MEET THE GNA BOARD

2023 -24 GRANT NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION BOARD

Executive Board Officers

Sam Skillern, Co-Chair — Cottage Street
Marissa Theve, Co-Chair/By Laws—  Gaines Street

Susan Napack, Vice-Chair/Communications/Outreach—  Summer Street
Jeanne Boatwright, Secretary — D Street

Sub Committees
Lola Hackett, CERT Chair— Summer Street
Land Use Chair - Vacant 

Board

Elisa Anguiano - Norway Street

Mark DeCoursey - Shipping Street
Tim France — Gaines Street

Christopher Hackett — Summer Street 

Tina Hansen — Broadway Street
Laura Herrmann/By LawsBelmont Street

Teresa Joslin — Capitol Street

Nick Maselli Gaines Street
Aaron TerpeningChurch Street
Paul Tigan — Church Street

ELISA ANGUIANO
Board Member 

How long have you lived in Grant and why did you move here?

Since December of 2021. Our 4 bedroom townhouse fits my big family.

What does a typical Tuesday look like to you?

Homework/Errands/Appointments. Usually get my allergy shot Tuesdays. 

What hidden gem do you want to keep secret about the Grant neighborhood but you also can't help telling others about?

I really like to study at Broadway Coffee House.

What do you hope to learn from volunteering on the GNA board?

To learn more about my community and city. 

If you could transform Grant tomorrow, what would it look like?

I would add some small park settings throughout neighborhood and good sidewalks everywhere. Also add some local Ma and Pa stores. 

MARISSA THEVE
Vice Chair 
(muh-RIS-uh Tev) she/her/hers

How long have you lived in Grant and why did you move here?

I moved to Grant when I bought my house in early 2018, so I’ve been here for about 5 years. I moved to this neighborhood above all for the walkability to downtown, a theater, and services like eye doctors and stylists.

What does a typical Tuesday look like to you?

No such thing. Generally on Tuesdays I try to hit my gym Catalyst Community Fitness (catalystfitcommunity.com), sometimes by car, sometimes by bike. Then after a shower and breakfast, it’s time for my work as a soil scientist. Two Tuesdays a month I have an all-day meeting with one of my two teams. But the Tuesday before I wrote this, I was out in the burn scar of the 2020 Beachie Creek fire monitoring timber salvage logging activities for impacts to the soil. Next Tuesday I’ll be sitting in on a Diversity Equity and Inclusion meeting and working on some environmental analysis maps, followed by attending the City’s Parking Reform open house at the library. I like to unwind in the evening by practicing yoga, listening to music and doodling, reading, going for a walk or bike ride, gardening, or watching The Simpsons.

What hidden gem do you want to keep secret about the Grant neighborhood but you also can't help telling others about?

The amazing date night potential of a stroll down Broadway Street: see a movie at Salem Cinema, have dinner and catch some jazz at Christo’s, then top it off with a delicious pint at Barrel & Keg. Living in such a walkable neighborhood has always been a dream of mine.

What have you learned from volunteering on the GNA board?

Mainly I’ve appreciated the longer view perspective from some longer-term Salemites that I’ve met. This city has gone through and is continuing to go through a LOT of growth and it’s important to know where we’ve been to be able to help adapt to 2023 and beyond. I’ve learned a lot about the city government structure, land use, and how local change happens.

If you could transform Grant tomorrow, what would it look like?

Dark and quiet. In a non-creepy, peaceful way. I have a vision that someday our City’s light pollution could be managed to only what is absolutely necessary after sunset. I sit in on International Dark Skies Oregon chapter (www.darkskyoregon.org) meetings to learn how I can help encourage better outdoor lighting stewardship. Similarly, I help to organize Quiet Clean Salem, a burgeoning group focused on phasing out gas-powered leaf blowers, which is modeled after and mentored by Quiet Clean Portland (www.quietcleanpdx.org). Both light and noise pollution are shown to affect the human nervous system detrimentally, and disproportionately affect poorer communities. I consider these both some of our lowest lying fruit for environmental justice work. I’d also LOVE to wake up to protected and connected bike lanes throughout the City as conceived in Salem Bike Vision (www.salembikevision.org). While I’m at it, there’s an gourmet ice cream shop on Broadway and dogs would take humans on walks instead of the other way around.


SUSAN NAPACK
Outreach/
Communication
Chair 
SOO-san NAY-pack
she/her/hers

How long have you lived in Grant and why did you move here?

My husband Michael and I moved to Oregon from New Jersey at the tail end of 2016. We moved into our historic brick tudor home in Grant in January 2017. We made the trek across country to be closer to family and because we were in love with the landscape. Salem was a surprise. It reminded me of places I had lived out east but with a northwest vibe. The great homes and Arts community drew me in.

