Nearly 90 people gathered for social and political conversations on the evening of March 3 at the SNA annual meeting.

Held at The Highlands on the East Side, the event featured drinks and snacks with an opportunity for neighbors to socialize with neighbors plus their elected representatives and candidates for office.

House Speaker Gordon Fox, Sen. Gayle Goldin and City Councilman Kevin Jackson were all present as were mayoral candidates Lorne Adrain, Jorge Elorza, Daniel Harrop, Brett Smiley and Michael Solomon, plus gubernatorial hopeful Clay Pell and R.I. Senate candidate Chris Wall.  Representing the Providence Police were Capt. George Stamatakos and Lt. John Ryan.

Members of SNA plus other Summit residents were able to meet with the invited guests face to face to discuss state, neighborhood and individual issues. Many participants praised the rare chance for such personal exchanges.

After SNA President Dean Weinberg introduced Highlands Executive Director Valerie Houshar, who welcomed everyone, he presented a short summary of the organization’s achievements in the past year and a survey of projects for the coming year. Then board of directors member Tom Schmeling presided over the election of the 2014 governing body.

Approved by unanimous voice vote were Weinberg as president, Kerry Kohring as vice president, Anneliese Greenier as treasurer and Schmeling as secretary. New members Vishal Jain, Michael McGlynn, Lee Pichette and Sharon Waldman joined incumbents Jim Barfoot, Sierra Barter, Chris Bull, Joan Retsinas, Daren Bulley, Grant Dulgarian, Daniel MacLellan, Britt Page, Sheila Perlow, Mary Ann Rossoni and Peter Sandby-Thomas.

The rest of the evening was dedicated to one-on-one discussions and getting-to-know-you conversations while enjoying wine and beer provided by Campus Fine Wines, coffee by New Harvest Coffee Roasters, olive-oil tasting by Olive del Mondo, pizza by SNA and desserts from the Highlands own kitchen. There were also free massages by Harmony on Hope.

With the annual meeting concluded on a social note, SNA is planning more formal candidate presentations for future dates.

Councilman Kevin Jackson and a constituent discuss issues.

Mayoral candidate Daniel Harrop presents his case.

Summit residents sit with Senate candidate Chris Wall as mayoral hopeful Michael Solomon, right background, listens to ideas.