Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time to Vote for CNA Board of Directors!

From Bill August, below are the self-submitted bios for the five candidates who have been nominated for the four open slots on the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association Board of Directors. Meeting info and the agenda are in the posts below.

Bios are in alphabetical order of last name.

Jeffrey Beam
Born in Kentucky, but with Somerville and Wimington roots, Jeff Beam has been a Cambridgeport resident for two and a half years. During that time he has been a renter, an owner, a graduate student, and now a Boston commuter. He works as an affordable housing developer in Boston and is a licensed Architect. Most neighbors know him by the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Blog (
http://c-portneighborhood.blogspot.com/), which he created in 2009 to help facilitate greater communication and understanding in C-port. Others know him by his dog, Gilbert, with whom he regularly patrols the neighborhood. He is looking forward to life's next big step: he and his wife Sara are expecting their first child in the late summer.

Leslie E. Greis
I live on Pleasant Street between Putnam and Allston and I’m running for reelection to the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association board -- and I’m writing for your vote. During my tenure as a director, I have helped the neighborhood and the Association in variety of ways, big and small. I have served as the unofficial liaison between the Association and the Police Department trying to forge better communication and to reduce crime in the neighborhood. Among other things, I organized a crime walk, printed and posted crime alerts and arranged several meetings with the police, including an early meeting with the Police Commissioner soon after he arrived in Cambridge. As time went on, my involvement shifted to housing and other issues. When the new Radisson owners had plans to erect a tall condo project attached to the hotel, our Association, with extra help from Bill August, pushed through zoning changes to constrain building along the river. As a director, I spoke at the city hearing against the development plan. I also help the Association in smaller ways by reserving meeting space, printing flyers for our meetings (before the city cracked down on flyers) and cleaning up after parties. Over time, I have talked with various city officials about a variety of issues and have attended park, tree, crime, zoning and other meetings.

My interest in serving on the board of the Association comes from a strong desire to see our neighborhood thrive. I would like to see an Association that is able to “get a seat at the table” when city issues affecting our neighborhood are decided. As a person who enjoys living here, I want the Association to pursue initiatives that provide needed services to our area and encourage cooperative attention from city representatives.

For those of you who don’t know me or haven’t bumped into me at the Y or around the neighborhood, I’ve lived in Cambridge 18 years of my life. Professionally, much of my last ten years has been spent as an investment consultant/advisor to non-profits of all kinds, first with a medium-sized firm and now with my own firm. I have also volunteered considerable time to various organizations having served on over 20 non-profit committees or boards. Also, driven by my interest in improving science education in the schools, I serve as a Trustee at the Museum of Science.

Thanks for letting me serve the past few years. I ask for your vote and for the privilege of serving as an officer of the Association for another term. I bring a commitment to the neighborhood, a sense of responsibility, experience in community issues and practical skills to the role.

Drew Phelps

Drew Phelps is the Command Center Director, overseeing all aspects of NWN’s 24x7 network operations center located in Waltham, MA. Mr. Phelps also serves as the Practice Manager for nCare, which includes all remote monitoring and IT support delivered by NWN in New England, Philadelphia, North Carolina, and Texas. Mr. Phelps has served on the NWN Corporation Board of Directors since 2001. He also serves on the Cambridge Montessori School Board of Trustees and the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association Board of Directors.

Mr. Phelps has over 10 years experience in information technology, operations, and customer support. He joined NWN in 2003 from yet2.com, an Intellectual Property (IP) broker and consultant, where he was the Director of Operations. At yet2.com, Mr. Phelps and his team increased the company’s annual introduction rate of IP buyers to sellers by over 5,000%. Prior to yet2.com, Mr. Phelps published business research at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). He was also the Manager of Information Systems for Logal Software, an Israeli-based educational software company. Mr. Phelps has a Bachelors degree in International Relations and French Literature from Tufts University where he captained the Soccer and Squash teams.

Elizabeth Torrey
Elizabeth Torrey has lived in Cambridgeport since 1985 and currently lives on Pearl Street with her family. Her daughters attended public school in Cambridge and Elizabeth was active in school issues during that time. She would like to be on the board of the CNA for a second term to continue working on the issues that were beginning to be addressed over the past two years such as preservation of open space along the river and working to improve conditions at the Magazine Beach pool. She is also interested in making sure that MIT listens to the concerns of the neighborhood as it continues to expand. In addition, Elizabeth would like the CNA to expand its outreach to all of the neighbors in Cambridgeport to bring a greater diversity into discussions of what is important to those who live here. Professionally, Elizabeth is a speech and language pathologist working with children age 3-6 at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown.

Cathie Zusy
Cathie Zusy, who’s lived in C-port about 14 years, would like to be back on the board of the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association. She was on the board for CNA in 2002 and 2003 and co-founded, with Cynthia Kamishlian, the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Group (the group that preceded it) in 1999. The CNG organized neighborhood crime walks, clean ups, meetings with members of the Cambridge Police Department and parties at Dana Park. For several years Cathie was on the Cambridge Police Department Leadership Task Force. For her contributions to the community she received an award from the Cambridge Police Department in 2000. More recently, Cathie has organized a number of street parties on Hamilton Street, a spaghetti dinner for local Scout Troop 56, and, just this past October, “If This House Could Talk…,” a history-awareness-raising-event for the neighborhood. A museum curator and educator by training, Cathie is eager to work with neighbors to 1) think about what it is about our neighborhood (e.g., buildings and open space) that make it special and then work to preserve these things; 2) study Magazine Street churches, to better understand the health of these buildings and communities; 3) create a stronger sense of community.

Zusy lives on Hamilton Street with her husband Sam and son Ben.

(Yes, full disclosure, that first one is me...) See everyone at the meeting Wednesday night!

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