Service to her community is intertwined throughout Emily Doerr’s personal and professional life. Not only does she have a background in community economic development, but she also serves her community as a board member at Central Michigan University partner charter public school Woodland Park Academy.

Doerr graduated from CMU in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree and a wealth of leadership experience. While on campus, Doerr was a Centralis Scholar. She also started the Fencing Club and a co-ed acapella group called Central Harmony. Doerr also held numerous roles within the Alternative Breaks program serving as a participant, site leader and fundraising chairperson.

“My education at CMU definitely put me on the path of a career focused on community and economic development, primarily because of Economics classes I took with Dr. Jason Taylor and Honors College coursework I took with then-Honors-College Chair, Dr. James Hill. They both emphasized looking at societal issues with an analytical mind, developing an action plan for incremental change through building consensus, and using data to substantiate all policy and programmatic efforts,” Doerr said.

It was through an internship with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan that Doerr found her passion for working with community economic development groups. Her internship was the start of her path in this work and she has held various roles in community economic development throughout her career. These roles include state-level advocacy, grants management for a community action agency, small business development for a regional chamber of commerce, working for two cities’ community economic development departments, statewide business attraction, and most recently, affordable housing development through her work at Metro Community Development.

In speaking of her work in community economic development, Doerr shares that “this work is constantly evolving and it ultimately assists low-to-moderate income individuals and families to help break the cycle of poverty, helping communities build economic stability.”

Doerr wanted to join the board of Woodland Park Academy to serve the Flint area while learning about how public education funding and compliance processes occur in Michigan. When reflecting on her time as a board member, Doerr states that she is “proud of the continued focus the Board maintains with our administration on building teacher capacity to increase student success.”