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Sean, pictured here with his wife Casey and daughters Norah and Harper, loves being a resource and helping local and state governments in Delaware do their jobs more effectively.
Did you know that IPAs staff members are just as varied and interesting as our many areas of expertise? On #MeetUsMondays, well feature a different member of our team each week in the hopes that you can get to know us better.
Lets meet Sean O'Neill. We asked Sean five questions, read on for his responses:
Well I like to joke that despite my passion for urban environments and cities I have become a pretty typical suburban Dad. My wife Casey and I have been married for 7 years and we have 2 little girls, Norah (5) and Harper (3) who tend to fill my life outside of work. We live just outside of Newark and spend a lot of time at our local New Castle County parks. Outside of that, I love my sports (diehard Maryland Terps basketball/football and Liverpool soccer fan) and on occasion, I can still get out to play a few rounds of golf every year. I worked at a public golf course from about the age of 1020, and I taught countless junior lessons during that time, so the game of golf had a big impact on me growing up.
I primarily work on community planning and real estate related projects with local governments and state agencies as a member of IPAs Regional Planning + Development team. Project topics can range pretty widely from comprehensive plan updates for local governments to housing studies, to land use analyses for freight rail in Delaware. Another large portion of my job is to manage IPAs local government training program. In recent years, we have held anywhere from 1215 training courses or events specifically targeted toward local government officials. Our training program has historically been focused on community planning and zoning topics, but recently we have tried to expand into other areas such as human resources, real estate, and economic development. I am also very active with the Delaware Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute Delaware Council.
I am writing this after both of my daughters and my wife have gone to bed from my couch, but my home office space is actually my daughter Norahs bedroom still. I am working on getting some Wifi boosters and creating more of an office space in our guest bedroom, but it is still a work in progress.
I love the idea of being a resource and helping local and state governments in Delaware do their jobs more effectively. Having worked in local government for a number of years, I understand how hard the job can be and how difficult it is to take a step back and think about how you are doing things rather than just trying to get them done any way you can. I think IPAs greatest strength is its relationships with local governments throughout the state as well as within the state government, and I think one of Delawares greatest strengths is actually its small size. It doesnt always seem easy, but I hope over time we can begin to build more capacity for Delaware to be known as a state that is one of the most efficient and effective nationwide. I also love the ability to meet so many new people throughout Delaware and the surrounding region and learn more about what they do.
My family is really my life, and that is no exaggeration. My wife has a very demanding job, so free time is hard to come by in our house. When I am not at work I am usually watching/playing with my daughters, dropping them off or picking them up from school, or running errands. I have probably learned more about Disney movies, unicorns, and Barbie dolls over the past 5 years than I ever could have imagined. Outside of that, I enjoy watching sports, listening to podcasts, watching movies and TV documentaries, or spending too much time on my phone messaging friends that I dont get to see as much as Id like. I am also a big urban planning & real estate nerd, so I love reading all about those topics even outside of work hours. I find the connection between how people interact with the built environment and how it drives changes to the places where we live, work, and play to be very fascinating.
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