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Meet Angela Babcock of Stratiscope in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Babcock.

Angela, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in a very small town in rural Idaho where my parents were civically active. My dad, a high school Government teacher, was a fire commissioner and a planning commissioner as well as a leader on non-profit boards. My mom organized festivals and campaigned for a ballot measure to build a community recreation center (it failed but she showed me how to work for something to benefit the community.)

Even though public service was in my genetics, I stumbled into it in college after asking the Boise State Associated Students President what could be done to extend library hours. She pushed to make the change and then suggested I run for Student Senate. I ran and won and that is the only elected seat I will ever hold. I went on to work for a number of elected officials in Idaho and in Los Angeles where I learned how to listen to communities and to find collaborations to solve shared problems and move forward.

I started working with Stratiscope founder, John Bwarie, in 2014 and, in 2015, joined his team to became Director of Community Engagement and now serve as Vice President. Our purpose is to move businesses and organizations forward through community engagement.

People often ask me about how different things must be in a small town compared to the big city. Having experienced both, I know there is more in common than many may think. Los Angeles is made up of communities, each with unique characteristics but essentially wanting the same things: safety, employment, a sense of belonging.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Stratiscope faced the growing pains that many startups experience. We worked hard to find our sweet spot–matching our expertise with the right clients–and then found a rhythm in that growth. We sometimes ask a lot of our team as we stretch just a little bit out of our comfort zone and then celebrate when it pays off.

Stratiscope – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Stratiscope achieves business development through community engagement. Stratiscope was founded by CEO and President John Bwarie a few years ago after he left government service. John and I met when we were part of Mayor Hahn’s San Fernando Valley field staff where we helped build community and improve neighborhoods. We both worked for elected officials for over a decade each and I joined his team after leaving the Garcetti administration in 2014.

We have a unique way of looking at communities, be it those determined by geography or by interest. We help scientists and policymakers understand each other, venues and their neighbors build stronger relationships, and bring people together to spark ideas and action.

What sets us apart from others is our approach. We developed the ComIO (Community Intelligence Officer) system to help clients build awareness and become known as trusted leaders in the communities impacted by their businesses or organizations.

And, if you ask many of the people who know us, they will tell you that we bring people together. City Impact Lab is one a project we sponsor where this is most evident,

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It’s hard to pick a proudest “moment” because so much of what makes me proud is the slow and steady work of building and benefitting communities. I overflow with joy when I see that a community I’ve been toiling in is making progress.

I’m not sure when it happened but, looking back at the series of events that put me in the position to start consulting makes me proud. I had to be brave and try something I didn’t know for sure I could do but lots of people believed in me and gave me surges of energy and insight when I needed them. I had mostly worked relatively secure full-time government jobs since college so going out on my own to consult and then joining a startup to help it grow was very uncomfortable but also thrilling.

I am also proud when I am able to mentor the next generation of impact makers. I learn from them, seeing things with a fresh perspective. I feel like Los Angeles is in good hands with the leaders who are early in their careers right now.

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Image Credit:

Personal photos sent taken by me or by colleagues.

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