Meet The New Director Of Greater Park Hill Community, Inc.
Lana Cordes loves to dance, loves to travel, and loves Park Hill. In no particular order. Cordes, 34, grew up in Westminster, and for nearly six years has lived in north Park Hill with her husband (and now 2-year old son). She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from CU Boulder, and has been selling residential real estate in the Denver Metro for four years. Cordes has been involved in the neighborhood, planning and organizing, since moving to Park Hill. In March, the former Home Tour chairwoman and board member of GPHC, Inc. took on a new role: executive director. The Greater Park Hill News caught up with Cordes to learn a bit more about her past, and her plans for the Registered Neighborhood Organization.
Greater Park Hill News: You have been involved with GPHC for several years. What makes you want to now serve as the executive director?
Lana Cordes: I got involved with GPHC very soon after moving into the neighborhood because I wanted to really be a part of my new neighborhood. Before I knew it I was chairing the Home Tour. I was really excited to continue using the event planning skills I’d honed for so many years, but I also met so many people through my involvement and it truly solidified that sense of community. Over the couple years I served on the board, I found myself identifying areas that I could help to improve for the organization. I worked closely with former ED Sierra Fleenor on projects and so the transition into ED seemed a really natural next step.
GPHN: What exactly does the ED do now, and how do you see your role expanding or shifting?
LC: There are a lot of moving parts in this organization related to our roles as both a Registered Neighborhood Organization and a nonprofit serving the community. As the ED you are sort of the caretaker over these pillars of the organization and ensuring that each piece of the puzzle is receiving attention and functioning as it should. This includes everything from administrative duties to event planning, volunteer, donor and member management, building maintenance, community outreach, and the list goes on. I’m honestly still learning all that goes on here.
GPHN: What are your five favorite things about Park Hill?
LC: In no particular order (that would be too hard!)
1. Location: proximity to everything
2. Community: I love that I walk into a local shop/cafe and know someone!
3. Aesthetics: The trees, diversity in architecture, so much character
4. Diversity: I’m happy to raise my son among so many other families and children, elderly friends from whom to glean wisdom, and neighbors from all walks of life
5. Activism: This is a community who cares about all of the issues we are facing and people aren’t afraid to show it and talk about it
GPHN: What is your all-time favorite Park Hill story (either historical or something that has happened to you or a neighbor/friend)?
LC: My favorite bragging point is the famous visit by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964 as a result of this neighborhood’s efforts in fighting for integration.
GPHN: What are your top five favorite travel spots?
LC: I have had the great privilege of traveling quite a bit and have rarely visited somewhere that I didn’t like, so this is tough. I really, really love Mexico and hope to have a home there some day. I also love visiting my family in New York City – we visit nearly every year. Ireland is a magical place and I hope to return soon. Germany and Italy are in my blood and I hold them close to my heart.
GPHN: What hobby or activity do you love that many people don’t know about?
LC: This isn’t any kind of secret, but one passion that has carried throughout my whole life is dance. I’ve been dancing since I was about 5. I’ve trained in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, modern, hip-hop, and street styles. I met my husband at a dance studio. I continue to dance (shout-out to Park Hill Dance Academy, which has a great adult program), albeit not as frequently as I once did.
GPHN: What else should we know?
LC: Our office hours have changed in order to provide more opportunity and flexibility for our staff to be out in the community. Our office, at 2823 Fairfax St., will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Outside of those hours you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-388-09018 and leave me a message. I check email and voicemail throughout the week. If you need to meet with me outside of normal business hours, please just reach out and we can set something up.