Opening Doors For Your Organization

Experience

Rita began her career at a public hospital where she was responsible for grant writing and program implementation. In 1994, she was hired by the City of Alton, Illinois as their grant writer and in 1995, was appointed Associate Director of Economic Development for the City. She worked there for over 11 years, with the last five serving as the City's Deputy Director of Development, Housing and Grants.

Rita's housing experience includes affordable housing, market rate housing and senior housing developments. She oversaw a department charged with the writing and evaluation of housing RFPs, property acquisition and a very successful homeownership program.

In addition to writing grants, Rita administered the City's annual $1 million Community Development Block Grant budget. Funds were used for infrastructure projects, such as streetscape improvements, and numerous grants for not-for-profit agencies. In addition to working with not-for-profits through her position, Rita has served on the board of directors for many organizations.

During her tenure with the City of Alton, Rita secured over $6 million in grants. Numerous grants involved neighborhood revitalization efforts, law enforcement activities and park developments.

Education

Rita obtained her bachelor's degree in Communication from St. Louis University in 1991, graduating with honors in only 2 years. While working full-time, she became the youngest person to graduate from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville's Public Administration Master's Program in 1994. After receiving her master's degree, she continued her full-time employment and began a family of three while pursuing her Doctorate of Management Degree from the School of Business and Technology at Webster University. She completed her doctorate in 2002.

Rita often shares her education and experience with others. She has served as a guest teacher for community development and finance courses at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and has taught training workshop sessions for planners on topics such as land use planning, brownfield development and neighborhood revitalization. Rita has also taught public speaking and communication courses at Lewis and Clark Community College.