The Emerald Development & Economic Network, (EDEN), Inc. Board of Trustees announces significant transitions for two of its principal executive team members.

EDEN’s Executive Director, Irene Collins, will retire in September of 2018.  As part of the succession plan and by unanimous resolution of the Board, Elaine Gimmel, the agency’s current Chief Operating Officer, will replace Ms. Collins upon her retirement.

The Board expresses its tremendous gratitude to Irene for her years of service, vision, and leadership. During her seven years with EDEN—including five years serving as just the second Executive Director in the organization’s 27 year history—Irene coupled her financial and administrative expertise with a deep passion and commitment to providing affordable housing for vulnerable populations living in our region to steer the organization through a new era of growth and development.

Under Irene’s guidance, EDEN has continued to successfully enhance its vital community role as the lead housing provider for individuals and families who face homelessness and other challenges. Key areas of growth have included the assessment and renovation of EDEN’s scattered site portfolio, the evolvement of the agency’s organizational culture, including the implementation of an inclusive management team structure, expansion in the areas of development and property management, and the administration of new subsidy programs providing housing to additional populations now serving over 3,000 households.

Ms. Gimmel has been employed at EDEN for 22 years. In her role as COO, Elaine has overseen the Housing Programs, Property Management, Inspections, Facilities and Maintenance, Administration, and Fund Development and Communications Departments. Elaine holds a master’s degree in Social Administration from CWRU’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, with a concentration in Community Development, and a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University. She is also a Licensed Social Worker, and has worked in the area of Social Services for over 25 years.

EDEN’s Board recognizes that Elaine will bring great knowledge and skill to the position of Executive Director, as well as tremendous empathy for EDEN’s clients, and an unwavering commitment to the organization’s mission.  Additionally, Elaine is highly adept at cohesive collaboration, and is an active leader in numerous community partnerships.

EDEN’s Board of Trustees would like to thank Irene for her incredible contributions to the agency, and congratulate Elaine on her new role leading the organization.

Established in 1991, EDEN provides housing solutions to people facing the challenges of housing insecurities and homelessness. Each month, EDEN proudly serves over 3000 women, men, and families.