I bought a distressed old house on 22nd Avenue in 2003, in the heart of the Corcoran neighborhood. Over the 13 years I lived in it, I put untold hundreds of hours of sweat and tears into the home's repair and restoration. While pounding nails on my front porch one day, shortly after I moved in, some neighbors stopped by to thank me, and to recruit me. "We're working to improve housing throughout the neighborhood, and we need you to get involved." So I got involved, and in March 2005 I began working full time for CNO as staff. Over these last 12 years I've knocked on almost every door in the neighborhood and I've gotten to know hundreds of Corcoran residents and their stories.
It has been a joy and an honor to fight alongside so many of you for a neighborhood that's great for everyone. It is hard to leave, but I will be moving on to a new job at the Family Housing Fund, where I'll continue to fight for safe, decent, affordable housing. I leave CNO in the hands of a very capable and passionate board of directors and a talented and experienced staff team. My family and I remain ardent supporters and patrons of the Midtown Farmers Market, which will keep us coming back to the neighborhood that gave us a home and so much more over the years.
The CNO Board of Directors has named current staff member Heidi Johnson McAllister to be Executive Director. Heidi has been the Associate Director at CNO for over the past 2 years, supporting the overall work of the organization as well as staffing the Economic Development Committee and the Newspaper Committee. She is excited to take on this new role as the Executive Director. She looks forward to continuing to move the work of uniting the Corcoran neighborhood forward with you, the CNO board, and staff. Heidi will be on maternity leave soon as she is expecting her second child, but will be back in mid-June.
With Heidi's maternity leave, Vanessa Haight will be filling in on a part time basis as the Interim Director. Vanessa has also accepted the role of Community Development Manager and will be phasing into that role over the next few months. Vanessa brings a unique combination of neighborhood and city planning experience, having worked for Beltrami Neighborhood Council most recently and city government in the past. She is excited to utilize her planning background as Community Development Manager and looking forward to learning more about CNO and the Corcoran neighborhood during her interim position.