By Jerry Masek
If you ask Rosemary Mudry, “So, where are you from?”, please be patient. The answer could take a while. She has lived, worked, or been educated in Shaker Heights, CSU Downtown, Old Brooklyn, West Park, Ohio City, Oberlin and Glenville. Each place taught her sometime new about urban living. Along the way, she earned a Masters in Urban Planning, Design and Development. Now, she can utilize those skills and experience to help West Park prosper and grow. She started work Nov. 18 as Executive Director of the West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development, formerly known as the Kamm’s Corners Neighborhood Development Corp., or KCDC. She replaces Steve Lorenz, who retired after 18 years. The group’s new name was introduced last year to reflect an expanded mission and serve all of Ward 17.
Mudry spent the last 5 years as Director of Neighborhood Development at the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corp., a large neighborhood just south of the Metroparks Zoo. “I was responsible for economic development, business relationships, housing and planning,” she said. “Those skills should translate well to our work in West Park.” Mudry is comfortable in her new role.
“I was born at Fairview General Hospital, and as a young adult, lived near Jefferson Park. There’s great nightlife here. Many of my friends and relatives have lived and worked in this area.”
Why is this job attractive?
“I am interested in making an impact, growing my skill set and challenging myself. Our goal is serve ALL of Ward 17, and for residents to know they have a voice at the table.” Her first goal — work with the staff and Board to evaluate past activities “with a critical eye. We want to take what’s great and make them even greater.” That evaluation may continue until mid-year. “We want to start the decade as strong as possible, and improve events so they attract and serve a broader community.” Planning continues for the June 20 Hooley event, and the award-winning Farmers Market, which runs June-October.
A full calendar
Mudry’s office window gives her a great view of Kamm’s Plaza, and she keeps active in the community. Her first weeks here have been full and fruitful. “Everyone has been warm, inviting and overwhelmingly gracious,” she said. “They seem eager and happy to meet me.” She has already met folks at West Park Holiday Cheer, a West Park Neighbor Night, a Celebrity Bartender event at Working Class Brewery, the Indoor Farmers Market, and the West Park Holiday Passport celebration.
“Success is a trait of an organization, not a single person,” Mudry says. “In neighborhood development, success takes time. It may take 3 years to open a high-quality business, or renovate a building. We want Ward 17 residents to feel hopeful and optimistic about their future here.”
With sidebar: how to contact WPKND, and staff list