Della Rucker writes, talks to people, gives advice, and helps people figure out how to change their community to deal with new economic realities.
She focuses primarily on two sets of issues: empowering and equipping communities to involve their residents in a meaningful manner, and building strong local economies by fostering a robust small business ecosystem. Much of her work involves incorporating new technologies into those issues.
Della has provided consulting services for local governments, nonprofits, businesses and property owners for about 25 years. She has worked in both capacities in about half of the U.S., in environments ranging from the very urban to the very rural. She has managed development of fiscal impact models, led contentious public meetings, pushed committees through hard choices and listened to the fears and frustrations of hundreds of public servants and dedicated advocates. She has also written and/or managed production of pretty much everything from comprehensive plans to heritage tourism brochures.
Della is one of about 10 private sector persons in the United States to hold the industry-standard professional certifications in both planning (AICP) and economic development (CEcD). At various points in her life, Della has been an English teacher, a Main Street program charter board member, a historic preservation consultant, and a small town journalist.A prolific writer, Della is the author of The Local Economy Revolution: What’s Changed and How You Can Help, (Wise Fool Press, 2013) and Online Public Engagement (Routledge, 2016). She is the editor of Why This Work Matters: Wisdom from the People Who Are Making Communities Better (Wise Fool Press, 2014. She is also currently the Managing Editor of EngagingCities, an online magazine that focuses on the intersection between internet technologies and community engagement. Della speaks and teaches workshops frequently across the United States. She also produces podcasts and videocasts for the Wise Economy Workshop, EngagingCities, and others.
Della is a native of Bedford, Ohio. She holds an undergraduate degree in secondary education from Northwestern University in Chicago, and a Master of Community Planning with a concentration in Economic Development from the University of Cincinnati. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two sons, two sailboats, assorted cold-blooded creatures courtesy of Son #2, and a psychological-baggage-laden rescue Laborador retriever.