Germantown United CDC is excited to introduce new team members Renae Bruce-Miller and Rhakeim Miller to the Germantown community.
Renae Bruce-Miller is a seasoned global business development specialist with a passion for seeing entrepreneurs at all stages thrive. Rhakeim Miller is an experienced grassroots organizer and coalition-builder, with over 10 years of public service as a staffer in city and state government. Both Renae and Rhakeim (no relation) are neighborhood residents, raising young families in the community, and thrilled to have the opportunity to apply their professional expertise in business and housing in Germantown.
The two join longtime staff members Andrew Trackman, Executive Director, Emaleigh Doley, Corridor Manager, and Administrator Josanne Ford, who began working with GU in the summer of 2018. GU is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprised of Germantown residents and representatives of local business, educational and service institutions. Learn more about the staff and board.
About the new team members
Rhakeim will serve as Germantown United CDC’s first Neighborhood Advisory Committee Manager. The organization is now participating in the Neighborhood Advisory Committees Program, commonly referred to as NAC, an extension of the City of Philadelphia’s Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The NAC Program serves Philadelphia’s low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. NACs provide resources and referrals that address numerous problems that lead to homelessness, and engage residents with activities that support the City’s core objectives, including:
- Promoting neighborhood sustainability through programs addressing homelessness prevention, energy conservation education, housing preservation, neighborhood safety, and health and wellness
- Utilizing referral services for available housing counseling, workforce development and economic opportunities
- Cultivating youth mentoring and civic engagement
- Ensuring resident participation in City planning and development initiatives
The Germantown neighborhood has not had an active NAC for several years, and we are excited to be reviving this much-needed resource under Rhakeim’s leadership.
Throughout his career, Rhakeim has worked with civic leaders, policymakers, and business owners to institute community investment programs and practices his commitment to housing preservation and economic development by advocating for impactful neighborhood improvements that benefit established and new residents. As a small business owner raising his family in Germantown, Rhakeim has a personal commitment to the continued positive change in the community. He is also an avid runner (you can often catch him running down Germantown Ave) and has a love for art museums.
As Corridor Manager, Renae will be facilitating the delivery of local access to supportive business programs and enhancing Germantown United CDC’s commercial corridor and economic development activities. Since 2015, Germantown United CDC has been participating in the Targeted Corridor Management Program (TCMP), managed by the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce. The Department of Commerce recognizes the need in Germantown, and has increased GUCDC’s contract, enabling the organization to grow its corridor management team.
Renae was born into a family of small business owners in Jamaica and was educated at Wolmer’s Girls High School. She went on to study Hospitality Management and Business Administration at Monroe College in NYC and has since earned several additional certificates to satisfy the growing demands of business needs. Prior to joining GUCDC in January 2019, Renae worked with corporations small and large as a consultant, helping businesses achieve their goals in New Market Development, Digital Marketing, Sales Conversion, Brand Development, Business Strategies, Web Development, Financial Guidance and a host of other well-developed skills that she will use to assist the Germantown business community. Renae has chosen Germantown as her home, where she is raising her young family, and sees the neighborhood as a developing community for both businesses to grow and families to thrive.
Germantown United CDC grew out of a grassroots movement to protect Germantown from a shortsighted development. The organization was founded in 2012, hired it’s first executive director in 2014, and is now operating with four full-time and one part-time employees as of January 2019.
In 2018, GU adopted a new five-year strategic plan, which sharpened the organization’s mission, assessed program activities, and looked for opportunities to enhance its community building and economic development work through the year 2023. The organization’s mission statement now reads:
The mission of the Germantown United CDC is to promote and facilitate the revitalization of Germantown and its business corridors through a sustainable, creative, and community-driven approach to economic development.
GU has already achieved several of the recommendations set forth in the plan, including increasing its work around housing, from foreclosure prevention to pre-purchase and home-ownership counseling. (For a CliffsNotes version of what’s changed, click here.)
As we enter into the New Year, the board and staff of GU would like to acknowledge and thank our many community partners, stakeholders, and constituents who have shaped the organization, and support our mission and vision for a strong and united Germantown.