WESTPORT – Laurie Gross of Westport was elected chair of the Board of Neighborhood Studios (NS) of Fairfield County at the organization’s annual meeting on Thursday Sept. 20. Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County provides art, music, theater and dance classes.
“I am delighted that Laurie is taking over and she will bring her leadership skills and her wonderful people talent to Neighborhood Studios. I have worked closely with her over the past six months, and she has been enormously helpful in planning the future of Neighborhood Studios,” said Harold Levine.
Gross, who has been a member of the NS Board for more than ten years, the past two as vice chair, became involved with the organization when her daughter Margaret, then a student at Staples High School, volunteered for the summer.
“I became involved with NS in 1998, the first year that Ailey Camp opened in Bridgeport,” recalled Gross. “My daughter Margaret worked as a group leader at the camp and found the experience one of life-changing importance. Because of her wonderful summer at the Ailey Camp I became involved in fund-raising efforts for NS.”
In accepting her new position, Gross said, “I look forward to working with all of the NS board members and our new executive director, Frank Derico. NS is an amazing place that literally changes the lives of our students.”
Prior to her retirement in 2011, Gross served as the community relations director of the Jewish Federation of Eastern Fairfield County in Bridgeport. Throughout her 20 years with that organization her responsibilities included oversight of the Community Closet Project, interfaith work with the Council of Churches, Holocaust education, Israel advocacy, and Women’s Campaign. She has also served on the board of the United Way and currently serves as the secretary of the Board of Directors for Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABCD).