Neighborhood Partnerships is pleased to welcome our newest staff member, Holly McGuire! Welcome Holly!
Holly has joined the Oregon IDA Initiative as an IDA Program Coordinator. We asked her a few questions about herself to try to get to know her a little bit better.
For starters, tell me a little about yourself
I come from a working-class Midwestern family. I grew up surrounded by strong women who knew the power of family to help manage with not quite enough. My mother was the first to finish college in her family—just a few years before I did. When I transplanted myself to the west coast, I found this soil more nurturing to the truth of who I am, and I cannot imagine living anywhere else. Portland became home, after stints in cities north and south, because the air smelled of forest when we arrived, reminding me of Michigan. We leave and stay in many ways.
My husband and I share a passion for food and cooking, for supporting local growers and local businesses, and for the outdoors. Also, I love puzzles. Our daughter, Anastasia, is 8, and is a devoted friend, has a fantastic laugh, and, like me, loves the ocean.
What area of expertise and interest do you have?
I am a patterner. I seek out order and pattern and have a facility for organizing—information, people, process. My interest lies in using this skill to improve things for people—to clear away some of the barriers and make work easier and more productive. As a counterpoint, I also seek to facilitate connection and real communication through active listening, working to make space for people as they are, and being attentive to the truth that situations and conversations feel different for people arriving from different background and realities.
What does opportunity mean to you?
Opportunity is opening. It is an invitation to reach for more. It is what our nation promises to all but still too often falls short on providing in any equitable and accessible manner. This job is an opportunity for me to contribute to improving that access.
What difference can financial security make for individuals and communities?
I cannot overstate how important financial security is. Without it everything is a compromise. Without it—and a really small proportion of our population truly has financial security—our field of vision narrows in response to each crisis, forcing calculations about how and whether it can be managed, what compromises or sacrifices will be necessary, what opportunities cut off. When members of a community lack financial security, the whole community is stressed. Each improvement in financial security strengthens community and the ability of all to support and grow together.
What’s your favorite quote?
I’m a bit of a quote collector. My most recent acquisition comes from a talk Sherman Alexie gave at Wordstock 2016:
“Laughter is spiritual. Laughter is a prayer”
Choose one author, living or dead, that you’d like to have dinner with?
[Sherman Alexie]’s also the author I’d choose to dine with.
What are you looking forward to most about this position?
I am looking forward to so much about this position, but perhaps most of all the chance to collaborate with the amazing staff at NP, and the many partners we work with statewide.