Terri Curtis: The Empathetic Project Manager
27 Oct 2023
“Project management is the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to deliver something of value to people … the expansion of sales into a new geographic market,” states the Project Management Institute and defines project managers as “...organized, goal-oriented professionals who use passion, creativity, and collaboration to design projects that are destined for success.”
Following on the heels of Manufacturing Month, Kingman Economic Development (ED) introduces the newest member of the team, Project Manager, Terri Curtis. Curtis’ primary duty is attracting businesses to the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park, the manufacturing mall of the city.
Project Management the Terri Curtis Way
Curtis is a big fan of teamwork. As she explains, “A team needs contributing members to function correctly and efficiently. I am part of a team that works together to get things done. We are all important and contribute to positive outcomes. People want to have places to shop and eat. People need valuable services, which tourism helps finance. Project Manager, Sylvia Shaffer and Tourism Manager, Josh Noble both do an amazing job recruiting and retaining businesses in our community to ensure residents’ wants and needs are met. Me, I bring in the businesses that provide job opportunities to pay for the things that people want and need.”
Before working with Kingman ED, Curtis administered a housing program through a different local government’s economic development for very low, low, and moderate-income families. Curtis said she “saw a glimpse of the economic development projects. They were exciting and forward-thinking. Maybe, I glamorized them in my mind!” Though her work in Kingman didn’t begin until 2023, Curtis’ passion for economic development didn’t waver.
She brings empathy to her work and is inspired by it daily. “Working with local government creates a heart to serve the community. You invest your energy and believe that what you do is important to creating a better life for the citizens. You hope that what you do makes a positive difference in their lives,” she said. “This role allows me to be involved in activities that build our city’s economic growth which helps families reach their goals. And yes, it feels glamorous and exciting!” Her passion for economic development and growth fuels her zeal to bring in new businesses. Passion and collaboration are two of Curtis’ greatest qualities as a project manager.
No day is the same for Curtis. Each project, event, or client has a unique set of happenings. Once site selectors inform Curtis of their requirements, she goes to work to find the best property and amenities available. To do this, she says, “It requires listening to the needs or desires of those our team is working with. We show them the properties. We bring together the resources that will be necessary for them to start their business here. That means communicating with the Arizona Commerce Authority, utility providers, workforce providers, and city staff to answer the potential business owners' concerns, and most of all patience because most projects take time to come to fruition.”
When asked how the community can support Kingman ED, she said, “Their continued support and understanding is valued and appreciated. We all have to work together to present Kingman as a place that businesses choose to land and flourish in because ultimately, it is the business that makes the choice to be here.”
Curtis also chose Kingman to be closer to her mother. She had no idea she would land, as she says, “the job of my dreams.” In her management role, her short-term goal is to research all of the obstacles and find solutions to add transportation and childcare options for Kingman’s Airport Industrial Park’s workforce, because there is growth here.
Kingman has space, support, and resources for every business of any size. Site selectors and new business owners looking to grow, expand, or start their business in Arizona, should choose Kingman. With state and local tax at 9.5% and $125M in tax credits, businesses are destined to succeed when they choose Kingman.