Wondering why your local government is claiming it needs to widen a street to make it "safer"? Trying to make sense of the outdated zoning codes in your city? R. Moses has the answer. From the Strong Towns membership, we've assembled a panel of licensed engineers to answer your questions under the collective pseudonym R. Moses. In doing this, we hope to give licensed professionals a chance to speak to important issues without fear of reprisal from their peers or employers. Submit your engineering question anonymously and R. Moses will do his best to answer it in a future post.
Max Azzarello serves as Growth Manager for Strong Towns. He has studied anthropology, public policy and urban planning. His work is as diverse as his residence, from energy management in New York to electoral politics in Sacramento to social justice in Los Angeles. You can currently find him riding his prized Yamaha scooter up and down the beach in the San Diego, California. His passions include chess, creative writing, and Medieval Scandinavian poetry. He considers Microsoft Paint to be the most underrated software of all time.
Are you a Strong Towns member with a question about your membership status or payments? Please email Max.
Bo Wright serves as Development Director for Strong Towns. Previously, he was a research analyst at Calvin Edwards & Company, where he provided consulting services to support the giving decisions of major donors. Prior to that he was a research fellow at the Georgia Center for Opportunity, a state-based public policy think-tank dedicated to increasing opportunity and improving the quality of life for all Georgians. In 2013, Bo was a fellow at the John Jay Institute.
Are you interested in strategically supporting the Strong Towns mission? Get in touch with Bo.
Jacob Moses serves as Community Builder for Strong Towns. After graduating from the University of North Texas, he worked as a technical writer in Boulder, Colorado and, most recent, as a grocer in his neighborhood of Downtown Denton, Texas. Among the topics that Strong Towns covers, Jacob most believes in complete neighborhoods and encouraging his peers to, as he likes to phrase it, live on a neighborhood-level.
Aubrey Byron serves as Membership Coordinator and Staff Writer for Strong Towns. She's a writer based in St. Louis, Missouri. Aubrey began engaging with public space as a cyclist and spends much of her free time trying to inspire more people to be comfortable on bikes through the advocacy of a local nonprofit, The Monthly Cycle. She is also passionate about outdoor adventure and reading.
Michelle Erfurt serves as Strong Towns' Event Pathfinder. Guided by a passion for helping people, Michelle navigates people through the process of bringing a Strong Towns event to their area. Her first career is in music therapy. She spent her clinical years working to decrease pain, improve coping, and enhance interpersonal relationships of hospice and hospitalized patients. Michelle became interested in the topic of city design, the influence of the built environment, and planners after marrying into the field. Her husband, Ed Erfurt, is Assistant City Manager in Ranson, WV and a long-time friend and member of Strong Towns.
Would you like to bring Strong Towns staff to your town for a speaking engagement? Please email Michelle.
Ivy Vann serves as Strong Towns' Gathering Coordinator. She has been fascinated by streets, buildings and communities her entire life. She has been a member of Strong Towns since 2015, when she invited Chuck Marohn to be the keynote speaker for a new planning and development conference she created in New Hampshire. She is certified as a charrette planner by the National Charrette Institute; as an urban planner by the Congress for the New Urbanism; and as a Form-Based Code practitioner by the Form-Based Code Institute. Ivy is committed to making better, healthier, more financially solvent places for everyone by paying attention to historic development patterns and the necessity for beauty in our everyday lives — a commitment which she shares through her own town planning firm, Ivy Vann Town Planning and Urban Design.
Missy Trees serves as Strong Towns' Office Assistant. She holds degrees in business management and has previously worked in marketing and fine dining. She prides herself on excellent customer care. She lives with her kids and husband in Pequot Lakes, MN. She also dabbles in essential oils in her free time and leads a very active lifestyle doing everything from rollerblading to yoga.
Connor Nielsen is an intern with Strong Towns and the geoanalytics firm, Urban3, for the summer of 2018. He studies Economic Development and Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is passionate about storytelling and urbanism, and he seeks to unite these fields by advocating for urban design in new and compelling ways. He also enjoys acting, producing theater, hiking, and traveling.