LAWRENCE – The Greater Lawrence Community Action Council’s Board of Directors unanimously selected, as the organization’s new Executive Director, Evelyn Friedman, currently the director of the Department of Neighborhood Development for the City of Boston. Friedman will bring to GLCAC extensive experience in non-profit management, social services and fundraising from a career spanning three decades, about half spent with a non-profit community development agency in Boston.
The Board of Directors selected Friedman on July 19, 2012, after a three-month search process that drew 88 applicants. A six-person Search Committee narrowed the choice to four finalists and enthusiastically recommended Friedman to the full board.
“We are very pleased to welcome Evelyn as the new executive director of an agency that provides so many important services to the families of Greater Lawrence. Evelyn has a tremendous background in community development and social services, as well as strengths in management and fundraising that will greatly benefit the agency,” said Dr. Thomas S. Perrault, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“I am excited about the opportunity to lead this wonderful agency that impacts a significant portion of the population in Greater Lawrence. I look forward to meeting the community and our constituents to see how the variety of programs impact their lives and where we can make improvements to help them achieve self-sufficiency,” said Friedman, who plans to start her new job in September.
As the director of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development, Friedman managed a $100 million budget and 175 employees in administering the federal Housing and Urban Development resources allotted to the city. The department provides resources for the development of affordable and supportive housing, creation of and support for local neighborhood businesses, and the management and disposition of tax foreclosed properties.
In her role, she worked with other city departments and non-profit agencies to address family poverty, unemployment and other challenges that jeopardize family stability. Under her leadership, the city led the way in addressing home foreclosure prevention, as well as the first citywide plan to address homelessness.
From 1990 to 2008, Friedman was the Executive Director of Nuestra Communidad Development Corporation, a Roxbury-based community development agency in Roxbury. During her tenure, she revitalized the struggling Nuestra Communidad, which now owns and manages 800 units of rental housing and 65,000 square feet of commercial space, and has developed 300 houses for sale to low- and moderate-income buyers.
|(Left to Right) Interim GLCAC Executive Director Christian W. Dame, Incoming Executive Director Evelyn Friedman, Board President Dr. Thomas Perrault, Sr.|
Friedman has also served as the executive director of the Hyde Park YMCA and director of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Youth Services’ Restitution Program. Friedman holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree in sociology from Boston College.
She will replace Interim Executive Director Christian Dame, a non-profit turnaround specialist hired by the board to lead the agency in April 2011 and address 40 action items identified by state regulators. In March, the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development recognized the GLCAC had successfully implemented all of its management and fiscal reforms.
A resident of Jamaica Plain, Friedman emerged as the top finalist from an initial field of 88 applicants. In April, the Board of Directors appointed a six-member Search Committee which worked with Egmont Associates, a search consulting firm. The position was advertised in 25 print and online publications reaching national, state and local audiences. In addition, more than 300 calls were made to potential candidates and mailings were sent to 100 organizations.
The criteria, developed by the Search Committee and approved by the full Board of Directors, stated, in part, that the new executive director should:
- Believe in the effectiveness of community-based human services and the potential for everyone, no matter how severe their life situation, to make progress.
- Possess five or more years of senior leadership and management experience in a large, complex multi-service organization with a minimum budget of $15 million including change management and innovation, strategic planning, financial management, organizational growth and expansion.
- Hold undergraduate and/or advanced degree in social sciences, public administration, business or a related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Demonstrate expertise in governmental relations, program development, program administration, finance, governance and fundraising.
GLCAC encourages and promotes the improvement of community life in Greater Lawrence with special emphasis on programs in education, social services, child care, health, housing, youth employment and related fields. GLCAC last year served 29,000 individuals in Greater Lawrence. Since its inception in 1965, the GLCAC has been a consistent partner in working with local, state and federal governments and private agencies in creating opportunities and providing hope for people living in poverty.