Dear Friend of Neighborhood Leadership,

I count it a privilege to introduce myself to you as the new Executive Director of Neighborhood Leadership Institute. Although I’m only a recent grad (NLC 33!), and have been serving as associate director for about a year, my history with the Institute goes back many years, beginning when I was your program officer at the Cleveland Foundation.

In that role, I developed a bond not only with our founder Don Slocum, but with his brilliant staff, working alongside them on a number of community projects, on everything from bridging the digital divide, to working with local faith leaders to improve their ability to work together to access resources they need to serve the communities they rest in, and so much more. In everything, I found a willing partner in Don and the Institute. It’s this history of partnership that both humbles and excites me as I take on the mission of leading this organization.

Before I go any further, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the faithful servant-leadership of Don Slocum. I wish him well as he enters this next phase of his life, and welcome him in his role as Director Emeritus. It is his example of dedicated service to people that keeps me motivated to ensure that Neighborhood Leadership Institute, in particular, our flagship program for leadership development, NLC, continues to be a place that develops and supports the voice of neighborhood residents; making an impact by engaging the communities that we call home.

Over the next few months, you’ll be hearing from me regarding this commitment. Very soon, we will conduct a search for a full-time staff member to oversee NLC and alumni, whose focus will be on ensuring that incoming NLC grads continue to have enriching experiences, and that you as alumni of NLC have the opportunities to utilize your knowledge and experience to improve life for residents across Greater Cleveland.

I also commit to you that you will hear from me on a regular basis about programs, initiatives and opportunities. But in the spirit of engagement, I don’t want that correspondence to be one-sided. I want to hear about you, about some of the great things that you’re currently engaged in, and any way that you’re using the lessons learned from NLC and your fellow alumni.

I look forward to meeting you in person, and hearing about your work. Please reach out to me anytime,

Yours in Leadership,

Kevin McDaniel, Executive Director
Neighborhood Leadership Institute