By Bill Matson
On March 18, the Eastman Board of Directors unanimously voted to select Steve Schneider as the next General Manager (GM) of the Eastman Community Association (ECA). Steve will succeed Ken Ryder, who is retiring in June.
We began the search for our next GM in January, with a committee that included Board members, former ECA presidents, and Don Noordsy, a former Board member who had the distinction of being on the committee that brought us Ken 18 years ago. We weren’t sure what to expect; after all, we were inviting candidates to come visit during mud season. We advertised with professional associations supporting town managers and homeowners associations and were delighted when 30 candidates from across the country applied for our position.
The committee narrowed the list to six candidates, who were interviewed via telephone. It was heartening to know that Eastman has a great reputation in places as far away as Florida and Washington state. Ultimately, three candidates were brought in for a full day of interviews with the senior staff and the ECA Board.
Steve knows Eastman well, having served as the town manager in Enfield for nearly 12 years. During that time, he managed the daily challenges associated with roads, facilities, and parks that mirror what he’ll face here at Eastman. He had a great reputation in Enfield and was known to go out and talk with residents when they were waiting in line at the town office.
More recently, Steve was the executive Director of the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission. The UVLSRPC serves 27 municipalities in the region, acting as a liaison between local and state/federal governments, and providing assistance in planning and securing grants.
The Board feels that Steve’s passion for the natural beauty of Eastman and his network of organizations that can support our efforts to protect the lake and forests are a great fit.
To introduce Steve to readers of Eastman Living, I asked him a few questions.
What impressed you most about Eastman?
The first thing that impressed about Eastman was its sense of community. Eastman is more than just a place where people live. It is place where neighbors get to know each other, share a meal with one another, and work together to ensure that the very special place they call home is preserved for generations to come. That commitment to place is important, and it is demonstrated not only through the actions of its residents but also with the staff and volunteers who take great pride in Eastman.
What’s your vision for our community?
I believe Eastman has the opportunity to take a leadership role in our region for its environmental stewardship. To that end, I believe Eastman can become a center for environmental education that sponsors regional and national experts to lead our community and region in best practices.
Maintaining connection with one another is also critical for the long-term success of Eastman. Intergenerational activities are a must. Communicating with one another, whether in person or virtually, is essential to everyone’s well-being.
Eastman needs to continue to take advantage of its beautiful setting and find responsible ways for our community to interact with one another and nature.
Tell us a bit about Steve as a person?
We—my wife, Sarah, son, Owen, and daughter, Isabelle—have lived in Enfield for almost 15 years. Sarah is a speech language pathologist with the Family Place in Norwich, VT. Owen is a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire studying bioengineering, and Isabelle is a junior at Mascoma Valley Regional High School. As a family we have lived in four different states—Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Hampshire—never more than three hours from our family bases in Syracuse and Albany, NY. I grew up in a western suburb of Syracuse, Camillus. I am the fifth of six boys, no sisters.
Currently I am an occasional runner/jogger; I have completed a half-marathon and would consider a marathon if it were completely flat. I do appreciate winter and enjoy snowshoeing and snowboarding. In the warmer months, I like to be out on Mascoma Lake, either boating, kayaking, or paddle boarding. I am an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction; as long as it is well written, I am hooked. I am the main cook at our home and truly relish (pun intended) preparing meals. I am not afraid to binge watch a good British mystery series on Netflix if time allows. I believe in giving back and have served on several non-profit boards. Finally, I enjoy spending as much time with my family as possible.
As Board President, I look forward to working with Steve. He understands the things that make Eastman a special place to live and is excited about the opportunity to build on the great history of this community. He has a good sense of humor, which comes in handy particularly in these stressful times, and looks forward to getting to know Eastman’s owners once the need for social distancing has passed.
You can join me in welcoming Steve to our community by sending him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Matson is the President of ECA’s Board of Directors. He and his wife Donna are retired and live in North Cove.