August 30, 2022
By Dianna Dunne-Vecchio, Content Writer and Marketing Manager
RSG welcomed the new year by bringing on four Research Assistants to the team: Jenny Benitez, Brice Wildemuth, Ethan Azad, and Jillian Glickman! We couldn’t be happier to have such exceptional new talent on board. Let’s learn about their background, hear what inspires them, and even get to know some fun facts.
— JENNY BENITEZ —
Jenny joined RSG with an interest in affordable housing and economic development. She comes from a research background in the trade and transportation sector, where she was involved in projects regarding automation in the ports of Southern California, sustainable transportation methods, and workforce development in the logistics industry. She believes it’s important to never stop thinking about how to improve the world around us and to ensure solutions are data-driven and inclusive.
At RSG, Jenny has already performed on-site inspections of affordable housing units to ensure safe and healthy living standards and assisted in residential relocation projects in Fullerton and Carson.
“I’m passionate about economics and believe that economic development and innovation is crucial to a brighter future. I bring a simultaneously analytical and creative approach to my work, and I’m happy to be a part of RSG’s mission to improve California communities.”
Jenny has done yoga for years but recently found her calling for aerial hoop and trains a couple times a week. She loves fitness in general and enjoys running, biking, and roller-skating. Jenny also has an affinity for movies and likes writing and sharing reviews and playing a movie-based game called “Frames.”
— BRICE WILDEMUTH —
Brice is a true native son of California, living all over the state. He has a strong background in economic development, policy analysis, and government relations. As an undergraduate, Brice worked for the Downtown Long Beach Alliance, a municipal business improvement district, serving as their Economic Development Intern. Brice also was selected for a California State Assembly internship program where he was a Legislative Intern for the Office of State Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris.
Brice has been part of multiple projects at RSG, including conducting legal research on special district powers, inclusionary housing, and mobile home park reporting requirements and developing an internal database on CTCAC grant applicants and awards.
“I am passionate about the continual development of opportunities for Californians, believing that a strong state is built on stronger, sustainable communities.”
Brice finds joy in cooking new meals, learning in museums, and following whatever sport is in season. Brice was born in San Jose, moved to Sacramento, and most recently moved to the Los Angeles area where he has remained since completing his BA and joining RSG.
— ETHAN AZAD —
Ethan joined RSG after graduating from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. He previously worked as a congressional staffer in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill, as a program assistant for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and as a Contracting and National Security Acquisitions Analyst Intern at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Ethan’s professional and academic experience in legislative and data analysis has given him the tools and skillset needed to work on solving complex problems and producing evidence-backed insights for policymakers and the public.
Ethan’s recent experience at RSG has ranged from research on different economic development departments for a Strategic Analysis report to creating data visualizations to support the feasibility analysis of a downtown development.
“I find motivation in working on community-level challenges that allow me to use my research and analytical skills to produce insights that can make California cities a better place to live for all residents. Knowing my work will impact the quality of life of community members drives me to bring my best to every job I work on.”
Ethan enjoys spending time with his family, going to the dog park with his Labrador Retriever, and watching movies. In his down time, he likes to read and browse Zillow for his dream home.
— JILLIAN GLICKMAN —
Jillian seeks to address multifaceted issues facing local governments by implementing rigorous research initiatives and thorough analyses. Her role as an undergraduate research assistant has given her intensive experience in qualitative research, large-scale project execution, and team leadership. Jillian’s multidisciplinary educational background has provided her with a unique understanding of the interplay between politics, economics, and sustainability.
Jillian has rolled up her sleeves at RSG and helped draft a report advising a long-term implementation strategy on Rent Stabilization and Just Cause Eviction Ordinances and performed market research on leasing rates and acquisition costs of Life Science properties.
“I am passionate about creating tangible impacts in individuals’ lives through sustainable development initiatives. I am at my best when solving problems that require pragmatic yet innovative approaches.”
Born and raised in Torrance, CA, Jillian has lived her whole life in Southern California. In her free time, Jillian enjoys making new recipes she found online, doing strength workouts at the gym, and finding music shows to attend on the weekends.
Welcome to RSG Jenny, Brice, Ethan, and Jillian!