Something big is happening in Wilmington, and leading the charge is Logan Herring, executive director of the Kingswood Community Center (KCC) in northeast Wilmington. Herring, a Delaware Business Times 40 Under 40 honoree, was named CEO of the REACH Riverside Development Corp (RRDC).
The corporation is the lead organization in a massive revitalization effort recently made public. Upon its completion, the $100 million-plus project in Wilmington’s Riverside neighborhood will comprise 400 mixed-income units, health services and educational opportunities.
Herring draws inspiration from a rich heritage of public service:
His grandfather, Rev. Otis Herring, was the founder of the Union Baptist Church in Wilmington; His mother was an elementary school behavioral specialist. At 14, Herring became a camp counselor at his local Boys and Girls Club. Later, he formed the nonprofit Delaware Elite Inc. in 2006 with his brother. Today he provides leadership to not just KCC, but to sister organization the Teen Warehouse, which formed in 2017.
“Growing up in Wilmington has been helpful because everyone knows everyone. The support I’ve received in these initiatives has been great. I have a duty to serve the community I grew up in and move forward in a meaningful way,” he said.
Herring’s proudest moment: “When I first arrived [at KCC in 2016], Kingswood was about to close. It had missed payroll. I knew if we lost that 12 acres of land, Purpose Built Community would never happen. Kingswood is now thriving,” he said.
To add value to its turnaround, Herring recalled a visit to the Longwood Foundation two years ago. His staff had discouraged him from making a funding request, as the community center had fallen out of favor with the foundation. He went back a year later and received a $205,000 grant from the Longwood Foundation, and several other funders as well. Awards and accolades now come more frequently.
This month’s announcement not only validates the work Herring and KCC do, but also the community to be served. “We want the community to say, ‘We are valuable. We do have power. Our voice will be heard.’”