Meet the Chief Catalyzer

Della RuckerDella Rucker writes, consults, talks, and helps people figure out how to enable the communities they care about to thrive in the face of new economic and social realities.

Della has provided consulting services for local governments, nonprofits and property owners for about 20 years.  She specializes in two core areas:

  • Fostering startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses through community connections and public policy, and
  • Enabling meaningful public engagement and constructive community decision-making.

She has worked in economic development, urban planning, public engagement and facilitation across the US, in environments ranging from the very urban to the very rural.  She has managed development of fiscal impact models, led contentious public meetings, pushed committees through hard choices and listened to the fears and frustrations of hundreds of public servants and dedicated advocates.

Della is one of about 10 private sector persons in the United States to hold the industry-standard professional certifications in both planning (AICP) and economic development (CEcD).   At various points in her life, Della also has been an English teacher, a Main Street program charter board member, a historic preservation consultant, and a journalist.

In addition to her consulting, speaking and writing under the Wise Economy banner, Della produces Wise Fool Press, a niche publisher serving the community-oriented professions, and is co-founder and partner of Econogy, a consulting firm that addresses new economy needs by connecting university students and businesses.  She is also the author of the upcoming book Online Public Engagement, due out in 2016 from Routledge Press, and the author of several books on community revitalization issues through Wise Fool Press.

Della has spoken at more than 100 seminars, conferences, and other events nationwide, on topics ranging from public engagement methods to downtown parking strategies.  She emphasizes audience involvement and designs presentations so that attendees have a chance to act on what they have heard.

Della is a native of Bedford, Ohio.  She holds an undergraduate degree in secondary education from Northwestern University in Chicago, and a Master of Community Planning with a concentration in Economic Development from the University of Cincinnati.  She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two sons, two sailboats, assorted cold-blooded creatures courtesy of Son #2, and a psychological-baggage-laden rescue Laborador Retriever.


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