New SPCC Director Drawn to Small-Town Charm
Jennie Boden, the new Severna Park Community Center Executive Director, spent more than 20 years working for national nonprofits.
Jennie Boden left the large, nonprofits because she wanted to be part of a community—a few weeks into her new gig she says that is exactly what she found in Severna Park.
The new Severna Park Community Center (SPCC) Director spent more than 20 years working for nonprofits at the national level. On Aug. 27, she took over as executive director for the center.
“I have worked at a national sector for over 20 years but there is something about wanting to make life better for neighbors and friends that is special to me,” Boden said.
The SPCC consists of two pools, a recreation pool and a heated therapy pool. The aquatics section used to be managed by another organization but the center recently acquired the entire aquatics department, which led to substantial economical growth.
“Now that we have the aquatics center, the organization has doubled in size,” Boden said. “Our budget is now $1.4 million, which is a big growth … In the next year I would love to look at additional partnerships with other nonprofits in the area.”
Boden, who lives in Arnold, has children in the Anne Arundel County School system and is married to a county firefighter. She said she has lived in the area for a long time but hasn’t had the chance to connect with a lot of people until now.
“I think there is a really strong sense of community here,” Boden said. “I worked national for so long, but I have met more people in the last two weeks than I have in a long time of living here. What I have been really impressed with is the support the community center has.
Boden said that within her first few weeks as executive director the center faced a major challenge—raising money for new boilers for the pool. She said the response she got from the community was “almost overwhelming.” Bowden said she was impressed with how much people were willing to give.
In the coming months, the SPCC will host a few traditional events including the annual Spaghetti Dinner on Oct. 13, the Haunted House on Oct. 20-21 and the Spooky Splash on Oct. 26. Boden said she is really looking forward to those events because it is what drew her to the center originally.
“I was really drawn to the mission and the joy the organization brings to people’s lives,” Boden said. “There is a strong sense of community and wellness—I have worked on tough issues for a really long time, so it is nice to be in a place where there are children in tu-tus and art lessons and adult swim lessons."
Added, Boden, “It is nice to be around a bit of joy and diversity. There are people of all different ages and stages coming through. “
Boden said that while people may be familiar with the community center, they may not be aware of all of the things it offers, because it can be so diverse. She said she is looking forward to sharing with the community all that the center can provide.
“The people who know us love us and can’t get enough of us. But there are a lot of people who don’t know us yet,” she said. “So if you don’t know us come by. I think there is something for everyone here.”