- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 9, 2005

Stuart Eisenberg began his career as a cabinetmaker. The same attention to detail and enjoyment of watching projects develop are driving him in his latest job.

This month, Mr. Eisenberg was named the first executive director of the Hyattsville Community Development Corp., a nonprofit community revitalization organization.

“I’m a results-based person. I love to build, and I’m detail-oriented,” Mr. Eisenberg said. “I love to see quality work get done, whether it’s a blanket box or a straight wall or the facade of a building or a community. Communities should be beautiful places where people come together.”

The organization develops arts and entertainment venues, including gallery space, stages and coffee shops, as a way to spur economic development in Hyattsville.

One of the group’s current projects is to redevelop and modernize the commercial cluster along Route 1 to attract people into Hyattsville.

Mr. Eisenburg, who was president of the Hyattsville City Council for two years, hopes to acquire steady funding to turn the mostly volunteer organization into a group run by full-time employees. He is the Community Development Corp.’s only paid staff member.

Mr. Eisenberg’s primary responsibilities involve strategic planning, finding financial resources and implementing the policies of the all-volunteer board of directors.

“Under my leadership, I’d like the CDC to be a self-sustaining entity that’s membership-driven and open to all members of the community to join — restaurants and businesses — to work toward a broader economic development program in Hyattsville,” he said.

The board was looking for someone invested in the Hyattsville community.

“Stuart has dedicated his life for the past decade toward the community life of the city, whether that’s been as a civic activist or a city council person, he has made life in the city of Hyattsville his life,” said Mark Ferguson, chairman of the Community Development Corp. board. “It was really a natural fit.”

Mr. Eisenberg became involved in community activism 10 years ago. He joined a group that stopped a gas storage facility from being built near Hyattsville. That led to a run for a Hyattsville City Council seat, which he won in 2001. He was the council’s president in 2003 and 2004 but did not run for re-election.

“What it all boils down to is taking what you want to do and forming it into practice. Don’t just complain about why things aren’t working. You have to be part of the process,” he said.

Mr. Eisenberg lives in Hyattsville with his wife, Kathleen, and son, Yves, 5, and daughter, Lucia, 9.

— Jen Haberkorn

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