What does a typical Tuesday look like to you?

Now that I make my own hours for work and play, Tuesdays can be a mixed bag. I could be  leisurely cooking, working in my studio at The Willamette Heritage Center, doing freelance and volunteer graphics projects, prepping for an upcoming Arts Commission or Neighborhood Association meeting —  like preparing the newsletter and editing this website. There never seem to be enough hours in any day.

What hidden gem do you want to keep secret about the Grant neighborhood but you also can't help telling others about?

I love just walking around the neighborhood looking at all of the different houses, yards and gardens. There are so many ways that people create a unique home for themselves.

What have you learned from volunteering on the GNA board?

I have learned a lot about the history of Grant and of Salem, and how the neighborhood has changed and grown over the years. I have learned SO much from the other board members who are varied and interesting and just great people who care deeply about our neighborhood.

If you could transform Grant tomorrow, what would it look like?

I would like to see a community hub, where neighbors can casually congregate and share stories and ideas — like a town square.  It is a challenge to reach more of our neighbors and I wish there was a better way to do that. 

AND --  more community art!  Street paintings, murals and painted utility boxes that reflect the diverse and colorful personality of Grant Neighborhood. 

LAURA HERRMANN
Board Member 

How long have you lived in Grant and why did you move here?

I first lived in the Grant Neighborhood as a Willamette student. I rented a house on Winter and Belmont with friends and loved the neighborhood. In fact, twenty years later, my husband and I bought a house just a block from where I had lived! We have now been living here for just over two years. 

What does a typical Tuesday look like to you?

A typical Tuesday for me starts with getting my kids out the door. They both walk to school, one to Parrish and the other to Grant. My husband works from home and I’m enjoying a season of flexibility having transitioned to substitute teaching. If I’m not in the classroom you can probably find me working in my garden.

What hidden gem do you want to keep secret about the Grant neighborhood but you also can't help telling others about?

One of our favorite parts of living in the Grant Neighborhood is the close proximity to restaurants. There are quite a variety of places we can walk to for a great meal. 

What do you hope to learn from volunteering on the GNA board?

I hope to better understand the factors that unite us as a neighborhood. I want to continue to advocate for our community at the city level. Together we are stronger! 

If you could transform Grant tomorrow, what would it look like? 

I'd love to see more public art, including murals. This is why it is so exciting to help launch the first street mural in Salem here! 

SAM SKILLERN, Co-Chair 

How long have you lived in Grant and why did you move here?

23 years. Jennifer and I were volunteering (still are!) at Grant School and the principal, Grant Foster (and a Grant neighbor!) introduced us to Fran McComb who was selling her house on Cottage Street. We moved in the Fall of 1998 and it was great for Samuel and Andrew to attend Grant, Parrish and North!

What does a typical Tuesday look like to you?

Morning board meeting at IKE Box, Staff meeting at Salem Leadership Foundation (Broadway Commons), afternoon Board meeting at Willamette Heritage Center, great evening in Grant Neighborhood!

What hidden gem do you want to keep secret about the Grant neighborhood but you also can't help telling others about?

The Larmer Property behind JK Carpets. The Larmer family once had the largest Wysteria garden in Oregon and there's a cool little neighborhood tucked back in there. McMennamins (owners of Boon's Treasury across the street) could have a hey-day with that historic property.

What have you learned from volunteering on the GNA board?

We have a great system for public participation in municipal and neighborhood matters, but we have to remain diligent to keep "the molasses and weight of the system" from either a) blocking our good ideas or b) imposing changes on us we don't want. North Salem has to work harder to get attention and action and that's not just.

If you could transform Grant tomorrow, what would it look like?

A culturally-diverse neighborhood with a beautiful mix of restored historic homes, restaurants, shops, single- and multi-family housing, churches, nonprofits and schools ... but not 'over-gentrified' to the point that our older neighbors and renting neighbors cannot live here.


LOLA &
CHRISTOPHER HACKETT
Board Members

LOLA
I have lived in Grant since 2006.  We moved here because we found just the house we wanted, after searching quite a bit of Oregon.

Tuesdays are full, between a trip to the gym, weeding, meetings and working on projects for the Willamette Heritage Center.

Volunteering on the GNA Board has allowed me to get to know more Grant neighbors than I might have otherwise.  Our Grant neighbors are committed to maintaining Grant as a happy, healthy and safe place to live.

CHRISTOPHER
I have lived in Grant since late in 2004.  We moved here to enjoy a Craftsman style house in an area where we could easily walk to places all over town.

Tuesdays may typically involve yard projects, and searching for and organizing supplies for the next home project or Willamette Heritage Center restoration/repair project.

By serving on the GNA Board, I have learned that a neighborhood group can influence the City's decisions.  As well as meeting many people, I have learned about the City departments and their functions.