DIANE MAKAR MURPHY Following her mission, director makes a difference

When Tamica Green attended YSU, not long ago, she had to write a personal mission statement for a professional development class. At first, she balked.
"I know what I'm about. I don't need it in writing,'" she recalled thinking. "But I found it very empowering."
In fact, the new Federal Plaza Events director keeps the mission statement on the bulletin board of her fourth-floor office in the Wick Building.
"It reminds me what I'm doing and why," she said. "You get caught up in success and your ambitions, and it's important to stay focused. To listen to [your] spirit."
A mere 28 years old, a year out of college, and a woman of color in a high-profile position, some might think Green has a lot to prove. As events director, she has assumed a large part of the responsibility for creating an inviting downtown image.
Scheduling events that appeal to a cross-section of the community requires ingenuity, enthusiasm, the ability to listen and coordinating skills.
Under pressure: "I do feel some pressure to prove myself," she said. "I feel I have to give 110 percent. I certainly think people look at these three things [age, race, gender] before my accomplishments."
"Some people think race would be the biggest thing, but age is a bigger factor. It is certainly a daily battle to -- I don't want to say overcome -- but to have [people] look at what I'm doing."
In the position since December, Green, who was selected by city council, has already put her signature emphasis on diversity, energy and being a positive influence into her selection of events. Midday Summer Jams, held every other Tuesday at noon on the plaza, bring downtown workers together to hear various bands. Parties on the plaza, summer fireworks, a Walk for Wishes (Make-a-Wish Foundation), a celebrity taste-off, even a holiday parade are planned. Green's list goes on and on.
"It was my goal to bring a little of my personality to the job," she said. "I'm starting things that haven't been done before. And I want to focus on the positive. I want people to think of downtown as beautiful, clean and a place where things are going on."
How it's been: With a small budget, and little time to scrounge significant contributions, Green said this first year has been like "pushing a boulder up a hill with your nose."
"Impossible? No. We have a lot of wonderful people joining in. For example, Streetscape just planted flowers all along the plaza -- it did my heart good seeing 200 volunteers making downtown look good," she said. "And I'm trying and learning. People said of the Summer Jam, 'It won't work. People will complain about music on the plaza during the workday.' But I said, 'Let's try it.' People heard the music and came out of their offices. We didn't get any complaints."
"One day at a time" is how Green characterizes her game plan. "I don't think there is one main goal aside from creating a program that is diverse and unique that will bring people together."
"There is no other place on earth that has this sense of family and this work ethic," the Akron-born Green said. "We need to create a focus that will find our common ground."
Keeping her focus: Green's personal focus, through college (which she is continuing as she pursues a master's in organizational leadership at Geneva College) and now, is to be a positive force in people's lives. "To, every single day I live and breathe, make a conscious choice to make a difference in the life of another," her college mission statement reads.
Her role in the public arena, as one force in downtown's revitalization, might also be found in that statement. It reads, "To ensure that when my soul looks back and wonders at a ripe age, I will be proud of my accomplishments and contributions to my community, state and the world at large."

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