The For the City Network maximizes and catalyzes individual, community, and city restoration efforts. We do this by developing communities and connecting people, churches, and organizations – all for God's glory.
Every city is made up of many neighborhoods; restored cities, in particular, are made up of healthy neighborhoods. And while every neighborhood has unique character – marked by both assets and needs – some are healthier than others.
We develop neighborhoods and communities because we care about the health of each one.
A restored city requires a lot of people and organizations active in its restoration. There is already a lot going on, and it can be hard to stay in the loop and know where to start.
We want to work effectively and efficiently together for city-wide restoration, so we connect people, churches, and organizations.
We act as a platform for organizations to share what they’re doing and connect with volunteers and other organizations.
We believe churches have a critical role in city restoration, so we help them find the best ways to connect to mission.
We call Austin home, but we want to see other cities restored, too. We have opportunities for those outside of our city to join us and learn how to adapt our principles and practices wherever they call home.
In 2008, Justin studied mercy and advocacy for communities and visited Memphis to learn of the need and work happening there. The For the City Network was born soon after. With a background in Dell's Supply Chain, Justin's values of minimizing (or ideally eliminating) wasted time, money and resources while increasing quality now play out through partnerships and collaborations with nonprofit organizations and individuals. Justin and his wife Sally are both from Austin and graduates of Texas A&M University. They have three daughters, Annabel (Annie), Lucy, and Heidi.
Director, Church Partnerships and City Initiatives
Doug grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and is a graduate of Southern Methodist University. After ten years serving on staff of Campus Crusade for Christ in the Houston Metro area and planting a new ministry in Central Arkansas, Doug and his wife Becca moved their family to Austin in 2013 to join the FTCN team. Doug serves as the Director of Church Partnerships and City Initiatives, helping churches and nonprofit organizations mobilize people into local missions and achieve citywide goals. Doug and Becca have three children, Morgan, Reid, and Jay.
Beginning as a volunteer, Staci soon found herself tending to many emails and phone calls as people wanted to serve the city of Austin. With a heart for volunteers and getting people involved, the former elementary school teacher from West Texas now spends her time making sure people stay connected and Justin stays sane. Staci and her husband Jimmy are expecting their first child in August 2014.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and native Central Texan, Amanda studied sport management and communications in college before moving to the East Coast where she worked in sponsorships and event planning for Major League Baseball and the Boston Red Sox. She returned to Austin in 2009 and now oversees marketing, communications, and events for FTCN and its programs.
Director, CrossFit Renew
After graduating from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2001, Chris spent ten years in sports media and golf course management. He moved to Austin and interned with the Austin Stone's Operations team for one year before directing Total City Sports, an FTCN program desiring to develop Austin's next generation of leaders through mentoring and high-level athletic training. In 2012, FTCN launched CrossFit Renew with Chris as the director, utilizing elite functional fitness and wellness training to restore communities to health. He loves his wife Kari, Houston sports teams, and the Baylor Bears.
Director, TCS Volleyball
Lesley grew up in Houston and played volleyball at Jersey Village before becoming a two-year letter winner at Texas State University. She transferred to the University of Texas at Austin and played club volleyball before graduating and working in finance. While in the corporate world, she volunteered with Total City Sports before leaving her job to direct TCS Volleyball full-time in 2013. Lesley and her husband Carlton were married in January 2012.
Director, RBI Austin
Matt attended Wheaton College in Illinois, where he played baseball. He moved to Austin in 2007 and soon discovered his passion for reaching underserved youth through sports after serving at camps and as a volunteer baseball coach at nearby Reagan High School. He then helped launch an affordable baseball team for local high school players, which later developed into the first Austin chapter of Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program. Launched in January 2011, RBI Austin now serves at-risk youth ages 4–18 through clinics, summer leagues, and year-round mentoring.
Director, Unison Development
After graduating from Purdue University in Indiana, Aaron and his wife Shauna moved to Austin in search of warmer weather. He worked in the commercial construction industry for four years, and his last project with a large commercial contractor was the construction of The For the City Center in St. John. During this time, Aaron saw first-hand the great need for job training and development. This led to the launch of Unison Development, which he now directs. He and Shauna have three children (Philip, Tera, and Lexi) and are foster parents to a baby boy.
Marketing and Program Coordinator, Unison Development
Julie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in marketing and minor in management. After college, she moved to Memphis to participate in SOS Academy, a one-year program of Service Over Self, a community development organization. After completing her year of service at Advance Memphis, a nonprofit in inner city Memphis serving those with barriers to employment, Julie continued there for the next three years, helping launch their expanded GED services and recruiting and training volunteers. She moved back to Austin in 2013 and is starting FTCN's soft skills job training program and managing Unison Development’s communications.