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Women's History Month at NEOO


Mer'Ce Tyler, Business Relations Coordinator and Executive Assistant

Hometown: Gary, IN


Q: When are you most inspired?

A: I am most inspired at night when everything slows down. The quiet time allows me to process and decompress.


Q: What is something you're passionate about?

A: I am really passionate about real estate development work and hopeful to do some in my hometown of Gary, Indiana. I know people sometimes only see it for what it is now but I see it for what it once was. I chose this line of work for that very reason.


Q: What's your nickname in the office?

A: Lol, Denetrick calls me MerCe Misdemeanor and everyone else may call me Big MerCe (emphasis on 'big' - never little).


Q: What drew you to NEOO?

A: The alignment of my vision and values with NEOO's purpose is what brought me here. I did some research on the organization prior to applying and I felt pride and joy to see the work they were doing. I applied as soon as the opportunity presented itself.


Q: What's your favorite thing about working for NEOO?

A: My absolutely favorite thing about working here at NEOO is the fact that I can show up genuinely and authentically as myself and it’s appreciated and celebrated.


(Mer'Ce is pictured here with Josie R. Johnson, community organizer and activist)



Sharice McCain, Senior Community Engagement Specialist.

Hometown: St Paul, MN


Q. When are you most inspired?

A. I am most inspired in the soul stirring silence of nature, near water, in a forest or park, staring at the beauty of mountains, just connecting to the Earth and basking in its beauty.


Q. What's something you’re passionate about?

A. I am passionate about people understanding that their worth is not in the doing, but in just being. I try to infuse this idea into my singing, my life as a Mother and definitely in the work that I do!


Q. What's your nickname in the office?

A. I have always wanted my nickname to be SAM (my initials). It never took off but maybe now we can make it a thing??


Q. What drew you to NEOO?

A. I was drawn to NEOO by the possibility and opportunity to enact change by creating spaces for community to collaborate, and clients to understand the intricate needs of others. I see NEOO as the catalyst for doing my part to create the beautiful vision I imagine for this world.


Q. What’s your favorite thing about working for NEOO?

A. My favorite thing about working for NEOO is being in the midst of my multi-talented, knowledgable, inspiring co-workers and learning from them and NEOO Leadership every day. My life has been enriched by being a part of the NEOO team!



Christina Berry, Senior Economic Development Advisor

Hometown: Mendenhall, MS


Q: When are you most inspired?

A: I love cities and the vibrancy that’s found in the creativity of their places and spaces. It’s where I draw my energy from. Sometimes it’s from a super cool coffee shop or maybe just enjoying the music from street performances while shopping at an outdoor market. So it’s no wonder, for the last three years I’ve taken solo trips for my birthday - it’s my time to reflect on the past year and draw on the city’s energy to set personal goals for my “new year.”


Q: What is something you're passionate about?

A: The power of one. One person with one idea, one word of inspiration, one high five, can change the trajectory of so many lives. I’m really passionate about making a difference and I’m not going to wait on anyone or any "right" circumstance, because the power lies within.


Q: What's your nickname in the office?

A: Queen of the Deep South. Denetrick gave me this nickname because I always referenced Minnesota’s cold weather to that in Winterfell on Game of Thrones, with he and D'Angelos being “Kings in the North.” Since I was in the south - Queen of the South was birthed.


Q: What drew you to NEOO?

A: If I said mission and vision alignment I would be right, but honestly they (D'Angelos and Denetrick) just made me feel like family. Our open conversations about race, place and society, being able to connect with their life experiences, passions and forward thinking and being given the opportunity to follow my own path, really sealed the deal.


Q: What's your favorite thing about working for NEOO?

A: Our company culture and the cultural diversity of our clients. Even though I’m in the Deep South, I feel connected. Weekly at least one person from the office calls about one thing and it turns into an hour long conversation about anything from recipes to lipstick colors, or the water crisis in Jackson. I love the experience of working with clients from different ethnicities, nationalities and genders to create wealth building opportunities in commercial real estate.



Jasmine Carey, Public Engagement Specialist

Hometown: South Minneapolis


Q: When are you most inspired?

A: I am most inspired when I am in a space where I am passion- fueled and purpose driven! I do this by cultivating space in my life for opportunities for joy, fun, rest and time connecting with nature.


Q: What's something you're passionate about?

A: I am passionate about food; whether that is trying out new recipes, finding restaurants to try or new happy hours to check out.


Q: What's your nickname in the office?

A: Jazz


Q: What drew you to NEOO?

A: There were many things that drew me to NEOO, but ultimately I always wanted to work as a consultant at the intersection of community and the decision making process. I also wanted to be in a work space that aligned with my values, invested in Black and Brown communities, and a space that allowed me to show up as myself.


Q: What's your favorite thing about working for NEOO?

A: My favorite thing about working for NEOO is the work culture and environment that has been cultivated, and the brilliant people I get to work with and learn from on a daily basis. There is always a joke, story or new fact I take away with me when I am at the office.



Carmen Iman, Communications Advisor.

Hometown: Walthamstow, East London


Q: When are you most inspired?

A: I'm most inspired when I'm in water. I just feel so free and there are no distractions even if other people are there - it's just me and my thoughts.


Q: What's something you're passionate about?

A: Children. It's probably the big sister in me, but I'm fiercely protective over children in general and just think they're amazing and deserve the world.


Q: What's your nickname in the office?

A: Comms Carm, but I chose it. Mer'Ce also calls me Carmianna sometimes. I've honestly given myself most of my nicknames lol.


Q: What drew you to NEOO?

A: I looked up the company before I applied for my position and saw their principle of "Applied Empathy" on the website. As a big softie, I was really drawn to a company operating with empathy, and them standing on that is what's kept me here.


Q: What's your favorite thing about working for NEOO?

A: I'm sure everyone else has said this, but being able to show up as myself and having that celebrated. We spend so much time at work, it's great to be able to do it somewhere you don't have to put on an act.



Menaka Mohan, MCP, MPH, Director of Operations.

Hometown: St Paul


Q: When are you most inspired?

A: I'm most inspired, professionally, when I'm sitting in a room with D'Angelos Svenkeson and Denetrick Powers just white-boarding. It is super fun thinking about answers to all the challenges we see with our clients and trying to figure out a clear and concise way to communicate them. Personally, I always get really inspired being outside. I'm a big outdoors woman: I love camping, hiking, running, biking - anything outdoors.


Q: What is something you're passionate about?

A: I love being an aunty to my two nieces, they're the best. I'm also passionate about making the world a safer and healthier place to live.


Q: What's your nickname in the office?

A: I don't think I have a nickname at the office, actually.


Q: What drew you to NEOO?

A: D'Angelos. I met him at the ULI REDi program, we just started talking and I was really inspired by everything NEOO set out to do. I've loved seeing our growth from 4 people to a staff of 20 now, and our projects are really interesting.


Q: What's your favorite thing about working for NEOO?

A: Our staff is super diverse, and not just in the way most people think about NEOO, but in the experiences that we bring. I learn a lot every day from the different members on our team. My favorite things are definitely the people, our projects and the communities we get to serve.


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