welcome to the Team, Demi Kolke and Glenn Grayson Jr.!2 Comments
Neighborhood Allies is honored to announce the addition of two new team members. Please join us in welcoming Demi Kolke, our new Senior Program Manager of Corridor Revitalization and Glenn Grayson, Jr., our new Senior Program Manager for Neighborhood Development!
After an extensive search involving an unparalleled talent pool, Demi and Glenn quickly rose to the top. Both equally impressive, they offer unique talent sets that strengthens our internal capacity to further execute on our Neighborhood Level Strategies.
Demi joins our team as the Senior Program Manager of Corridor Revitalization. In her role, Demi will work alongside community-based organizations and partners to implement strategies that enhance neighborhood business districts through small business support, marketing and events, create a long-term strategic approach to achieving equitable economic growth results in our neighborhoods of focus, assist communities in securing funding for neighborhood economic development initiatives, and more. Demi’s first major project will involve the implementation of our neighborhood level strategies on the ground in Homewood, focusing specifically on deploying resources and capital to the N. Homewood Avenue Business Corridor and supporting the N. Homewood Avenue Transformation Initiative. This work is supported by a recent two-year $500,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Overall, Demi is charged with executing visible and impactful projects that revitalize businesses and commercial corridors in our target neighborhoods.
Prior to joining the Neighborhood Allies team, Demi served as the Senior Planner/Neighborhood Planner for the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning, as well as the Project Manager for the Homewood Comprehensive Community Plan. In this role, she facilitated connections between developers and neighborhood groups, ensuring that communities were involved in zoning and development matters, specifically on the East End of the City. Before her role at the City, Demi served as the Community Development Manager and Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP) Manager for Operation Better Block, Inc., a non-profit based in Homewood. After developing and leading the effort to complete the first community-wide land use plan in decades, Demi wrote and then managed the $2.7 million grant for implementing the resident-driven cluster plan for Homewood with a focus on identifying, securing and coordinating development activities. She also co-authored a community development “how-to manual” that has created the foundation for OBB’s data-driven services.
Demi graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from North Dakota State University and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.
Glenn Grayson, Jr.
Glenn joins our team as Senior Program Manager for Neighborhood Development. In his role, he will support our efforts to advance policies and build strong community partnerships through a focused lens of equitable development, as well as support the planning, research analysis, data management, advocacy, organizing and evaluation efforts to advance the policy and program agenda of the All-In Pittsburgh Equitable Development Collaborative. His position also includes seeking solutions to accelerate and scale the efforts of community-based organizations and multi-sector collaborations to raise, leverage and absorb capital towards equitable neighborhood development initiatives, and more. Overall, Glenn’s role will support internal strategies around community participation and equitable development.
Prior to joining the Neighborhood Allies team, Glenn was the Lead Community Organizer for One Pennsylvania. Glenn brings over 10 years of community development and engagement experience to Neighborhood Allies, along with a personal passion and an unwavering commitment to improve the communities that we serve. He is also a civic leader in his community, where he serves as the community representative on the Lower Hill Executive Committee, the Board Chairman of the Jeron X. Grayson Foundation, a Community Advocate on the PWSA Low Income Assistance Advisory Committee, and a member of the US Water Alliance Water Equity Task Force. Last but not least, Glenn also served on Neighborhood Allies’ first iteration of the Grassroots Grantmaking Committee in 2015. Glenn’s deep roots within the Hill District, his credibility and connections to our neighborhoods and his positive perspective to problem solving will aid us mightily as we work to uplift our communities.
Glenn graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration and a Concentration in Marketing from Winston-Salem State University.