By: Egbert Perry
Who or what inspired you to work in public service?
My motivation is rooted in my parents. Both my mother and father taught me the importance and responsibility of “giving back” to my community.
What is something you are excited about right now?
I am excited about the opportunities my grandchildren will have. I cannot image what their lives have in store for them, but the avenues opened for them could be very exciting.
What is your favorite class that you ever taught or took, and why?
Not sure there was a single class I can identify but I can say there was a favorite subject. When I was a small boy, I was intrigued by suspension bridges, and I asked my father what I needed to study to build bridges. He told me I’d need to become a civil engineer to build bridges. That’s how I decided to study civil engineering.
What advice can you give to folks beginning careers in public service?
“Compensation” comes in many forms. Unfortunately, many public service jobs do not pay the most in their fields. A successful career, with a blend of public and private-sector jobs, can provide monetary, emotional, and civic rewards.
Was there a transformational experience in your life that relates to public service?
A business partner and I first conceived and then led, in collaboration with another private firm and a public-sector partner, a strategy dubbed “The Atlanta Model.” The strategy included a legal, regulatory, and financial model that made holistic, mixed-income community developments a legal and financial possibility. The strategy facilitates market rate and affordable rental and for-sale housing, and commercial and retail uses, complemented by early childhood and K-12 education solutions, health, wellness & recreation facilities, and services that help families access job training and employment while pursuing self-sufficiency. The tenets of the model have been replicated more than 250 times across the country.
What is your favorite midnight snack?
I do not snack after 9:00 p.m., but I do enjoy rum raisin ice cream.
Do you have any pets at home?
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
The review of the building plans for the building of the great pyramids of Kemet.
Do you have a favorite podcast, journal, newspaper, or other kind of media?
I like watching various comedians as they bring attention to the hypocrisy and contradictions in our politics.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Do not let others define success for you. Only your definition matters.