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Sunset Park

The good folks at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow have announced Dr. Liliana Polo McKenna will be taking the reigns as interim chief executive officer from current officer Randy Peers, who is headed to Berks County, Pa., to head the Greater Reading Chamber and Economic Development Corporation.

Under the watchful eye of Randy, the agency’s budget grew to $8 million and has become the leading provider for education and job-training services across the city. Randy has a long history of serving our borough — previous to his current gig he was the veep at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and chairman of Community Board 7.

“Serving as OBT’s CEO for the last 11 years has been the most fulfilling professional experience of my life,” Randy said.

Dr. Liliana Polo-McKenna brings close to 20 years of experience to the role along with a community perspective, having grown up in Sunset Park as the daughter of Colombian immigrants who worked on the Brooklyn waterfront. Dr. Polo-McKenna began her career as a teacher at Boys & Girls High School and went on to become the founding principal of West Brooklyn Community High School. She worked in partnership with Good Shepherd Services to replicate its model transfer school, serving over-aged and under-credited students in Sunset Park. Under her leadership and vision, she helped West Brooklyn become one of the top performing transfer schools in the city.

Chairman Vincent Chirico shares his views and told the O, “I am proud to welcome Liliana as Interim CEO. During her tenure, she designed and implemented multiple programmatic reforms, which have already improved the effectiveness of the organization. Liliana’s expertise in the education industry will ensure a seamless transition into the role. Under her leadership, I am confident that OBT will continue to grow and progress.”

Standing O wishes Randy very good fortune in his new position, and wishes Dr. Polo-McKenna a very long and successful tenure.

Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow [783 Fourth Ave. in Sunset Park, (718) 369–0303].

Bay Ridge

Three cheers and a huzza

Congratulations to Chris McCreight, who was elected the new president of the Bay Ridge Democrats Club at the last monthly meeting on Jan. 12.

Chris takes over for Justin Brannan, who stepped down from the position he held for six years in order to run for Council in the 43rd District.

Chris shared his vision for the club: “Bay Ridge is a Democratic neighborhood represented by Republicans. This is not acceptable and will change soon. And because Democrats will soon represent all of Bay Ridge, we need to make sure they share our values and what makes us Democrats. Moreover, we need to continue to make our local Democratic party open to all regardless of age, race, gender, income, zip code, religion, or sexual orientation.”

Of his predecessor, Chris said, “Nobody has worked harder for Bay Ridge than Justin Brannan, and that goes for his work as president of the club and his other roles, including Sandy recovery and Bay Ridge Cares. I promise to try my hardest to uphold the standards Justin set as the founding president of the Bay Ridge Democrats.”

Bay Ridge Democrats meets monthly — its next meeting is at the Bridgeview Diner on Feb. 9.

Bay Ridge Democrats (364 93rd St. in Bay Ridge, BayRidgeDems@gmail.com).

Borough wide

Spark-ing Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Community Foundation selected five non-profits to receive the $100,00 Spark Prize.

Audre Lorde Project, Common Justice, Make the Road, MoCADA, and Neighbors Together will be feted to a fantastic breakfast on Feb. 16.

“These incredible non-profits are emblematic of the compassion, diversity, and tenacity that define Brooklynites. Brooklyn Community Foundation is to be commended for ‘sparking’ a new wave of much-needed charitable giving to our locally based organizations, advancing social change from Coney Island to Cypress Hills,” said Borough President Adams.

Brooklyn Community Foundation [1000 Dean St. and Classon Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 480–7500].

Read Standing O every Thursday on BrooklynDaily.com!

Posted 12:00 am, January 26, 2017
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