Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hill School Hires First-Ever Community and Economic Development Manager

Twila Fisher
Blogger's Note: The following was posted on The Hill School web site.

The Hill School will start 2016 with a brand new employee in a brand new post whose job will be to engage with the Pottstown community.

Twila Fisher begins officially on Jan. 4 as the first-ever Manager of Community and Economic Development.
Her post is a full-time position created to advance Hill’s engagement with Pottstown and, more specifically, to support a new, collaborative neighborhood initiative to create a clean, safe, and inclusive community; strengthen residential development; and generate positive, sustainable commercial and retail development.

Fisher brings compelling experience in community organizing, economic and real estate development, non-profit collaboration, and political understanding. 

The founder of Fisher Consulting and Management Services, in Reading, Pa., Fisher previously served the ReDesign Reading Community Development Corporation as a Public Leadership and Service Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania. In this role she organized downtown revitalization projects, managed related social media, assisted with community organizing and project development, performed research, and wrote policy briefs for various economic development initiatives. She also has worked as an administrative assistant to the Mayor of Reading.

Fisher received her master’s degree in Public Administration and certificate in Economic Development from the University of Pennsylvania in December. 

She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University, where she served as a research assistant with the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. While an undergraduate she completed internships with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and, for three years, the Department of Community Development for the city of Reading. A recipient of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship, Twila also is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson and a certified Spanish translator.

Fisher was a founder and licensed minister of the Hope of the Nations Christian Center in Reading, which she served from 1999-2011 in capacities that included filing for and receiving 501(c)3 status, leading community organizing-related initiatives, and creating a mentoring program for at-risk youth.

Her volunteer roles range from serving as the entertainment coordinator for Reading’s Penn Street Market and serving on the Mayor’s Task Force for Main Street Designation, to chairing the city’s Legislative Aide Committee and offering four years as an urban missions volunteer for Eastern Mennonite Missions.

“The decision by Hill’s Board of Trustees to create this position and hire an individual with Twila’s expertise demonstrates our serious commitment to The Hill’s hometown,” said Headmaster Zachary G. Lehman, referring to the Board’s unanimous endorsement of the Manager of Community and Economic Development position in October.

Lehman said the school considered numerous outstanding candidates from a range of backgrounds. “We were especially impressed by the breadth and depth of Twila’s experience as well as her striking can-do attitude and willingness to roll up her sleeves and get to know the Pottstown neighborhood,” Lehman said.

“I am thrilled to join The Hill as the school further engages with the Pottstown community through Hobart’s Run and other local revitalization efforts,” Fisher said. “The collective community vision and excitement for this initiative is particularly encouraging. I look forward to utilizing my professional experiences and my passion for neighborhood outreach and improvement.

“I also feel honored to serve alongside so many dedicated citizens, public servants, and educators who are committed to making history in Pottstown,” Fisher added.