Trailnet Hires New Policy Catalyst Charles Bryson
Former Director of The City of St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency joins our growing team!
As Policy Catalyst, Charles will lead Trailnet’s strategic policy and advocacy agenda through coalition-building, community outreach and government relations.
Charles began his career in non-profits, working in services for the unhoused in Baltimore, Maryland. After two years with Catholic Charities in Baltimore, he moved to work with the Illinois Department of Public Aid, where he oversaw federal and state grants for services for the unhoused. Eventually, he moved back to his home state of Missouri, where he worked for the Missouri Housing Development Commission as a proponent for low-income housing tax credit development for six years.
When Mayor Francis Slay was elected in 2001, he called on Charles to work as an advisor in his administration, where he was responsible for developing and implementing the overall neighborhood, ethnic and religious outreach plan for the City. During his time in City Hall, Charles worked with three mayors—as special advisor, Director of Public Safety, and for the last eight years, as the Director of the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency (CREA), enforcing federal, state and local fair housing, equal employment opportunity and public accommodation laws, rules and regulations, “a job I truly loved,” said Charles.
Charles will start with Trailnet in late June. As our new Policy Catalyst, he has one overarching goal:
“Listen. Listen to what the community is saying. Look at how our policies, procedures and practices can impact the needs of those various communities. Whether it’s black folks feeling underserved by public transit; Whether it’s the LGBTQIA+ community feeling afraid to walk in certain areas at night; Whether signage in our region adequately serves folks who speak English as a second language. The one thing I want to be able to accomplish is to listen to folks and address their needs.”
Charles currently lives downtown, a short walk from the Trailnet offices.
“I live downtown, in part, because I wanted access to public transit. Public transportation is a big deal for me, so I’m excited to see how my passion for transit can factor into this work.”
He also enjoys hiking, and he says he’s getting into biking.
“I’m in walking shape—I walk about 6.7 miles every couple of days through Forest Park—but that doesn’t mean I’m in biking shape. So I’m working on that,” he said with a smile.
We’re excited to have someone with Charles’s passion and experience join our team. Welcome!
Special Project Director for Trailnet’s Protected Bikeways and Sidewalks Master Plan
Trailnet is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with a 29-year history of fostering healthy, active and vibrant communities where walking, bicycling and the use of public transit are a way of life.
The Special Project Director will lead the master planning process for Trailnet’s vision for a protected bikeway and sidewalk network. The project director will position Trailnet as a trusted regional leader and convener that is committed to an authentic community engagement process that reflects Trailnet’s core values. This 18-month project is high impact and high visibility and will serve as a catalyst spurring momentum for regional change.
The Special Project Director will lead the community engagement process building external relationships necessary to assure project success. The project director will collaborate with Trailnet managers and directors to identify and design strategic marketing and communications to support the project and the organization’s development plan. The Special Project Director works under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer and the Director of Programs for support and collaboration.
The Special Project Director collaborates with the Development Officer, Planning Manager and the Education/ Encouragement Program Manager, and supervises interns.
The Special Project Director’s primary responsibilities will consist of managing and leading the creation of the Protected Bikeways and Sidewalks vision, including:
- Project management of planning process, including managing consultants, staff, and volunteers
- Leading the public engagement process, including facilitating committees as they make recommendations for the master plan
- Creating content for the master plan
- Analyzing, synthesizing, and prioritizing information, including government documents, planning research, news of emerging best practices, and maps
- Critically assessing processes, procedures, and recommendations for equity impact and making appropriate recommendations
- Working with the Director of Programs to build budget and revenue targets; assemble appropriate staff teams to implement the protected bikeways/sidewalks master planning process
- Working with Trailnet leadership to identify new funding sources, pitch projects to potential funders, and cultivate relationships
- Leading and assisting with best practice education through workshops and presentations
- Recruiting, selecting, and training interns, volunteers, and community advocates as appropriate
- Developing content to market and promote the plan for website and social media
- Providing administrative support and other duties as needed
- Providing technical assistance on fee for service projects as appropriate
- Attending select committee meetings and professional development as warranted
In order to be successful, the Special Project Director will need to exhibit the following attributes:
- Process oriented, with the ability to inspire others to buy into the Master Planning Process, and the ability to understand, modify, and build upon the process
- Innovative and bold, with the ability to assess when it is appropriate to take risks in advancing Trailnet’s vision and values and the ability to bring new perspectives
- Systems oriented, with the ability to think critically and strategically, including long-term initiative development; comfortable with problems
- Deep understanding of, and commitment to, equity and inclusion; ability to understand systemic issues and work with the community to address wicked problems
- Curious; open to new ideas and continually seeking to improve their practice
- Comfortable with conflict and collaboration; able to form diverse partnerships
- Ability to embody and articulate Trailnet’s values, including a deep understanding of the Planning Lens guiding the visioning process and commitment to placemaking
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
- Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning or equivalent and a minimum of 5 years or more of relevant project management, facilitation and staff supervision experience. A Masters in Urban Planning or Public Policy preferred, but not required. Strong candidates will have experience in urban planning, urban design, community development/organizing, or public policy. AICP and/or CNU-A preferred
- Knowledge and familiarity of bicycle and pedestrian facility design, urban design, and equity and planning, and urban planning best practices
- Ability to facilitate meetings, organize public events, and work productively with a variety of stakeholders representing different interests
- Ability to manage multiple projects with differing deadlines
- Ability to work independently and manage self and partners while being a genuine “team player”
- Ability to understand and analyze data using descriptive statistics
- Ability to work in a fast-moving and at times intense environment
- Must be highly computer literate – Google Drive, Microsoft Word, Excel, & PowerPoint required; GIS, InDesign, and Adobe Suite preferred
- Must interface with a wide variety of stakeholders from elected officials to community residents
- Must be comfortable facilitating meetings, making presentations, and speaking in public settings
- Ability to write in a persuasive and clear manner
This 18-month contract position offers a salary with a starting range of $45,000 and adjusted to be commensurate with experience, Compensation includes competitive benefits package. Flexible hours, a casual work environment, and an office located close to public transportation, indoor bicycle locker station, and Enterprise Carshare are additional benefits.
HOW TO APPLY?
Qualified applicants should go to this link or copy and paste (https://goo.gl/forms/COGEuzDHw34hKBA23) in browser and submit CONTACT INFORMATION only by February 15. Please give us your email address only. An assessment will be sent out to all applicants on February 16, giving each applicant an opportunity to demonstrate their skills. The assessment will take approximately two hours and the form will close at midnight on February 26. Please do not send letters and resumes. After reviewing the skills assessment, we will contact the top six candidates by March 1 to request resumes and cover letters. Thank you for your interest in Trailnet- we are excited to learn more about each candidate.
Trailnet is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is our policy to make all personnel decisions without discriminating on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, physical disability, mental disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, national or ethnic origin, and any other protected status.