Dear Green City Force Alumni,
I hope that you are all safe and have managed to navigate the challenges of 2020. I wanted to formally introduce myself as the new Executive Director of GCF. I have crossed paths with many of you and for others I hope that we can begin to build relationships as I navigate this new role. My time in the GCF community has been an inspirational journey, I’ve been on staff with GCF since 2014 at the start of Cohort 9 when I started as Director of Development. This September, we launched the start of Cohort 21 and I am excited to continue this journey to support the movement that you all have contributed to.
I stand on the shoulders of the leaders who have paved the way for me. I am grateful and always mindful of the impact that Lisbeth and others have had in building GCF over the last decade and in your individual and collective roles in creating the movement we are today. Thanks to Lisbeth, Erika, Lawrence, Dennis, Wesley, Elliezer, Mara, Jen and so many others who have built the GCF of today with all of you.
From day one, I’ve noted that GCF is about community. Locking roots. Supporting each other. Raising the voices of young NYCHA leaders. I’m committed to keeping the culture of GCF being about community. I want to be proactive in asking you to continue your connection to GCF as we seek additional career opportunities for graduates, and lift the voices of all of you and our Corps Members who are the heart and soul of GCF.
There are a number of staff changes that have occurred over the past year. But, as a community, GCF stakeholders may shift roles, but remain committed to our vision towards the green city. Lisbeth has changed roles. But, she is forever and always a critical part of GCF as Co-founder and Executive Director of our first decade. She will continue to serve as a strategic advisor to me and the team as we move into our next chapter. You should all feel free to continue reaching out to her.
Mara and Jen have moved on to new roles this year. But, they remain important parts of the GCF community. We mourn the loss over the past few years of GCF community members, Lawrence Harris, Krystal Ruiz, David Buckel, and Donnel Moses. They each left an indelible mark on us and we value the various ways in which they have touched our lives.
We will be following up soon on details regarding a GCF virtual memorial event for Lawrence. Keep an eye out for more information coming from Aram about that.
We are excited about the future of GCF led by a passionate team of staff members who have committed to upholding the culture and priorities of GCF. Aram Marcelle continues to be our point person for the bulk of alumni engagement while Stephanie Klocke is on maternity leave. Felicia Prince and Flo Alleyne will be working directly with alumni to provide more access to GCF support and professional opportunities. I’m proud to note that we continually have about 1/3 of staff who are alumni which helps to maintain the authenticity of our model. I’m thankful for the Eco-Hub Fellow second term members who stepped up at the height of the COVID pandemic to maintain our growing season and community engagement. Our Service Coordinators and Social Enterprise EmPower team who are all graduates, are important parts of our staff structure. Melinda and Melissa Ruiz continue to be important parts of the GCF legacy and staff culture as well.
I urge you all to connect with us, and to let us know what we can do to support you. If you are interested and available, consider coming to volunteer at our Eco-Hub sites, or join us at a Harvest Festival or community meeting. You each have a role in the GCF story. You’re an important part of our past, and a critical part of our future. Thank you for your service and for all that you’ve done to improve your own lives and the lives of those around you. We appreciate you, and value you. Wishing you all safety, hope, healing and prosperity.