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Monica Bilak has been actively involved in national and international community development projects for more than 10 years. Prior to launching Morgan and Dean, she served as the Artist Relocation Coordinator and Development Manager for the city of Paducah. Ms. Bilak works with business owners, artists and arts organizations to develop business plans, strategic plans and assists with grant writing. As a member of the Alliance of Artists Communities and the International Economic Development Council, Ms. Bilak’s current work focuses on creating sustainable artist communities as a neighborhood revitalization tool. She has worked on initiatives in the the US, Africa and China.
Prior to her work in Paducah, Ms. Bilak spent three years in Kenya, East Africa, working as an educational specialist and consultant. While living there, she initiated a project to aid women in business by helping them with micro loans, business plan development and marketing. Her work in Kenya equipped women to be successful, independent business owners. Ms. Bilak also worked as an educational consultant in Casablanca, Morocco. In both Kenya and Morocco, Ms. Bilak helped educational institutions develop systems to better transition graduating international students to higher education abroad. She also helped develop unique but systematic approaches to better manage students with special needs.
Bilak returned to the United States in 2002 and continued to promote Kenyan businesses through the development of a Fair Trade import shop she established in Paducah, Ky.
Bilak’s efforts are not limited to the business world. With her husband, Paul, she also co-founded Project AIDS Orphan, a non-profit humanitarian relief organization for Kenyan children who are in crisis as a result to the AIDS pandemic. Through Project AIDS Orphan, the Bilaks help to provide food, clothing, education and health care for needy people in Kenya. The Bilaks have initiated three community development projects in Kenya through this program, including the development of a working farm, clean and accessible water sources, and the design and building of a new health clinic.
Ms. Bilak’s extensive economic development knowledge and expertise, both domestically and internationally, allow her to serve as a valuable mentor to artists, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.
Ms. Bilak holds degrees from Pepperdine University and the University of Kansas.