Stepping Away From Graffito
The fresh face in the photo here is yours truly, way back on my very first day at Graffito. It feels like a lifetime ago because, well, it sort of was: February 2014. Close to ten years ago.
That’s a few million square feet of mixed-use development planned ago, several hundred retail small businesses leased ago, dozens of inspiring clients ago, over 40 public art installations and hundreds of neighborhood activations planned and executed ago.
Not to mention a wedding, global pandemic, and birth of my first child ago.
I’m also wearing a tie to work which really dates things.
Now, after these nine and half years I’ve decided it’s the right time for me to step away from GSP to explore new opportunities to grow, learn, and lead, to tackle different challenges, and to find new ways to have direct impact on the issues and communities I care about. August was my last full time month at Graffito but I will be working with the team through September to transition clients and projects.
It truly is exciting to be looking forward to new opportunities. But “bittersweet” doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about this transition. A run of the mill “Personal update!” post on LinkedIn could have been enough here, but Graffito really has been Home and meant so much to me for quite a few years. So, I’m taking advantage of the GSP blog here to memorialize my appreciation for the accomplishment, partnership, and friendship that’s marked this past decade at the Graffito family.
When I first came onboard I recall telling Jesse that that one of my strongest motivations for joining him and Dave to help grow this business was for the chance to have a seat at the table of some of the largest development efforts in the region in order to have real impact on issues and communities I care deeply about: supporting small businesses grow and thrive; steering the planning and design of a thoughtful, sustainable, and more equitable built environment across our neighborhoods; activating public spaces with art and creativity; and engaging communities in dialogue to ensure they saw value created in their own neighborhood from new development.
Jesse unequivocally embraced Graffito’s role in driving impact with our clients and in the projects and the communities we work with since Day 1. In fact, “impact” has been a true north for our entire team over the years and it has been among my strongest motivations for staying with Graffito for nearly a decade.
I am also proud of so much of our tangible project work and accomplishments here, with a few notable highlights:
- Working with the visionary leadership team at Harvard University since 2015 to plan and activate Allston’s evolving Western Ave corridor: advising on transformational academic & commercial development; conceptualizing and managing the Zone 3 community placemaking initiative; and, of course, launching the *first* of Boston’s now ubiquitous beer gardens 😉
- Introducing innovative retail small business, planning, and community activation strategies into the once-in-a-generation public/private redevelopments of over 2,700 units of public housing across multiple properties in Boston.
- Overseeing the years-long comprehensive planning and execution of Architectural Heritage Foundation’s revitalization of the historic Charles River Speedway, a complex restoration project that has become home to one of Boston’s most vibrant retail and community gathering hubs.
Graffito has grown in amazing ways since 2014. Today GSP is made up of eight exceptionally talented, thoughtful, diverse, and creative practitioners of retail real estate advisory, leasing, and branding/design work (and just wonderful humans). In large part because of this team’s passion, Graffito is more focused and committed than ever to leveraging its resources and project work to drive impact and build a model for more equitable and inclusive retail real estate development.
That’s something I think we’re all pretty damn proud of.
I’m looking forward to what this new chapter will bring long term. In the meantime, I am excited to engage in a few unique projects this fall that will let me stretch new muscles, tap into many of the skills I’ve honed at Graffito, and of course make an impact on the issues and communities I care deeply about. More to come.
For now, thanks to all the amazing clients, partners, collaborators, and friends who have made this a special and deeply rewarding phase of my career. See you all around town soon!
(Don’t be a stranger: email@example.com)