Business development / Economics / Marketing

‘Be humble,’ and other lessons Julie Weber learned at WDCEP

Weber recently left the District's economic development arm after nearly two years on the job.

There are certainly things Julie Weber will miss about her job at the Washington, DC Economic Partnership, where she worked as the director of marketing for nearly two years. But then again, she says, she’s still a resident of D.C., an advocate for small business and a We DC ambassador.
Reflecting on her time at WDCEP, Weber told that the job “really invigorated my passion and love for the city.” It not only deepened her appreciation as a resident, but also opened her eyes to the economic side of the city. It opened her eyes to new entrepreneurs and innovations and it’s clear from talking to her that Weber loved the learning she did on the job.
That’s not to say, however, that it didn’t come with its own challenges.
“There were definitely an unlimited number of them,” she laughs. “Nothing is easy.”
One big question and challenge Weber returned to again and again is — how do you make economic development not sound like a takeover by big business? How can WDCEP make economic development sound like an opportunity for a broad number of people rather than just a few? And then how can the Partnership actually follow through on that promise?
In the course of asking herself these big questions and running the most successful marketing campaign of her career (We DC, a campaign to showcase local D.C. talent outside the city at events like South by Southwest), Weber learned some lessons that are worth a listen even if you’re not in marketing or economic development.
First up — “be humble.”
“I think humility is very important as a leader,” Weber told The willingness to listen, and not assume you’ve already got all the answers, goes hand-in-hand with this. Weber said she’s also continued to appreciate the value of good mentorship and is learning to remind herself not to be paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake.
That creation is iterative and flexible and we creators can be too seems like a lesson many of us could benefit from keeping in mind.
Weber is now at Scoop News Group, working in communications strategy in a brand-new role. She’s learning a lot, she says, and working hard to keep the kind of contact with the D.C. community she so loved in her role at WDCEP. She’ll be around.

Companies: Washington, DC Economic Partnership

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