Board Member Highlight: Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson has served on the Lyndale Neighborhood Association board of directors since 2021 and is a homeowner in the Lyndale neighborhood. He currently serves as LNA’s Treasurer and is involved in the Housing and Engagement Committees.

Here’s what Michael had to say about his experience on the board:

Question: What unique skills or experiences do you bring to the board?

Answer: I am an architect and familiar with city processes and land development concepts. Having served on the housing subcommittee I had an idea of what we would need to accomplish in resolving issues with the community gardens, and also working with the neighborhood through issues around development in the community as the number of developments in the neighborhood had recently increased. I also love helping to put together events and have enjoyed our re-focus on events rather than just meetings as a way to build community.

Question: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a board member?

Answer: The opportunity to help grow an organization, get to know other community members better. It’s also been rewarding to be able to get in touch with parts of our community and the city I might otherwise not have contact with, mainly the Somali & Spanish-speaking members of our neighborhood.

Question: What opportunities have you had for personal or professional growth through your board service?

Answer: Serving as treasurer has allowed me to further develop financial skills around understanding what it means to run an organization, and the leadership opportunities on the housing committee have also been beneficial. Also, the experience in helping to organize the events has contributed to my personal growth.

Question: What advice would you give to someone considering joining a nonprofit board of directors?

Answer: Be patient, be open to different ideas, but be sure to be respectful, but also be sure to stick to the agenda and to be respectful of the process for groups to make decisions.

Make a difference in the community where you live or own a business by applying to LNA’s Board of Directors. Elections occur July 22, 2024.

LNA specifically seeks to foster the leadership and participation of people in whom neighborhood organizations have historically underinvested — people who rent, and people who identify as BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color), LGBTQ+, and seniors.