Brooklyn Holton, 31

Neighborhood and community services coordinator, City of Wenatchee

Brooklyn Holton competed as a Western Washington University heptathlete while working on dual degrees in business management and kinesiology, with a minor in manufacturing and supply chain management.

Holton, who grew up in Arlington, began working with the city of Everett while finishing her degrees, which helped decide her current career.

“I began working in the Office of Neighborhoods, where I realized my love for community and the opportunity to positively influence the quality of life for our neighbors,” she said.

After graduating, she moved into a full-time job in the city of Everett that included managing grants, supporting neighborhood revitalization programs and organizing city-wide events.

She also embarked on a professional athletic career, as an American women’s professional football player for five seasons and Team USA bobsled brake(wo)man.

She continued to balance the two careers after moving to Wenatchee in December 2014. While training for the bobsled competition (she won a gold and two bronze medals in 2015 at the North America Cup in Park City, Utah), she started working as the city’s housing and community planner. She managed local, state and federal grants, administered city-improvement programs, wrote development plans and policies and provided support for community engagement and neighborhood revitalization.

She was instrumental in establishing “The United Neighborhood Association of South Wenatchee,” a community advocate group which has become an active voice of the needs of Latinos in that neighborhood.

She prioritizes supporting local nonprofits, and since 2015 has served many organizations, and continues to contribute as a board member for a variety of community entities.

Q: What accomplishments are you most proud of?

A: Beyond my education and athletic career, more recent efforts that I am proud of are connected to responding to and supporting my community in the following ways:

  • Wenatchee’s Complete Streets Policy, which the city council unanimously adopted in 2016, was given a perfect score by SmartGrowth America and has since brought in more than $1 million in grant funds and led to hosting workshops, giving keynote presentations and leading new partners to the importance of health in all policy.
  • NCW Complete Count Committee is focused on connecting with individuals most often inaccurately reflected in census data and supporting our region’s community members with education and direction on completing the 2020 census form. A successful application to the state brought $364,613 into our region, increasing organizational capacity, employment access and civic engagement.
  • Successfully applied for a grant to launch a 2021 Community Farmers Market in Cashmere alongside partners such as the Leavenworth market and Christ Center in Cashmere.
  • Personal development by connecting with industry and local leaders. The diversity of cultures, traditions and social customs in this region strengthened a lifelong intention to fight for equity. Engaging in action-focused spaces that work to effectively address disparities related to race, poverty, gender and generational barriers continues to enhance my capacity for educating and advocating toward equity in private and public entities.

Q: Who or what inspires you to be successful?

A: My professional and personal journeys are fueled by a foundation that each person deserves to be valued as a positive contributor to their community and only in an environment of equity and inclusion can this role be honored.

Whether in work or volunteering, I am intentional about approaching opportunities through two lenses. The first is through a lens that examines relativity to increasing quality of life, and the second lens is through which diversity, equity and inclusion are prioritized.

Knowing that the plans and policies I develop and the initiatives and connections that I make can lead to a positive difference in both the big picture and a single life is what inspires me to be successful.

I continue to look ahead at how my education and experience can continue to expand. I have established two goals that inspire me in and of themselves to be successful:

  • Grow my consulting business, Firm Foundations, to provide technical assistance to small profits and organizations serving disadvantaged members of their community.
  • Become certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners, showing my pledge to uphold high standards of practice, ethics and professional conduct, and to keep my skills sharp and up to date with continuous advanced professional education.

— Nevonne McDaniels, World staffNevonne McDaniels: 664-7151

Nevonne McDaniels: 664-7151