In today’s episode of Ownership Matters, we welcome Natividad Seefeld, Board President of Park Plaza Cooperative in Fridley, Minnesota. Natividad is an amazing community leader who lives and breathes the success of Park Plaza Cooperative. She talks about the dramatic changes that have happened since she first moved in and about some of their major accomplishments – their storm shelter, the neighbor helping neighbor experience that is present today, their pandemic projects, and even the food service she sought for their community!
Podcast: Ownership Matters
Episode: 10 Years of Progress in Park Plaza Cooperative
Tune in to Ownership Matters, a podcast for homeowners in resident owned communities. Join ROC USA’s president, Paul Bradley, and their Communications Manager, Mike Bullard, as they share their conversations with community leaders, cooperative housing advocates, and leaders across the manufacturing community. In this episode, they welcome Natividad Seefeld, president of the Park Plaza Cooperative in Fridley, Minnesota. Natividad is an amazing community leader who lives and breathes the success of the Park Plaza Cooperative.
Paul and Mike kick off this episode by introducing Natividad and her amazing successes—leading to her election to the ROC USA board and association. Natividad provides a little personal background and what brought her to Park Plaza before it was a co-op. She talks about the dramatic changes that have happened since she first moved in. Learn about their neighbor helping neighbor experience that is present today, their pandemic projects, and even the food service she sought for their community.
The conversation shifts to a specific project that Paul and Mike have heard a lot about—the community center and storm shelter project. Natividad discusses the immense impact it has had on their community and their successful work in obtaining a grant and raising money to complete this project!
Listen in to find out who has moved into the community as of late. Natividad sheds light on the diversity they have in the community, the Hispanic culture present, and the recent families from Ethiopia and Afghanistan that moved in. She also talks about the rental home that they renovated as a project and resource for their community to use. Paul and Mike ask about how the Lowry Grove community closure displaced homeowners and the resident Park Plaza gained with this transition.
Natividad’s reputation has grown and her impact continues to expand! The hosts ask Natividad about their recent bill that they worked on and what it would accomplish for rent credits. She speaks about the unique workings they had with both republican and democratic senators. Additionally, learn about the ROC association and Natividad’s experience serving on the ROC USA board. She is vulnerable is sharing how it was “scary” until she found her place.
What would Natividad tell a new co-op leader, that she’s learned over the years? Natividad does not hesitate in emphasizing the importance of leading with one’s heart, never getting too big with yourself, and putting yourself in other people’s shoes. She encourages leaders to stay grounded and keep their passions.
The show wraps up with Natividad’s reflection on the ROC Leadership Institute, her favorite moments at Park Plaza, and what their future to-do list looks like. Don’t miss out on learning about how she works to put her ideas out there. Listen to stories about their community night out and winning a playground for the children! While they have saved money during the pandemic, they do not have a lot of projects on the horizon right now, stay tuned for updates on this community’s next adventures!
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1:15 – Natividad introduction
2:14 – Natividad’s background and moving into Park Plaza
4:45 – Park Plaza Projects
7:28 – Community center and storm shelter project
11:05 – Who has moved into the community recently?
13:54 – A renovated rental house
15:18 – Lowry Grove closure
17:13 – Passing a bill
20:21 – ROC USA board
23:37 – What has she learned over the years?
25:30 – Reflection on the ROC leadership institute
28:15 – Some of Natividad’s favorite moments
30:45 – Park Plaza’s to-do list and future
Find out more about ROC USA here.
Connect with Natividad on Twitter.
Check out NPR’s coverage of their night out.
Share thoughts, questions, and your own stories via email.