Meet our alumni, Jack Heide


Meet our alumni:

Jack Heide — Resiliency Manager, Sustainable Jersey

What Community Service Center program(s) did you work with?

Community Planning Workshop (CPW)

Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience (OPDR)

What year(s) were you affiliated with the Community Service Center (CSC)?
20011 – 2013

What do you do in your current job/position?

I serve as a Resiliency Manager with the Sustainable Jersey Resilience Program. In this capacity, I work with Superstorm Sandy-affected communities across South Jersey connecting municipal leaders with long-term recovery and resiliency planning resources and technical assistance. In addition, I have been working as part of team creating a Coastal Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) targeted for New Jersey municipalities and piloting the CVA through facilitation in 30 New Jersey towns. The CVA is community asset based vulnerability that measures the vulnerability of community assets against projected sea level rise at 2030, 2050, and 2100 and CAT 1 Hurricane events on the same time horizons. Finally the CVA takes the vulnerabilities of each asset and considers them against the risk to the entire community. I’m working on several multi-stakeholder grant programs (through NOAA and NFWF) providing assistance to New Jersey municipalities to provide ecological-based approaches to hazard mitigation. The ecological solutions focus on green infrastructure and living shoreline practices.

Tell us about an unforgettable day in your current job…

I spent a day (8 hours) touring Greenwich, NJ with citizens of the town as they showed me areas of the town still not recovered from Superstorm Sandy, which occurred in 2012. In addition, my guides took me to explore the vast marshlands which contain an intricate system of dikes, levees, culverts, and pumps that help protect the town from future storm events and flooding. The greatest part of the day was the fact that they invited me to bring my dog, who helped explore the complexity and marshlands in this historic town along the Delaware Bays Shore.

What professional organizations do you belong to?

American Planning Association

Natural Hazards Mitigation Association

American Society of Adaptation Professionals

The Association of State Floodplain Managers

New Jersey Association of Floodplain Management

What advice would you give someone just entering this field?

Resilience planning is still a new and evolving field within land use planning. One must maintain an open mind and be flexible about what constitutes resilience. Build a solid foundation in public participation and meeting facilitation because to push forward in this field you will be called on often to convince the general public and local government officials, who are often reluctant or pessimistic, that resilience is a worthwhile ideal for community’s to strive for.

Meet our Alumni, Lorelei J. Juntunen

 Meet our Alumi —

Lorilei Juntunen, Senior Planner at ECONorthwest

What Community Service Center program(s) did you work with?
The Community Planning Workshop (CPW)

What year(s) were you affiliated with the Community Service Center (CSC)?
2002 – 2004

What was your most memorable experience or greatest accomplishment with CPW?
I was able to work on a variety projects as a student and project manager. My first year on the team involved addressing housing issues for migrant farm workers. We facilitated workshops with the community of workers to dig into the policy issues that regulate housing for migrant workers. I can’t think of another program that you could have such a powerful and surreal experience especially while working in rural Oregon. It was very unusual program to be able to be so bottom up with a project and to be so hands on in something that is far out of the public eye.

Another experience includes my time with OPDR, working to identify resilience issues in communities of the Cascades region. Because of this experience I began working part time with ECONorthwest. That part time job became my career and 9 years later I am employed with the same organization and part owner.

What was the most critical skill(s) you learned from being engaged in CSC programs?
Public speaking and project management were developed while dealing with real communities with varied concerns. We were able to gain experience of how to professionally facilitate a meeting all the while under the watchful eye of this (CPW) program.

What was your first job after engaging with the CSC, with what organization and where?
I started as a research analyst at ECONorthwest, directly related to work at the CSC.

Who is your current employer and what’s your current position/title/role? What do you do in your position?
I am Senior Planner and Managing Director at ECONorthwest in Portland, Oregon

What professional organizations do you belong to? 
Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association
(OAPA) and the City Club of Portland

What advice would you give someone just entering this field? 
Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. If you are not operating at the edge of your comfort zone, you can’t advance. Planning is a rich field; it’s a profession that allows its professionals to practice at the cutting edge of systems change. Take advantage of the opportunities to explore the richness of the field while pushing yourself; if you are not engaged you may miss an opportunity.