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Growing ANR, NDC sharing executive director

Christopher Lunn, 40, executive director of Alliance for Nonprofit Resources, in Butler on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Cary Shaffer/Butler Eagle

The Alliance for Nonprofit Resources and Nonprofit Development Corporation are continuing to expand their services while operating with a shared executive director.

Christopher Lunn became executive director of ANR and NDC in May after serving as chief financial officer for both organizations and the Center for Community Resources since 2013. His promotion came after the departure of Michael Robb as chief executive officer of all three of the nonprofit organizations and another local nonprofit, Community Partnership.

Before joining the three organizations, Lunn worked in the financial departments of the Butler County Housing and Redevelopment Authority for five years, and Lutheran Senior Life in Cranberry Township for three years. He has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Slippery Rock University and an associate degree in business administration from Butler County Community College.

The ANR and NDC are expanding their services, and Lunn is quick to credit the organizations’ combined staff of more than 400 employees for meeting the challenges.

“We have a tremendous staff — loyal, hard working — they put in the time because they believe in what we do,” Lunn said. “It’s a lot of work being able to take on different projects in different areas to keep operations open.”

Libby Holtzer, left to right, Anna Buzzard, Christopher Lunn, Meagan Snyder and Alba Hughes pack Christmas gifts at Alliance for Nonprofit Resources in Butler on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Cary Shaffer/Butler Eagle
Transporting veterans

ANR’s transportation division manages Butler Area Rural Transit and the Medical Assistance Transportation Program and provides transportation for homeless military veterans. ANR coordinates 8,000 trips a month in all three programs, Lunn said.

ANR’s 41 drivers, 50 vehicles and call and dispatch center operate out of the Butler Transit Authority’s facility in the Pullman Center Business Park.

BART provides free transportation to senior citizens and people with disabilities, MATP provides free trips to medical appointments for people whose insurance won’t cover that transportation, he said.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, MATP experienced a 75% decline in ridership and BART saw a 30% drop, but ANR has made up for some of those losses by providing transportation for Medical Assistance recipients through the Community HealthChoices program and for homeless veterans, he said.

ANR gave rides to 75 homeless veterans per month this year, and is looking to expand that service to homeless veterans in surrounding counties, he added

“We’re happy to help out and get people where they need to go,” Lunn said.

The transportation division is expanding in preparation for transportation management contracts for which ANR has submitted proposals, he said. Space on the first floor of ANR’s main building at 127 S. Main St. in Butler is being converted into offices, and the first floor of a building ANR owns at 115-117 S. Main St. is being renovated for the internet technology staff, he said. The second and third floors will be renovated for relocation of other ANR offices in the future.

The Alliance for Nonprofit Resources in Butler on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Cary Shaffer/Butler Eagle
Caring for clients

ANR’s management division provides administrative services including financial, human resources, internet technology, security, strategic planning and marketing for nonprofit organizations.

That division is currently serving 150 clients. Most are based in the county, but some are located in Erie and Pittsburgh, Lunn said.

He said the management service is valuable to organizations having difficulty hiring employees. Organizations can use ANR’s management service full-time or temporarily until they hire, he said.

The human service division, the largest division with a staff of 284, employs care workers for people with developmental disabilities.

A person receiving disability benefits from the state selects a care provider, and that care worker becomes an ANR employee, Lunn said. The state then reimburses ANR for the career workers’ pay. Many of those beneficiaries are referred to ANR for the county or other service providers working for the county, he said.

“The staff we have in that program are as devoted to the people under their care,” Lunn said.

Construction of the new campus of BC3@Armstrong at Ford City is a project of the Community Builders Group, a division of the Nonprofit Development Corporation. The NDC owns the building and will lease it to Butler County Community College. The project is expected to be completed next year. Submitted photo.
Community builders

The NDC does business as the Community Builders Group. Its construction division operates out of a facility on Grant Avenue in East Butler, working on NDC projects and projects for the housing and redevelopment authority and county human services department.

Community Builders Group takes on construction and renovation projects for low-income residents and nonprofit organizations, and owns 20 buildings in Butler, Armstrong and Clarion counties that house other nonprofits and contain 47 housing units for people with developmental disabilities and mental health care needs, Lunn said.

However, NDC’s biggest project is the $7 million construction of BC3’s new campus in Ford City called BC3 @ Armstrong. Construction is expected to be completed by February. NDC owns the building, the former Ford City Junior-Senior High School, and leases it to the college.

“That is our largest project to date. We’ll own the building. BC3 will be our tenant,” Lunn said. BC3 also rents office space in ANR’s main building.

NDC is also working with BC3 to develop a construction training program for veterans. Lunn said he hopes to start the program in the spring.

John Garing, 89, of Chicora, sits with his coffee at the Donut Connection in Butler on Wednesday, November 30, 2022. Cortney Baehr, of Butler, left, and Sharon Swartzlander, of Fenelton, ready an order for a customer. Cary Shaffer/Butler Eagle
Providing experience, work

In addition, NDC owns the Donut Connection on Center Avenue.

Lunn said NDC had been talking to the previous shop owner about acquiring the property for a different use, but bought it after the owner decided not to reopen after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. NDC renovated the building and bought new equipment before opening the business.

“It’s been a good experience. We have people with autism, mental health (issues) and developmental disabilities working there. They might not be able to find other jobs,” Lunn said. “It’s been a lot of hard work to provide that opportunity and keep the former owner’s legacy alive.”

Customers have appreciated the effort. Lunn said the shop sells an average of 78 dozen doughnuts a day and 125 to 150 dozen a day on weekends. He said the recent opening of a new Dunkin’ on Route 8 in Butler Township hasn’t affected sales.

Sharon Swartzlander, of Fenelton, left, and Cortney Baehr, of Butler, display donuts at Donut Conection in Butler on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. Cary Shaffer/Butler Eagle
Cortney Baehr, of Butler, reaches for a jelly filled donut while filling a customer's order for a mixed dozen in Butler on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. Sharon Swartzlander, of Fenelton, helps answer a customer's question. Cary Shaffer/Butler Eagle

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