About Amy Menzer

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So far Amy Menzer has created 91 blog entries.

Cornerstone Winner: Jimmy’s Famous Seafood


We’re excited to honor Jimmy’s Famous Seafood as a Cornerstone winner for Dundalk Renaissance’s 2021 Milestone Awards Ceremony.  In a year that drastically changed the way restaurants could do business and required an unprecedented amount of flexibility, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood continued to thrive as a Dundalk staple. Their dexterity during this difficult time and delicious crab cakes aren’t the only reason why we’ve chosen to honor them this year.  Jimmy’s Famous Seafood has single handedly raised over $475,000 for local restaurants struggling to pay staff and keep the lights on—in addition to their regular charitable giving and community service.  “They didn't [...]

Cornerstone Winner: Jimmy’s Famous Seafood2021-04-08T17:54:21-04:00

Cornerstone Winner: Community Assistance Network


Community Assistance Network (CAN) has been helping families and individuals in Baltimore County for over 55 years.  During the pandemic CAN has been working tirelessly to continue people with the resources they need most like food, shelter, and a safe place for students to access remote schooling, which is why they are our 2021 Cornerstone winner this year.    The pandemic increased a need for food and other services. CAN was able to rise to the occasion and continue serving the community by adapting the way they distributed food and resources to be safer for staff, clients and volunteers.  “Our service delivery [...]

Cornerstone Winner: Community Assistance Network2021-04-08T10:43:27-04:00

Milestone Winner Lindsay Banfill


Lindsay Banfill opened Joanna’s Café in July of 2019, just eight months before the pandemic hit.  Joanna’s Café had a promising start, but the shut downs gave Lindsay pause.  Suddenly Lindsay was struggling to find essential items for her business like to go cups.  It was a frustrating experience for Lindsay, who prior to the shutdown had a steady stream of take-out customers.  Ordering to go cups and other items were a regular part of inventory and suddenly that inventory was scarce.   Joanna’s Café had the support of the community behind them.  Customers understood that shortages were now a part of [...]

Milestone Winner Lindsay Banfill2021-04-07T10:47:46-04:00

Milestone Winner Najma Jamaludeen


Najma Jamaludeen dreamed of opening her own shop with made to order natural body care products and space that would reflect her brand—affordable, but elegant and ideally a space with an ornate ceiling.  Najma opened Pink Walnut Body Care Bistro as the world was shutting down for COVID 19, but the pandemic didn’t deter her.  Najma used the slower paced start of her business to get a website up and running and renovate the store.    Najma’s retail space became a virtual classroom where she could teach her Morgan State students about merchandising, consumer education and textiles.  Najma joked that she moonlights as a [...]

Milestone Winner Najma Jamaludeen2021-04-06T11:02:57-04:00

Milestone Winner Soup for the Soul


What started as a weekly, family-style meal at St. Rita’s Church grew into a multifaceted nonprofit organization helping those in need get back on their feet. Founded in 1982 by the Haines family as St. Rita’s Supper Table, Soup for the Soul provides mental health resources, work clothes, ministry outreach, and weekly meals. The Haines family legacy of openness and community survived several moves and organizational changes.   Soup for the Soul is run by David and Stacy Nagel, former youth group participants of St. Rita’s who grew up alongside St. Rita’s Supper Table.  Volunteering was just something they did growing up and something [...]

Milestone Winner Soup for the Soul2021-04-06T16:52:13-04:00

Milestone Winner Seiko Dixon


Seiko Dixon’s life is one of service. Seiko enlisted in the Army after high school graduation.  From there she became an in-home nurse—which was how she connected with an old elementary school flame.  John Dixon needed a full time care taker for his grandmother who was battling cancer.  Seiko said yes and moved in with John’s mother making sure she had everything she needed.  John and Seiko later married.  The couple moved in with John’s grandmother, who beat cancer and was in remission.  After living together for some years, the couple found an affordable apartment for their growing family in Turner Station.  [...]

Milestone Winner Seiko Dixon2021-04-05T14:10:07-04:00

Dundalk Renaissance awarded $775,000 to Invest in Dundalk


Dundalk Renaissance awarded $775,000 to Invest in Dundalk This month, Dundalk Renaissance was awarded $775,000 to invest in Dundalk by the State of Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development through their Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative. This program seeks to improve quality of life and encourage community stability by investing strategically in housing, neighborhoods, and small business development.  “We are deeply grateful for the State’s ongoing investment in our community, and we look forward to working with our community, business, and development partners to achieve more for Dundalk together,” said Amy Menzer, Executive Director.  We will be able to [...]

Dundalk Renaissance awarded $775,000 to Invest in Dundalk2021-03-25T16:48:57-04:00

A Homeowner After 40+ Years Living in Dundalk


Even at 69, Carolin was determined to have a place to call home. She came to Dundalk back in 1972 and bought a her home last summer. The house she chose and purchased was featured at the last Dundalk Housing Fair and Neighborhood Tours, and Caroline says, “I fell in love with it. The rooms are cozy; there’s a finished basement and two bathrooms!” It is a complete renovation, and thanks to a seller contribution and a $5000 home purchase grant from Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, the house was very affordable for her. “Of course I had to buy all new furniture and things to go with the new house.   Caroline still works hard [...]

A Homeowner After 40+ Years Living in Dundalk2021-03-16T17:53:04-04:00

It Started With a Flier


Pauline Tiako, a former resident of New Carrolton (a few minutes from DC) was in search of a place she could call home. Wanting to get away from the busy streets and cold neighbors, she explored areas that were safe and convenient for her family.   During her search, she received a flier for Dundalk Renaissance Corporation’s September 2014 Dundalk Housing Fair and Neighborhood Tours. Pauline attended the housing fair and gathered information she felt was useful but had reservations about qualifying for a mortgage. Tyler Banks, a vendor at the fair and CEO of Charm City Builders, had some encouraging words, “You’d be surprised. You never know till you try.”    Motivated by the tour, Pauline attended every DRC housing event to date, including the September and April Fairs (now annually held in April) and the two Neighborhood Close Ups that took place last spring. She [...]

It Started With a Flier2021-03-16T17:00:34-04:00

Meet our First Golden Key Grantee


Jim Petry is a Trailblazer!   Jim purchased his row home in North Point Village last December, and his settlement was the very first to include our $5,000 Golden Key Grant. Working with his real estate agent, Donna Bertoni of RE/MAX Components in Dundalk, and Jen Wassmann, our DRC Housing Projects Coordinator, they diligently navigated the grant process that was new to all of them, since the $5K Golden Key Grant was offered for the first time at the Dundalk Housing Fair and Neighborhood Tours last September. (Learn more about our home buyer grants here ( Furthermore, Donna helped Jim earn another $5K grant from a second source, so he had $10K in grants at the settlement table! Once a Dundalk resident [...]

Meet our First Golden Key Grantee2021-03-16T16:57:50-04:00