Our wonderful Assistant Director, Kate Monter Durban, has announced she is retiring this October. We are incredibly grateful for Kate’s tremendous work over her 31 years at CHN, her commitment to Cleveland and her dedication to the Power of a Permanent Address. Please join us in congratulating Kate on her retirement, and please see Kate’s announcement below
A Message from Kate
Dear Friends and Partners –
After 31 years at CHN, I am retiring in October. Words will fail me in capturing the many years and the many blessings, but I’ll try. When I started as a community organizer in the South Broadway neighborhood in 1981, there was no such thing as a community development/affordable housing industry. We were small non-profits intent on changing the world by empowering Clevelanders and supporting their hopes and dreams for their neighborhoods. It was a tumultuous time. The city had lost 30% of its population during the 1970s, vacant homes were rampant, school desegregation and busing had opened new wounds in our long battle against racism. We face these same challenges today with one key difference: together we have built a vibrant infrastructure of organizations, CDCs, public and private partners all working together to solve these systemic problems.
While I wasn’t directly involved in CHN’s founding in 1981, we all knew what it was about – bridging a strategy for neighborhoods on the eastside and the westside to work together to bring affordable housing, capital and hope to low-income families. Raising my then young family, I accepted a part-time position at CHN in February 1990 and was its 28th employee. Today CHN’s workforce has grown to 225 amazing people who have adopted the challenge with grace and incredible skill, building CHN into one of the strongest organizations of its kind in the country. This is a legacy.
I have had the privilege and blessing of being a part of a movement that for 40 years has allowed me to develop my best skills by doing work that I love. And through it all I have had the privilege and blessing of working with so many bright and dedicated people here in Cleveland the city that we love, throughout Ohio and across the country on a shared mission that is at once complicated and so simple – providing a stable home from which families can thrive. I especially want to thank all of my CHN colleagues and fellow directors past, present and future who have supported me in good times and bad. Starting with Kevin J. Nowak, I am simply astonished by this next generation of talented leaders. Together with CHN’s remarkably committed and effective Board, CHN’s mission is catapulting forward in ways we didn’t dare imagine. CHN’s future is in incredibly good hands. This is a dream realized.
When I started at CHN, my lovely daughters Rae Ann and Whitney were 4 and 2. Along with their sweet brother Louis today they are fully grown beautiful people, joined now by our beloved grandson Rayden with a second precious baby on the way this fall. I am incredibly blessed by my life partner and husband Ray who has supported me with his wisdom, love and humor and continues to remind me the best is yet to come.
Getting to know you and working beside you all has been one of the great pleasures of my life. Goodbyes are hard for me, so I pray this is not good-bye. After October you can reach me at [email protected]. I wish you every happiness and can’t wait to see what comes next.