Chief Influencer

Kimberly Driggins is the Executive Director at Washington Housing Conservancy (WHC), which is pioneering the transformation of urban landscapes in the D.C. region. With a keen focus on creating thriving, inclusive, mixed-income communities, Kimberly's leadership at WHC since its inception in 2019 has been nothing short of revolutionary. 

With a stellar background in urban planning and real estate development, including pivotal roles as Director of Strategic Planning for the City of Detroit and Associate Director for Citywide Planning for the District of Columbia, Kimberly brings unparalleled expertise to the table. What truly sets Kimberly apart is her tireless commitment to uplifting community and residents' voices and her innovative approach to placemaking. As a board member of the National Landing Business Improvement District and former Chairperson of the Gehl Institute, Kimberly's influence transcends conventional boundaries, shaping cities for the people, by the people. 

In this episode, you'll gain invaluable insights from Kimberly as she joins Host Anthony Shop to share her groundbreaking tactics for redefining urban spaces. From her strategic vision to her hands-on experience and how she helps create inclusive communities that thrive and inspire.

  • Engage the community and be consistent. A consistent presence and genuine commitment are crucial when rebuilding trust in communities. Showing up in-person and making meaningful connections over time builds trust.
  • Trust your gut and take risks. Stepping out of one's comfort zone, coloring outside the lines, and going against the grain can have an incredibly transformative effect.
  • Leaders must be humble and empathetic, understanding that sometimes they must take responsibility for past injustices or mishaps, even if they were not directly involved. 
  • Celebrating small wins while working towards the long game is crucial for building trust and motivating stakeholders, thereby creating lasting change.
  • One of the keys to influence in the urban redevelopment and placemaking sphere is the effort to expand the definition of affordable housing. By making it more inclusive, it can be able to change perceptions and invite innovative solutions.
  • Translate bold visions into tangible goals that various stakeholders can understand and rally behind. Kimberly emphasizes the critical role this translation plays in enabling her to implement innovative solutions in her work, hence showing the need to communicate effectively and convincingly.

Quote of the Show:
  • “You can only move at the speed of trust.” - Kimberly Driggins
  • “I really believe in being true to my word and living my values.” - Kimberly Driggins


Shout Outs:

Creators & Guests

Anthony Shop
Anthony Shop believes in the power of people-centered branding and marketing to create a bright future. He chairs the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers. Anthony also is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, a digital services firm that helps companies and non-profits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, creative, and advertising. An enthusiastic presenter and teacher, he has led executive-level training for Amazon, PepsiCo, NASA, The British Embassy and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times, “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal, and Business Leader of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. A former newspaper reporter, Anthony was the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He currently serves on the boards of Leadership Greater Washington and LearnServe International. He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer.
Robert Krueger
Robert is an Executive Director for The Communications Board, an organization with the mission of providing high-quality professional development for every communicator in every location. He is also the Global Lead for Partnership Communications at Gensler, the world’s largest architecture and design firm. Prior to his current role, he performed executive and CEO communications for Gensler, and was the senior director of public relations and social media at the Urban Land Institute. He obtained an MA in Communications and an MA in History from George Mason University. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition, Robert has taught communications at universities including George Mason University, West Virginia University, and the University of Florida. Robert currently serves as Immediate-Past President for the Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) -- the nonprofit’s largest chapter.

What is Chief Influencer?

Chief Influencer is a podcast that explores how today’s successful leaders inspire and influence others to make an impact in the world. They aren’t just Chief Executives, they’re “Chief Influencers.” We interview a range of leaders and uncover how they build authentic connections - both inside their organizations and beyond. Your next breakthrough idea may come from a Chief Influencer facing similar challenges in a completely different sector.