About the Dept. of Neighborhoods

The Department of Neighborhoods works from a foundation of devoted residents, committed neighborhood leaders and dedicated City workforce to resolve community concerns and tap into neighborhood potential, helping to build a stronger, more equitable Columbus. As the 'front door' to the city, the Department of Neighborhoods empowers residents, responds to their needs and protects their rights.

Director Carla Williams-Scott

Carla Williams-Scott Carla Williams-Scott was appointed the first Director of the Department of Neighborhoods in June 2016.

Director Williams-Scott previously served as the Assistant Director of Economic Development and Community Partnerships for Franklin County. In her role, she managed the Board of Commissioners Community Partnership Grant program, a $16,000,000 portfolio that provides support to local community-based organizations that serve county residents. In addition to the Community Partnership program, she managed the People Works Workforce Development program which assists low-income county residents to obtain full-time living-wage jobs and career pathways leading out of poverty. Prior to joining Franklin County Economic Development & Planning, she served as the Assistant Director for Franklin County Job & Family Services where she managed, Publicly Funded Child Care, Workforce Development, Development Support Services and Quality Support Services for the agency.

Prior to joining Franklin County, Carla served as the Assistant Director for the City of Columbus Department of Development, Legislation & Contracts and Neighborhood Services. In this role, she managed both the Legislation and Contracts and Neighborhood Services divisions. These units were responsible for overseeing all aspects of the department's legislative and contracts process including developing, reviewing and monitoring for contract compliance. In addition, she provided oversight to the five outreach offices (Neighborhood Pride Centers) and the Pride Center Managers and Liaisons for each office. These offices serve as the "face" of the City in communities throughout the greater Columbus area and allow residents to have access to City services and staff in their community.

Before joining the Columbus Department of Development Carla served as the Community Affairs Coordinator for the office of Mayor Michael Coleman and as the Deputy Director for the City of Columbus Community Relations Commission. In addition she has held several positions with the United Way of Central Ohio which included both fundraising and project management.

Carla has a passion for working with cross cultural groups that empower individuals to have their voices heard so that they can advocate for themselves and others as well as groups that promote literacy, education and health and wellness.

She is a graduate of Leadership Columbus and The United Way of Central Ohio Project Diversity Leadership programs. She has served on the board of the Kiaca Art Gallery, the Epilepsy Association of Central Ohio, and Friends of the Library, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Gahanna Lincoln High School PTO and IMPACT Community Action Agency and currently serves on the board of Community Research Partners.

Executive Team

The Department of Neighborhoods Executive Team consists of Director Williams-Scott, Deputy Director Dieffenderfer, and Assistant Director Julia Carter.

Deputy Director Todd Dieffenderfer

Todd DieffenderferTodd Dieffenderfer currently serves as Deputy Director of the Department of Neighborhoods. Through his work, Todd is focused on how the Department can empower residents to be actively involved in their community and create partnerships to address challenging issues facing our neighborhoods.

Prior to joining the Department of Neighborhoods, Todd was United Way of Central Ohio's Senior Vice President of Community Impact and Chief Alignment Officer. In these roles, he worked to advance pathways out of poverty in Central Ohio. Todd has also served as Special Advisor to former Ohio Treasurer and Attorney General Richard Cordray, Legislative Aide to former Columbus City Council President Matt Habash and an aide in the Ohio House of Representatives.

In 2013, Todd graduated from Leadership Columbus' Signature Program. He previously served on the boards of the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation and the Ohio Center for Law Related Education. A graduate of Centennial High School, Todd was a student member of the Northwest Civic Association. Todd has a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.

Neighborhoods Staff

311 Customer Service Center

Carmen Duckens
311 Service Manager
(614) 645-3111


Jamie Edwards
Executive Assistant
(614) 645-1996

David Fox
Management Analyst II
(614) 645-7179


Gale Gray
Neighborhood Program Specialist
(614) 645-1950

Sherry Offenbaker
Administrative Assistant
(614) 645-1993

Nicole Smith
Human Resources Manager
(614) 645-2964

Courtney Wheaton
Public Information Officer
(614) 645-2080

Civil Rights Investigations

Pedro Mejia
Neighborhood Program Specialist
(614) 645-8141

Community Planning

Patrice Allen Brady
Neighborhood Strategies Manager
(614) 645-5335

Nick Plouck
Neighborhood Program Specialist
(614) 724-2040

Noelle Britt
Neighborhood Program Specialist
(614) 645-5449

William I. Wilder
Community Planning Analyst
(614) 645-6943

The Commission on Black Girls

Nicole Harper
Neighborhood Program Coordinator
(614) 645-1991

Sherry Jones
Community Relations Coordinator
(614) 645-2221

Rise Up CBUS!

Bruce Black
Rise Up CBUS! and Mobile City Hall Program Manager
(614) 645-8927

Derrick Hessler
Rise Up CBUS! Community Relations Coordinator
(614) 645-7116

My Brother's Keeper

Ray Parnell
MBK Program Manager
(614) 645-7371

Neighborhood Liaisons

David Hooie
Neighborhoods Program Coordinator
(614) 645-7343

Stacey Buttel
Neighborhood Liaison
(614) 724-1900

Devin Deal
Neighborhood Liaison
(614) 645-7964

Rebecca Deeds
Neighborhood Liaison
(614) 645-6016

Katherine Cull
Neighborhood Liaison
(614) 645-5220

Olabisi Eddy
Neighborhood Liaison
(614) 935-6375

Lynne LaCour
Neighborhood Liaison
(614) 724-0100

Jesús Ovalle
Neighborhood Liaison
(614) 645-7131

De Lena Scales
Neighborhood Liaison
(614) 645-0699

New American Initiative

Abdi Soofe
New American Initiative Program Coordinator
(614) 645-1952

Lindora Howard-Diawara
Community Relations Coordinator
(614) 645-3284

Media Requests

For media requests, please contact Courtney Wheaton at CSWheaton@columbus.gov or at (614) 645-2080.