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August Changemaker — Sherry Ristau

August Changemaker — Sherry Ristau

Sherry Ristau, President & CEO, Community Foundation of the Great River Bend //

Quad Cities has a very interesting dynamic. Can you talk a little bit about it?
My husband Bruce and I moved to the Iowa-Illinois Quad Cities three years ago so I could take the leadership role at the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend (CFGRB).  Today it is truly our home and one of the best things for us is we now live in a community where my friends and family want to visit and spend the whole weekend! With beautiful Mississippi Riverfronts, our bi-state community includes both Iowa and Illinois and a ton of great FUN with lots of both cultural and physical opportunities.

One of the things I noticed right away, both in my role as the President and CEO of CFGRB and as a proud Quad Citizen, was the ways in which individuals, businesses and nonprofits in both states use the river as an opportunity—to build bridges among our Quad Cities communities to support one another and make this a totally awesome place to live, work and play.

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Community-based Solutions for Individuals with Autism and Other Different Abilities

Community-based Solutions for Individuals with Autism and Other Different Abilities

By Denise D. Resnik, Founder, CEO & President of First Place® AZ; Co-Founder Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center; and CEO, DRA Collective // 

Taking stock of assets is essential, whether in business or within community development, , and most certainly in the case of people with different abilities. Too often, we look at our special needs population through the lens of “disability,” focusing on what they can’t do versus what they can.

In Greater Phoenix, we’ve been working hard to shift that paradigm by exploring what individuals with special abilities can do and learn, where they can work and live, and how they can contribute a valued dimension to the fabric of society.

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Vacant Spaces to Happening Places

Vacant Spaces to Happening Places

Top Main Image: CB20 in Phoenix (office + retail mixed-use), developed by Wetta Ventures, Image by Kitchen Sink Studios

by Kimber Lanning, Executive Director, Local First Arizona // 

Vacant Spaces to Happening Places | The Case for Preservation and Reuse
In the current race to create high quality jobs, retain local talent and attract great companies, several American cities are looking closely at the kinds of places educated workers want to live. Rather than solely focusing on tax incentives or other strategies to entice the desired companies, they are instead focusing on building great places where those companies want to be. According to the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), an increasing number of workers have been choosing their city before their job and now more than ever, companies are reluctant to relocate to cities that have a dry, homogenized or suburban feel to them, no matter how large the financial incentives are. The workers, and Millennials in particular, are actually driving location by voicing loudly the kinds of places they’d want to consider home. In a recent study, AIER cited 70 percent of young college graduates decide where to relocate based on quality-of-life factors such as robust restaurant scene and good mass transit, rather than economic conditions.

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