In the 25 years since Dana Stein founded the nonprofit Civic Works, the organization has built 15 programs.
Participants and volunteers, of which Stein, the executive director, still counts himself, install solar panels on low-income houses, mitigate stormwater runoff, build parks and gardens, tutor and mentor students and much more.
But Stein is constantly in search of new ways to expand the Civic Works mission.
Establishing the innovative Civic Works’ REACH! Partnership School in 2008, a public high school in Baltimore, is a prime example. The school’s focus is on preparing students for college and careers in healthcare and construction. This year, the school had 103 graduating students, the largest number so far.
But there’s more to the school than the students. It also operates an urban farm, improves and maintains vacant lots in the neighborhood. It even aides nearby seniors to stay in their homes and get the services they need.
Stein’s comprehensive approach to addressing community issues keeps him in touch with the city’s constantly changing landscape and its’ shifting needs.
In 2017, Stein’s relentless search for new programs led the organization to establish year-round production of tiny homes as a way to help tackle the housing crisis.
“I ascribe to the notion of ‘servant leadership’ — that the best way to lead is to encourage staff to develop themselves professionally and become leaders,” he said. “This leadership style has allowed Civic Works to empower our staff and corps members to strengthen and transform Baltimore’s communities.”
This is a winner profile from The Daily Record’s 2018 Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs awards. Some information for this profile was sourced from the honoree’s application for the award.