When Brien Tilley became the president of the Chestnut Hill Community Association Board of Directors in late May, he didn't necessarily come in with a specific agenda.
"I didn't really have platform of issues I wanted to get done when I first came in," he said. "What I wanted to concentrate on is really enhancing the brand of the CHCA."
For Tilley, the future of the CHCA is tied to the board's ability to interact with residents and bring in new volunteers to assist with the events that make up "the fabric of the community."
"I'm not saying we need a pat on the back, but there are so many terrific things that the board gets done," he said. "I mean, from things like the Black and White gala to blood drives, from the holiday House Tour to concerts, there are things that are really vital going on that, at times, can get lost."
Part of that brand enhancement, Tilly says, has to do with the board finding was to better connect with residents.
"We need to learn how to promote ourselves better," he said. "We need to learn how to make people aware of not just what we're doing, but what the benefits are and how they can be a part of it, too. Not for recognition, but to keep building the community."
He wants people to understand that "they can communicate and engage" with the board, and that taking an active part in Chestnut Hill need not be a full-time commitment.
"We're working on growing our membership and volunteer base, but we know that everyone is busy in today's world," he said. "I mean, you talk to someone about joining the board and they say 'Oh, another thing to do.' One of the things we are trying to do is make people realize they don't have to make a giant commitment to be part of one of our committees. There are many people who might really enjoy [setting up for an event] or [helping to mail invitations] and people could say 'Okay, I can give 10 hours to help setting that up, I can wrap my head around that.'"
Tilley said he wants to see Chestnut Hill's residents continue to be engaged and active, and that the board's ability to connect with residents can help that.
"Engagement with residents is paramount," he said. "The more members we have, the more engaged the community and the more we can do."