Ayres says goodbye in his final NHCA meeting
Monday, 23 December 2013 13:45

Group to continue with new leadership

by Ben Boehl

    Although it wasn’t always certain, the New Norwood Holabird Community Association (NHCA) will remain active.
    The uncertainty arose when NHCA president John Ayres announced earlier this year that he had moved out of the area and would have to step down as the group’s president.
    It appeared that Ayres was going to be unable to find a replacement, as he did not even have a board of directors at the start of his last meeting as NHCA president on Dec. 16.
    “I don’t want to close this organization, but I won’t hesitate to shut it down if we can’t find a new leader,” Ayres said at the end of the meeting.
    In the end, however, the organization was saved; Joe Greiser volunteered to serve as president, and his wife Wendy said she would be on the executive board as NHCA Director of Community Development Affairs. They join Roy Moreland, who will serve as the NHCA’s treasurer.
    Ayres said he is proud of the new NHCA leadership and called all the members “good professional business people,” as the Greisers are co-founders  of  At Your Door limousine company and Moreland is  founder and president of the RoyLynn Vending Company.

The leadership announcement capped off an emotional night in which Ayres gave his last speech as NHCA president.
    “It is hard to say goodbye,” Ayres said. “My parents raised a son who was taught to give back.”
    After the original Norwood Holabird Community Association lost its charter back in 2009, Ayres, Terry Godwin, Moreland and others were able to recover the group’s charter as a non-profit corporation in the fall of 2012 and changed its name to the New NHCA.
    Ayres said it has been a productive three and a half years.
    “One person can make a difference, but I have to pass the baton,” said a tearful Ayres.
    “I have to do this, but it is hard. It is hard because I care.”
    Ayres was joined at his last meeting by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
    “I wanted to be here because I knew it was your last meeting,” Kamenetz said. “You are as much of a public servant as [any elected official].”
    It was also Godwin’s last meeting as the group’s treasurer; the former NHCA president said he is leaving his position to spend more time with family.
    “Terry is stepping down too. It is a great loss,” Ayres added. “He has kept the books balanced and kept it transparent.”
    Before Ayres said goodbye, he presented awards for Humanitarian of the Year and Educator of the Year.
    The NHCA gave the Humanitarian award to Dundalk High Principal Tom Shouldice, who was credited with turning around the fortunes of Dundalk High School.
    Shouldice said he was honored by the award, but did not want to take sole credit for the school’s improvement.
    “My goal really is to provide the best learning environment for the students,” he explained.
    “You have an amazing building here, but you have an amazing administration and teachers here at Dundalk. This is really the school’s award.”
    Michael Weglein, Shouldice’s counterpart at Sollers Point Technical High School, received the Educator of the Year award from the NHCA.
    Ayres said he is seeing good programs at the high school and hopes that Weglein will be able to get an aerospace program at the school. Weglein told  Ayres he is optimistic that the program will start in the next few years.
    “It’s not too often that you get an opportunity to build a $100 million complex. That is once in a lifetime,” Weglein said.