Congratulations and Farewell to Executive Director Amy Menzer


Executive Director Amy Menzer Departing After 15 Years of Leadership;  Deputy Director Tasha Gresham-James will Serve as Interim Executive Director  After more than 15 years, Executive Director Amy Menzer is moving on. Dundalk, MD--Under Amy’s leadership, Dundalk Renaissance has established programs supporting housing renovations, neighborhood marketing, main street business development, community engagement, and the most recent addition, financial counseling. She guided the board of directors through 4 Strategic Planning processes while raising over $13 million from public and private sources. During that time, the organization has achieved much success with a small staff that grew from 1 to 6, including assisting [...]

Congratulations and Farewell to Executive Director Amy Menzer2022-03-03T10:52:03-04:00

Dundalk Renaissance is a United Way Change Maker Challenge Grant Recipient


We’re so excited to announce that we are the recipient of a $10,000 grant from United Way through their Change Maker Challenge. “We are so grateful to have been selected as one of the top 10 finalists in Baltimore County by United Way,” Executive Director, Amy Menzer said. Our housing and financial counselor, Sonya Dease, pitched a new program that would help Dundalk families facing eviction stay in their homes.  We know the pandemic has been on hardworking families and sometimes that meant getting behind on the mortgage--which is why families who enter into our program will be eligible to [...]

Dundalk Renaissance is a United Way Change Maker Challenge Grant Recipient2021-12-02T15:04:28-04:00

Meet the Forge’s Newest Business Incubation Tenant: Potluck Collaborative


Potluck Collaborative was founded in 2020 by sisters Jessica and Valerie Kessler.  Potluck Collaborative sells a variety of handmade items including earrings, scarves, keychains, and DIY craft kits in a range of prices for a variety of ages. When they’re not at Potluck Collaborative the sisters are heavily engaged with their Girl Scout Troops—which is where they got the idea for Potluck Collaborative.  COVID 19 changed the way the Kesslers engaged with their Girl Scout Troop.  Valerie spent countless hours on Zoom with her Scouts making crafts with common everyday items, only to learn that the girls didn’t have access to what Valerie [...]

Meet the Forge’s Newest Business Incubation Tenant: Potluck Collaborative2021-11-24T12:25:43-04:00

From Part Time Administrative Assistant to Deputy Director, Tasha Gresham-James celebrates 7 years with Dundalk Renaissance


From Part Time Administrative Assistant to Deputy Director, Tasha Gresham-James celebrates 7 years with Dundalk Renaissance. Tasha Gresham-James started with us part time in July of 2014 as a part time administrative assistant while her two young kids were in school.  She was looking for something simple after her time working in the mayor’s office in Baltimore City under Sheila Dixon and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.  While working in the mayor's office, Tasha saw how the City utilized their CDCs as a way to help build stronger communities and wanted to see first hand how Baltimore County could do the same.  She quickly proved [...]

From Part Time Administrative Assistant to Deputy Director, Tasha Gresham-James celebrates 7 years with Dundalk Renaissance2021-07-27T10:14:44-04:00

Little Free Libraries Have Landed!


Hey Dundalk! Little Free Libraries are popping in your neighborhood and favorite Dundalk establishments.  Keep your eyes peeled for 11 Little Free Libraries that have been installed around town, including places like Joanna’s Café, Little Crystal Bijoux and Sollers Point Multi Purpose Center.  Thanks to our wonderful neighbors, we have libraries in DunLogan, Bear Creek, Inverness, St. Helena, Old Dundalk, Norwood and Turner Station.   “I was excited to connect with my neighbors in a new way! Books have always been a way to for me to learn about the world but I hope the libraries also gives us a physical place to meet more of our neighbors and [...]

Little Free Libraries Have Landed!2021-07-20T12:43:58-04:00

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
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