May 28, 2008
UPDATE: City hires Debbi Embry as its new grant facilitator
UPDATE: Embry's salary will be $58,000 plus standard city benefits. Her salary will be significantly less than the $90,000 originally talked about in the budget for the position.
ORIGINAL POST: The city hired Debbi Embry, former executive director of the Racine YWCA, as its new grant facilitator.
Embry will start in her job , a new position with the city, on June 9. She was one of 43 applicants for the new position, and selected after preliminary interviews with seven candidates and a second round of interviews with three candidates.
“She had a presence about her, spoke with confidence, knowledge base about grants that was impressive,” said City Administrator Ben Hughes, who will supervise Embry as an employee of the mayor’s office.
A key part of Embry’s job will be to work with the city’s 13 departments to secure grants from state, federal and private nonprofit funding sources, Hughes said.
While city department heads have done a good job at securing state and federal dollars, they haven’t done a good job at work with private foundations like the Joyce Foundation or the Ford Foundation, Hughes said.
“The basic reason is our department heads just don’t have the time to do that,” Hughes said about pursuing private grants. “There’s not enough hours in the day.”
In addition to writing grants, Embry also will be responsible for following up with existing grants to make sure the money is being spent effectively, and that proper paperwork is filed for multi-year grants.
Embry will be expected to generate enough revenue to cover her $90,000 salary and benefits, plus additional money to run city government, Hughes said.
Examples of areas where new grant money may be available include infant mortality programs, park maintenance and the city’s efforts to clean up the Root River and its public beaches.
Embry was removed as head of the YWCA on Dec. 5 as part of sweeping changes to the organization, including the sale of its building on College Avenue.
Embry is the daughter of legendary NBA star Wayne Embry of the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.