Dear Stevens Square-Loring Heights neighbors,
Today I have the bittersweet task of telling you about some staffing changes for the Stevens Square Community Organization. On August 21st I informed the SSCO Board of Directors thatI have been offered a new job and that my last day will be Friday, September 13th. We are also announcing that our longtime Safety Coordinator Dave Delvoye will be retiring at the end of November this year.
It has been a real pleasure to serve my neighborhood as Executive Director during this time of great change for the organization and for place-based organizing in our city. There is so much energy and belief in our work, and Red Hot Art, especially, taught me about how much we can accomplish when we highlight what’s beautiful in our community. During my relatively brief time on staff, I’m proud to have streamlined our operations, produced an amazing summer of events, and ignited partnerships both inside and outside our community.
As a resident of the neighborhood myself, I am especially invested in the organization’s future success, and will commit whatever I can to ensure a smooth transition. To that end, we have hired Robert Thompson as our Interim Coordinator. Robert has served as staff for neighborhood organizations in Minneapolis, helped establish and manage the City’s current neighborhood programs, and now serves as a consultant for a number of neighborhood organizations. He will be working on a part-time basis to help keep the organization’s operations moving forward, and also will assist the Board of Directors in long-range planning about SSCO’s future.
Perhaps the greatest resource for SSCO is Dave Delvoye, who has since February 2000 served as our Safety Coordinator. His steadfast commitment to this neighborhood has touched all of us. He writes: “Through SSCO, I have come to know and work with hundreds of volunteers over the years who have all been involved, in their own way, in making this a safer neighborhood. That has been the highlight of my job, and any success we have had is due to these volunteers and their work. That is what I will miss the most.” At the end of November he will retire–hopefully to finally write that novel he’s been talking about, the one in the form of bulleted meeting minutes!
Clearly this is a time of change for SSCO, and change can be difficult. But it’s worth remembering that SSCO started as an informal group of volunteers who saw needs in their neighborhood, and found ways to work together to address them. It really is just that simple. SSCO’s sterling reputation in our region was earned through moments of challenge and creativity just like this. The shape of this work may change, but it will continue to have impact because you keep caring.
THANK YOU for all you do to serve this neighborhood. It’s been an honor to be part of this community.
P.S. I’m hosting a little happy hour celebration on my very last day and everyone’s invited. Since I still live in the neighborhood and that means I’m not leaving forever, I’m calling it my “Not Goodbye” Party–as in, “just see you later.” Join me Friday, September 13th anytime 5:00-7:00 PM at the Nicollet Diner. Food and drink is available, but no purchase is necessary to say “Not Goodbye.”