Derek is a leader in community economic development with extensive success moving organizations forward by building on cross-cultural and cross-sector collaboration. He began his career in small business banking and over the past decade has been organizing local business communities, residents, and institutions to leverage both social and private capital for sustainable economic development.
Derek founded Neighborhood Grow, an alliance of local leaders working to establish equitable communities and vibrant neighborhood business districts, funded as a ministry of Cincinnati’s Episcopal Church Cathedral. He also served in leadership roles with the Urban League of Southwest Ohio, recently joined the board of Green Umbrella, the leading alliance working to maximize the environmental sustainability of Greater Cincinnati, and facilitates trainings and discussions around the county on asset-based community development.
Della G. Rucker
Della has consulted, written and trained people nationwide in entrepreneurship, economic revitalization, urban planning and fostering meaningful public participation for close to 20 years. Della is the author of The Local Economy Revolution: What Changes and How You Can Help, Everybody Innovates Here and several other books and publications. Della is also a frequent speaker, having given over 100 keynotes, workshops and conference sessions across the US and Canada.
A serial entrepreneur and small business owner, Della is one of about 10 persons in the U.S. to hold professional certifications in both planning and economic development.