Monday, January 22, 2007

Jay Connor brings Collaboration to the Community Center

On January 16th over 150 community members, educators, business leaders, non profit staff, volunteers, politicians, funders, abutters, muncipal leaders and agency staff came together to aspire for a broad vision for the future community center.

Talbot Gym was the venue, the tables set by students from Seacoast School of Technology's Marketing class-- loaned by Bob Bailey, decorated by amazing 'tree' centerpieces from Great Bay Kids Company children, and 'boxed dinners' prepared by many staff and students from Seacoast School of Technology and led by Culinary Arts guru Jim Collins. (The overnight ice storm, two hour school delay or lack of power did little to stop the amazing SST staff who pitched in to make the meals while their students were late and their computers dead!) The event was underwritten by Unitil Corp.(who was very busy that day getting the electricity back online!)

Joseph A. "Jay" Connor, J.D., M.B.A., is the Founder/CEO of The Collaboratory for Community Support and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan. He has extensive leadership experience in the business, nonprofit, and public policy arenas. His major interest is in crossing the borders between these sectors. Jay has seen that in order to be effective, our emerging community leaders must be comfortable at the intersection not only of organizations and cultures, but also at the intersection of the nonprofit, business and government sectors.

Funded through a grant with the New Hampshire Center for Non Profits from the United Way of the Greater Seacoast, Jay came to Exeter to help Squamscott Community Commons obtain critical community input to help shape the center's vision: input to inform the design and programming process moving forward; clarifying the role of the Commons in the community as a permanent organization as well as a community center; and learning how the vision of how the Commons and its partners can COLLECTIVELY better serve the community.

Also making its debut was a new video detailing the Commons project, produced by Jay Childs, Exeter resident and owner of JBC Communications. The video, along with a summary of the evening's discussion, work and learnings will be available on this website soon. The next Squamscott Community Summit is tentatively scheduled for the evening of May 22. Stay tuned!

[Pictured above: Jay Connor and SCC board member Don Briselden]