Dacia Steiner, MPA, is currently the program director for ReServe Miami, operated by Catalyst Miami. ReServe matches continuing professionals age 55+ (ReServists) with nonprofit organizations and government agencies that need their expertise to build capacity and meet programmatic goals. After overseeing the official launch of ReServe Miami in October 2011, Dacia proceeded to exceed her first-year deliverables by 200 percent within nine months. By designing and implementing a strategic plan, she has also formed strategic partnerships with Miami Dade County Public Schools, South Florida Workforce Investment Board and numerous local Chambers of Commerce and generated over $100K in funding during the first fiscal year.
Previously Dacia was a program manager at the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University, where she worked closely with John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann for more than five years. In addition to overseeing all of the Institute’s projects, Dacia worked directly with government agencies, institutions and nonprofits to design community-based participatory research projects, and partnered with them on the implementation of those efforts. Her research and writing primarily focused on themes related to youth, aging and international development. In 2009, she co-authored Building Mutually Beneficial Relationships Between Schools and Communities: The Role of a Connector as part of a three-year research and pilot project to train Community Connectors within Chicago Public Schools.
Dacia has also taught university courses in several topic areas, including introductory community development, complex organization, the nonprofit sector, asset-based organizing and teaching in urban communities. While at Northwestern University, she served as a graduate teaching assistant to Jody Kretzmann. She is currently a Faculty member of the ABCD Institute at DePaul University.
In 2010, the Haitian Connection invited Dacia to conduct a workshop series in Jeremie, Haiti, on using an asset-based approach to develop a community-based mental health program. While in Jeremie, Dacia also taught a weeklong introductory community development course at the University of the Nouvelle Grand’Anse (UNOGA) and subsequently became involved with a number of ongoing local development initiatives. She is a founding member of the UNOGA Foundation, which provides technical and financial support to the university.
All of Dacia’s work emphasizes strengthening neighborhoods, engaging individuals, and connecting associations and institutions and other organizations through the design and implementation of asset-based development strategies.
Dacia lives in Miami, Florida, with her two rescued animals, Romeo and Chocolate, the Spanish-speaking dog, both pit bull mixes.