by Pete Mazzaccaro
There’s a new director at the Chestnut Hill Community Association – a Northeast Philadelphia native and career association executive named Ryan Rosenbaum.
Rosenbaum is the first in his position to carry the title Executive Director. All of his predecessors have been Community Managers, a title the CHCA has finally found out of date.
Rosenbaum started work in November and said that he’s been really happy with the reception he’s earned so far.
“It’s been beyond my expectations,” he said of how he’s been welcomed. “The board have been very receptive.”
And, he said, he’s gotten a valuable education in a very short time from those he’s met.
“They’re in tune with what people want in Chestnut Hill,” he said. “They live here and can provide that resource to me.”
Rosenbaum, 37, went to Washington High School in Northeast Philadelphia, attended Penn State and transferred to Temple. While there, he was a radio DJ – pursuing a passion for performance that drove him to try his hand at standup comedy and community theater.
He received a bachelor’s in communications from Temple and an MBA from Arcadia University.
After graduation, Rosenbaum worked as a substitute teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. Soon, he began to work in community centers geared towards helping public school kids. Rosenbaum enjoyed he work.
“I enjoyed working with teens and kids and realized it was another opportunity for me,” he said. “I could work with them in a different capacity.”
Soon, he was referred to a new community center in Allentown, where he worked to grow the center’s membership.
From there, Rosenbaum has worked in a number of associations. He joined the National Association of Realtors and followed that up with jobs at national organizations for accountants and home builders. When he saw the job listing for the CHCA’s executive director, he was sure it was a good fit.
“This was an ideal situation,” he said of the job. “There’s so much in this community. There’s so much to cover. And it’s a great community. People in Chestnut Hill live here, eat here, work here and shop here. It has a village feel to it, which makes it even more warm and welcoming to me.
Rosenbaum said his main challenge is to work on branding the CHCA – to make it more attractive to potential members (and current members) by increasing benefits and communicating what those benefits are.
“There are a lot of associations in the area that are as good as CHCA, but all offer something different,” he said. “We want to let people know were here for a lot of different needs. We’re the hub of information for the community.
“The promise of the CHCA is to bring value to lives of people in Chestnut Hill. If people know about the CHCA and participate in things here, it means they value the neighborhood. By being a member, you really bring a value to the neighborhood.”
While not a resident himself – he lives in Horsham – Rosenbaum said that Chestnut Hill and the many events organized by the CHCA and other Chestnut Hill organizations will be a regular destination for him, his wife, Pamela, and their 4-year-old daughter Rilee.
“Chestnut Hill is such a great neighborhood for families,” he said. “I’ve eaten at many of the restaurants here. I’ll do my holiday shopping here. I’m planning on taking my daughter to the Morris Arboretum. I’ve been to the Woodmere and Stagecrafters, too. There’s really something for everyone.”
Ryan Rosenbaum, the new executive director of the Chestnut Hill Community Association, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org