Alexandra's Navigator Posts
Adaptive, innovative, place-based planning is helping Syracuse, NY achieve its economic development goals
Alexandra brings a strong background in policy research and a passion for community building to Camoin Associates. Since joining Camoin, Alex has worked on a variety of projects that highlight her expertise in strategic problem solving and writing. She has continued to excel in obtaining grant funds for communities across New York State. She currently acts as the grant administer for the City of Mechanicville, NY, coordinating and managing a $400,000 federal grant awarded to the city to rehabilitate homes for vulnerable populations. She works closely with local, state and federal stakeholders to ensure that grant funds are efficiently and properly distributed. Whether in grant administration or strategic planning processes, Alex constantly strives to improve communication channels among involved stakeholders to lay the foundation for successful economic development endeavors.
Alex has collaborated with her colleague Jim Damicis to write targeted industry analysis for Expansion Solutions, an economic development magazine aimed at informing site selection consultants on the latest regional and national real estate and industry trends. Together, they have covered the dynamic biotechnology market, why health care should be included in a community’s economic development plan and most recently, the real estate implications of the changing health care landscape.
Prior to joining the Camoin Associates team, Alexandra lived and worked in Toronto, Ontario, where she was involved in a variety of urban planning projects. Most recently, she worked with Architectural Conservancy Ontario in the field of heritage planning and advocacy. She has also worked in the public and nonprofit sectors in the field of research and policy analysis. Alexandra worked closely with Toronto neighborhood organizations in their efforts to become more involved in the development process across the city. Alexandra also gained experience in a municipal setting while working in the office of Cllr. Josh Matlow at Toronto City Hall. She actively engaged constituents about planning issues in the neighborhood, while researching and writing policy memos for Cllr. Matlow.
In 2013, Alexandra was awarded a grant to pursue independent research in Berlin, Germany, for three weeks. While there, she conducted interviews and research surrounding the independent creative arts scene and municipal policies in the cultural sector. She has also researched and wrote about the public engagement process, social service delivery models, affordable housing and nonprofit property ownership.
Alexandra holds a Master of Science in Planning from the University of Toronto, where she concentrated on social policy analysis, along with creative and cultural planning.
Since joining the Camoin team, Alex has had the opportunity to contribute to the public and private sector through her grant writing and grant administration.
Working with an interdisciplinary team, Alex and her colleagues developed a downtown market analysis to help the Village of Waterloo understand how to capitalize on their market potential. The project culminated in a community meeting that was attended by over 80 individuals, including residents, local and regional officials, and developers. The meeting was not just a presentation about the results of the market analysis, but a call to action for residents to get involved in the revitalization process. Through several volunteer committees, the village has already seen successful beautification and wayfinding projects.
Alex administered the City of Mechanicville's 2015 HOME Local Program grant for the second consecutive time. She previously worked with her colleague Rachel Selsky to administer the $400,000 grant by coordinating and managing the housing rehabilitation process for qualified area residents. The City was recently awarded a Performance Based Initiative for their excellent implementation of the 2015 grant, allowing them to access additional HOME funds to continue rehabilitating properties throughout the city.
When Alex isn’t at work (or maybe even while she is) she is probably thinking about her next baking adventure in the kitchen while daydreaming about living above a bakery in Paris.