The Association was founded in 1967 by a group of neighbors concerned about what was happening in and around the King William Area. In the last decade, changes in our neighborhood have begun to escalate. With a volunteer Board with term limits, members began to see the need for a full time professional staff member to provide continuity from president to president and board to board. A liaison to government agencies, local businesses and surrounding neighborhoods was also needed.
After a couple of years of discussion, former Board Vice President Johnny Heidelberg took on the role of volunteer Executive Director to “test the ropes” and see how the position might function. After several months, the Board decided the time was right to post the position. An ad hoc personnel committee was formed and a consultant employed to find the best candidate. Several qualified applications were received; interviews were conducted and a choice was made.
“From the start, we knew Cherise Bell was one of the top contenders,” Johnny Heidelberg said. Cherise has a business degree from UTSA and a master’s in Historic Preservation from the University of Utah, and had worked for the City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation. Knowing City staff and how government entities work was seen as a big plus. Plus she has owned and lived in a home in the King William neighborhood since 2004.
Since becoming Executive Director, Cherise has received a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership, became a Certified Texans for the Arts ‘State Arts Advocate’ and a Certified Tourist Ambassador, plus attended COP training (Cellular on Patrol). These trainings have helped her to organize the association and ensure compliance with Federal and State laws and implement best business practices.
Successes have included receiving grants from the San Antonio Area Foundation and the Texas Commission on the Arts and recognition three years in a row from Centro as the BEST Neighborhood. Another success was effectively having “NR” a noise restriction added to the City’s UDC (Unified Development Code). Implementation of the zoning will help with future rezoning requests. Cherise and the Board are constantly looking for ways to make King William an even greater place to live.