The holidays are a time for gratitude and reflection. All of us at Re>Think Local are grateful to all of you for being an integral part of our localist family. We’ve accomplished a lot this year — which we couldn’t have done without your passion and support — and we want to celebrate our collective successes with you as we reflect on 2015 and prepare for 2016.
As localists and Re>Thinkers, we envision a prosperous, Main Street economy that meets the needs of all citizens and strengthens our local communities and environment. Our efforts and programming are focused on this vision, as we work towards bringing about a more sustainable, healthier, happier, and prosperous Hudson Valley.
We kicked off 2015 with a fascinating Co>Mix at SUNY New Paltz, where attendees were treated to a 3-
D printing tour. In March, we launched our signature Go Local Hudson Valley campaign with a rousing party at Space Create in Newburgh, with over 100 attendees. In April, we curated an informational screening of the documentary Tapped, which included an excellent discussion about the effects of water bottling companies in our communities, at Cinehub in Beacon.
In June, Executive Director Lucinda Poindexter, Community Outreach & Programs Director Matt Jones, and board members Scott Tillitt and Nancy Proyect attended the BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) conference in Phoenix, an inspiring and educational trip showing the strength of the localism movement throughout the country (click here for a full recap). Shortly thereafter we produced a talk at Marist College by globally recognized economic development expert, attorney and author Michael H. Shuman.
In July, we convened in Rosendale for a wonderful Co>Mix in collaboration with the Hudson Valley Current, which included a tour of many of Rosendale’s great local businesses.
We launched our first annual Hudson Valley “Buy Local” Holiday Gift Guide, which was promoted in Chronogram, social media, and on the radio, and culminated in our Holiday Co>Mix with pop-up shopping on December 15 at Space Create in Newburgh.
These programs (and others) have helped grow our membership to more than 200 locally owned independent businesses and nonprofits.
Solidifying Our Foundation
Organizationally, we’ve become stronger and more focused. We received a prestigious Dyson Foundation grant to support an organizational assessment and strategic planning process. We engaged the New York Council of Nonprofits to to assess all areas of the organization with a focus on financial and organizational sustainability. We developed new strategies, deepened our connections and identified solutions to strengthen our impact in the Hudson Valley.
NYCON wrote in the summary: “Re>Think Local is highly ambitious and innovative, guided by an evolving, cutting-edge mission area and programming. It has attracted exemplary people to the board and staff, very hard-working, creative, passionate, dedicated, and respectful and trusting of each other.”
We’ve added four members to our board of directors, all of whom bring a breadth of knowledge, skills and vital energy to our efforts: our new Board Treasurer Myriam Bouchard, an award-winning certified business advisor; Kale Kaposhilin, Co-founder of Evolving Media Network and Hudson Valley Tech Meetup; Michael Muyot, President of CRD Analytics,and Founding Partner of The Analyst Desk; and Chris Wood, Head of the Economics Department of the School of Practical Philosophy in Manhattan.
In addition, in order to create a literal and symbolic foot-hold in the Newburgh Community, we opened an office in Space Create.
Re>Think Social Enterprise for Community Impact
Part of our aforementioned “ambitious and innovative” strategic focus includes launching a mission-aligned, community-impacting, revenue-generating social enterprise. To help us determine what that might be, we held a brainstorming Town Hall in November in Newburgh. Expect several more in the coming months.
Onward to 2016!
We are working on many exciting initiatives and events for 2016 that we will share with you in January. In the meantime, have a happy and healthy Holiday season… and please, buy local!
Lucinda Poindexter, Executive Director
Scott Tillitt, Co-founder & Board Chair