In a cozy community room at Oregon Park in Berkeley the morning of Friday November 30th, Building Blocks Collaborative (BBC) members were having fun crafting in one corner and eating delicious tres leches cake in another in honor of Alameda County Public Health (ACPHD) Director and BBC steering committee member, Anita Siegel’s retirement. In between crafting time (members in attendance made paper quilt squares to go in a scrapbook for Anita), cake, and business items (shout out to Lifelong Medical’s Heart to Heart program and Gobee Group’s Design Thinking Exercise!), Anita said her goodbyes and meeting attendees remembered Ani ta fondly: Elizabeth Carmody of East Bay Regional Park District, and BBC steering committee member, said that Anita is the reason she initially became involved with BBC, and the reason she kept coming back.
Anita’s strong ties to the community were very clear at this meeting. Community Based Organizations are becoming more involved in BBC projects, and have made great connections with other CBOs across several different sectors due to their participation in BBC. As a founding member of the Building Blocks Collaborative, Anita leaves a great legacy of connecting community to Public Health.
In addition to celebrating Anita’s retirement, we also said goodbye to BBC steering committee members: Marge Deichman, retired ACPHD-er; Dana Harvey of Mandela MarketPlace; and Barbara McCullough of Brighter Beginnings. We also welcomed new faces to the steering committee: Wendy Calimag of Girls Inc.; Mariela Cedoño of Mandela MarketPlace; Michelle Grant Groves of OUSD; Susana Morales Konishi of Youth Uprising; and Keisha Nzewi of Alameda County Community Food Bank.