Business: Interested Citizens of Abilene North (ICAN)
Job title: Executive Director
Why are you working in this industry? Through several years of work in helping organizations around Abilene, I continually felt a pull to find upstream solutions to societal problems. The biggest upstream solution I have found is community. Community is the thing that shapes us, that builds us up, and that keeps us from falling apart in our worst moments. For many of our neighbors the biggest barriers to healthy, sustaining community are economic in nature. In my work with ICAN, I have the privilege of helping tear down the economic barriers to community in two of our most vulnerable neighborhoods around downtown Abilene, while experimenting with ways of fostering healthy, interdependent, intergenerational community.
Who is the person who most influenced you in business? My grandfather, Rosten Head. My name comes from him, as does my passion for how the Gospel intersects with social justice.
What is an accomplishment that shaped your career? In the last three years I have been a part of the team that helped achieve a functional end to both veteran and chronic homelessness in Abilene.
What changes have you seen in Abilene during your career? What changes would you like to see? I have seen a dramatic increase in our helping organizations’ willingness to join in partnership, to work together to fill the gaps in our community rather than to simply wall ourselves off and pretend as if our work is separate. I would like to see more of our helping organizations move from a focus on relief (designed to help people get through a crisis) and into a focus on development (designed to help people rebuild their lives after or apart from crisis).
Where will we find you enjoying your hard-earned time off? In my backyard, playing guitar or mandolin in my hammock, with some meat in the smoker.
What is one piece of advice for someone starting out in your field?
My rules for doing business are:
1. Show up
2. Be yourself
3. Add value
4. Play nice
West Texas Homeless Network - Member
West Texas Homeless Network - Public Relations Chair (2018-2019)
Interested Citizens of Abilene North - Board Member (2020)
The Men of Nehemiah Abilene - Board President (2020)
Eden Community - Founding Member
Apprenticeship in Regenerative Culture - Steering Committee
Family: Laura (wife), Asher (5), Evangeline (3), Genevieve (1)