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2020 Innovation Cohort

2020 Innovation Cohort


ELGL and UrbanLeap have partnered to create the 2020 Innovation Cohort Program, which brings together innovators from cities, counties, and towns across the country to utilize UrbanLeap’s innovation management platform to facilitate collaborative innovation projects.

The 2020 Innovation Cohort is bringing together organizations from across the nation this year. Participants include: 1) Aurora, IL, 2) Irving, TX, 3) Kansas City, MO, and 4) Third City Coalition, CA.

Together, the group will identify an issue within community and economic development to address, discover potential solutions, select a subset to pilot, and then share results, learnings and best practices garnered from the development, implementation and evaluation of these pilot programs.

Finally, a special thank you to our mentors and training hosts who make this possible! Thank you to:

Rafael Baptista (Raleigh, NC), Jordan Hillman (Jackson, MS), Maggie Jones (Trrant County, TX) Jim Lenner (Johnstown, OH), Michelle Riske (Irvine, CA), eCivis, mySidewalk, Balancing Act, Bang the Table, Pause for Change, and the Centre for Public Impact.

2019 Cohort

These cohort members will present their findings at the #ELGL20 Annual Conference in Portland, OR.

A huge thank you to the partners and volunteers whose knowledge, experience, and willingness to share their time and resources have made this happen. We couldn't have done it without you amazing ELGL members:

Josh Edwards & the whole i-Team (City of Durham, NC), Steve Pleasant (City of Hillsboro, OR), Brent Stockwell (City of Scottsdale, AZ), Ashley Trim (Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University), Judi Brown (CivicMakers), Eric Keck (ResourceX), Laura Chandler (ClearPoint), and all the attendees at the #ELGL19 Innovation Summit!

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Cohort Contacts

a keegan

Triangle J Council of Governments, NC Engagement Specialist

Alana Keegan, Triangle J Council of Governments

I graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2014 with a degree in International Studies and Economics, and an understanding that I wanted to work in the public sector in some form. My first job out of school was with a Council of Governments in my home state of Connecticut. Immediately, I found myself passionate and intrigued by the role of regional governments working to assist local government make the most of their limited funds and engage citizens. Today, I serve as the Engagement Specialist for Triangle J Council of Governments in Durham, NC where I lead all government engagement, marketing and communication efforts for the organization.

Alana represents the Town of Hillsborough, Town of Rolesville, City of Sanford, and Town of Morrisville in the Innovation Cohort.

l geraghty

City of Portland, ME Director of Innovation & Performance Management

Lena Geraghty, City of Portland, ME

Lena is the City of Portland's first Director of Innovation and Performance Management. She is responsible for creating efficiencies and improving processes in departments across the City and ensuring Portland is a smart and innovative community. Before coming to the City of Portland, Lena spent several years as a senior advisor for the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University. She assisted more than 30 local governments in the US and beyond to manage and use their data to make better decisions for their communities.   Lena has always been a public service advocate. After seeing the impact many family members were able to make in the public sector and the gratification they received, she decided to focus on local government and performance during her MPA at UNC Chapel Hill. Working with governments large and small across the world made this position in Portland the ideal next step.

j grondin

City of Portland, ME Communications Director

Jessica Grondin, City of Portland, ME

I’ve been with the City of Portland for five years now. As Director of Communications, I oversee all communication and marketing efforts for the city, which includes media relations, public information, website and social media management, internal communications, and digital services like 311 and See Click Fix. I’m also working as one of the tri-chairs of the City’s innovation and efficiency efforts. Prior to Portland, I served for 11 years in former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s administration working in two different city departments handling communications and media relations. In between working for the Cities of Boston and Portland, I worked in the private sector at a law firm handling marketing communications. While it was a great experience, my heart knew I needed to be back in public service.


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