Emmanuel V. Remy pronounced himself honored to be president of the Northland Community Council at the organization's annual awards event March 23.

Emmanuel V. Remy pronounced himself honored to be president of the Northland Community Council at the organization's annual awards event March 23.

Before he got the chance to say that, Remy was honored by his predecessor, Dave Paul.

Paul was president of the coalition of 25 civic associations, homeowner groups and other community organizations for six years. For his last official act in that capacity, he presented awards to Remy, NCC secretary Brandon L. Boos and Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center free clinic founder Joyce Bourgault. Paul said these were people who have made a major difference in the Northland area.

Remy was tapped for the award, Paul said, for the activities he undertook on behalf of the NCC even before agreeing to take over as president.

Boos participated in resurrecting the Salem Civic Association and, since becoming active with NCC, has developed a number of programs and initiatives aimed at bettering the organization, according to Paul. These include an Inter-Civic Exchange for sharing ideas and putting together a strategic planning process to carry the council into the future.

In addition to launching a free clinic at the Haimerl Center in 2007, Bourgault has been chairwoman of the Northland Alliance for the past year. In that capacity, Paul said, she has organized a series of summit meetings for nonprofit organizations serving the Northland area to concentrate efforts on sections of the overall neighborhood with the most needs.

In concluding his remarks, he said it had been his pleasure to serve the NCC in a leadership role.

"I know that I'm leaving NCC in good hands," Paul said.

In his brief remarks, Remy took the time to mention his predecessor.

"He's laid a foundation for this area that's incredible," Remy said.

A decade ago, with the closing of Northland Mall, things looked pretty bleak for the neighborhood, he said.

"Today we have one of the largest mall redevelopment sites in the country," Remy said.

Former city councilwoman and former longtime Northland resident Fran Ryan made a special presentation to Paul for the assistance he has provided her in putting together the Senior Roundtable, which now has 450 members from all sectors who are involved with older residents; it typically has 150 people sharing ideas at monthly meetings. Paul has employed his technical savvy in keeping all these people aware of developments through email alerts, according to Ryan.

"David, you have saved the day," she said. "We appreciate you so much."

In an expansion of a program begun last year when a Civic Association of the Year was honored, Boos handed out not only a civic award sponsored by Able Roofing, but also recognition for an Event of the Year, Block Watch of the Year and Publication of the Year. Bob Daniels Buick GMC Truck sponsored the new awards.

"Strong civic associations are the foundation of a strong community," Boos said.

Remy's own Salem Civic Association was the organization honored last week. The Block Watch for Karmel Woodward Park took that award while the Salem Lamplighter was named Publication of the Year. The carriage rides offered at Christmas in Minerva Park took Event of the Year honors.