June 2012 – Kenny’s Serve
We are very excited to announce our new name next Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 4:15pm on Stadium Court at our Center. The creation of this new name evolved through a highly inclusive and deliberative process which engaged hundreds of people of all ages within our community. This effort embodied the community spiritedness and collective commitment which has become the essence of our organization over the past 60 years.
Our new name, which you will hear about next week, surfaced through a technique known in the “branding” field as crowd-sourcing. This is a fancy way of saying “ask your people what they think.” Through our online and in person suggestion box sourcing of our community, we received 75 suggestions for a new name from over 50 submitters. We received submissions from young people, staff, parents, alumni, board members, organizational pioneers and community partners, all of whom believed that their idea captured the mission and history of our organization. After receiving the submissions, our Board’s Marketing and Public Affairs Committee, which was augmented to include youth and family voices, distilled the list of 75 down to 3 finalists. Last month our Board of Directors picked the winner.
I am incredibly proud of our entire community for its commitment and strength during the name change process. As I’ve written in a prior column, our unanimous preference would have been to retain the name of Arthur Ashe forever. However, this opportunity was not possible and after a brief period of reflection and commiserating, we pulled together to generate what will become the fourth name in our organization’s 60 years of existence. I hope that the disposition and actions of our community will serve as an example to everyone, especially young people, about the importance of being resilient and steadfast during challenging times. We are pleased with the outcome and hope you will be as well.