Guest written by Kami Dempsey-Goudie, Accretive Consulting President
As a government relations and public engagement consultant for more than two decades, I thoroughly enjoy working on transportation and infrastructure projects. The most rewarding, however, are the dynamics of working with an entire team of contractors, engineers, national consultants, and support services who are committed to finding the most innovative and practical solution for our community’s demand for enhanced infrastructure. This is what led me to work with the RTC.
I first started working with RTC many years ago, more than I would like to admit (put it this way, it was when the 215 was still conceptual and Commissioner Woodbury was leading the charge) advocating for a more stable base of funding for future road enhancements. From those early days to now, I have had the pleasure of spearheading strategies engaging residents, businesses and civic leaders on specific interests and projects which directly impact them.
I am especially proud that I am a native Southern Nevadan and my dream to give back to my community, which has given me so much, is fulfilled a little each day. My background is in public affairs, governmental relations, and campaign management. I have represented the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, the City of Las Vegas, and a local utility corporation. I started my own consulting firm and secured my Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification after working with a small, woman owned outreach firm.
I knew I had the skills and the expertise to make significant contributions, but as a woman in this field, I often experienced situations where my voice was drowned out and my ideas were not taken seriously. I had been told by a fellow female colleague that I must reach a specific age before I would earn credibility in the profession. Moreover, I was advised to only wear skirts when testifying before a male-dominated legislative committee. Times have changed and I am lucky to have followed in the footsteps of so many pioneers, both men and women, who took on similar challenges before me.
More than anything, though, I am who I am, and I am good at what I do based on people with whom I surround myself. I am a true believer that the best ideas come from not just one person, but a group of passionate people, eager to find a solution to the task at hand; much like what is found at the RTC.
Was I expected to “pay my dues” as a young aspiring professional? Absolutely. And I happily did it while taking advantage of every opportunity to drain knowledge from the best of the best, who were available to me. But the one area I have most to thank for my achievements today, is the advice, support, and motivation I have received over the years from so many individuals from all walks of life. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of mentorship and passing down the knowledge and experience of your own to younger generations. It’s a privilege to shorten the learning curve for our future leaders and what they do in their future reflects on the person I choose to be today. A common theme this past year has been “we are all in this together” and as we take on a new generation of challenges, regardless of what it is, we must always remember…. We really ARE in this together.