Dear SLF Members, Vendors, Friends, and Neighbors:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of SLF, we have some important news to share. After a decade of serving the small businesses and artists in our beloved city, Somerville Local First will be ending its run as an organization as of May 1, 2019. This was certainly a difficult decision to make given the deep love our Board of Directors and our most recent Executive Director, Courtney O’Keefe, have for SLF and what it represents. We imagine many of you feel the same way.
2018 marked the 10th anniversary of the founding of SLF, and it provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on where we started and how far we’ve come. SLF was founded on the mission of nurturing an environment where an independent, local economy could thrive. Our chief goal was to educate and engage the community, localize purchasing power, and strengthen entrepreneurship — all to support a diverse economy that is local, sustainable, and fair.
What a difference a decade makes! While the focus on supporting small businesses and local artists and makers was far from mainstream in 2008, today, shopping local and supporting entrepreneurs and artists is a way of life in Somerville. It is woven into the fabric of the city and its residents. There are now substantial resources available to support budding small business owners that simply didn’t exist 10 years ago. We are proud of the role that SLF has played in catalyzing this shift. Yet, what this also means is that SLF has, in reality, accomplished its mission.
As part of this announcement, we also want to inform you that on December 10, 2018, Courtney O’Keefe served her final day as our ED and fearless, local-loving leader. It was with bittersweet gratitude that the Board accepted her formal resignation. As many of you know, Courtney served more than 3 years as the head of SLF, and never once wavered in her dedication to our members and the city of Somerville, even during times of personal struggle. She has been the face, heart, and soul of SLF these past several years, and we are forever grateful for her vision, her tireless work, and her endless connections to seemingly everyone in the city of Somerville. If you’re looking for Courtney, you’re likely to find her patronizing any number of businesses in and around Magoun Square. Thank you, Courtney!
In the meantime, our Executive Board of Directors will continue to oversee operations for Somerville Local First through May 1, 2019. If you have any questions or concerns, especially about membership, please don’t hesitate to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Somerville Local First