Sacred Places Summer 2009 - Page 4

IN APPRECIATION OF DIANE COHEN 1700 Sansom Street 10th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103 215/567-3234 The Rev. Dr. Thomas E. Frank, Chair Co-Founder of Partners and National Leader for Over Twenty Years The Rev. Dr. Roy G. Almquist The Rev. Dennis A. Andersen Mary Werner DeNadai, FAIA Paul W. Edmondson, Esq. The Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr. The Rev. Pierce Klemmt Karl A. Komatsu The Rev. Aidan R. Rooney, C.M. The Rev. R. Scott Sheldon Monica Taylor Gordon R. Woodrow A. Robert Jaeger, Executive Director Froswa Booker-Drew, Director, Texas Office Tuomi Joshua Forrest, Associate Director Gianfranco Grande, Director, Chicago Office Geoffrey Harden, Office Manager Molly Lester, Grants and Program Manager, Philadelphia Regional Fund Marie Malloy, Director of Operations Rana Gidumal McNamara, Associate Director of Development Sarah F. Peveler, Senior Trainer Shelley Sandow, Project Manager, Chicago Office Elizabeth Terry, Director of Training Suzanne Yowell, Administrative Coordinator, Texas Office Neeta McCulloch, Editor Design for Social Impact, Design DIANE COHEN, who co-founded Partners for Sacred Places in 1989 – and before that founded the Sacred Sites Program at the New York Landmarks Conservancy (one of the nation’s first regional programs serving historic churches, synagogues and other religious properties) – has moved on from Partners to pursue new interests. What a twenty years it has been! Diane played an instrumental role – working hand-in-hand with co-founder Bob Jaeger and the founding Board of Directors – in defining Partners’ mission and goals, establishing its reputation among key constituencies, creating programs that always “pushed the envelope,” and developing funding that supported Partners’ growth, visibility and impact. In sum, Diane helped to establish a new, national cause that is immeasurably stronger, more widely embraced and influential because of her leadership. It’s important to remember that the creation of non-profit programs to serve sacred places was a new phenomenon in the 1980s. Partners was born at a moment when its cause was unknown and invisible to most civic leaders. Diane was central in changing that, working with Bob and others to set up an information center, develop educational programs, create an identity for the cause, and find connections to decision-makers. In later years, Diane was key to Partners’ design of its Sacred Places at Risk research project – which demonstrated that older religious properties serve as de facto community centers. She developed innovative programs, including the New Dollars/New Partners training that helps congregations reach out to the larger community to communicate their public value and find new donors and partners. More recently, she helped position Partners’ work in the context of community development, strengthening the case for sacred places as neighborhood anchors. The cause to sustain the cultural and community values of sacred places would not be where it is today without Diane’s vision, leadership, and creativity. Beause of this strong foundation, Partners will continue to thrive, seize new opportunities and meet new challenges in the years to come. You can reach Diane by email: 3 • Sacred Places • • Summer 2009