My profile of Neutral Zone director Lori Roddy, in The Ann Arbor Observer

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-2-01-43-pm“The world is yours, dude!” a skinny teenaged boy in ripped jeans declares grandly to his pals standing in the recording studio at the Neutral Zone teen center. But the kid freezes when photographer Adrian Wylie aims a camera his way.

Executive director Lori Roddy knows what to do. “Let’s see you play with the word ‘roses,'” she says, inviting the boy into an improv game. He snaps into a confident monologue: “Roses. Everyone likes roses … you see them at cemeteries.” Wylie gets his shot.

The Observer’s designers didn’t end up using the photo, but it was a glimpse of the skills that helped Roddy rise from intern to the top job at the local teen center. John Weiss, her mentor and predecessor, says that when he stepped back to focus on sharing the NZ model with other communities, “I couldn’t see anyone else but Lori” as a successor. READ THE REST HERE


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