ASHLAND Starting Monday, The Neighborhood will see a transition in directorship that is expected to last around a month.
Jeremy Holbrook, a local volunteer, will be stepping into the position. Holbrook, who has served on various local and regional boards, is the executive director of the Big Idea Camp, an organization that travels to local schools to discuss values such as courage, trust, determination and credibility.
Holbrook said last year, COVID-19 put the skids on the camp, leading him to pour time and energy into volunteering at The Neighborhood, a one-stop shop for needy folks seeking charitable services.
During that time, Holbrook worked closely with Executive Director Todd Young. Young tendered his resignation in May after a kerfuffle regarding for-profit agencies moving into the facility. He will stay on until Aug. 25, helping facilitate a transition in directorship, according to Holbrook.
“I learned a lot from Todd, he kind of groomed me to take over since he wanted to spend more time with his family,” Holbrook said. “For about the past year, I've been volunteering there about 40 hours a week, so I hope to soak up as much as I can before he leaves.”
Holbrook said he wants to get a lay of the land before making any big changes at the organization.
“I don’t want to hit the ground running with huge changes. I want to take a fine-tooth comb to the budget and see how we can work on relationships with the agencies inside The Neighborhood,” Holbrook said.
Looking at how folks improve their lives using services at the Neighborhood is a metric Holbrook said he’d like to see a greater focus on.
“I think we need to look at the people as the product, not how many meals we hand out,” Holbrook said. “We don’t want them dependent on our services, we want them to one day not have to use them.”
Part of that is a greater emphasis on employment initiatives, education on “soft skills” such as writing a resume and financial planning, Holbrook said.
Within the coming weeks, Holbrook said the executive board will meet and look at the vision for the organization moving forward.
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