About Us

Want to learn more about what we do and why we do it?  Scroll down below and get to know us better…

  • Neighborhood Network/ Habitat for Humanity Partnership
  • Our Mission
  • We do this by…
  • Neighborhood Network goals and strategic plans
  • Core Team and Staff
  • Community Partners
Neighborhood Network meeting trolley tour

Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity

In June of 2016, NN partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, fourteen other organizations and approximately 150 volunteers for the first “Neighborhood Reborn” project, completing eleven exterior home repairs, four “artistic board-ups” and multiple vacant lot clean ups on Roselawn and Excelsior Avenues in the Middlebury neighborhood of Akron. Due to the project’s success, two additional Neighborhood Reborn projects were completed in October 2016 and May 2017, expanding the impact to the remaining portion of the Roselawn/Excelsior neighborhood and moving to the Bettie Street neighborhood in Middlebury. The next Neighborhood Reborn project is scheduled for Friday, August 25th.

Our Mission

To build a unified voice to renew our community.

With focus on the Middlebury and University Park neighborhoods in Akron.

We do this by…

    • Engaging neighborhood organizations, block clubs, faith communities, social service agencies, and businesses
    • Building relationships and community
    • Identifying, strengthening and connecting our assets
    • Cultivating leaders and
  • Advocating for action that attracts investment and ensures a safe, economically vibrant place to live, work and raise a family

Meet the Neighborhood Network Core Team Members

Dr. Carolyn Behrman

Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of the EXL Center, The University of Akron

Carolyn Behrman became involved with Mason Elementary School and the Bettie Street Block Watch in the early 2000s when she and her students sought partnerships for community-based research. Read More...

 These partnerships helped university students learn research methods while working with partner organizations on real-world concerns. Over the years, she has been fortunate to find colleagues and makes friends in the Middlebury community. She joined the Neighborhood Network Core Team in 2015.

Pastor Francel Parker

Pastor, Open Door Church

Pastor Francel Parker joined the Core Team in 2019.

Lisa Ennis

Executive Director, Kohl Family YMCA at University Park

Lisa lives and works in Akron, Ohio. She joined the Y movement in 2007 and works to strengthen community through life-changing Y programs and services. Read More...

Lisa believes it is a privilege to work for an entity dedicated to removing barriers, so that everyone has the ability to learn, grow and thrive. She joined the Neighborhood Network Core Team in 2017.

Roberta Rogers

Recreation Supervisor PPT, Mason CLC

Roberta G. Rogers is a Recreation Supervisor PPT at Mason CLC on E. Exchange Street.  She has a great husband and two successful young adults to be proud of. Read More...

 She was a devoted to teaching teachers for Akron Public Schools. She has strong beliefs in her church. She is a active achiever in community groups and works hard as a positive group leader. Roberta joined the Neighborhood Network Core Team in 2015.

Curtis Minter, Jr.

Director of Operations, The Well CDC

Curtis Minter, Jr. is a proud native son of Akron, OH! In 2014, Curtis moved to Denver, CO after being selected for the CrossPurpose Center for Urban Leadership Development (CPCUL), a two-year training program that develops diverse, urban community leaders to help drive neighborhood transformation. Read More...

He defines his time out West as “Lessons In Smallness” and key to his personal and professional maturation. This past Fall, Curtis fulfilled his dream of returning home to serve as the Director of Operations position at The Well Akron, a community development corporation. Curtis joined the Neighborhood Network Core Team in 2018.

Eric Green

Director of Environmental & Occupational Health and Safety, The University of Akron

Eric Green has worked at the University of Akron since 2005. While at UA Green has worked closely with community development corporations, city and county departments/agencies, neighborhood watch groups, community gardens, and UA student/staff community engagement actives. Read More...

Green completed the Leadership Akron UniverCity Leadership Class in 2015 and has served as a university representative on safety committees, regional transportation projects, special improvement districts, community arts programs, and other planning and development projects. Green also volunteers as a facilitator for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and as a youth soccer coach. Eric was a founding member of the Neighborhood Network Core Team in 2010.

Ron Shultz, Neighborhood Network Core Team Member

Sue Hazelet

Manager of Senior’s Institute Research, Summa Health

Sue is a former resident of the Middlebury neighborhood and currently works and attends church in Middlebury. Read More...

She joined the Neighborhood Network Core Team in 2016 through her work with church activities focused on inner city missions.

Pastor Ron Shultz

Pastor, Family of Faith United Methodist Church

In addition to being the pastor of Family of Faith United Methodist Church since 2009, Pastor Shultz is a founding member of the Neighborhood Network. Read More...

His church, which is located at 800 E. Market Street, hosts the monthly Neighborhood Network meetings. A native-born Akronite, Pastor Shultz has a deep passion for urban ministry which led him to become an active leader in the early development of the Neighborhood Network and continues to be the foundation for his work on the Core Team today.

Lyle Jenkins

Middlebury Resident and Adolph Community Garden Co-Coordinator

Lyle is a Middlebury history expert – ask him anything about Middlebury’s past and he’ll either know it on the spot or know who to ask. Having led multiple Middlebury walking tours and facilitating the Adolph Street Community Garden, Read More...

Lyle doesn’t just know the history of Middlebury but it’s current state and as a member of the “What’s Next Committee” and resident, he’s a integral part of it’s future. Lyle joined the Neighborhood Network Core Team in 2016. 

Marissa Little

Neighborhood Revitalization Coordinator

A graduate from the University of Akron, with a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. Read More...

Marissa has organized community residents to improve and advocate for the Middlebury and University Park communities since May 2015.  Marissa, her husband, two cats and two dogs live in Akron. In her spare time she enjoys gardening and bar-tending at the local winery.

Community Partners

ABC (Akron Building Closeout) Materials

ASIA logo


Big Love Logo

Big Love Network


East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation

FOF Logo

Family of Faith UMC

Let's Grow Logo

Let’s Grow Akron

LINKS Community and Family Services

Well Logo

The Well Community Development Corporation

The Womb Logo

The W.O.M.B.

World Relief

Our Funders

Image result for united way of summit county logo   Image result for gar foundation logo   Image result for akron community foundation logo  Image result for knight foundation logo