Jenn Brewington | City of Victoria
Why are you interested in serving on the EDAM Board?
I'm enthusiastic about the prospect of serving on the EDAM Board due to my commitment to advancing economic development and fostering positive change within our communities. I'm eager to contribute my insights, knowledge, and passion to further EDAM's mission. Having witnessed the profound impact that strategic economic development can have on communities, I'm dedicated to helping shape policies, initiatives, and collaborations that drive sustainable growth and enhance the quality of life for residents. My involvement in workforce development, entrepreneurship, and community engagement aligns well with EDAM's goals, and I'm excited about the opportunity to work alongside fellow professionals in shaping the economic trajectory of our state.
Please share a brief statement of your understanding of EDAM's vision and mission.
EDAM's vision is to cultivate a vibrant and resilient economic landscape in Minnesota, fostering sustainable growth, innovation, and prosperity for all. The organization's mission is to serve as a catalyst for economic development professionals, uniting them to advance strategic initiatives, advocate for favorable policies, and create opportunities that drive job creation, community development, and lasting positive change across the state.
How have you been involved with EDAM?
I have been involved with EDAM for over 7 years. During this time, I have taken on several active roles within the organization, reflecting my dedication to its mission. I am honored to serve as the Chair for the Emerging Professionals Committee, where I contribute to shaping opportunities for young professionals to engage, learn, and grow within the economic development field. Additionally, I proudly serve on the DEI Committee, striving to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within our industry and organization.
As a member of the Conference Committee, I collaborate with colleagues to curate impactful events that facilitate knowledge-sharing and innovation. Notably, my participation in the mentorship program highlights my commitment to supporting the professional development of others. These roles have allowed me to actively contribute to EDAM's goals, connect with fellow industry professionals, and make a positive impact within the economic development sphere.
Brief bio identifying your experience in economic development related work.
I am currently serving as the Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Victoria. My passion lies notably in workforce development, a field where I take immense pride in helping individuals attain the skills and resources needed to excel in today's competitive job landscape. My interest in nurturing entrepreneurship stems from my firsthand experience as an entrepreneur in the restaurant industry. This unique perspective allows me to relate to aspiring business owners and provide them with invaluable guidance and support.
My dedication to community and economic development is evident through my active roles in various organizations. Serving on the Carver County Park Commission, I play a pivotal part in preserving and enhancing recreational spaces for our local community. I am also an advocate for economic growth and collaboration among businesses in the region, as an ambassador for the SouthWest Metro Chamber. My contributions extend to the Cologne Planning Commission, where I help shape the future of the community I live in.
In recognition of the significance of empowering women in business, I have taken the initiative to establish the thriving Victoria Women in Business Group. This platform enables female entrepreneurs and professionals in Victoria to connect, collaborate, and uplift one another. Amid my various commitments, I chair the EDAM Emerging Professionals Committee and am an active participant in the DEI and Conference Committees. My commitment to growth persists, as I am currently pursuing a doctorate in Public Administration from Walden University, aiming to further enrich my expertise in economic development.
The EDAM Board has identified Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) as a priority. Please share any experience you have had engaging in this work.
I am deeply committed to the principles of DEI and have actively engaged in this important work both professionally and personally. In my professional capacity, I have championed DEI initiatives within my organization, advocating for equitable hiring practices, fostering an inclusive workplace culture. On a personal level, I have volunteered with local nonprofits dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion. I've participated in community dialogues focused on addressing systemic inequalities, and I've actively sought out learning opportunities to better understand the experiences of marginalized groups. Additionally, my involvement with EDAM's DEI Committee has allowed me to contribute insights, collaborate on strategies, and advocate for initiatives that drive diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization and the economic development field at large.
Please share any ideas you have to help make EDAM or the economic development profession more equitable.
EDAM can actively work to ensure diverse representation at all levels within its leadership, committees, and events, while also encouraging participation from underrepresented groups to ensure a broad range of perspectives. The organization can ensure that its communications, materials, and events employ inclusive language that reflects and respects the diversity of the economic development community. Additionally, EDAM can collaborate with organizations that are focused on diversity and inclusion to learn from their best practices and co-create initiatives that advance DEI goals within the realm of economic development.