Amanda Straight Joins Valley Leadership
Amanda was born and raised in rural Indiana, but has lived in Phoenix off and on for nearly ten years. She studied economics and math at Indiana University and received my masters degree in urban and environmental planning from Arizona State University. She has worked in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors throughout her career, all with focus on helping communities tackle economic and community development challenges.
Locally, Amanda has worked for the Arizona Department of Administration, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and the Town of Fountain Hills. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys hiking, yoga, reading, and traveling, and recently spent time backpacking Europe and hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
VL: What is a goal you hope to accomplish through your role as Manager of Strategic Doing at VL?
AS: I hope to help foster collaboration and participation from VL Alumni in the Impact Maker program and facilitate progress on key milestones. As VL tries to tackle some of the major issues facing Arizona, collaboration amongst team members and strategic partners is vital. My goal is to help ensure everyone is focused on similar outcomes and pushing in the same direction in order to achieve positive impact.
VL: What pressing issue in Arizona are you most excited to address?
AS: I am really passionate about the importance of housing first. As Arizona has grown in population, housing construction has not kept pace, and now the state is faced with a severe shortage of affordable housing. Housing is a critical piece of establishing stability for individuals and families and addressing this issue will go a long way towards tackling many other connected challenges in the state.
VL: What Principle of Doing do you resonate with most right now?
AS: Building Trust. Without trust between communities, organizations, and individuals, true collaboration is not possible. VL alumni and leaders must establish trust amongst each other in order to work together, but we must also establish trust within our communities in order to understand the challenges we face and work to tackle them together.
VL: What do you love most about living, working and playing in Arizona?
AS: Arizona is such a beautiful place to live with so many natural resources and amazing places to explore. The state is also full of amazing people who are excited to collaborate to ensure Arizona continues to be a wonderful place to live and have fun!