Overbrook Community Association takes time out to plan for the future
At their Annual General Meeting last November, Overbrook residents acclaimed 12 directors to the board of the Overbrook Community Association. Of the dozen residents chosen, Wendy Dennys, Real Lambert, Joanne Lockyer, Sheila Perry, Eric Saumur, and Patrick Venier are returning directors, while Jennifer Ardiel, Charlotte Masemann, Victoria McMullen, Carol Ogden, Michelle Robichaud and Christine Sharp are new to the board.
January was a busy month for them preparing for their work in the community. In early January, board members attended two retreat sessions, led on a volunteer basis by an experienced clinical social worker and group facilitator. In these sessions, the participants came to know and trust each other, and to explore ways to work well together. In the retreat process, the Association’s vision, mission, and values formed the central theme around which discussions took place.
Also part of the retreat program was a glance at the accomplishments of the previous year and at plans for the current year, all displayed around the room on flip charts. New and returning directors were stunned at the volume of work done in the community: (1) improving our environment (by tending planters, creating a community garden, opening a veterans memorial and children’s play park, securing official designation as Adopt-A-Park for Overbrook Community Centre, lowering speed limits around schools, pressing for the Donald Street multi-purpose bridge and for winter bike path clearance); (2) partnering and organizing fun and community-building events (Family Day in February, Community Garage Sale in May, Community Day in August, and a Firefighter’s lunch in December); (3) encouraging developments that reflect the character of Overbrook (by developing a Community Design Plan, by reviewing all applications, by seeking to resolve the back lane issue, and by researching and collecting material on the history and heritage of Overbrook). Adding strength and legitimacy to the purpose of the Association was the move to incorporate and purchase insurance.
With board members feeling comfortable with each other, aware of the legacy of accomplishments and the strength in their diversity, they chose their Executive Officers for the coming year at a closed-door board meeting on Thursday, January 16.
Continuing in their respective roles as Treasurer and Secretary are Patrick Venier and Wendy Dennys. The position of Vice-President was decided by ballot with Carol Ogden taking the most votes. Sheila Perry has agreed to continue in the role of Interim President until a successor can be found and mentored.