In praise of Kathy Bogle Shields
To the editor:
Imagine working on a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces not only move, but change shape, and you have some idea of how hard it is to do effective community development.
For 35 years, Kathy Bogle Shields has helped communities across New Hampshire fit those pieces together.
Shields, who retired as executive director of New Hampshire’s Community Development Finance Authority at the end of January, understands the complications and nuances of what strong communities need. She knows that each town, city and region of the state has different economic dynamics and needs. She knows that vibrant downtowns make communities attractive and livable, and are magnets that draw housing and business activity.
She knows that effective community development requires an array of financing options, that each project’s needs requires a different calculus of government and private funds, grants and loans, contributions and match money.
She has stood out as a champion for what numerous studies of economic vitality show, but few places act upon: quality and affordable child care/early learning that not only enables parents to work, but also prepares children to become successful students, solid citizens, strong employees and leaders.
We applaud Kathy Bogle Shields and her team for their great work, and hope CDFA’s next executive director carries it on.
New Hampshire Community Loan Fund