Background Experience

For seven years I taught in the inner-city public schools of Boston, East Palo Alto, Watts and East LA. Since then, I’ve taught classes at Harvard GSD, MIT, USC and UCLA. I learned a lot, too.

I hold a B.A. from Wellesley College, and an M.A. from Boston University. I was once a cheerleader, but don’t hold that against me.

I’m a student of cultural anthropology and a specialist in the business of creating memorable places. I’ve consulted with over 100 companies on over 200 communities throughout the U.S. — as well as in London, Tokyo, Mexico City, New Zealand and Dubai. Next to being a teacher, I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve helped these developers evolve their thinking in the areas of home and community design, cultural trends, redevelopment, smart growth, marketing and sales strategy, and the customer experience.

I’m a former vp of marketing for a large homebuilder, as well as a real estate agent for a national brokerage firm. So I’m not just a theoretician; I have practical, real-world experience on the sales floor.

I’m constantly on the lookout for examples of smart leadership in a wide range of disciplines, as well as fresh insights into the rapidly changing cultural landscape.

I’m a member of Urban Land Institute and have served on national panels: Memphis Riverfront Development and Philadelphia Main Street Ardmore. I served as chair of The Sears/Boyle Heights Technical Advisory Panel.  And I was part of the team that wrote “Ten Principles for Successful Development Around Transit” and “Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall.”

I’ve climbed Mt. Whitney in a day, roller skated a Marathon and won a gold medal for ski racing, all in my fifties.

At West High School Rodeo Days in Phoenix, AZ, I learned to whistle really loud. (So I know how to get attention in a large room.)