Ron Dwyer-Voss is the owner and founder Pacific Community Solutions, Inc., a training, consulting and technical assistance company focused on working with community-based initiatives, nonprofit organizations and local governments. His work focuses on asset-based community development and organizing, community engagement and mobilization, participatory evaluation, education, and community health. Since 1982, Ron has been a community organizer, community development corporation director, leadership development coach/trainer and elected school board member. He began working with the Asset-Based Community Development model while organizing on the south and west sides of Chicago in 1991. Since then he has worked with faith-based communities; African-American, Latino and Southeast Asian and Native American and Hawaiian communities; and a mix of urban and rural communities. He also works with youth development coalitions and education-focused organizations. Ron’s education and training has come from both institutions and mentors. He earned a master's degree in planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master's of theology from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. He has been trained and mentored by John Kretzmann and John McKnight, co-founders of the ABCD Institute, for more than 20 years. For the last 10 years he has worked closely with and learned from Mike Green and Henry Moore of the ABCD Training Group. Ron is the past chairperson of the National Community Building and Organizing Initiative of NeighborWorks America, and has provided training in community building and organizing at NeighborWorks Training Institutes around the country. He has trained school board members and administrators on how to more effectively engage their communities in local schools, as well as how to mobilize their communities to advocacy. Ron’s work focuses on helping organizations understand and apply asset-based strategies to community revitalization and community organizing. This means discovering the power within a community and mobilizing the assets of a community before looking for outside resources. Community change is more authentic and more sustainable by working from the inside out rather than simply seeking outside resources to drop in or on the community. Asset-based approaches are also more fun and more sustainable for staff and volunteers as well as residents. Every community has assets from cultural to economic and environmental to individuals. Some of the most rewarding part of this work is organizing or re-organizing those assets to make a stronger community with powerful local leadership.
How Neighborhoods and Local Government Can Work Together to Make Both Stronger
About every six weeks, for the last five years, John and Peter have hosted online / dial-up conversations with community-building pioneers as their guests. For their November 6, 2017 dialog they invited Pacific Community Solutions founder Ron Dwyer-Voss to...
Friends & Neighbors
When Disaster Hits, Your First Responder Probably Will Not Be a First Responder
“If there were ever a place for top down systems, it is in disaster response.” That was the observation of a colleague as he explained the ICS — Incident Command System—utilized by most disaster response agencies. The ICS is pretty top-down. The...
Friends & Neighbors
It’s the Community, Stupid!
The presidential race in 2012 is increasing attention and interest in local economies and small business. So far the debate has focused on perceived economic drivers such as tax incentives and an educated workforce. These have their place, but...
This summer I a spent a week observing life in and around The Falling Rock Cafe in Munising, Michigan. No, I did not receive a MacArthur Grant or other fellowship for observing coffee shops, although if you know of...