Eric Griego Principal, Founder, Fast Forward Consulting Albuquerque, NM Accelerate Collaboration, Co-Create Policy | Advocacy, Community Economic Development, Consultant, Food and Agriculture, Incubator / Accelerator, Local Government, Public Health Eric leverages research and advocacy to build social collateral to promote policy change and healthy local economic development in under-invested communities. As principal and founder of Fast Forward Consulting, and a Health Policy Fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, Eric puts his three decades of experience in economic development and public office toward collaborating with local governments, foundations and community leaders to promote redevelopment, create jobs and grow local businesses in some the state’s hardest hit communities. His research and consulting work focuses on redefining community health to include economic resiliency, vibrancy and diversity. Eric served as an Albuquerque City Councilman, Assistant Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development, and a State Senator for four years. For four years, before leaving to run for Congress, he ran the largest and most active research and policy organization focusing on children and families, New Mexico Voices for Children. Eric was our Featured Fellow in March, 2016. Read about his efforts and successes revitalizing urban downtown economies in New Mexico. IMPACT Eric co-led efforts to establish a public market in the historic Albuquerque Rail Yards. Since the Market’s opening in May, 2014, more than 150,000 people have visited the market and more than 200 local entrepreneurs have offered their goods and services there. Working with the Simon Charitable Foundation, Eric helped establish the Street Food Institute, a new training program for culinary entrepreneurs using local products to provide healthy local alternatives to fast food using state of the art gourmet food trucks. So far more than two dozen food entrepreneurs have gone through the program and the truck has provided thousands of healthy meals at public venues throughout Albuquerque and Santa Fe. While an Albuquerque City Councilman, Eric led local economic development initiatives from creating an incubator to changing tax and investment policies to support small and local businesses. As Assistant Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development, Eric oversaw several grant programs related to community and economic development including a $10 million job training fund, a $2 million Mainstreet fund, and several smaller funds related to local or sectoral economic and community development. As a State Senator for four years, Eric championed green jobs and issues affecting small and local businesses, including fair tax policies that balanced incentives for recruitment with supporting entrepreneurs and local businesses.