About CKAR

CKAR is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that forms strategic partnerships to implement projects in our Greater Riverdale community including workforce training/job development, environmental sustainability, business retention, advocacy and economic and community development.

CKAR is governed by an 11-member board of directors composed of residents, representatives of the community, and educational organizations and institutions. We meet monthly to serve and provide expertise in sustainable planning, design, community advocacy, fiscal and project development, municipal government relations, housing counseling, academic programs, non-profit management, social service and educational programs for the bi-lingual community.

About Greater Riverdale

Riverdale is a community that includes a municipality (the Town of Riverdale Park) and a large unincorporated area served by the Prince George’s County government. It is a very diverse community with a variety of housing types, a multi-ethnic residential population, and large open space areas of green parks and hiker/biker trails that link to a trail system that includes Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

Residents of Riverdale, including a large immigrant and refugee population, speak over 100 languages. Riverdale has a great spirit that is reflected in the numerous banners along the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area and in the business parks.

Our community is served by a variety of transportation systems and major arterial roads that link Riverdale to the Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia region– METRO subway system, MARC trains, AMTRAK and WMATA, and the county THE BUS transit system. The new light rail Purple Line, with three stations in Riverdale, will service our community in 2021 as an on grade transit system connecting east and west.

Revitalization of an aged commercial area is needed in the eastern part of the business community to bring new small business growth to address community needs. New commercial and residential construction has begun in Riverdale Park at Riverdale Station with a new Whole Foods Market, Starbucks, townhouses, restaurants, and a hotel. Two new hotels will be completed shortly in the adjacent community of College Park. The University of Maryland is continuing to grow its Discovery District business park and technology corridor in Riverdale and College Park.


Dennis R. Nola
Member since 2010

Alice M. Bishop
1st Vice-President
Member since 2010

John Arrington
2nd Vice-President
Member since 2013

Sharon E. Wertz
Member since 2010

Thomas L. Wertz, Jr.
Member since 2010

Patricia Hayes-Parker
Executive Director
Member since 2010

Gloria Aparicio Blackwell
At Large
Member since 2010

Hon. David J. Lingua
Town of Riverdale Park
Member since 2010

Lisa McDougal
Member since 2010

Sister Carmen Soto
Member Since 2013

Melvin L. Allen Jr., Esq
Member since 2017


The Mission of CKAR is two-fold:

To bring together a diverse, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic community to promote the social, economic and business interests of Greater Riverdale

To promote the welfare and revitalization of the residential and business communities within Greater Riverdale


CKAR = Better Lives, Better Communities and Better Businesses


CKAR is a private non-profit charitable organization founded for the public good and operates to accomplish its mission through specific program activities. We depend upon effective leadership through the board’s partnership with management, each playing an essential role. Our employees and volunteers are fundamental to achieving our mission. Our board members are in a position of trust to ensure that through effective board leadership, its resources are used to carry out the mission of CKAR. Our board is committed, as volunteers, to demonstrate an understanding of the community we serve. The board has approved effective management policies that are actively monitored by executive staff to effectively and efficiently fulfill its mission. Periodic reviews address accuracy and transparency of financial and operational reporting, with safeguards to protect the integrity of the reporting systems. These are the Guiding Principles that establish Standards For Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector, Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations. CKAR is a Member.

CKAR cares about its community and the citizens that live within. CKAR tries to represent the interests of the people that it serves through public education and public policy advocacy, as well as participation in the public affairs of the community.

  • We care.
  • We listen.
  • We are dedicated to transforming lives.
  • We love what we do.
  • We achieve through strategic collaborations.