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Lakesider News

Amy Skolnik is New Director of Strategic Giving & Community Outreach

By Kevin Greer
Lakeside Communications Manager

When Amy Skolnik applied for a position in the Advancement & Marketing Department, it wasn’t just her impressive resume that checked all boxes. She’s been coming to Lakeside since the 1980s and is a year-round resident, so she also knows the community very well.

Skolnik is the new Director of Strategic Giving & Community Outreach. Among her duties are donor relations, community outreach, major gifts and planned giving, and she will report to the Gretchen Colon, V.P. of Advancement & Marketing.

Skolnik said she wasn’t looking for a new job but didn’t hesitate to apply when she saw it online. When she was offered the job, the decision was a no-brainer for her.

“I’m over the moon excited about being able to work to continue to keep the mission of Lakeside alive,” Skolnik said. “This place is so special to me and to my family and holds a big piece of my heart.”

Skolnik grew up in New Philadelphia, Ohio, and started coming to Lakeside as a church camper during her freshman year in high school. She continued visiting during her college years and worked as the Park Director for three summers.

That is when she met her future husband, Skip, who was the Sailing Instructor. He would send his staff up to get gardening tools from the shed to clean up the beach area, but they wouldn’t get sent back. It was all part of his master plan.

“He would never return them with thought of if he didn’t, I would have to go down there and ask for them,” Skolnik said. “I found that out way later in our relationship. I’m like, ‘Really?’”

The rather unusual scheme worked, because they married a couple years later at the Steele Memorial Bandstand. Their youngest daughter, Libby, also married there in 2021.

“Those are my two favorite Lakeside memories,” Skolnik said.

Skolnik started out as a teacher after earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ohio Northern University. Her first job was teaching a class of two kids at the one-room schoolhouse on North Bass Island.

“I would fly to work from the Port Clinton airport every day unless the weather was bad,” Skolnik said. “I did that until we were married.”

She eventually took a break from teaching to raise their daughters, Abbey and Libby, and went to get her master’s in education from Bowling Green State University.

She decided to go a different direction about 15 years ago when she started working for nonprofits. During her eight years at Stein Hospice, she sat on the Board of Directors for United Way of Erie County and later, after leaving Stein, stepped in as the Interim Executive Director for the organization.

Skolnik’s role before coming to Lakeside was with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio. She started as the Executive Director in Erie County, and when the pandemic hit, transitioned into the role of Director of Academic Success for all of the clubs across the region, which went from Sandusky to Akron. Once all the clubs opened back up, she oversaw academics in 52 Boys and Girls Clubs.

Skolnik isn’t the first family member to work in Lakeside. Her father, Keith Addy, was the Marketing Director from 1987 to his retirement in 2004, when he hired Shirley Stary as his replacement. Skolnik will always cherish the memories of meeting and getting photos with Hoover Auditorium performers her dad booked, many include Abbey and Libby when they were toddlers.

Abbey and Libby were also employees in Lakeside. Abbey worked at shuffleboard one year and at Marilyn’s until the summer before her senior year of college. Libby was a lifeguard at the pool and the lake for a couple seasons. She was on duty the first day the pool opened in 2017.

The Skolniks, who became year-round residents in 2020, have been frequent visitors during the summer. Skolnik doesn’t join her husband on the lake with his Sunfish sailboat, but she enjoys going to the islands on their boat that’s docked at Lakevue Marina.

She enjoys many Lakeside activities, but her favorite is spending time with family and friends. She’s also looking forward to watching the start of a new generation of Lakesiders in her family after the birth of their first grandchild, Sadie Gwen, at the end of April.

“I can’t wait for her to get here,” Skolnik said. “She just steals our hearts every time we see her.”

Skolnik said it’s “surreal in a good way” to be employed the same place her dad worked for 17 years. She’s looking forward to working with people in the community and getting to know a lot of donors. Working at a place that’s so special to her is meaningful.

“There is just a genuine kindness of the people here,” Skolnik said. “It’s almost like you can turn off all the political stuff and the things that are happening in the world that are just heart wrenching. It’s like stepping back in time. I kind of feel like my dad is looking down and watching over me and I can hear him with his gruff voice say, ‘You did good, kid.’”


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