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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Echo

Andrea Masvero becomes executive director of 1846 Enterprises

Andrea Maservo steps into role

Andrea Masvero (’96) will be the executive director of 1846 Enterprises, where she will oversee the development and establishment of campus construction projects and the Main Street Mile Initiative.

The Main Street Mile Initiative focuses on developing the one-mile stretch of Main Street that connects the university to downtown Upland. Initiatives like this were stimulated by the Lilly Endowment’s $30 million investment in the university through the College and Community Collaboration initiative. 

The university will use 1846 Enterprises to approach this season of growth and nurture Upland’s development. Masvero will lead teams, communicate closely with community and campus leaders and oversee the execution of projects outlined in the university’s Master Plan.

Will Hagen, vice president for strategy and chief of staff, said the university utilized an extensive search committee when seeking the right candidate for this new position. The committee included Taylor colleagues, local community members and non-profit leaders.

“Andrea was the clear and unanimous recommendation of the search committee for the position,” Hagen said.

Masvero is a commercial real estate developer and business advisor with experience in overseeing large-scale community development projects, yielding multi-million dollar gains. She is the president of Makari Partners and Rally Business Advisors. 

“I love aspects of human-centered design, which says that you begin with empathy for the end user,” Masvero said. “So, who’s going to use the space? How are they going to use it? What does the community need? What are the problems that they’re facing?”

Masvero said housing projects have been a large part of her professional experience. She said they serve as an example of ways she has identified a need in a community and then stepped in as a developer to be a part of the solution. 

As an alum of Taylor, Masvero she loves Upland because it gives a welcoming sense of close community. 

Masvero wanted to be a part of executing the Master Plan and the Main Street Mile Initiative due to the scale of what Taylor set out to accomplish. She noticed the plan wasn’t to just establish a hotel or a park but to transform the whole town and see it thrive thoroughly.

“So this is a really unique opportunity to do all of that together and in a coordinated way, so then the potential for impact and viability is really there because you have everything,” Masvero said. “The housing supports the businesses, and the businesses support the housing.”

Masvero said she loves how Taylor is taking on this challenge and striving to be a light in the surrounding community. She explained community development and living a Christian life are very intertwined.

She incorporates faith into fundamental aspects of her work, such as working with integrity and engaging with others in considerate ways, she said. There is still a deeper level, though.

“I really believe that people were designed to live in community,” Masvero said. “So creating places for people to gather, to connect, to have their lives enhanced one way or another either through work or through community gathering spaces… are all opportunities to help people live a life that’s more in line with what God created them to be.”

Embarking on this new project, her first item of business will be building relationships with the people in Upland in hopes of understanding their history, story and what they care about. She said as a community developer, it’s essential to have good relationships with the communities you are working in.

Hagen emphasized that the university facilitates these projects because it wants to see Upland thrive. It’s more than creating buildings — it’s about creating a positive impact that will last for generations. 

“Eighty percent of the investment in the Lilly Endowment proposal takes place off campus,” Hagen said. “These are projects that are mutually beneficial.”

Masvero said there was a time when she might have imagined being back in Upland’s cornfields, but not in this way. God opening this door has been a great surprise for her. 

Like a true community developer, Masvero can picture Upland’s thriving and even said she would love to someday have conversations regarding economic development which could lead to Upland being a place people from further away come to.

But for now, she said she is just excited for what’s ahead. 

As executive director of 1846 Enterprises, Masvero will do many things simultaneously. As for what she is most excited for?

“All of it,” Masvero said.