Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Finding Their Place—Great Transitions for CAMBA and “Graduating” ReServist Herb Preminger

Director of Development Bonnie Osinski (pictured, left) sits in a small meeting room. It is one of several in the offices belonging to her organization, originally founded in 1977 as the “Church Avenue Merchants Block Association”.

Its area of focus and its mission have grown steadily in the past 30 years. “We're now a $50 million agency, and the [Merchants Block Association] name was not serving us well,” Bonnie explains. “So we did a whole name change. There were focus groups, lots of interviews.”

Sitting beside her is former ReServist Herb Preminger (pictured, right). “We are now known simply as CAMBA,” he says.

“We have six core services areas: education, economic development, youth and family services, legal services, HIV/AIDS, and housing and housing services. And underneath those core service areas we have many programs. We have 40 locations, over 1000 employees. We speak over 40 languages.”

Herb was placed with CAMBA by ReServe to oversee the organization’s change of identity. His background is in health care marketing. Previously Herb worked on the marketing staff of hospitals and clinics in both Brooklyn and Queens.

Bonnie continues. “Herb came in at the point where there's now an enormous amount of work to roll out the new name.”

“The CAMBA ‘brand’,” Herb offers.

Asked about the motivations behind his involvement here, Herb says, “The similarities between ReServe and CAMBA are in exceptional communication,” he says. “ReServe is able to see a candidate, and then transfer that candidate to a position that works. And that's very, very unique. It’s a great place to work because everybody is so committed to helping people.”

Through his ReServe placement at CAMBA, Herb has connected with many opportunities to help people using his professional expertise. In addition to overseeing the naming transition, he has gone on to write CAMBA’s in-house newsletter. And when the marketing director left earlier this year, Herb stepped into the gap. He took on some directorial duties during the search for a replacement. As his ReServe project wound down, CAMBA valued his work so highly that he was hired outright for three days of work a week.
Bonnie refers to him as a ReServe “graduate,” and laughs. “Herb,” she smiles, “we should get you a little cap!”

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