EFDC’s executive director resigns after less than a year.
Well that was fast:
FEBRUARY 12th, 2020 — The East Falls Development Corporation (EFDC) announced today that Executive Director Meredith Johnson has resigned from her position, effective immediately….
“We thank Meredith for her year of service and wish her well with all of her future endeavors,” said Heidi Grunwald, EFDC Board Chair, who added that it’s an “exciting” time for East Falls. “With every change comes opportunity, ” she said.
Speaking of opportunity. If you (or someone you know) wants a crack at wrangling East Falls leadership and commercial interests, come on dowwwwwn! EFDC has immediately begun the process to replace Meredith. In the interim, EFDC’s “deeply engaged” Board and various committees will carry on business as usual as best they can. Plans for 2020 include various streetscape initiatives as well as “a multi-faceted and digital engagement push.”
Meanwhile, for those of us keeping score, Meredith is the 2nd executive director in a row who has quit after a year in service. The first was Kathleen Hogan, who came to EFDC in fall of 2017 when Gina Snyder, the organization’s previous ED resigned after 15+ years to join her husband on sabbatical with their family in the south of France.
Originally from Michigan, Kathleen came to East Falls with lots of business experience but not so much with community planning and development. As a resident of Chestnut Hill, Kathleen knew our area mainly from cycling through it and indeed one of Kathleen’s major efforts during her tenure had been to bring a Bike Share here. Unfortunately, Kathleen tapped out in November 2018, without achieving this goal (among others).
In April 2019, Gtowner Meredith took the reins at EFDC after successful community development stints in Buda, TX and the Tacony Community Development Corporation. She had a proven track record with small business support plus an MS degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. Meeting her at Billy Murphy’s, she seemed sunny and smart and approachable. Just the ticket, we thought, for our quirky little burg. Alas, the fit was not so good, after all.
Meredith, if you’re reading this: thanks for trying! East Falls might be a mere 1.5 square miles, but we’ve crammed a whole lot of really strong opinions in here. You need a super thick skin — and the tenacity of a bulldog — to effectively deal with the neighborhood politics. (You probably need a penis too but that’s a whole other story, ha.)
Maybe try Germantown? You already own a house here. And Germantown United CDC‘s executive director has been on a leave of absence since October, so I dunno. Maybe we’ll see you around? Surely with all the recent reconstruction, development and public land interests, there’s still a big need for your skill set in this corner of NW Philly.
Moving forward, best of luck to Meredith and the EFDC, both. Can’t wait to see what’s coming next.