With over 20 years experience in urban planning and real estate development, as well as international natural resource management and policy, Marja has worked with a variety of private urban planning firms, public agencies, and international conservation NGOs managing land use and environmental permitting and drafting land use policy on behalf of clients ranging from residential development companies to large public utilities, including the Parliament of the European Union, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Bonneville Power Administration, Clark County, Washington, and the Cities of Kirkland, Kenmore and Bainbridge Island. She has worked with Forest Trends/Conservation International on the Business and Biodiversity Offsets project and with Wildlife Conservation Society on the Conservation Trust Fund Investment Strategy annual report.
Marja is currently managing an integrated team to deliver a 52-unit multifamily net zero positive project and is providing predevelopment, financial and marketing consulting to a number of projects around the country. Prior to her current work, Marja Williams was a partner in Asani/PHC, and President of Asani Development Corporation, an integrated real estate development services company with interest in commercial and residential real estate, a green construction company, and clean energy projects. Marja worked as part of the team that managed the development of the Island Gateway project, to include the Bainbridge Art Museum and the KidiMu, as well as 30,000 square feet of commercial retail and office space. She also led the team to develop the Grow Community, a net-zero energy, solar-powered residential development with 131 homes on Bainbridge Island.
Why are you motivated to participate in the Health Leaders Network? How will your participation enhance your current and future work?
My motivation to participate in the Health Leaders program is to help me set aside time to dive deeper into the Toolkit strategies and study successful projects with multidisciplinary colleagues of like mind specifically to benefit small, scattered site projects of existing and naturally occurring affordable housing. Moreover, since the next Fall meeting will be in Los Angeles, where I reside, attendance will be much more affordable for me as a small business owner.
My participation in the prestigious program will enhance my current work to help curate a practical list of very affordable and achievable healthy living goals tailored for small projects in outlying areas away from the urban core. When we apply for new sources of funding to build/rehabilitate affordable housing, we struggle with compiling a network of service providers and funding sources to meet the rigorous energy, transportation and amenity standards that larger projects can afford. In the future, I hope to be able to scale and replicate the practical list/template for other like neighborhoods.