Trustees of Color matches potential board members with local nonprofits to increase diversity among boards. Now TOC’s
mission is expanding statewide.
Cynthia Primo Martin once served on the boards of eight nonprofits simultaneously.
“That really is too many,” she says. “You can’t give quality help and time to that many.”
But serving on one board or committee, she says, is not much to ask of anyone. Martin, an African-American business and community leader from Wilmington, founded Trustees of Color in 2003 to recruit and train people of color for the boards and committees of local nonprofits.
Since then, the need for more diverse boards has become evident, she says, so TOC’s mission is expanding beyond New Castle County to cover the state.
“Thirty percent of people in the state are people of color,” Martin says. “We have to have at least 30 percent represented. We have to be at the table to make a difference.”
TOC uses a Website to match potential trustees of color with entities such as Food Bank of Delaware, YWCA and the Delaware Art Museum. The initiative has helped land about 90 people of color on the boards of 40 nonprofits.
“A lot of nonprofits serve people of color, especially the social services,” Martin says. “I think the nonprofit organizations need the skills, talents and experiences of people of color. Not any one person has all the answers. We need people with the background to solve these problems and fulfill these missions.”
The Food Bank of Delaware was one of the first organizations to join TOC. It now has three trustees of color on its board. Food Bank president and CEO Patricia Beebe, who has chaired TOC’s advisory committee for three years, has been pleased with the results.
“They’ve been great board members,” Beebe says. “They brought the expertise of their organizations. They’ve worked on children’s issues, children’s feeding, fundraising, policy and the anti-hunger coalition.”
Martin says TOC helps develop young leaders by providing training, nurturing and networking opportunities.
“We don’t want people to just sit there on the board,” Martin says. “We want them to engage so input can be given and heard and respected.” —Drew Ostroski
Page 2: Wheels of Fortune | A lucky couple from Smyrna is thrilled to win a new Mercedes at the Best of Delaware Party. And they’re glad to help the cause.
A lucky couple from Smyrna is thrilled to win a new Mercedes at the Best of Delaware Party. And they’re glad to help the cause.
Scott Baeder was at home in Smyrna with his wife and daughter when his ticket was plucked during a raffle at Delaware Today’s annual Best of Delaware Party.
A couple of phone calls and a short drive later, a surprised and pleased Baeder walked into the Rollins Center at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino to claim his prize: a brand new, black Mercedes-Benz C300W worth $40,000.
He was still a bit shocked as he posed for photos with his new set of wheels.
“I bought a ticket thinking I’m probably not going to win the car,” Baeder admits. “But I figured it was for a good cause—i.g. Burton donates the car and 100 percent of the proceeds go to local charities.”
Indeed, it was the second time that i.g. Burton & Co. has donated a luxury vehicle to be raffled as a fundraiser during the Best of Delaware Party. Raffle tickets were sold for $100 apiece. Proceeds—about $37,000—benefit the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware.
Pete Renzi, director of operations at i.g. Burton, was thrilled for the Baeders and proud to donate the Mercedes. He also had a great time at the party.
“I’ve been to five or six Best of Delaware events,” Renzi says. “This was the best one ever. There’s so much excitement when it’s in Dover. They know how to throw a party there.” —Drew Ostroski
Page 3: Media Watch
Wilmington hair and makeup artist Patti D. Nelson continues to earn some big-time credits. You may remember her work from the January 2009 DT cover that featured Joe and Jill Biden. Nelson has since worked on Michelle Obama’s interns for Glamour and groomed the cast members of “Glee” before they performed at the White House. Nelson also handled makeup for Time’s “The New Sheriffs of Wall Street” cover. That gig, she says, has been her biggest print job to date. “Having a credit like that lets potential clients know you have some chops in your work and you know what you’re doing.”
Page 4: World Class | The World Affairs Council of Wilmington has quietly been bringing speakers such as George H.W. Bush, Alan Greenspan and Benazir Bhutto to Delaware for more than 40 years. Consider yourself intellectually curious? Then join the club.
The World Affairs Council of Wilmington has quietly been bringing speakers such as George H.W. Bush, Alan Greenspan and Benazir Bhutto to Delaware for more than 40 years. Consider yourself intellectually curious? Then join the club.
If you’d like to get Australia’s ambassador to the United States’ view on the changing Asia Pacific region, the World Affairs Council of Wilmington is for you.
Ambassador Kim Beazley kicks off the council’s speaking season this month, when he’ll address how the Asia Pacific region’s demand for raw materials, cheap labor, rising standards of living and terrorism are driving political change.
The World Affairs Council of Wilmington was created in 1967 as a forum to discuss international affairs. During each event at the famed Wilmington Club, members enjoy cocktails, dinner, a speech and then a Q&A session with the speaker.
“Our job is to create a platform where policy issues can be discussed,” says council president Michael Clark. “As people become more educated to the fact that their jobs and welfare are so tightly interconnected with what’s going on around the globe, they have to be able to plan their lives around this. It’s absolutely vital.”
Speakers have included George H.W. Bush (in 1977, when he was CIA director), and then-exiled Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (April 2002) almost six years before her assassination. Topics have ranged from the war on drugs to peace between Israel and Palestine.
For those who might be intimidated by the high-powered perception of the exclusive Wilmington Club or that you’ll be intellectually bullied by highfalutin’ politicos, no worries. Members are asked to check their political views at the door.
“We’re trying to erase exclusivity from people’s view,” says Fletcher King, vice president of strategic planning for the council. “We want to be welcoming. This is not a political rallying point. We’re trying to have a level of civilized discourse. You’re welcome to come in and be civilized and enjoy it.”
For more information, visit wacw.org. —Drew Ostroski
Page 5: It Takes A Village | For the past century, the Village Improvement Association has helped make Rehoboth Beach—and even surrounding communities—a better place to live. Here’s to another 100 years.
For the past century, the Village Improvement Association has helped make Rehoboth Beach—and even surrounding communities—a better place to live. Here’s to another 100 years.
The Village Improvement Association was founded in 1909 to make Rehoboth Beach a pleasant place in which to live year-round. The first project the women’s service organization tackled was to put in crosswalks so women wouldn’t ruin their shoes and skirts by walking in the muddy streets. Another early project was to rid Rehoboth of pesky mosquitoes.
Today, the 218-member association looks ahead to its next 100 years with a number of fundraisers in the works. Though most projects are done within the boundaries of the Cape Henlopen School District, the county and state have also benefited from the group’s philanthropy.
“It’s the most serious volunteer organization I’ve ever seen,” says member Kathy Krajewski.
Susie Dominguez, the association’s president, says many of its members have moved to the area from nearby states. “I find it interesting that they migrated to Rehoboth and found this organization,” she says.
Over the decades, the group has donated thousands of dollars to support libraries, arts projects, historical societies, soldiers overseas and hot meals in schools. Projects in recent years have included donations to local shelters and providing special wheelchairs for beach access for the handicapped. The group also provides scholarships to students at the Beebe School of Nursing, as well as citizenship awards at Cape Henlopen High School. The list goes on.
“The biggest thing is we’re going forward with another 100 years,” Dominguez says. For more, visit www.rehobothbeachvia.org. —Kim Hoey Stevenson