Gathering Ideas and Energy to Spring into the Year

Elizabeth Newton | Board of Trustee Vice-President

The German Village Society Board met Sunday, February 26 for a Retreat to develop a shared view of priority Board actions for the year.

Over lunch, we considered where the German Village Society is as an organization today, reviewing our original charter and Constitution and considering recent changes swirling around our neighborhood — changes that represent challenge and opportunity, sometimes all rolled into one. Sean Kessler, our new Executive Director, also described his impressions after the initial weeks on the job.

For many of us, it had been a long while since last reading the object and aims of our organization, “dedicated to retaining the character and distinction of the past, while creating a thriving and contemporary community in German Village.”

This statement and ensuing discussion made it very clear that we are stewarding a German Village way of life: urban, communal, rich with diverse experiences and people, healthy, and sustainably historical. This is no fabricated Disneyland; this is our home, work, and play.

We then split into four discussion groups matched to our constitution’s mission areas: preservation, community quality of life, advocacy, and fund development. Each group considered:

  • What is the simplest thing we could do to have the greatest possible impact?
  • What should we stop doing?
  • Which experiments should we run? What are we willing to get wrong or risk?
  • Bonus points were offered if action owners and costs could be identified. 😉

There was no lack of excellent ideas — email me if you’d like to read all the details! — but the essential takeaway is: we are committed as a group to clarifying and communicating how all our activities link to the founding object and aims — preservation and community.

Our next steps are to work with Board committees to detail and prioritize the retreat’s ideas and develop implementation plans that will be reported quarterly.

Dear readers, please consider investing your time, talents, and treasure with us on one of our committees as Spring blossoms! We are organized, aligned, and neighborly!

N4N March 20, 2023