Change Ahead for Northeast Shores

More than 100 people were in attendance when new Board members were elected to the Northeast Shore Development Corporation Board of Directors in January. Thank you to everyone who participated in the process!

Each January, a new “class” of Board members are elected to three-year terms of service. (Sometimes shorter if they are filling a partial term.) Board members commit to attending a certain number of meetings, to serving on at least one committee, to attending events, to financially supporting NSDC and to upholding the mission. They are required to sign conflict of interest statements and to abide by organizational By-Laws.

Although they are not responsible for day-to-day operations, they have fiduciary, legal and ethical authority over the organization. Serving on the Board of any nonprofit is a great responsibility and a huge time commitment.

During the five years I’ve been Board President, I may not have said thank you enough. I am so grateful to the entire Board for their energy and their love for Collinwood. In particular, I want to recognize outgoing Board members—Daniel Alverio, Mike Gallagher, Aaron Habermann, Charlotte LeFeliece, David Mitchell, Caroline Peak and Joe Radisek. The members of the executive committee, Fil Scafid, Aaron, and Caroline, put in countless hours working on behalf of the agency and the neighborhood. And they have been steadfast friends during every challenge.

Not only is NSDC transitioning Board leadership, Brian Friedman, the executive director of 13 years, is moving on. Those of us who have been close to the agency understand what miracles he and his staff have accomplished, especially in the last seven years. I was a pleasure and a privilege to work with Brian and the entire staff.

When the housing crisis hit North Collinwood hard, NSDC could no longer do business as usual. The old model of community development didn’t work anymore. Brian was the first one to ask the question, “How do we create a new model? What can we offer that no other neighborhood can?” The answer to that question eventually became arts-driven community development. This is a model where the art is embedded into the very soul of the community, not just the trendy icing on top.

Artist. Poet. Restaurateur. Entrepreneur. Gallery owner. Designer. Arts advocate. These are the new Board members—several of whom are recent transplants. Proof that this new arts-driven community development model is working for North Collinwood.

I wish the best of luck to the newly elected Board members— Cindy Barber, Pete Brown, Christen DuVernay, John Farina, Robert Gatewood, Daniel Gray Kontar and Adam Tully.

And I thank everyone in North Collinwood for supporting Northeast Shores. It is your community development corporation. A search is underway for a new ED. Please keep your eyes on the Northeast Shores FB page for ongoing information. Stay involved. Shop local. Vote.

Laura Lee Martin

Collinwood resident since 1992. Nonprofit professional. Artist by education. Marketing and communications professional @ Hospice of the Western Reserve.

Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 6:05 PM, 02.08.2017