The Local reached out to each newly elected member to get their thoughts on what made them run and what they hope to accomplish.
In last week’s edition of the Local, Chestnut Hill residents heard from the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s new board president, Laura Lucas, who outlined her priorities for her upcoming term. In addition to electing a new president, the community association also elected a set of new board officers and members of the at-large executive committee on July 27. The Local reached out to each newly elected member to get their thoughts on what made them want to run for office this year and what they hope to accomplish. The following responses are lightly edited for clarity and length.
Jeff Duncan, Vice President of Operations:
I was elected to the CHCA Board in 2021, and I’ve served on both the executive committee and the governance committee since that time. I’ve worked closely with our incoming President Laura Lucas on both committees, and when she asked me if I would be willing to serve in this position, it was impossible to say no. Laura has an intense devotion to our Chestnut Hill community, and I think she can effectively lead the organization forward as we move beyond the tough challenges of the past few years to those we will face in a post-pandemic Philadelphia.
I want to help ensure that the association and its committees operate effectively to serve the needs of Chestnut Hill and that we preserve and enhance the things that make this neighborhood so very special – from our historic architecture and beautiful parks and gardens to our walkable business district with great shops and restaurants, to important community resources like the Chestnut Hill Local.
Matt Rutt, Vice President of the Physical Division:
As a CHCA board member, I wanted to get involved and help in the best way that I could. Based on my knowledge of zoning, planning and engineering, the Physical Division was a natural fit.
I would like to explore and implement ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the development review process, as well as make progress in broader planning and zoning initiatives with the city to both protect and promote the things we all love about our community.
David Caulk, Vice President of the Social Division:
I was inspired to run by Lynn Schroeder, Kathi Clayton and Anne McNiff, whose many hours of community work made Chestnut Hill a better place to call home last year, from a fun and festive Fall Frolic and Holiday Parade to Hoops Madness and seven successful concerts in Pastorius Park. And also for what is in store in these coming Friday movie nights in August at the Water Tower Recreation Center, and this December’s Holiday House Tour.
Chestnut Hill has an incredible diversity of quality people and groups, and fostering new connections across these families and groups is a highly meaningful way of improving the quality of life in Chestnut Hill. In this role, I look forward to putting on a variety of events that provide opportunities for family fun and new personal connections. I hope you will join me, come out with your neighbors, and make a few new friends this year. See you soon!
Greg Lattanzi, Secretary:
I have been on the executive board for a couple of years now and have made some changes, but I felt that I could contribute more given my background and expertise. My background is in archaeology and historic preservation. I am currently the curator of archaeology at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton and the New Jersey State Archaeologist. I received a call from Laura Lucas who knows of my background in historic preservation and my love of Chestnut Hill, and she asked me if I was interested. She told me her ideas for the 75th Anniversary and making all of what the CHCA does more transparent with the community. I felt that I could help with that.
I hope to help make all of what the CHCA does more accessible to its members in a timely fashion. I also hope to have accurate and up-to-date committee lists to help the CHCA in finding areas where additional volunteers and board members' engagement is necessary.
Catherine Brzozowski, appointed director of the at-large executive committee:
Being part of an organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life and building a sense of community for all residents is important to me. Volunteering to serve on the CHCA board and executive committee is just one way that I can give back. As someone who has lived or worked in Chestnut Hill for 50 years, I’ve seen the passion and commitment our neighbors have to continue to shape the community to meet the changing needs and interests of the people who make our town special. I want to be part of moving us forward, together.
I will continue to support the mission of the organization and the goals of our new leadership. Raising awareness of the CHCA’s contributions to the community, supporting the creation of new programs to encourage community engagement, and exploring ways that our community’s organizations can collaborate are things that are of particular interest to me.
Jennifer McHugh, member of the at-large executive committee:
As a board member, I enjoy playing a role in the strategic planning, community-building, fundraising and support of the CHCA's activities. By serving as a member of the executive committee, I can further those objectives.
Under Laura Lucas’ leadership, my hope is that we can achieve even greater accomplishments that align with the CHCA's mission and vision and provide a roadmap for the future growth and success of Chestnut Hill.
Richard Tuttle, member of the at-large executive committee:
I wanted to contribute to the work of the association, but I don't have any specific skills to speak of. So I thought serving at large would be the best fit. I'll be happy to do whatever needs doing.
This fall, we'll be working especially on celebrating the 75th anniversary of the CHCA. Then I expect we'll focus on green space initiatives and efforts to increase membership. The Holiday House Tour will be back, and lots of other things are going on. We'll be busy.