What Is GENA?
GENA is the Girard Estate Neighbors Association. We are a volunteer neighborhood organization that helps preserve and enhance the residential quality of life in our neighborhood. Our neighborhood is urban, historic , and residential. It requires constant vigilance to ensure its livability. The Girard Estate Neighbors Association acts as an advocate for the residents as well as a clearinghouse for information and community events.
GENA recognizes that we live in a diverse neighborhood. In order to
represent the community to the best of our ability, GENA strives to be
an inclusive organization that engages all residents. Our core values
hold respect for all people and their individual characteristics or
perspectives, such as ethnicity or race, socioeconomic status,
religious perspective, political conviction, gender, and sexual
GENA seeks to improve the quality of life in the Girard Estate Area and to promote and protect the community interests of the area through zoning, beautification, education, safety and social activities. We keep neighbors informed of matters that affect the community, provide members with a forum to make improvements, and present a strong elected voice to represent the residents.
GENA is bounded:
on the East by South 17th Street
on the West by South 25th street
on the North by Passyunk Avenue
on the South by Oregon Avenue
GENA practices transparency and neighborhood empowerment through participation. Here are our bylaws
A CALL FOR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
FROM GENA'S PRESIDENT
Dear Girard Estate Community,
My name is Mark Leuzzi Jr and I am president of the Girard Estate Neighbors Association. I, along with a fantastic group of people, hope to keep this organization moving forward in both a positive and productive manner. In my personal opinion, the most important issue we face as a neighborhood is the fact that Girard Estate more often than not continues to lose the battle of where young families choose to call home. As a community it is our responsibility to show prospective buyers what Girard Estate has to offer. Along with GENA, and active community involvement we can help ensure that our neighborhood will not only be competitive but hopefully one that has a strong hold on where people want to call home.
GENA is encouraging neighbors to establish block captains. It is our belief that this would be a good start in establishing more community involvement. A block captain will be a means of getting questions and concerns to GENA in an organized, controlled fashion so that we can establish a solution or other means of action. We also request anyone who may have spare time to get involved. GENA does not require any mandatory time to be a volunteer, simply whatever your schedule dictates. We appreciate any and all efforts to help the community. If you are currently a block captain, have recently been elected block captain or want to be a volunteer and work with a dedicated community group such as GENA, please send us your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. A GENA board member will get in touch with you to establish how you would like to be involved. Your information will be kept private and not shared with anyone. We again thank you in advance for your help and look forward to serving the community.
Mark Leuzzi Jr.
An active, elected community voice is a powerful tool to enhance the quality of life in our neighborhood and to ensure its livability for years to come. In 2009, a small group of committed and hard-working neighbors banded together to create a new neighborhood association that allows for greater participation and provides transparency to its membership. We knew there were many civic-minded people who shared a similar vision about this community and we knew that the quality of life in our neighborhood was very important to the people living in the neighborhood. We believe that with your commitment GENA will continue to be a successful, community-focused civic association that works in conjunction with the neighbors to identify and resolve community issues.
Mark Leuzzi, Jr, Board Member and President Emeritus
Mark is a lifelong resident of The Girard Estate area and is the owner/operator of Mark Cement Contractors. He served as Vice-President of GENA from 2013 to 2015 and as President from 2016 to 2020.
Paul Rossi, Secretary
Rob Frye, Treasurer
Vincent Ricchiuti, Board Member
Loretta Rossi, Board Member
Paul Rossi is a resident of Girard Estate since 1997. He is a retired IT consultant and also has served in Neighbors Against Crime Town Watch. He has a B.A. and an M.A. from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Science from Washington University in St. Louis. This is his second term as Secretary.
Rob has been a resident of Girard Estate since 2005. He is a licensed CPA in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and works for the Philadelphia based accounting consulting firm Pine Hill Group, where he is the Director of the firm's Risk Advisory Services practice. Rob is a graduate of Temple University's Fox School of Business, where he earned undergraduate degrees in both Accounting and Finance.
Vince Ricchiuti started GENA in 2009 and now serves on the board. He is a lifelong resident of South Philadelphia and has lived in Girard Estate for twenty years. Vince holds a B.A. and an MBA from La Salle University, and currently runs the Farmers Insurance Agency in South Philadelphia.
Loretta served as GENA's first secretary and is now serving her second term on the board. She is a resident of Girard Estate since 1993. Loretta is retired from her position as IT Manager for the Defense Logistics Agency in Philadelphia. She has a B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania.
Jessica Frye, President
Jessica has been a resident of Girard Estate since 2005, and has very much enjoyed starting her family in the neighborhood. She has been an active GENA member and Chair of the GENA Events Committee since 2014, and also served as Vice-president from 2019 to date. Jessica works part-time as a freelance graphic designer, and holds a BFA in Design and a Masters in Art Education from The University of the Arts.
James is the business owner of BarkPark located on 20th & Passyunk
Avenue. He has lived in the neighboring neighborhood of West Passyunk for 5 years and currently sits on the board of WPNA as Vice President & Zoning Committee Chair. James graduated from Temple University with
a BA in Management Information Systems & Entrepreneurship.
James Gitto, Vice-President
Dan Bartoli, Board Member
Dan has been a resident of Girard Estate since 2012. He has been on the Zoning Committee for the past 5 years. He is committed to keeping our neighborhood beautiful, clean, and a great place to live.
Pete Fry, Board Member
Co-Owner, Taproom on 19th. Prior to buying the Taproom at 19th and Ritner, Pete worked in the printing business in central New Jersey for most of his adult life, starting out packing boxes in the warehouse, and after holding almost every position in the company eventually becoming Director of Operations and a Partner in the company. In 2012 he decided it was time to follow his passion for good food and beer, and together he and longtime friend Michael Strauss started planning their start in the food and beverage industry. Within a year they had purchased and opened the Taproom on 19th. The Taproom has always been focused on being a part of the Girard Estate neighborhood, so when the opportunity to become part of GENA arose, Pete threw his hat in the ring.
Terri Walker, Board Member
Theresa holds a B.S. in Film and Photography from Sam Houston State University located in Huntsville, TX. She also holds numerous certificates in course work related to her oil and gas career. In 2018, she completed her real estate license. She is thrilled to be part of such a historic and vibrant community.
John Abbott, Board Member
John is a long-time resident of Girard Estate who has worked and owned businesses here for years. He has helped GENA in numerous capacities over the years, and now as a board member. John is our liaison to the First Police District meetings.