Community Development

Since the mid-90s, Randy and his FlexTeams of talented Associates have engaged in various kinds of community development and Mainstreets support, including fund raising. Here are several examples of our work in this arena, both as a consultancy and as a volunteer.

Community development consulting

In the arena of community and Main Streets development, Pittsburgh area nonprofit organizations that have contracted with us include:

  • Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)
  • Northside Community Development Fund
  • Northside Leadership Conference
  • Community Technical Assistance Center
  • Neighbors in the Strip
  • Mt. Washington CDC
  • Lawrenceville Corporation
  • East Allegheny Community Council (Deutschtown)
  • Bloomfield Business Association
  • Squirrel Hill Business & Professional Association
  • Irwin Borough
  • Millvale Borough

In addition, in 2006 Randy served as Mainstreets Manager for the Bloomfield Business Association, including helping to stage, fund and market a highly successful Little Italy Days weekend. Over a four year period Randy also raised more than $100,000 for the organization through grant writing and various solicitation techniques.  (see fundraising examples)

Business launches, planning & technology

Over two decades, we have supported local businesses and community development in several ways.  Our consultancy has launched 5 businesses, including the Entrepreneurial Fellows Center at Pitt’s Katz School of Business and two successful businesses in our own Deutschtown neighborhood:  Bistro To Go and Priory Fine Pastries.

Our Marketing Snapshot, a product Randy developed in 2007 with Neighbors in the Strip and supported by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, has evolved into a valuable, yet simple marketing analysis and planning process for more than 30 businesses; clients have rated it very highly.

We plant a seed.  Others nurture it.

technology_seeding_for_small_businessesRandy also created the Technology Seeding Project for Mainstreets Pittsburgh and the URA. It enhanced 18 businesses in two Pittsburgh business districts—Bloomfield and The Strip District—by growing their use of technology to improve their efficiency, marketing and bottom line.

This pilot project was adopted and scaled larger by the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Northside Community Development Fund.

Community market mesearch

market_research_for_Pittsburghs_Strip_DistrictFor community-based organizations, we have gathered and analyzed various kinds of market data drawn from a variety of sources including ESRI and Claritas, as well as consumer surveys.

For the Strip District Randy compiled a 32-page Market Analysis drawn from ESRI data, a feasibility study for Pittsburgh Public Market, a Campos “Voice of the Region” consumer survey, tourist data, employment, traffic counts and other data. For the borough of Irwin, PA, a similar in depth analysis helped to guide their branding and marketing efforts.

Active community leadership

Committed to sustainable community development, Randy has been active in planning and decision-making for the future of the North Side and new North Shore. These and related activities have included:

    • North Side Leadership Conference: vice president & board member (a coalition of 13 community development corporations)
    • Northside Leadership Conference committees: Strategic Planning, North Side/North Shore Planning, Executive, Personnel, Heinz Comprehensive Services Program, Allegheny General Hospital Reinvestment
    • Allegheny Commons park master plan committees & leadership
    • East Allegheny Community Council: president & board member
    • Historic Deutschtown House Tour and fire relief fund
    • Deutschtown website and social media development
    • Deutschtown ‘gateways’ and business corridor studies
    • Task Force for A Better North Side organizer
    • North Side Service Providers directory project
    • Advisory board for Neighbors in the Strip (NITS)
    • Chair of the Marketing Action Team for the Strip (NITS)
    • NITS advisory board & economic development committee
    • Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness & Street Behavior

    Lets talk about your organization’s needs.  Take advantage of our free 1-hour consultation!