Earlier this week the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation announced changes to the Board of Directors, and I was part of them. I was elected to the Board, and as Treasurer. Mark Lewandowski, former VP and Treasurer, was elected President. Tony Bylewski was elected Vice-Chair. Sara Etten and Jeff Ingersoll, both former Board Members, were re-elected. The moves were made to ensure the continued stability of the group, which following Mike’s passing was down to only five Board Members.
It’s a bittersweet moment for me. I had previously applied for a Board position back in 2006, but was beat out by none other than Mark himself and Kate Resetarits, whose term ended earlier this year. Regardless of not getting on the Board, I continued working with the group, creating and fulfilling the roles of Media Relations Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator, and helping out with rebuilding the website. Last year, Mike moved into the President’s role after Russell’s departure, and Mark took on the VP position while still acting as Treasurer. It was clear earlier this year that Mark was quite overextended, and I offered to Mike and Mark to step in as Assistant Treasurer (Assistant to the Treasurer?). Since both were former Treasurers, I would have plenty of mentoring. Both thought it was a great idea and that I’d be able to pick up the role without any problem.
Then, things abruptly changed. Before I had time to get very far into the new job, Mike died. Mark was the logical choice to step up to become President, but that meant he could no longer legally hold the role of Treasurer. None of the other existing Board Members were particularly interested in the job, so I was asked to join the Board.
I’m already accustomed to keeping extensively detailed personal financial records, so the main challenge of taking on this role is learning QuickBooks. That’s where my IT background comes into play, and where Jeff’s experience as former Treasurer and owner of his own business will help.
So, how have things changed for me? Well, I’ve made more trips to the bank in the last two weeks for the CTRC than I have in a year in handling our personal finances. My [useful] email volume has probably doubled as I bounce a lot of questions and thoughts off the other Board Members. And, much to Amanda’s chagrin, I’ve certainly been spending more time at the Terminal lately and not with her.
The good news is that the CTRC is moving full steam ahead, now beginning work on a master plan for redevelopment ourselves, no longer waiting around for a developer to step up to the plate and take on the project. The loss of Mike, tragic as it was, did not derail our efforts in the slightest bit. Instead, we took it as a reminder that we need to get this project finished. As I said to Mark Sommer when he interviewed us for the Buffalo News article (he misattributed the quote to Tony, but no hard feelings, Mark 😉 ) we’ve always felt we had a responsibility to keep the Terminal around. Now, we also have the responsibility to finish this project for those who put so much effort into it and aren’t going to see it completed.
I’m happy to be an even bigger part of that effort.