Members’ Corner: Stefani Spector
Name, Title, Organization
Stefani Spector, Economic Development Assistant, City of Aberdeen Department of Planning and Community Development
Explain your role within your organization
I received my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Baltimore in Real Estate and Economic Development. While working towards my degree, I held an internship with Central Baltimore Partnership, a non-profit community development organization focusing on growth and sustainability in Central Baltimore. Through this internship, I gained exposure of all facets of Economic and Community Development. I now work for the City of Aberdeen Department of Planning and Community Development as the Economic Development Assistant.
What are your key priorities within your current position?
There are many different responsibilities I take on with this position. My priorities for the City are job growth and retention, vacancy reduction, and community engagement.
Does one particular project spark your excitement?
The Department recently received a Transportation Alternative Programs Grant. This grant will serve to enhance the MARC Station for our residents, commuters, and Downtown Area. This project will also be my first Federal Grant completed, and it is amazing to have this experience.
What professional pressures keep you up at night?
In this position, you try to make decisions that will have a positive impact on the entire community. In reality, you are always going to have community members that either support projects or decisions, and others that do not. It is important that I hear everyone’s opinion, and try to find a balance.
What attributes are unique to your community?
Our community is very diverse with people, income, and our businesses. Aberdeen is home to large companies, small businesses, manufacturers, tech-companies, Government, and military. It is unique to a City this size to have those industries co-mingle and create synergy.
What are your locality’s top three “selling points” for future growth?
The location is very important to future growth, Aberdeen is situated right off I-95 with direct access to major cities including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Virginia, Washington D.C., and New York. The presence of technology and military, having the Aberdeen Proving Grounds as neighbors will hopefully create future opportunities and expansion. In addition, Aberdeen is home to tourism with the IronBirds playing at Ripken Stadium.
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to work with MEDA on to move Maryland forward?
I would like to work on connecting the Universities and Colleges to employers in Maryland. There is an abundance of trained work force coming from these institutions, I would like to tell that story to employers and keep that workforce in Maryland.