This week I spoke with the Executive Director of the Laconia Area Community Land Trust, Carmen Lorentz. Carmen is also the Vice Chair of the Winnipesaukee Playhouse in Meredith and a board member for Stay Work Play New Hampshire, the NH Economic Development Association and Lakes Region Community College. Carmen is also a huge supporter of Lakes Region non profit the WOW trail, which is a walking/running/biking path that runs through Laconia and she also supports NHPR! I think it’s safe to say that Carmen is an amazing asset to the Lakes Region and to New Hampshire!
Carmen was born and raised in Gilmanton and left in 1995 to go to college at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After earning her degree, she worked in international affairs, which allowed her to do a lot of traveling, especially to Latin America! In 2005, Carmen married her husband, musician John Lorentz, and after having their son, Julius, in 2011, they decided to move back and raise their family in the beautiful Lakes Region of NH!
Carmen said she got involved in the community and economic development after finishing her master’s degree in Public Policy in 2005. She was interested in state and local policy and found a job working at a consulting firm called Camoin Associates that specializes in community and economic development. She loved the work, and after five years there, was lucky enough to find a job back in NH at the Belknap Economic Development Council. Carmen then spent the next three years as Director of Economic Development for the State of New Hampshire and now is thrilled to be back in the Lakes Region at the Land Trust!
The Laconia Area Community Land Trust is a non-profit community development organization. They create opportunities for the Lakes Region to thrive by building healthy homes, creating vibrant community assets, and engaging residents in their communities. Over the past 25 years, they have focused most of their efforts on developing affordable homes in the Lakes Region.
Here are five things you should know about the Land Trust:
- They own and manage a $46 million real estate portfolio composed of 341 affordable apartments in Ashland, Laconia, Meredith, Tilton, and Wolfeboro.
- A family of four with an income up to $57,000 is eligible for their apartments.
- Many of the tenants work in education, health care, retail, and hospitality.
- They are currently building twenty-four units of senior affordable housing in Gilford.
- Seventy-two families have graduated from their eighteen month Transitional Housing Program, which helps homeless families focus on a long-term plan to secure stable employment and permanent housing.
Want to help and don’t know how?! Well here is your chance!
One way for people to volunteer is to serve on their board or on one of their committees. The board of twelve dedicated volunteers meets monthly. Anyone interested in learning more about their board and committees is welcome to email Carmen.
To find out more:
Check out this cool fundraiser:
They have a fun, family-friendly fundraiser coming up on Saturday, September 16th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. It’s their 2nd annual Putt-Putt Tournament at Pirate’s Cove in Winnisquam. Anyone is welcome to create a team – it’s $25 per person to play and includes lunch and lots of fun prizes and raffles. If you’d like to join them, please visit this link to sign up. Check out the flyer here.
When asked what her advice would be to young professionals looking to give back, Carmen said, “Don’t be afraid to serve on a board. If you’ve never done it before, don’t worry, you will learn as you go and there are great resources available to help you understand your role as a member of a board. I would also encourage young people to not forget about state and local government when they are looking for volunteer opportunities. Our communities are only as good as the people who volunteer for local elected and appointed positions. You can have a really big impact on your community by serving in that capacity.”
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
There are so many wonderful people and agencies making a difference in our own back yards! If you would like us to feature your non profit agency or know of an amazing NH young professional giving back like Carmen email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time –Do Good NH!