New executive director at helm of East Mt. Airy Neighbors

New EMAN director Natalia Serejko.

Mt. Airy resident Natalia Serejko, 31, has been named East Mt. Airy Neighbors (EMAN) new executive director.

“I am excited to work with the board to create meaningful community impact, and to offer leadership opportunities to members of the community,” she said.

Tonyelle K. Cook-Artis, president of EMAN, said Serejko “will be an asset to the EMAN family.”

“As a resident in East Mt. Airy, she knows what it takes to make a good community better,” she added.  “We are happy to have her aboard. ”

Serejko, who was born near Warsaw, Poland grew up in Ocean City, New Jersey. She moved to the United States when she was just nine years old. She graduated from Ocean City High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey.

Serejko’s family decided to move to the United States right after the Soviet Union fell around 1991. Her grandmother Helena Pikolysck already lived in New Jersey. In September 2017, Serejko returned to Poland with her husband and other family members for “a two and half week road trip through Poland and to visit family.”

Prior to accepting her position at EMAN, she served as the senior associate with the Urban Land Institute – Philadelphia. The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit whose mission is “to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.”

A statement on EMAN’s website said, “As a non-profit professional, Natalia has leveraged creative, analytical and communication skills to build partnerships and engage stakeholders. She brings experience in member recruitment and retention, committee management, event planning, sponsorship communications and marketing.”

Serejko said one of her main priorities as the new executive director is to increase EMAN’s membership.

“I want to focus on building EMAN’s membership because I know it has been dropping the last two years,” she said. “I want to make sure we are reaching out to our members and asking them, ‘Why aren’t they rejoining’ or ‘What drew them to EMAN?’”

Serejko said while social media does help people stay informed, when it comes to building membership and getting feedback from people “personal outreach” is usually the easiest and most effective method.

She added that she wants to make sure there are leadership opportunities available for members. For example, a member recently suggested the organization have ambassadors to recruit members in their area or talk about what membership has done for them personally.

“I want to make sure we have diversity at the table, so the board is getting together to do a review of their plans,” she said. “Thanks to EMAN I have met all these wonderful people. I think a lot of people are looking for community.”

Serejko encouraged people to attend EMAN’s next board meeting, which is open to the public, on Sept. 11 at the United Lutheran Seminary’s Philadelphia Campus.

For more information or to join EMAN go to www.eastmountairy.org/ or call (215) 242-4170.