Denver Power Women: 5 Questions With Forest City's Tasha Jones
This limited series profiles Power Women who have helped shape metro Denver's cities, neighborhoods, businesses and lifestyles. These women will be honored at Bisnow's Denver Power Women event Dec. 5.
Forest City Director of Marketing Tasha Jones oversees the strategic direction for corporate marketing efforts, new neighborhood launches, agency management, community outreach, media relations and governmental relations for the redevelopment of the former Stapleton International Airport, an acclaimed master-planned community. Among Jones’ most notable marketing successes was the 2011 HGTV Green Home promotion in which she highlighted the debut of Central Park West, Stapleton’s most sustainable neighborhood. She led the creative team that developed the Global Coolness home tour marketing program and the related tours that attracted thousands of visitors and potential homebuyers to Stapleton and arranged for more than $54K in proceeds from the tour’s ticket sales to be donated to Urban Peak, a nonprofit organization that serves homeless youth. Jones is involved with a variety of community organizations, including the Challenge Foundation Mentor Program, the Leadership Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado.
Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?
Jones: I’m the drumline leader of brand storytelling and community outreach in Denver’s 80238, the former site of Stapleton International Airport. I’ve built a strategic marketing operations structure comprised of multiple agency partners and internal parties to periodically refresh the community’s brand and nurture long-standing community partnerships.
Bisnow: What is the biggest business problem you have faced and how did you solve it?
Jones: Over the years, Stapleton has received criticism around perceptions of the community’s lack of affordable housing. In reality, Forest City has been committed to hosting affordable housing in Stapleton for well over two decades. The biggest challenge came in creating a brand story about the affordable housing progress in Stapleton. While Forest City has been donating land and subsidizing each affordable unit in the community, there was no interest as the developer to self-promote this unwavering commitment. Consequently, public perception was that no affordable housing existed in Stapleton. I chose to address this misconception by creating a brand story for Stapleton’s affordable housing program comprised of an integrated marketing campaign of PR, video, web and social media outreach [with] the ultimate objective being to inform the public of Forest City’s affordable housing progress, introduce Stapleton’s affordable homebuilder partners, and welcome prospective buyers and renters to consider affordable housing options in Stapleton. Since launching the community’s affordable brand story in 2013, Forest City, Thrive Home Builders and Northeast Denver Housing continue to be acknowledged for Stapleton’s affordable housing progress of nearly 900 for-sale and for-rent homes built to date. An additional 250 affordable rental homes are underway (70 affordable senior apartments and 180 low-income family apartments).
Bisnow: What is one thing you think companies can do to address wage and gender inequality?
Jones: Wage disparity based on gender (or any cultural intersection) is incomprehensible in this century. From my vantage point, it would seem straightforward enough to have standard salary ranges based on merit, according to title, education and work experience.
Bisnow: What piece of advice do you give others entering the industry?
Jones: Enter with a game plan for how you want to grow professionally. Learn the ins and outs of the business. Build relationships with industry leaders you respect. Ask them questions about their career paths. Stand tall in sharing with them your career goals and aspirations. And above all else, always proactively seek ways to contribute value to the company, while staying true to your personal integrity.
Bisnow: What do you do to unwind when you’re not working?
Jones: Dining out at some of Denver’s acclaimed restaurants. Traveling abroad. Or simply staying indoors and enjoying a home-cooked meal, while sitting on the couch watching a movie with my fiancé.
Meet Forest City Director of Marketing Tasha Jones at Bisnow's Power Women event Dec. 5 in Denver.