Della Rucker is a speaker, advisor and writer who focuses on new and emerging strategies for helping the places that people care about achieve long-term success.
Della has worked in economic development, urban planning, public engagement and facilitation across the US, 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.
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 also has been an English teacher, a Main Street program charter board member, a historic preservation consultant, and a journalist.
In addition to her role as Principal of the Wise Economy Workshop, Della is also the Managing Editor of EngagingCities, an online magazine that focuses on the intersection between internet technologies and community engagement. She is the author of the upcoming book Online Public Engagement, due out in 2016 from Routledge Press, and the author of several books on community revitalization issues through Wise Fool Press.
Della has spoken at more than 100 seminars, conferences, and other events nationwide, on topics ranging from public engagement methods to downtown parking strategies. She emphasizes audience involvement and designs presentations so that attendees have a chance to act on what they have heard.
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, Ohio, with her husband and two sons.