The Legacy Center for Community Success (TLC) recently completed its 2011-12 fiscal year, and it certainly has been one for the record books.

In the past year, TLC hired our first paid president, completed two mergers, expanded our office space twice, grew from zero to nine paid employees, developed a new logo, launched a new online presence and realigned into four operating units.

It all began a year ago when The Legacy Center for Student Success merged with the Literacy Council of Midland County to create The Legacy Center for Community Success. This brought together two strong organizations with efforts focused on preventing and treating illiteracy at all ages. In March, the former LCMC employees relocated to our expanded offices at 3200 James Savage Road.

In January, I joined TLC as the first paid president and chief executive officer, succeeding the organization’s founder, Dick Dolinski. Although retired from his official duties, Dick continues to be a valuable asset to our organization.

A few months later, discussions began, in earnest, about merging with Midland Area Partnership for Drug Free Youth (MAP). In late June, the Boards of directors for MAP and TLC unanimously agreed to combine our organizations, and the merger became effective August 1. The MAP employees moved into our facility last week.

MAP fits nicely within our youth development efforts, and the merger will allow us to have some “skin in the game” when it comes to offering asset-building programs that directly impact local youth.

We have regretfully said goodbye to five TLC board members. We thank them for their staunch support and guidance during their tenure. At the same time, we welcome six new board members from MAP that will add diversity and depth to our leadership group.

The benefits resulting from these activities go well beyond the financial savings, which is estimated to be more than $200K annually. TLC has evolved into an organization that delivers unparalleled value to the communities we serve. We have continued to stay “true to our roots” by focusing on outside-the-classroom barriers to learning. And the boundary conditions we established for ourselves early on—to objectively measure outcomes and collaborate with other organizations whenever possible—have not changed.

Something that has changed is our logo. Our new logo, developed by Bolger+Battle, reflects our desire to be “woven” into the fabric of our community. The colors represent our four organizational units of Literacy Services, Early Childhood Development, Youth Development and Healthy Families.

We also were chosen by Publicom Inc., a marketing communications firm in East Lansing, to receive free marketing communications services. As part of this 24-hour blitz, we received three new brochures, a Facebook page, a website design (which eventually was made operational by Ohno Design, Inc. of Bay City), an annual report template, an eNewsletter template, media relations support and more. This unexpected support has jumpstarted our rebranding efforts.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, our permanent and extended staff, and our many volunteers, I thank the greater Midland Community for its ongoing support. We look forward to another year of exciting work that will allow all children, youth and families in our community to flourish and thrive.