When an organization has more than 100 years of service, it’s amazing to consider the many people who have played important roles during its lifetime. When we look back at Community Solutions’ history, it’s mind-boggling to think about the number of people who served on our board, on countless committees and as staff. Our volunteer and professional rolls include thousands of people, many of whom still serve the community in some way or another. That’s why it’s always interesting to have a reunion.
This month, we held a reunion of past board members. Those who came represented board leadership back to 1985—more than 30 years of dedicated community service. While the reunion focused on some exciting events from the past, like our 2004 name change from the Federation for Community Planning, to The Center for Community Solutions, attendees also focused on what’s happening in Northeast Ohio today with a special focus on who makes up the community’s “leaders.” They overwhelmingly agreed that leadership comes in many packages—not just those in corporate “C Suites”—and that evaluation of community progress and success must consider not just an economic element, but also human factors. An example was shared of when that consideration didn’t happen: a highly acclaimed housing development project years ago was seen as an economic success for the city, but it failed to consider the human needs of the people who would live in it. Fortunately, someone noticed and spoke up—that person was also a “community leader.”
Community Solutions is proud to count many community leaders among our current and alumni board members. We look forward to continuing to work with them, and with others, as we seek community solutions together.