Grant Beck Joins Next Step Network as Marketing and Communications Manager

Grant Beck, Marketing and Communications Manager

Grant Beck Joins Next Step Network as Marketing and Communications Manager
Experienced nonprofit communications professional to lead the Louisville-based organization’s marketing efforts

LOUISVILLE, KY – October 27, 2016 – On October 24, 2016, Grant Beck joined Next Step Network as its marketing and communications manager, bringing a wealth of experience in nonprofit communications to the Louisville-based housing organization. The unique social enterprise works to put sustainable homeownership within reach of everyone, while transforming the manufactured housing industry through consumer education, affordability and energy efficiency.

“We are very excited to have Grant building and leading Next Step’s marketing and communications initiatives,” said Stacey Epperson, president and founder of Next Step. “As we look to strengthen our coalition of nonprofits, retailers, lenders and housing manufacturers, his experience will be a valuable asset, helping us educate people about the work that Next Step and our partners are doing across the country to transform manufactured housing.”

Grant has spent his career in the nonprofit space, working primarily with organizations that advocate for affordable and fair housing opportunities.

Most recently, Grant served as the communications and marketing manager at Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit housing organization dedicated to improving the home health and safety of low-income homeowners and revitalizing communities. In this role, Grant helped drive the strategic communications, marketing and branding of Rebuilding Together’s national office. Grant worked with a diverse group of stakeholders – including Rebuilding Together affiliates, implementation partners, and corporate and community partners – to help manage social media content and strategy, compose and manage email marketing campaigns, manage content creation for the organization’s website, and train key internal stakeholders on basic marketing and communications principles.

Prior to Rebuilding Together, he was the communications officer at the Equal Rights Center, a national nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to promoting equal opportunity in housing, employment and access to public accommodations and government services.

Grant will be based out of the Washington, D.C., area.
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Next Step®, www.nextstepus.org, mobilizes a national network of nonprofits to provide affordable housing tailored to the needs of communities that they serve. Their system – Manufactured Housing Done Right® – connects responsible financing, comprehensive homebuyer education and delivery of high-quality, ENERGY STAR® manufactured homes at scale, creating a model that brings more value to the customer.

Download the Press Release here: http://bit.ly/2ffdIQj

Reflections: A Look Back with Amy Barnard, Factory Direct Program Manager

By Amy Barnard

It’s been 6 years since I took a leap of faith and jumped on board with Stacey and joined Next Step. Personally, this has been such a rewarding opportunity where I actually get to see the impact we are making in people’s lives. I had always said that if I could work for Stacey and still live in Tennessee that I would jump at the chance, and that’s just what I did when she called me years ago.

When I first started it was just Stacey and me (and several consultants) putting all this work and effort into making Next Step huge! I knew coming on board what Stacey had envisioned for Manufactured Housing Done Right®. She was already working on it at a smaller scale in Kentucky at Frontier Housing more than 8 years ago, when I first met her.

In the last 6 years, we have grown as an organization from 2 employees to 9; we have grown the membership from 1 founding member to around 50 members nationwide, and over 200 homes ordered through our network. We started with only 1 manufacturer and 1 factory, and now we’re partnered with 5 manufacturers and 25 factories. I’m amazed at the impact we have made, not only in the lives of individual families but also on a national scale (with such a small staff) through our policy and advocacy work.

There are some specific things throughout the years that stand out to me, like learning to navigate the nonprofit side of this industry, realizing the challenges that manufactured homeowners face (which is not something you hear of when working for a manufacturer), and coming to understand how changing the way a home is packaged for a buyer can mean great changes in that person’s life.

We face challenges and we always overcome only to be better at what we do. We learn what works and what doesn’t, and that has allowed us to evolve according to the needs of our members. Growing Next Step since joining Stacey 6 years ago has been fun and challenging, and I would definitely do it all again.

 

Paul Bradley: I Believe In Manufactured Housing!

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Paul Bradley of ROC USA wrote a heartfelt blog about the experience of finding a new home that meets the needs of his mother, Lois, as she ages.

After some consideration, Paul and Lois chose a Next Step home because “we wanted an Energy Star-certified and universal design (i.e. wider doors, walk-in showers, door levers instead of knobs – all intended to allow owners to more comfortably age in place) home that would put her 19th-century home to shame.  (I want no longing feelings for that old place!)”

We’re overjoyed to be able to provide a home where Lois can live in comfort, and this is a testament to the work we do. Please read Paul’s full blog here!

NeighborWorks Pueblo Joins Next Step Network

We’re happy to welcome NeighborWorks® of Pueblo into the Next Step Network, expanding our coverage to 51 Network Members putting sustainable homeownership within reach of families nationwide by delivering Manufactured Housing Done Right.

NeighborWorks Pueblo serves various counties in Southern Colorado, and they provide a whole host of services including pre- and post-purchase education, lending, development, and much more.

Their mission is to “revitalize neighborhoods and assist families in homeownership.”

NeighborWorks Pueblo has the core belief that “building sustainable communities starts with building stable homes.” They support financial success for homeowners in the long-term in order to create stronger communities.

To learn more about NeighborWorks Pueblo, go here.

After Hours: Stacey Epperson

In our “After Hours” blog series, we invite Next Step team members to talk about their hobbies or interests outside of work. Up next is Next Step’s President & Founder, Stacey Epperson:

By Stacey Epperson, President & Founder of Next Step

Every time I visit a family in a Next Step Home, my eye goes straight to the kitchen. I love that the kitchen sink always has a nice view outside and we usually have a work island with a good layout. The kitchen is the heart of the home. I know it’s my favorite room in my house.  It’s where you will find me when I am not in the office or on the road. Every Saturday I write and post the menu for the week, make the grocery list, hit the farmers market and then my favorite grocery.

I have my grandmother and parents to thank for my love of food. On our farm we had a garden, livestock, and learned to eat good, wholesome food. Even today my father has a smoke house where he cures hams. We would always have a Sunday sit-down with my grandmother—and those are memories that I want to make for my daughter. I am passing on skills for good health and good memories. My grandmother always had one rule: a green and yellow vegetable in every meal, and a dish of fruit too.

In my early 20s, I made a commitment to know everything about food. I loved watching cooking shows on PBS and became a passionate reader of Gourmet Magazine; I was a foodie before it was trendy. Today I cook breakfast every morning before work, and dinner every night that I am home. Thank goodness that Dave does the dishes.  But now I have more help in the kitchen, Maggie is with me and I am teaching her everything I know. We pay close attention to food–carbs, fat, protein, etc. Maggie was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes when she was two and you can learn more on her JDRF One Walk page here.

img_5462_webMaggie is taking it to a different level. She loves baking and became interested in European methods after we visited our Swedish family—her cousins’ grandmother is a retired chef. This year Chef Shannon Wampler-Collins invited her to  cook with the Lexington Women’s Chef Series and Guest Chef Elizabeth Faulkner. Her dessert was served, KY JD’s buttermilk sorghum panna cotta, with a blackberry coulis and a Swedish cardamom crisp cookie crumble; an ode to her KY roots and Swedish family. Needless to say, I gained 10 pounds this summer tasting the recipe until she got it just right.

Home is more than shelter, it’s where we nurture and find comfort. We replenish our body and our souls. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it has stolen my heart. It’s where we teach and pass on what sustains us. Bon Appétit, gumbo is on the menu tonight!

Stay tuned, we’ll be back next month with another After Hours spotlights on the Next Step Team!