The Wandering Lion
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Gerber/Hart is proceeding with its move to 6500 N Clark St in Chicago. There are some publicly available documents about the move although beyond that little is known about the property or what is to become of its present unfinished state.

Gerber/Hart has apparently announced that they have "retained" the services of the Executive Service Corps of Chicago.


New Home SignageSignage has recently appeared at the property located at 6500 N Clark St in Chicago. Known as Clark Point Plaza, the building still shows little evidence of being prepared for a new tenant and remains completely unoccupied. Photos of the signage can be seen here.

A little research about the property reveals some publicly available information but the information doesn't seem to add a great deal of substance to what is already known. For example, here is the Cook County Assessor's information on the property. There is also information available from the Cook County Treasurer's Office. Finally, tracking down the records of the corporation that owns the property we end up in Wilmette and a president named Amos Levy.

All of this is perhaps interesting, but without further research and verification does little to reveal the principals involved in any transactions.

Addressing Capacity and Governance

Gerber/Hart has apparently made an announcement in its email newsletter that says:

Gerber/Hart Library and Archives has retained the services of the Executive Service Corps (ESC) to assist us with board and organizational development.  The ESC is the premiere consulting resource for non-profits in the Chicago area.  Since 1978 the ESC has worked with hundreds of clients to build stronger infrastructures and sustain their operations.  The ESC equips non-profits with the knowledge, guidance and insights to improve their outcomes and provide the best results for the people and communities they serve.  In 2011, the ESC worked with over 175 organizations in the Chicago area, including the Shedd Aquarium, Alzheimer's Association, and Newberry Library.  We are excited about this partnership, and look forward to working with the veteran staff of the Executive Service Corps.

I have only received second-hand information regarding this as I am not a subscriber to their email list. As a matter of fact, although I have applied for board membershp and also applied for regular membership neither request has been accepted. I was told to wait until they got around to rebuilding their board and they would contact me at that time. Here's what Karen Sendziak's letter said:

March 9, 2012

Dear Mr. Vydarney: [sic]

Thank you for your interest in Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, and thank you for your application for the Gerber/Hart board or directors.

We are in the process of forming a Board Recruitment Task Force. We will formally announce this in a few weeks. I will pass your application on to the Task Force and one of its members will contact you once the Task Force begins its work.

Thank you for your patience as we institute this new process.

Very truly yours,

So far I haven't heard from the Task Force, nor do I even know who might be a member of the task force given the sparse volunteer and governance population of Gerber/Hart. I'm looking forward to the experience with great expectations.

So far I haven't heard anything about my regular membership application, either, and the check hasn't cleared my bank.

The intent to engage an outside organization to help restructure the governance of Gerber/Hart is encouraging news. The Executive Service Corps of Chicago has a generally good reputation. Even more encouraging is the fact that Sendziak is at least expressing a willingness to examine and improve current practices.

Time will tell if this is, indeed, a positive and successful experiment. I wish all concerned the best of luck.