NoDa Neighbors & Businesses,
I will not be surprised or offended if you read the above byline and said to yourself, “I thought Hollis was our president. Who is this guy?”
As many of you know, after 15 years of dedication to this neighborhood, Hollis Nixon stepped down from the Board of the NoDa Neighborhood and Business Association (NBA). During her time as president, she advocated (and probably bled) for this neighborhood, and her impact will never be forgotten. While she isn’t leaving NoDa, the lack of her presence on the Board will be felt, and we can’t thank her enough for everything she has done to build this organization so it can continue to thrive into the future.
While I have gotten to know a lot of you, let me introduce myself to those I have not had the pleasure of meeting. My name is Jacob and I am a resident of the 28206 side of NoDa. (Shout out to my Ritch and Benard neighbors!) My wife Caroline and I moved to NoDa in March 2016, and we have since welcomed our one-year old son Ben into the neighborhood. We feel lucky to have found such a diverse, artistic, and accepting community.
While I am newer to Charlotte and NoDa, I am passionate about this neighborhood and working with ALL of our neighbors and businesses to preserve and grow what makes NoDa so special. I joined the Board in 2018 to do just that. I have primarily been focused on listening to our neighbors to address traffic and pedestrian concerns, as well as increasing the transparency of what the Board does. I look forward to working with the Board and neighborhood in my new role as president to continue those efforts, as well as many others.
I am a strong believer that December and January are the ideal months to slow down, reflect, and prepare for a new year. As we look back at 2018, it is amazing to see what the NoDa NBA has accomplished:
- Engagement: Increased overall dues-paying members to 138 residents (64% growth from 2017!)
- Interaction: Increased average NBA meeting attendance to 70 people (up 43%), with a high of 116
- Safety: Launched Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Effort to identify, prioritize, and address neighborhood concerns; Met with City Council and CDOT quarterly to manage progress
- Greenification: Funded and installed eight new trashcans in the Business District to address trash problems; Held three clean-up events; Banded trees
- Events: Hosted numerous free events, including Janes’ Walk, Ghosts & Legends, four Drinks & Thinks, Krampus Krawl, Novant Marathon Cheer Party, and Skill Sessions
- Transportation: Welcomed the opening of the Light Rail and re-opening of 36th Street after years of waiting
- Development: Worked with the city, neighbors, and developers on seven rezonings, with positive approval alignment with City Council; Used rezonings and interactions with developers and the city to encourage plans that align with our neighborhood goals (e.g., green, historic preservation, safety, parking, bikes, etc.); Received promise of $30,000 for art across all projects
- Branding/Advocacy: Grew our brand to build awareness of our neighborhood and support our businesses by increasing Instagram followership by over 30%, relaunching our website (www.NoDa.org), and expanding the distribution area of the NoDa News
Looking into 2019, we have no plans to slow down and have big goals to accomplish. During the January NBA meeting, we asked Association members what they would like us to focus on in 2019. Below is what we heard:
- Increase NBA Interaction & Engagement: Continue to build upon the increased membership and participation of residents, including renters and businesses
- Improve NBA Membership Benefits/Transparency: Improve how we explain value of membership in the organization and explore business membership plans
- Increase Brand Awareness: Continue to increase brand awareness across Charlotte and improve partnerships with neighbors and businesses to expand the events we bring to our neighbors and visitors
- Work with Developers and City of Charlotte to Achieve NoDa Mission
- Continue Holistic Efforts to Improve Pedestrian Safety & Traffic: Continue to liaise with the city to improve pedestrian and traffic safety throughout the neighborhood, including additional stop signs, lighting, speed reductions, and addressing dangerous intersections
- Revamp Defunct NBA Committees: Bring NoDaRioty, Vision, and Business Council Committees back to life and find new volunteers to help lead and support them
- Reestablish our Arts District Focus and Support of Artists
- Initiate the Process to Refresh the NoDa Vision Plan
We are excited about what 2019 will bring, but we are only as impactful as the people that join the Association, provide their voice, and volunteer their time to achieve our mission and vison. The Board and I will continue to bring these types of updates to the Association every quarter through the NoDa News. We also hope you will join us at our monthly Association meetings!
Also, you can often find Caroline, Ben, and me sitting at the bar of Company Store, playing softball at North Charlotte Park at 6 pm on Mondays, or attending neighborhood meetings and events. If you see us, please introduce yourself. You can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Don’t expect to find me on twitter, like another president you might know.)
Your NoDa NBA President,