Candice Streett, executive director of LISC Virginia, has dedicated most of her working life to community development in Virginia. As she prepares to “downshift” from the position, she is being honored as a 2019 Richmond History Maker by the historic Valentine Museum, for her efforts on behalf of the city’s communities and her innovative economic development initiatives. In an interview with The Community Foundation, she reflects on the lessons from her journey. The most important one? “I’ve learned that we need to always listen first to those who have the most at stake—neighborhood residents.”
The excerpts below are from:
History Makers: Candice Streett
By Michelle Morgan, WRIC
Words of Wisdom from a Retiring Leader: An Interview with Candice Streett
Below is an excerpt from Words of Wisdom from a Retiring Leader: An Interview with Candice Streett published by the Community Foundation:
Candice Streett has faithfully served as the Executive Director of the Virginia Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Virginia LISC) for the past nine years. Virginia LISC works with residents and partners to forge resilient and inclusive communities. They do this by investing strategically in housing, retail, childcare centers and other neighborhood assets; increasing family income and wealth; stimulating economic development; improving access to quality education; and supporting healthy neighborhood environments and lifestyles.
Over the course of her 30-year career, Candice has managed housing and community development activities for state and local governments and nonprofit organizations in Virginia. She was the Deputy Director of Virginia Supportive Housing for almost 10 years, and she also served as the Executive Director of the Virginia Housing Coalition (now the Virginia Housing Alliance) and Associate Director of Housing for the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development.
In addition to her leadership in local organizations, Candice serves on the boards of Leadership Metro Richmond and the Partnership for Housing Affordability. Her past services include appointments to the Mayor’s Anti-Poverty Commission, Richmond’s Affordable Housing Task Force Advisory Board and the Community Building Committee of the United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg.
This week, Candice will retire. Before departing, she was kind enough to share and reflect on her career journey and offer advice to other nonprofit leaders. Here are some “words of wisdom” from Candice as she begins her next journey into retirement.
Thinking back on your career journey, what are you most proud of?
I’m proud to have played a small role in helping community leaders and residents realize their dreams and visions for their communities. Some of the projects that really come to the forefront of my mind are: working with the City of Petersburg and the Petersburg Library Foundation to find a way to finance a much-needed new library; designing a small business program (SEED) that has worked for eight years to inspire entrepreneurial activity in Church Hill; providing support for a grocery store in Church Hill; and building the capacity of a new nonprofit, RVA League for Safer Streets, that works to make our public housing communities safe.
Like any project, all those projects presented challenges. But what really stands out about these projects for me is that they all required us to take a risk. We had to have a willingness to do something innovative – to “jump out of the plane,” so to speak. I am really happy that my team and I “jumped.”