NOAH E-Newsletter September 2007 / Issue VIX

Welcome to the September 2007 issue of the NOAH E-Newsletter. We welcome all of our new subscribers! If you've missed any of our previous newsletters, please feel free to check out our online archive. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Thanks for your continued support!


NOAH's unrelenting pursuit of excellence has been recognized with certification by the Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

NOAH has "achieved 100% of the Best Practice Standards for nonprofit Management," said a letter from the center signed by Executive Service Corps President and CEO Pedro Del Sol.

"The Executive Volunteers who conducted your Agency's on-site review were tremendously impressed by the professionalism of your staff, and by the quality and organization of your Agency's certification materials," the letter said.

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Thomas Roberts
NOAH Executive director Thomas Roberts was recently appointed to Palm Beach County's Housing Finance Authority by District 6 Commissioner Jess R. Santamaria.

The Authority assists individuals in home ownership through the sale of tax free revenue bonds that make money available for low-interest mortgages on multi-family projects.

"It's an extremely powerful board," said Earl Mixon, the only executive director the Authority has had since its inception in 1979. The Authority manages about $35 million to $45 million each year. Mixon said Roberts' insight would be beneficial to the seven-member board.

"There is a tremendous need for safe, affordable housing in the Glades and I thought it would be great if we had a representative in the Glades area," Mixon said. "If you've got somebody on your front porch, they know the day-to-day needs of the people out there. That's why I recommended him to Commissioner Santamaria."

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Gladys Givens-Barber
Gladys Givens-Barber has more than three decades of leadership experience to call on when it comes to helping children and families in the Glades, but she decided to build on that even more.

The director of NOAH's Family Services Division places a premium on continued education and is always pushing her staff to learn more and achieve additional certifications to help improve the delivery of services they offer clients. She continues to lead by example with her own self-development. She was among an elite class of 24 leaders to graduate over the summer from the Palm Beach County Leadership and Management Initiative.

She repeatedly referred to the year-long experience as an "eye-opener" that helped her see the bigger picture and to look more closely at the effectiveness of NOAH's programs and keeping the agency tightly focused on its mission.

"It was a real eye-opener to how, if you're going to be a leader, how can you be an effective and engaging one, and how do you get your staff to buy into what you are trying to do," Givens-Barber said. "Unless you get everybody to see your mission and your vision, your mission and programs suffer. I always considered our founders visionaries and it's a matter of getting everybody on the same page."

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Anetta Jenkins
Annetta Jenkins, Director of South Florida LISC talks about creating a deeper relationship with NOAH to h elp ease the affordable housing crisis in The Glades. Jenkins delivered the keynote address during a banquet at NOAH's retreat in Delray Beach.

South Florida's Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhoods, helped finance thousands of homes and provided hundreds of jobs.

But the agency's Senior Program Director in West Palm Beach told NOAH's board members and staff, that is not nearly enough.

While examining the impact of social programs on the day-to-day living of those in low-income neighborhoods, Jenkins said key questions were asked: "Are neighborhoods safer? Are children doing better in school? The answer came back, 'No.'"

Jenkins was speaking during NOAH's Retreat at the Delray Beach Marriott when she said the answer to the affordable housing crisis might be deeper and broader partnerships between LISC and agencies like NOAH fulfilling a sustainable community agenda.

"If we can select several neighborhoods of choice and opportunity, perhaps we can do a better job. I want to recommit LISC to a deeper partnership with NOAH," she said. "You all are already on the path to a comprehensive approach to community development. You're the type of organization we are interested in partnering with. I wanted to come here and show you my face so when (Executive Director) Thomas (Roberts) mentions LISC, you can have a face to place with the name. We can hold ourselves accountable for what we are promising to do in these neighborhoods. I want you all to look forward to more of us, to LISC."

LISC has been an ardent supporter of NOAH's work in the Glades and Jenkins said she will not let up, vowing to "corral, garner, shape, utilize and leverage every resource we have to improve living conditions of people in our service area."

Jenkins inspired the audience with her passion for uplifting communities and the importance of the work NOAH is doing.

"If we cannot bring our A-game to the table everyday, we need to stay home and go do something else," She said. "Whatever we can do to help you, we will. I know you will be successful because you all are so committed and doing a fantastic job."


With the arrival of a new employee, a staff member's new baby and a new specially equipped bus on the way, there is plenty to be excited about at NOAH's child care centers.

Janice DouglasNew employee Janice Douglas joins the team at Elizabeth Farrar Family Development Center in the Pre-K classroom. She comes with the credentials that NOAH administrators love. She has 11 years experience in child care and has her CDA National certification, First-aid training and a CPR certificate.


were able to get in on some of the kids' fun and enjoy some good food, too during a June 15 Father's Day luncheon. The fathers and children enjoyed Chicken Pot Pie with a biscuit and fruit.



NOAH KidsChildren in the Mary Alice Fortin Center's Toddler 2 and Pre-K class are proud recipients of reading certificates from the Clarence Anthony Branch Library in South Bay. The children participated in Palm Beach County's "Read All About It" Summer Reading Program sponsored by U.S. Sugar Corp.

Kids at the South Bay centers also cooled off a hot July day with Splash Day when director Matilda Edwards brought in her waterslide for the children to enjoy. The younger children cooled off in a small inflatable pool.

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Bethesday-By-the-Sea, the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a new, 22-passenger Kidette Mini-Bus has been ordered. The bus will be used to transport children from all three of NOAH's child care centers to cultural events and enrichment activities. It also will transport parents and children to NOAH's Parenting Center.

Wilneshia Thompson, a secretary in the Mary Alice Fortin Family Development Center (For special needs children) gave birth to a baby girl in August. Wilneshia joined NOAH's staff in February. She and baby are doing fine, Edwards said, offering a warm and enthusiastic congratulations to the new parent.

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