Houston Recovery Expert on Impact of Harvey, and How to Clean Up on GoLocal LIVE

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


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Angela Blanchard, Houston-based head of BakerRipley

Angela Blanchard, President and CEO of Houston-based community service non-profit BakerRipley, spoke with GoLocal LIVE on Monday to provide an update from Texas, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey -- and the historic rain and flooding that has ensued. 

Blanchard, who is a globally recognized expert practitioner in community development and disaster recovery, appeared with GoLocal CEO Josh Fenton about the current situation in Texas -- and lessons for other communities to consider in the face of disaster. 

"It's a volatile time to live with a lot of disruption -- at some point, you'll face something the likes of which you haven't faced in your resilience plan," said Blanchard, via Skype. "The strength of the community before the incident shapes your ability to come together after."

"There's a fork in the road. There's [the blame], the 'why us'....and then the other way, which is that we're human, our systems are imperfect, everything we know to do won't be enough," said Blanchard. "It's about creativity, resolve, and compassion [to recover]."

Blanchard spoke to pictures and video of the continued evacuation efforts in Houston, as the rain is expected to continue to come down in the coming days. 
"You can't [just] move 6.5 million people," said Blanchard, of Houston and the surrounding areas impacted by the flooding. 

Blanchard -- and BIF

Blanchard has close ties to Rhode Island, having participated in past Business Innovation Factory (BIF) summits in Providence, and is slated to take part in #BIF2017 this September.

As BIF writes: 
Through her more than thirty years of experience, thought leader Angela Blanchard has reached an epiphany: A community should be defined by its strengths, resources, achievements, and hopes – not its degree of “brokenness”. 

As a result of her unwavering and passionate efforts as president and CEO of Neighborhood Centers Inc., Blanchard has extended this community development framework throughout the Houston region to impact over 500,000 people a year. Under Angela’s vision and leadership, Neighborhood Centers remains the largest non-profit in Texas and is ranked in the top 1% of charitable groups in the nation.


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