Friends of Shaker Square

News About SHAD


As written February 25, 2012:

 SHAD, the Shaker Square Area Development Corporation, may soon cease to exist

Neighborhood Progress Inc. is a little-known but important organization through which much funding for community development corporations (CDCs) flows, much of it from foundations. NPI has been encouraging CDCs to combine to achieve greater effectiveness in a time of reduced funding.

SHAD, knowing that its NPI funding, already cut, would soon end, has been in conversations with its neighbor to the west, the Buckeye Area Development Corporation. Since 2010 they have been exploring merging to create a combined Buckeye - Shaker Community Development organization. NPI was covering the expenses of this process.

In October 2011 funding constraints led to the departure of Pam George-Merrill, who had been SHAD's Executive Director for several years.



In the Winter 2011-2012 issue of The Connection, SHAD's newspaper, its president Kenisha Pierce described how SHAD and Buckeye Area Development Corporation had been exploring greater cooperation for a year with a joint 12-member committee, assisted by a consultant. There had been focus groups with community leaders.

Ms. Pierce, who is the Site Manager for the PNC branch south of the Square and lives in Cleveland Heights wrote:

"Unfortunately, the current economic situation is causing a dramatic change in our organization's future - and we think it can be for the better. We at SHAD feel, that together with BADC, we can create an organization that builds upon the legacy of both organizations."

This was the first time SHAD had publicly mentioned a process that had been ongoing for more than a year.  Read the full letter.

On February 1 a SHAD email included this announcement:

A document on the BADC website says the merger was approved by both boards on January 23, 2012, A summary of the merger agreement is available on their website  read agreement (pdf)

The BADC and SHAD service areas together comprise Cleveland's Buckeye - Shaker planning zone (see a Cleveland City Planning Commission page), Martin Luther King Jr Drive (East 116th Street) divides their service areas.

SHAD had resisted earlier pressures to combine with the much larger Buckeye area CDC. Now, with reduced funding and its balance sheet hit hard by losses from rehabilitating the Livingston Apartments, SHAD needed a partner.


The merged organization will be named the Buckeye Shaker Square Community Alliance, Inc. Its Executive Director will be the current BADC Executive Director, John Hopkins. Jalene Pardon, formerly SHAD's Fiscal/Office Manager and is now its Interim Executive Director, will be Assistant Director of the combined organization. SHAD trustee John Sweeney, who teaches in Shaker Heights and lives in the CHALK area northeast of the Square, will become president of the new CDC.

The Buckeye area's population and the BADC's income and fund balance are larger than those of the SHAD area. The new organization would have five trustees from the SHAD area on its board of 18.

 What will this mean for the Shaker Square area?

If the merger is accomplished, for the first time since 1976 the Shaker Square area will be without an organization focused on its unique needs for preservation and promotion.

The uncertainty will continue.

SHAD representatives will have only five of the 18 seats on the new organization's board. Will there be less effort devoted to  projects in the SHAD area?. Will the Shaker Square area lose its newspaper?


Will citizens and merchants form a new organization to promote the area?

If SHAD doesn't merge with the Buckeye area CDC, what then? Seek another merger partner? Try to operate on a minimum budget? Ask members to approve its closing?

We will try to open up to the community a process that seems to have been kept from public view too long.

Page written February 23, 2012   Revised March 4

The February 25th meeting

Instead of a routine vote YES, it turned out to be an unruly rejection of the merger proposal.  more ....