Leader No. 11: Momentum Behind Efrem Bycer, Building and Rebuilding Communities

The 25-year-old focuses on San Diego but also has been involved in recovery for New Orleans.

From an early age, Efrem Bycer has always known he wanted to do his part to make the world a better place, he says.

Bycer—manager of economic development for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation—also serves on the Young Nonprofits Professional San Diego advisory board, Neighborhood House Association Head Start Policy Council and the board for the Congo Leadership Initiative.

Bycer, 25, has also been involved in the recovery for New Orleans. He said his goal is to connect different sectors to improve communities.

My goal is to lead initiatives at the intersection of nonprofits and philanthropy, government and business to address our community’s most pressing needs,” he said.

“Each sector has a relative strength we need to leverage in concert with the strengths of the others to find sustainable solutions to issues such as hunger, recidivism, job creation and growing inequity.”

Advice for young people:

  • Your network is everything.  Build yourself a social and professional network that challenges you to reach your potential and supports you emotionally and intellectually. 
  • You may never achieve work-life balance. Instead, focus on aligning what you do with the values you hold. 
  • Never stop learning. There’s always some great book or professional development opportunity where you can develop a new skill or knowledge set. 
  • Get in the know. It’s easier than ever to learn about the issues facing your community and who’s doing what to address them. These issues require that we become informed so we can make the best possible decision moving forward. 
  • Humility is everything. Authentic humility is the most honest form of confidence and strength.


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