Leadership change for Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association: Derek Birnie leaving

(WSB video of Derek Birnie presenting a DNDA primer to Delridge Neighborhoods District Council last November)
After four years leading Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, executive director Derek Birnie is leaving, taking the same role at Washington CASH (Community Alliance for Self Help). An interim executive director already has been announced for DNDA – which helms a wide variety of projects, from community-building to housing development and beyond – consultant Jan Glick. More in the DNDA news release ahead:

The Board of Directors of Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association delivered a message to its supporters on Friday announcing a change in its staffing and a refocusing of its organizational priorities, within its existing mission.

The board of directors has retained Jan Glick & Associates in an interim Executive capacity effective July 5. Jan Glick will serve as Executive Director, with associate Patty Grossman serving as interim Deputy Director. A nationally recognized nonprofit leader and consultant, Glick has devoted more than 25 years to refining a model approach to facilitate performance improvement for nonprofits and government agencies. Glick has worked with DNDA on a range of projects over ten years. His services to DNDA have included business plan development, executive search, and executive and board coaching.

Patty Grossman has a wealth of business and nonprofit financial management experience, especially with community development organizations. Grossman focuses on managing cash and other finances to facilitate and not undermine achievement of organizational goals. Prior to consulting, Patty served as Executive Director of Cascadia Revolving Fund, in Seattle , when Cascadia was judged the winner of the Excellence in Microenterprise Development Award from President and Mrs. Clinton in 1997.

Derek Birnie, Executive Director since March 2007, will be moving on to join Washington C.A.S.H. as Executive Director. DNDA thanks Birnie for his stewardship and tireless efforts to keep DNDA true to is core mission to serve and improve the quality of life of Delridge residents.

The Board of Directors has been working with both Glick and Birnie to refocus and reposition the organization for long term stability and sustainability. A new, tougher economy calls for a new Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA). DNDA is emerging out of this economy as a leaner and more focused organization. Like most non-profits, it has been impacted by recent changes in the economy, loss of state and other public funding and a flat donor contribution over the past two years.

DNDA’s mission is to engage residents, businesses, and institutions in creating a thriving Delridge and beyond. The heart of DNDA and its board remained unchanged but it is being tempered by a fiscal focus on sustainable lines of business. The Board and management team have kept their sights on the mission and goals of the agency and while restructuring the organization. This effort began with reducing staff costs by more than 50% over the past six months.

“The next few months will be both exciting and challenging. We are pleased to welcome the strong executive leadership in Jan Glick and Patty Grossman to continue the work begun by the Board and the former Executive Director,” said Tyler McKenzie, DNDA Board President.

DNDA remains committed to its mission. According to M.A. Leonard, Vice President, Pacific Northwest Office of Enterprise Community Partners, “DNDA has done so much for the Delridge and West Seattle Community. With very little, they did so much – the renovation of Cooper School into the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center is a gem and was a very complicated project. And developing affordable housing above a library was a great way to connect families with fabulous opportunities to read and learn. The West Seattle Food Bank with affordable housing above is another example of how many families have great, healthy and affordable housing because of DNDA. But speaking from a community development industry perspective, DNDA has been a real innovator. Incredibly, DNDA, a small organization, has consistently achieved success by getting multiple owners together to create vibrant community projects and affordable housing. Now, nonprofits and neighborhood development corporations are sharing the pain of the economic downturn. The small size and broad scope of DNDA have made it extremely difficult. I think the question now is how DNDA finds the right future – a key question for all organizations that are critical to communities.”

“DNDA has provided the community with a wide variety of programs beyond affordable housing, including after school programs for youth and healthy eating and corner store initiatives,” said Willard Brown, DNDA Board Vice President. “It has become a lean yet flexible non-profit, reducing staff and completing and sun-setting grant funded services and programs as necessary to operate with a balanced budget.” Currently DNDA is evaluating its housing portfolio, its arts programming at The Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, and its community building efforts in Delridge. The Board of Directors, working with Glick and Grossman, will make the necessary final restructuring to make DNDA sustainable for the future.

“We thank the community for the strong support we have already received and look forward to engaging it in upcoming fundraising and neighborhood building efforts as DNDA celebrates its 15th anniversary this year,” said Kim Becklund, board member.

If you are interested in contacting and/or supporting DNDA, you may do so by visiting our web site at www.dnda.org, sending an e-mail to info@dnda.org or give us a call at (206) 923-0917.

6 Replies to "Leadership change for Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association: Derek Birnie leaving"

  • Diane July 1, 2011 (1:47 pm)

    wow!!! I hope this is good news for Derek, and for DNDA

  • Judy July 1, 2011 (4:04 pm)

    I can’t say how impressed I am with the leadership of DNDA! This time of change seems to be being met with resiliency and resourcefulness, keystones of strength. Derek has, with his board modeled what and how to go forward toward a new future for an organization that has more to do to create community, and new ways to proceed toward an expanded goal. Wow! If we could all handle change and challenge so well!!! Thank you DNDA!

  • Sage July 1, 2011 (4:11 pm)

    DNDA is an important organization, so this part is unsettling:

    “This effort began with reducing staff costs by more than 50% over the past six months.”

    Sounds like they are in a serious resource crunch. Hopefully they emerge with programs & values intact.

  • howie martin July 1, 2011 (4:30 pm)

    DNDA is fortunate to be getting a strong new leadership team to navigate in today’s very challenging environment.

  • Steve July 1, 2011 (6:56 pm)

    DNDA continues to be a vital engine for good community development in Delridge. Kudos to Derek and the DNDA board for managing this transition in difficult times for all nonprofits.

  • Been There July 1, 2011 (11:50 pm)

    This is most unfortunate. Delridge has enough instability right now. In retrospect, it seems like the writing was on the wall that Derek was preparing to depart.

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