Atwater Village, CA: Nick Warnes, local resident and the founding pastor of Northland Village Church (a progressive church located in North Atwater) is the winner of the Atwater Villager of the Year for 2013.
This annual award, determined by community nominations and presented annually by the Atwater Village Chamber of Commerce, is for someone “whose noteworthy good deeds has served to preserve the uniqueness of our community or improved those areas that needed improvement.”
“If a rising tide floats all boats, then Nick is our wondrous watermark,” says Chamber of Commerce President Andy Hasroun. “His energy and entrepreneurial spirit has not only galvanized and energized his church, but buoyed our entire community.”
Nick is one of the founders of the annual Atwater Artwalk, a community-wide art competition now in its third year, and he also has created vital tutoring programs at both neighborhood elementary schools (Atwater Ave and Glenfeliz). “Every Wednesday he’s there smiling at the school gates, ready to roll out Homework Helpers afterschool,” notes Friends of Atwater Elementary President Shelli-Anne Couch (who was the 2012 Villager of the Year). “Nick has a calm focus which the kids respect, but also a playful approach which makes homework terrific fun.”
When not at the Church (or the many locations that he is currently helping or partnering with), you can find Nick (and often his lovely wife Whitney) enjoying restaurants in Atwater Village and our North East, debating baseball, meditating while bicycling through Griffith Park and the LA River Trail or tutoring afterschool students. Nick received his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, with an emphasis in worship, theology and the arts and is currently finishing his first book, Church Planting: From the Exception to the Norm.
Three other local residents also received Honorable Mentions at the ceremony, held on Tuesday July 30, 2013 at the hip restaurant/performance space ATX by Kitchen 12,000 in Atwater Village: Bruce Fleenor, Barbara Lass and JeanMarie Wisniewski (as below).
Bruce Fleenor: Bruce served on the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council for six years (including holding the positions of treasurer and co-chair). As the pastor at Christs Church at Griffith Park, Bruce has served many community members. Bruce also works diligently to bring services and programming to Chevy Chase Recreation Center.
Barbara Lass: A 40 year resident, Barbara founded the Atwater Village Residents Association and is the quick wit behind its quarterly newsletter which is a staple at every local business. A passionate supporter of the Library she also is a volunteer for Summer Nights on the Boulevard.
JeanMarie Wisniewski: JeanMarie’s tireless efforts to make sure the pets in our neighborhood are taken care of has benefitted our entire community. She is constantly helping families in our community by donating food and medicine to people going through tough times, and she has done incredible outreach to help place abandoned animals in Atwater Village. She is a one-woman army and her efforts are making a huge impact on the quality of life for our pets and people.