›› Lee Herrin

This September will mark 21 years I have been part of Fernwood NRG: 11 years as a Board member from 1998 through 2009, and 10 years as Executive Director since August of 2009. Twenty-one years is a long time, and I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on to other challenges. I’ve given the Board of Directors my resignation, but I will remain Executive Director until a replacement is selected and there is time for a solid transition.

In the past 21 years, the Fernwood NRG has grown tremendously: we have added new programs, new buildings, and new businesses. In all that time, though, we have stayed true to our mission to serve Fernwood through providing childcare, recreation programs, family support, food security, affordable housing, and more. And we have the best neighbourhood festival around, which will be turning 25 in 2020!

Increasingly, Fernwood is known across the region and even across the country as a leader in social enterprise and place-based approaches to community development. In the past ten years I have met with countless groups of students, planners, and even philanthropists who have been interested in learning more about our made in Fernwood approach. I have also been asked to speak numerous times at conferences and to give lectures at the University about our work here. I will be writing a longer article for the December Village Vibe to share some parting thoughts, and to write down a short version of our story for posterity.

One thing I want everyone to know is that the Board of Directors, who will choose my replacement, all live in Fernwood and many of them have children who participate in our programs—they are all part of the Fernwood family. The Board is committed to ensuring the ­organization remains strong and true to itself. I am confident they will choose the best possible person or people to lead the organization into its next chapter.

I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of you for your contributions to making our powerful neighbourhood vision a reality. I will sorely miss living and working in the midst of such a diverse group of passionate and committed ­people—it has been a great honour to work alongside you, and to devote myself to this place for so many years. Thank you for all of your support!