Two formative leaders of Diamond State Community Land Trust are stepping away from the tremendous responsibility they have undertaken for the last eight years or more, and moving into much-needed but less demanding roles.
They came to us – avid, yet duly diligent – and served, during a time of tremendous uncertainty. Because of them, above all, it can be looked back upon now as a period of significant growth, consolidation, and coming of age as an organization.
Amy Walls and Jo Ann Zorb moved us forward remarkably.
Jo Ann, our Home Ownership Program Manager, has been the face of permanent affordability in Delaware and nationally for her entire time with us. Even more, she has been the the one to think through and implement, at the most practical level, helping people to have that moment of recognition of how a community land trust model can work with them. Some of those people include mortgage lenders, home appraisers, real estate agents, funders, local government representatives, and, most importantly, home buyers. In short, almost everybody.
Amy brought increasingly strong personal leadership to the board of directors, working strategically on board and program development with a longer view in mind. She displayed, on one hand, a deftness and intelligence finely tuned to our situation; and, on the other, an occasionally adamantine will. Her strength and determination brought us through.
While not, technically, founders of our organization, Amy and Jo Ann are formative figures. Despite the currents of scepticism about the shared-equity model and, in a nonprofit funding environment of rising uncertainty, they helped us move against the stream toward the firmer establishment of an organization providing permanently affordable homes in Delaware.
We can never thank them enough.