Dear Friends of the Ned Smith Center,
We are writing to you, members, supporters and volunteers, to inform you of the overall positive status of the Center. We do so to keep you informed, but also with the hope that you will keep those around you and in your community up to date as well.
Over the past 6 months the Ned Smith Center has gone through a period of change. We have seen staff turnover in education, finance and in programming and marketing. Although we were saddened by the departures, we feel that we have made some great new hires and have what many feel is our best roster of staff ever. The new educators have not only increased the number of programs offered but continue to develop new and innovative programs. With new staff on board in marketing, our social media presence has become dynamic and informative; fresh ideas in graphic design are emerging in our advertising pieces. Combine the new staff members with Ned Smith veteran staff, and the Center is poised for a new and exciting future.
There is no doubt that the pandemic is creating trying times for all of us, with some unique problems for the nonprofit world. Heroic work is being done by many, especially those in the health care fields and first responders, among others. Our task is to insure that, when things become more normal, the Ned Smith Center will be able to again perform well the mission that we all are passionate about. I can assure you that the Center is more stable, financially and otherwise, than many nonprofits, thanks to the efforts of our Executive Director, the Center’s staff, volunteers and supporters.
We know that “normal” will not be the same as it once was. We believe therefore that it is necessary to preserve and protect our staff and facilities, with an eye on future changes and needs. We do not anticipate any layoff of personnel. Staff is working from home, occasionally coming to the Center, but only as needed. Both the mundane things like opening mail and paying bills, along with the more difficult work of postponing and reshaping events and programs, and pursuing funding opportunities, are being accomplished.
Retaining both our volunteers and our staff is key to the future, just as it has been key to our past success. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and staff, we want to say a hearty and heart-felt THANK YOU to our many volunteers who have faithfully worked to support our every function, from ushering at concerts to gardening around the Center, from removing fallen trees from the trails to keeping the feeding stations filled. Without volunteers, the Center would not be able to stay open … or in these times … reopen when the time comes.
When COVID-19 appeared on the scene, the Development Committee was just finalizing plans on a major event to honor and celebrate Ned Smith volunteers later in the Spring. We were terribly disappointed when we had to cancel this special tribute but are committed to rescheduling when the dust settles.
Thank you all, members, supporters and volunteers, for your past and future support.
Brad Faber John Booth
President, Board of Trustees Executive Director