2001: Kelley Rajala begins the Livability Project in Pacifica, California as a non-profit based on community involvement. She launched multiple initiatives as a result of Livability Mapping™, an interactive process that taps into the creative genius of the community to generate ideas. First projects include a wellness center, green retail store, neighborhood solar collective, a bio-intensive farm and permaculture education center (called Pacific Gardens).
2002 – 2007: Dave Feldman is Consul, Trade & Investment at the British Embassy where he begins developing a unique approach for economic and community development. Working out of the DC Metro Area and traveling frequently to the U.K., he begins design on a framework for building livable communities that leverages local assets, fosters innovation in green product and service offerings and shares best practices between communities.
2004: The Livability Project launches a Bio-diesel co-op and helps win a $650,000 grant to create a biodiesel production facility in Pacifica, CA.
2006: Dave and Kelley meet at BALLE conference in Burlington, Vermont, and decide to create a new organization together. They start planning for a Livability Center in Sebastopol, CA.
2007: For strategic reasons, Dave and Kelley build separate, but connected initiatives in their respective markets. Dave reorganizes Livability Project as a for-profit Maryland LLC, and provides consultancy services in the Washington, DC and Montgomery County, MD areas. In September, Dave, with Mike Mielke, former Director of SBNOW, submit a proposal to launch Bethesda Green a new non-profit, co-founded by Seth Goldman, TeaEO of Honest Tea and Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal.
2008: Dave and Mike are awarded the grant, and launch Bethesda Green as a 501c3 non-profit organization and Livability Project’s first east coast initiative. Shortly after, Mike moves to CA, and Dave becomes full time Executive Director of Bethesda Green.
2009: Livability Project co-founder, Kelley Rajala, launches a “Go Local” initiative in Sonoma County, and develops the ShareExchangeTM, an Innovation and Incubation Center in Sonoma County. The Center is an affordable co-working space during the day and holds community events in the evening.
2010-Present: After much success with Bethesda Green, Dave, still CEO of Livability Project, begins to share his time between Bethesda Green and Livability Project. Dave and Kelley hire Senior Consultants, Heather Gwaltney and Cheryl Kollin. Dave is Advisor to Poolesville Green, and the team has helped launch Annapolis Green, the third Livability Project in Maryland.
The Livability Project team can by contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.