CPED New Staff Member Spotlight: Kamelle Gomez
What do you at the Division of Agriculture?
I am a program associate focused on economic development in the southwestern corner of Arkansas. I am a part of the SBA community navigator pilot program.
What are some interesting projects you’ve worked on?
All my AmeriCorps roles are super interesting: when I was with NCCC we got to serve in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Houston and on the Texas/Louisiana boarder. We lived and worked in a wildlife refuge in North Carolina, we were rebuilding a walking pavilion in the swamp. Hungry black bears were trying to break into our cabin for a month. Additionally, we got to travel to Outer banks of North Carolina rebuilding the famous “Pony Pens” on Ocracoke Island, though I was only there for a few days.
With United Way of the Piedmont, I served as VISTA Leader/Program manager for our financial stability program. There I met a lot of great people and was able to see community development in action. The connectivity of that community was so awesome. I was happy to be a part of that project.
What is your favorite day of the week and why?
Thursday right now. Honestly, I don’t know why. Maybe because we’ve been going out lately on Thursday.
What do you admire most in others?
I admire perseverance and grit the most. Tough times show true character and can bring out the best in people.
Can you share a significant professional development moment?
I don’t have a moment where there was a eureka or anything major in regards to professional development. But, the last 5 years or so I have been super intentional about the trainings and conferences I've attended and my mentor helps me out too.
Can you tell us about your passion to serve Arkansas small businesses?
I believe owning businesses are the driving force to make the racial wealth disparities smaller and a key opportunity to prosperity for those who choose to take the risk to become small business owners. I have been looking to get to this work for a while so I am super excited to get started.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
Being out in the field will be fun. Making the new relationships with the people of southwest Arkansas will be even greater.
What are people usually surprised to find out about you?
I am a yogi.