Assistant Director , City of Fresno’s Development and Resource Management Department
Kelli Furtado joined Mayor Swearengin’s Office as deputy chief of staff in January 2009 with a diverse professional background. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Ms. Furtado served as assistant director of the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) at Fresno State. Ms. Furtado also served as the chief operating officer of the Central Valley Business Incubator and was instrumental in the development of the Water and Energy Technology Incubator located at Fresno State.
The deputy chief of staff provides direct support to the Mayor and oversees all operational/administrative aspects of the Mayor’s Office. Additional duties include the appointment of commissioners to various boards throughout the community as well as involvement in mayoral initiatives, such as Fresno First Steps Home, the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program, Learn2Earn, the Fresno Presidents’ Council, and Strong Cities Strong Communities.
The issues that I care most about include fiscal responsibility, neighborhood revitalization, and building a vibrant economy so that Fresno residents can be proud of the place they call home. Actual change is embraced once a level of trust is established and short-term, meaningful accomplishments are made, then communicated back to the community. This type of progress, or implementation, allows for momentum to build on both small and large-scale efforts. I am very proud of the current changes in both mindset and policies, while recognizing that much work remains. For example, I am part of a collaborative effort to build capacities in two of our city’s historically neglected neighborhoods. This cross-sector partnership continues to learn more about: the impact of resident engagement, using a results-based decision making process and ways to institutionalize revitalization one neighborhood at a time. This is a very rewarding project to be part of and just one example of our city making a great turnaround.”