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The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office is thrilled to announce two additions to its leadership team: 

Laura Trudeau has been appointed as the DFC Implementation Office’s chair of the board of directors, succeeding Dr. George Swan.  Laura recently retired from The Kresge Foundation, where she served as the Detroit program’s managing director.  She is noted for championing game-changing initiatives in Detroit, including serving as a fervent advocate for Detroit Future City, both with planning the Strategic Framework and with its implementation.
Tom Goddeeris was recently hired as the DFC Implementation Office’s director of community and economic development.  Tom is an acclaimed community development leader in Detroit. He previously led the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation for 25 years, building it from a start-up non-profit to an award-winning community organization.
For this month’s newsletter, these two community and industry leaders were asked five questions on their views of the city, of the DFC Implementation Office and their outlook on the future. 
Laura Trudeau…
 
Why in retirement have you chosen to chair Detroit Future City?
I plan to be active in the com
munity in retirement and I want to be involved in things that support my values and my optimism for the future of Detroit, and Detroit Future City is the essence of both of those things.
 
As a new nonprofit, the DFC Implementation Office is in a great position to expand its impact.  It has had a lot of success over the last few years, some behind the scenes and some more publicly, and now we have a platform to expand our work.  And, we have an amazing staff and board of dedicated individuals that are willing and committed to making sure there is impact.
 
You have been involved in Detroit Future City since the planning phase.  What do you think is one of the most impactful contributions the DFC Implementation Office has made in Detroit to date?
The DFC Strategic Framework planning process established a collective vision for the city’s future. Since it was such an inclusive process, Detroit Future City can succeed in achieving that vision.  Detroit Future City has helped advance certain segments of the economy that can produce new jobs and create paths for residents into those jobs. It helps us see the possibilities of open space and green infrastructure, and change what we thought for a long time was a liability of vacant land into an asset of open space.
 
Where do you see Detroit Future City making the most impact in the next few years?
I think there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for impact.  Our role is to continue to bring innovative solutions to many of the challenges Detroit faces, while also ensuring residents and stakeholders are deeply involved in all the discussions about the city’s future.  We think there will be many ways to work closely with the City and many others on the exciting work that is going on at present and in the years to come. 

As a former funder, why do you think philanthropy should support DFC now and moving forward?
I think Detroit Future City is completely aligned with the values of foundations, corporate giving programs and generous individuals.  All anyone needs to do is look at page six of the DFC Strategic Framework plan to see the core principles. It is aspirational where it should be and practical where it must be, respectful of the city’s history, community efforts and new ideas, just and equitable in seeking to create benefits for all, and transparent and inclusive of all voices seeking to improve our community. 
 
Detroit Future City has been able to achieve these goals over the four years of our existence and we are committed to doing it more while making real impact in the lives of Detroiters.  
 
What does a healthy Detroit look like to you?
A healthy Detroit will have neighborhoods that support people who live there with all the services and quality of life that people need and aspire to have.   This includes education opportunities and jobs, quality of life, connectedness to the rest of the city and a strong sense of community.  And a healthier community will reflect the amazing efforts of all the Detroiters who have been so persistent and worked so hard to achieve this important vision of the future.  
Tom Goddeeris…
 
Plain and simple, why now and why DFC?
I served as executive director of GRDC for over 25 years, and as much as I loved my job there, I feel that the knowledge and experience I have gained working in one community can be applied to issues on a city-wide scale. The DFC Implementation Office offers me the opportunity to help address some of the city's most pressing issues in the context of a long-term, strategic framework for equitable and sustainable city development. 
 
Did you use the DFC Strategic Framework to inform your work at GRDC?   If so, how?
At GRDC, we organized our community to be actively involved in the Detroit Future City planning process and we felt that the final Strategic Framework reflected many of the goals and strategies we felt were appropriate to our neighborhoods. We used the Framework to understand how our neighborhood level revitalization activities fit within an overall strategy for the city.
 
Our staff also provided input into the DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots.  In fact, we have used the Guide to design and implement lot reclamation and beautification projects.
 
What excites you most about your new role with the DFC Implementation Office?
I am excited about the opportunity to delve more into questions of policy and how revitalization programs and services can be delivered to effect change for the better. As a director of a community development corporation, there never seemed to be enough time to do the research into innovative ideas and long-term strategies that I wanted and needed to do.  I am most excited about the opportunity to collaborate with other local and national thought leaders to think through and tackle some of Detroit's biggest challenges.
 
In the interview process, what did you learn about the DFC Implementation Office that caught you by surprise?
I was pleased to learn about the level of collaboration between the DFC Implementation Office and city government, and the work that has already been done to define where the organization can add the most value to redevelopment processes in Detroit.
 
What are some best practices and/or programs at GRDC that you are looking to utilize at the DFC Implementation Office?
I feel that I have some real expertise when it comes to neighborhood stabilization strategies, including both residential and commercial revitalization programs. Every neighborhood is a little different and needs strategies tailored to its specific assets and circumstances.  However, my years of experience in community-based development, working on the ground with neighborhood residents and business owners, has taught me a lesson or two about effective community planning that I think can be applied to work across the city.
DFC's Housing Report in the News
Click here for the housing report
 

Bloomberg: Renters Now Rule Half of U.S. Cities

Detroit Free Press: In Detroit, more people rent homes than own them

Detroit Free Press: Goddeeris takes new role with Detroit Future City

City Lab: How To Get Detroit Back On Its Feet

Detroit Public Television: Detroit Future City Housing Report
Detroit Future City Speaks
Here is a list of the places and spaces where DFC has a presence!
 
Managing to Change the World Training, Washington D.C, MD | April 17-19  
Attendee: Allandra Bulger
 
Eastside Summit, Detroit, MI | April 22 
Attendee: Anika Goss-Foster
 
Shell “Making the Future” Conference, Detroit, MI | April 27
Attendee: Anika Goss-Foster and Allandra Bulger
DFC Field Guide Enewsletter
Spring is here!  April is a wonderful time to start planning and preparing for your vacant lot transformation! 

Now is the perfect time to dust off your Field Guide to Working with Lots and begin working with your family and friends to design your lot. 

Click here to read the DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots E-newsletter.

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