Coming off the tremendous outpouring of community support shown during the May 18th, “Legacy Celebration of Sam Watkins, Jr.”, a new era of leadership for the Board and staff at LCCC began in 2017.
Our Board Chair, Bonnie Lash Freeman; and, President/CEO, Kevin Fields, Sr., took on their roles with strong commitment toward ushering in an era of “high impact”. This commitment has been demonstrated through efforts to increase volunteer and Board engagement and improve family service outcomes, while raising LCCC’s profile as a champion of economic transformation for the greater good of the Russell neighborhood and west Louisville.
Through the leadership of Chairwoman Freeman, the engagement of LCCC’s Board was enhanced through Board empowerment training, internal performance review initiatives and increased involvement of key external community stakeholders. A completed Board self-assessment process suggested the agency benefits tremendously from having positive Board and staff relationships, while even greater agency impact could be achieved through efforts to stimulate humor and increased strategic engagements among Board members. Board empowerment initiatives advanced by the Chair energized and attracted and new members to join our super talented Board and have impacted a greater turnouts of community and volunteer support, as evidenced by summits and other community information sharing events produced by the agency. Attendance at Board-led community engagement events, such as the LCCC Community Information Breakfast, increased by 45%.
2017 also proved to be significantly impactful for LCCC and our 4000+ direct service constituents, as demonstrated by several innovative initiatives the agency advanced through its many strategic partnerships. Initiatives such as the PNC Gigabit Experience Center, which leveraged the availability of ultra-high-speed internet services to attract over 6500 additional visitors, produced innovative community engagements such as corporate and community hackathons, a regional cyber-security summit, and many STEM-focused education programs for school-aged youth.
During his first year as CEO, President Fields leveraged Sam Watkins’ Old Walnut Street legacy to advance the agency’s vision of economic transformation. As an active network member of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a national network of nearly 500 human service organizations, Mr. Fields has taken initiative to benchmark LCCC’s organizational development platform against national trends of peer organizations across America.
A major 2017 accomplishment was the solidification of LCCC’s leadership as a “Vision Russell” co-developer, focused on creation of the Muhammad Ali Boulevard Arts, Culture and Innovation Corridor (aka, “THE BLVD”). In partnership with the Concerned Pastors of Russell; Louisville Forward; a capacity build team of prominent local, state and national entities; and, a host of other stakeholders, this economic development initiative promises to bring significant positive chance to Russell and west Louisville, at-large. Its purpose is to leverage the Old Walnut Street vision to advance commercial revitalization of Muhammad Ali Boulevard and become a major poverty intervention strategy that alters economic trends for generations to come, for the good of west Louisville. THE BLVD will bring sustainable, positive economic transformation to Russell and its impact will directly benefit the safety, health, well-being and financial security of all children and families, with focus on those who aspire toward success.