In late March 2020, the Fresno City Council approved the Save Our Small Businesses (SOSB) program, initially a zero-interest loan later converted to grants funded by the CARES Act. By the end of the year, our team had deployed $4.65M in grants to 735 small businesses representing 3,273 jobs, as well as $500K to 37 non-profits. I wrote the program eligibility guidelines for each of the three SOSB rounds, each with slightly different parameters to improve outcome targeting, as well as requirements for Save Our Non-Profits.
Save Our Small Businesses
In March 2020, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand approved an emergency ordinance to temporarily close all but essential businesses. These conditions would last in some form through mid-2021. To administer Round 1 of the Save Our Small Businesses program, the city used an external partner. By Round 2, we saved public funds by moving the process in-house end-to-end and launching a custom-built application front-end, back-end management tools and applicant data database. The data proved audit-proof and allowed us to generate a detailed report about our small business community. Rathering than distributing grants evenly across all City districts, we pioneered the use of Opportunity Zone addresses to steer funds towards distresed neighborhoods. I wrote all application user requirements and the Round 2 summary data report for the CARES Act Council Sub-Committee.
This was the last element in a three-year roadmap to create an end-to-end skills community. We white-labeled a Learning Management System that supported a blended learning approach with both on-demand and live online training. We launched with three topics and sold $5K of workshops in the first month, a strong proof-of-concept showing. I supervised the design and technical rollout as well as the content production team and created all product marketing collateral.
E-Learning for Makers
The challenge here is constantly shifting content needs as the production cycle advances. The site sells tickets for the flagship U.S. events and helps a global audience discover a worldwide network of more than 200 events. This redesign focused on providing a varied toolbox of mix-and-match content production components for the marketing team. I oversaw design and engineering and collaborated on branding with the business stakeholders.
A from-scratch development of an online maker community built thanks to a $1M+ strategic partnership with Intel. A headless Drupal implementation, the site was later rebranded Make: Community. I was the product owner and managed the Intel relationship.
As a white-label of the Job Board.IO platform, this launch was technically simple but filled an important hole in Make:'s workforce development strategy by demonstrating a worldwide job market for maker skills. Paid job postings covered platform costs within six months of launch. See also the evolution of the Make: branding to combine the parent brand with service names; this pattern was repeated across the network in anticipation of eventual consolidation of all domains on Make.co. I vetted the platform and oversaw rollout in collaboration with the sales team.
Online Community + UGC
Getting Out the Vote
Launched in response to declining digital advertising sales, the Make: Membership program leveraged the existing library of digital magazines hosted on Blue Toad and discounted Maker Faire ticket sales to create a paid digital content offering. The primary challenge was SSO integration across multiple platforms and payment gateways. I managed all elements of the rollout including product marketing and revenue responsibility.
The challenge for this campaign was maintaining momentum after the 2008 presidential election. I started by first securing grant funding from the Carnegie Corp. and the Pew Center on the States. I was responsible for all voter outreach communications including emails, social, in-person events, print collateral and advocacy materials such as this case study.
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