Dear Friends of Community Progress,
It is with mixed emotions that I write, on behalf of the Board of Directors, to share with you the decision of our President and CEO, Tamar Shapiro, to leave the Center for Community Progress in the summer of 2017. Due to a recent fellowship offer for her husband, Tamar and her family now have the unique opportunity to live and work in Germany for several years starting this fall. As many of you are already aware, Tamar is an expert on Western European urban policy and a fluent German speaker, so this will be a natural move for the whole family. While we are extremely sorry to see her go, we recognize that this kind of opportunity does not come along every day, and we understand and fully support the decision they have made as a family.
We will sincerely miss her steady hand, contagious enthusiasm, collaborative nature and wise counsel. Our gratitude for Tamar’s work runs deep, and she will be greatly missed by us and by the staff of the organization. We wish her luck and look forward to continuing to work together in new and different ways in coming years.
Since joining Community Progress in 2012, Tamar has strengthened and expanded the organization, increasing its reach and impact throughout the country. Thanks to her exemplary leadership, Community Progress has evolved from a young organization to a well-established force in the field, reaching tens of thousands of people and hundreds of communities. Tamar has built a truly talented team of professionals, who are wholeheartedly dedicated to improving communities that have experienced the devastating impacts of vacancy, abandonment, and property deterioration. Community Progress has played, and continues to play, an important role in shaping a national field, and movement, of practitioners dedicated to the equitable revitalization of these communities.
The magnitude of the organization’s reach and impact was felt by all of us who attended Community Progress’ most recent Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference (RVP) in Baltimore last September – the second RVP in a row to draw approximately 1,100 attendees from nearly 40 states. The energy, determination, and collaborative spirit fostered by Community Progress at the conference were palpable and a testament to Tamar’s leadership over the past years.
With several months to go before Tamar’s departure, we are now launching a search process for the position of President and CEO. We seek a stellar candidate for this very special role – a collaborative leader with many years of experience in the community development field, a proven track record leading and inspiring an organization, and a passion for the mission of the Center for Community Progress. We are looking for a leader who will build on Community Progress’ achievements to have ever greater impact on the ground, tackling the systemic challenges of vacancy, abandonment, and property deterioration on behalf of distressed and underserved communities. Please take a moment to look at the job announcement and share with partners and colleagues.
As we enter this next phase, we are thankful that the Center for Community Progress is in such a strong financial, operational, and programmatic position with a highly capable team, meaningful partnerships, a clear strategic direction, and stable funding, making this an auspicious time for a leadership transition. We are eager to see what the next five years bring and are certain that Community Progress’ momentum will continue, with the organization bringing its expertise and its dedication to the work of strengthening communities all across the country.
Board Chair, Center for Community Progress