Tenant Resource Center elects new board, sets course after tumultuous year

by | Jul 2, 2019 | 0 comments

On June 20, 2019, the TRC membership held one of the largest annual meetings in its 39 year history, and voted in a new Board of Directors. As a membership organization, all current and recent staff, volunteers, and Board members are able to vote. During four hours of impassioned presentations and debate, TRC staff and volunteers “remained united behind themes of democracy, transparency, and the need to heal and move forward after 8 months of major internal changes,” new board president Erica Lopez wrote in an email to supporters.

The Board now includes former Executive Director Brenda Konkel and longtime staff members Laura Dixson-Kruijf and Anders Zanichkowsky, who all cited their deep institutional knowledge as critical assets they would bring to the Board.

Konkel had been fired from her post as Executive Director of the TRC in late 2018, an act that lead to heated debate and controversy within the organization. After mediation with the then-board, she was brought back in as a consultant.

The other Board members re-elected were Erica López, a poverty lawyer practicing in housing who joined in April and Justin Schober, an accounting technician at The Overture Center Foundation and former TRC Board member from 2014 to 2016 who rejoined in May. Other new Board members are Joan Kemble, member of Veterans for Peace and MOSES, frequent Solidarity Singer, and long-time social justice activist; Michael Moody, Community and Partner Relations Specialist at The Beacon, who hopes to bring a focus on personal relationships, social justice, and system changes to create healing and growth; Zeb Patek, a UW-Madison law student with experience working in the Wisconsin Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources; and Andrea Singletary, a Madison native tech worker and volunteer EMT, who brings nonprofit board experience and a desire to grow the TRC’s reach into underserved parts of Madison and Dane County.

According to Lopez, “the Board’s most urgent priorities are to hire a permanent Executive Director, build strong and collaborative relationships with staff and funds, and reinvigorate TRC’s fundraising to make sure staff have all the resources they need to provide critical services to people in Wisconsin.”

New board members met in late June with Interim Executive Director Sterling Lynk, sent a survey to staff, and have a planned meeting with the whole TRC staff. At the meeting, the Board also elected Erica Lopez as President, Andrea Singletary as Vice President, Michael Moody as Secretary, and Justin Schober as Treasurer.

During their candidate presentations, Board members applauded the incredible work of TRC’s staff and volunteers, and listed racism as a root cause of the housing crisis, pledging concrete steps to ensure that TRC is a positive and actively anti-racist workplace.

“Now more than ever, we need our solid base of supporters to help us renew the TRC’s mission for Housing Justice in Wisconsin,” Lopez finished. A Board-sponsored fundraiser event is planned for August 14 at 5:30 p.m. at Robinia Courtyard, called: “Moving Week.” All are invited to meet the new Board and celebrate Housing Justice in Wisconsin.

Thank you for your continued support.

Erica López, Board President
On Behalf of the Board of Directors

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